Anyone knows when to look out for the next big performance boost?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cathyy, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Hi all. I've kind of been out of touch regarding computers for a long time so I'm wondering if anyone can answer this. MBP updates usually either have a minor improvement, or have a huge architectural change (eg. Penryn -> Arrandale -> Sandy Bridge) which tends to brings about huge changes with it (Core 2 to i7 to Quad Core). I'm kind of wondering, when will the next major improvement be?

    Here's a timeline:

    Jan 2006 - Core Duo CPUs (Yonah), ATI X1600 [Huge upgrade over PowerBook]

    Oct 2006 - [CPU Speed Bump]

    Jun 2007 - Core 2 Duo CPUs (Merom), Nvidia 8600M GT (128mb) [Huge CPU & GPU upgrade]

    Feb 2008 - Core 2 Duo CPUs (Penryn), Nvidia 8600M GT (256mb) [Minor CPU & GPU upgrade]

    Oct 2008 - Core 2 Duo CPUs (Penryn), Nvidia 9600M GT, DDR3 RAM, Redesign [Moderate CPU & GPU upgrade, Redesign + DDR3 RAM]

    Mar 2009 - [CPU Speed Bump]

    Apr 2010 - Core i7 CPUs (Arrandale), Nvidia GT 330M [Major CPU & GPU upgrade]

    Feb 2011 - Quad Core i7 CPUs (Sandy Bridge), ATI 6770M [Major CPU & GPU upgrade, ThunderBolt introduced]

    Oct 2011 - [CPU & GPU Speed Bump]

    TBA 2012 - Predicted Quad Core i7 CPUs (Ivy Bridge), ATI 7770M, USB 3.0 [Moderate CPU & GPU upgrade]

    Above in my opinion are the best and the worst times upgrades to the Mac pretty much based on a hardware basis of how much of an improvement there was with regards to CPU & GPU.

    Does anyone know when the next big jump will be and roughly which quarter will it be released? I'm not really expecting Ivy Bridge to be too much of a jump so I'm assuming it's gonna be the one after that which is Haswell, would that be right? Anyone has any rough idea when Haswell MBPs will come out? Q1/2 2013? Q3/4 2013? 2014?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks. :)
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario

    Mar 2014

    dont ask how I know because I cant tell you
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Technically you are right about Sandy Bridge --> IVyBridge, however that leaves the question of exactly what speed processors Apple will offer a factor as well. Also, USB 3.0 is a possibility.

    The next big jump will be when Intel and/or ATI provide the chips for it. As for Haswell? Look at Intels roadmap and add anywhere from 0 to 3 months to it.
  4. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Since Ivy Bridge is essentially a die shrink and upgraded iGPU, it may be worth to wait for Haswell, since it will be a whole new architecture. Ivy will have better battery life and graphics though.
  5. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
  6. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    Im going to hold off on Ivy since its the first tri-gate CPU and it hasnt convinced me enough to buy it compared to the Dual core to quad core upgrade seen in 2011.

    Im guessing the next MAJOR update should be in 2014 to 2015.
    But we cant guess that :p

    And just an FYI, 2011 Early MBPs had ATI 6750M. Not 6770M
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011

    So Apple apparently skipped one "Tock", the "Clarksfield" CPU family does not appear in any MBP. Then of course the 2010 upgrade was huge, since it was both a new architecture and a die shrink.

    Then Sandy Bridge was also a big jump, mostly because we moved from 2 to 4 cores.

    I would say that a new processor architecture is more likely to give you a big performance boost. On the other hand, if the die shrink allows you to add more cores, you also win. In that sense, Sandy Bridge was exceptional - new architecture + doubled the number of cores.
    I don't see a similar jump in the next two years, but three small steps also make a big one!
  8. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    The next big jump will be when MBPs go to 8-core. Won't be for a while yet. Possibly with Haswell next year, or likely Broadwell (Why did I think it was called Rockwell?) sometime in 2014.

    GPU jumps are harder to predict in some ways, as AMD and NVIDIA seem to work more on a year-by-year basis, without a long term road/goal map. However, the improvements themselves are more predictable, as card performance generally just drops a bracket with each generation. For example, the 7750M/7770M performance will likely be very similar to the 6850M/6870M, but with similar power draw as the 6750M/6770M. I would just hope for a 20-40% year-by-year improvement in GPU power.


    Clarksfield was skipped because it used a 45nm process, and had low clock speeds (<2 GHz). Where as the Arrandale family, which was released at a similar time, used a 32nm process, and had much higher clock speeds (>2.5 GHz).

    And considering a dual core 2.8GHz CPU will thrash a quad 1.8GHz at most tasks (especially as we're talking 2 years ago, when multithreaded processes was not the norm, and Turbo Boost was pathetic), Apple obviously decided the quads weren't worth it.

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