A Rational Estimate of the Updated IBooks Specs and Release Date

TheSisko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2005
105
0
Switzerland
Hi all,

Even though I've only owned a Mac for 3 weeks, I feel compelled to venture upon an analysis of this hot subject.

This is what I think will/won't be updated on the iBook:

Probability LOW:

Complete redesign

Reason: A redesign is costly, and iBook already looks good and is nicely proportioned. It is more resonable that a major redesign is held of until the line gets Intel-chips.

Probability LOW:

Change of graphics chip

Reason: This would require an major internal reconfiguration and would be quite costly for Apple. Also, consider what the replacement chip would be. A R9600 puts it way ahead of the low-end Powerbooks and a FX5200 is in reality only a marginally faster chip than R9200.
The only thing that the FX5200 has going is Core Image, but the only place an ordinary user would notice this is the infamous "ripple"-effect, since A the FX5200 is really to slow for serious Core Image applications and B no such applications even exist yet, and the average user probably won't use them anyway. So does Apple really want to waste a lot of many for a ripple?!

Also, remember that compared to the integrated graphics inside most cheaper PC-notebooks, the R9200 ROCKS. My friend can't even play the original UT at lowest settings on his 2.4Ghz P4 notebook because of the crappy S3 chip inside, while the iBook can run UT2004 at decent settings.

So, I don't think we will be seeing a change in graphics, until the switch to Intel, where the internal architecture has to change anyway.

Probability MEDIUM:

Increase of Video RAM

This would probably be much cheaper for Apple than changing the chip itself, and more importantly, it's one of the "numbers" ordinary people look for when they are comparing computers (consider why there is a market for 256MB FX5200's). However, I don't think this is very likely either, since it won't help performance in most cases (a noticable difference is when having more than 10-15 windows open, the Exposé animation gets choppy, but ordinary people won´t jave that many windows open), and is probably more costly than other ipgrades.

Probability MEDIUM:

BT as standard

This should be almost free for Apple to throw in, but I don´t see it happening, since A, most people won´t use it or care if it´s missing and B those that really want it will gladly pay for it.

Probability HIGH:

Increase of System RAM

This is probably quite cheap for Apple, makes a MAJOR performance difference, and is the 2:nd "big number" people look for.

Probability HIGH:

Increase in CPU speed

This is the first thing people look for, and will probably cost Apple very little to change, since they are already buying the faster chips for Powerbooks.

Probability HIGH:

Increase in HD size

Another important show-off number, and should be cheap to change.

Time-of-update: August, probably a price drop on the current line soon.

Why? Because I think this will be the last update before the Intel transition and updating now probably means no updates for a year. Better to stretch out the current cycle out a bit.
And I think that most people who are planning to get an iBook will get one anyway, either now or get a Powerbook instead or wait for the update.
So Apple won´t loose any money.
Really, none of you guys would buy a PC instead, and regular people don´t even bother to check these sites; if they want an iBook, they just buy one!

P.S. OK, OK, I admit it...I really want that ripple!!! :D
 

thehuncamunca

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2003
447
0
NJ
the ibooks will most likely not be redesigned-they'll use the same design for probably this revision and another one before switching to an intel chip
the graphics card will be changed to something like a 9600 w/ 64MB, this won't require any major internal reconfiguration
BT 2.0 will become an option
512MB of RAM will become standard (probably as 2 DIMMS)
the CPU speed will increase marginally, though probably no increase in bus speed
the HD on the 12" might be 40GB standard and there will probably be a 100GB BTO option along with 5400rpm BTO options
the ibook will either be updated in june or early july or not until after all education promos end and orders are furfilled (like beginning of october)
 

TheSisko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 17, 2005
105
0
Switzerland
thehuncamunca said:
the graphics card will be changed to something like a 9600 w/ 64MB, this won't require any major internal reconfiguration
Really? Unless the R9600 is pin-compatible with R9200 (which it isn't) it will require a reconfiguration.
And somehow I doubt that they will put a graphicscard in the iBook that absolutely trashes the one in their cheaper PowerBooks.
 

icarusflies

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2005
82
0
NECC or Macworld Boston?

Take your choice...
Which event are the ibooks going to updated at?
NECC - next monday
MacExpo Boston 11-14 July

Both are pretty well placed for the new academic year. Apple look to have BIG stand at NECC (double that of Microsoft)

[I'll save you the trouble of checking - no big apple keynotes at the boston event]
 

FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
icarusflies said:
Take your choice...
Which event are the ibooks going to updated at?
NECC - next monday
MacExpo Boston 11-14 July
My vote's on NECC, though for no real logical reason.

I also tend to think that the iBooks are getting a minimal bump, too. More VRAM, maybe a better graphics chip, AE+BT 2.0 standard (since Apple's got those nice little all-in-one modules now, these seem to be matriculating through their line), bigger HDD - the usuals. No surprises until Intel chips next year.