Ivy Bridge update may disappoint...

grahamnp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2008
969
4
It's a die shrink, it was never going to be revolutionary. People like to consolidate all the rumors and create this "dream machine" that gets everyone's hopes up. The best you can hope for is some completely new features and a new look, CPU performance isn't increasing significantly.
 

Liquinn

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
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It's a die shrink, it was never going to be revolutionary. People like to consolidate all the rumors and create this "dream machine" that gets everyone's hopes up. The best you can hope for is some completely new features and a new look, CPU performance isn't increasing significantly.
Well Apple haven't updated the Mac Pro so why would they bother updating the Macbook Pro?
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
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The same TDP means very little. The first Penryn (45nm) also had the same TDP as the 65nm but needed some 30% less power. Made for much cooler notebooks and longer real battery life.

The question I would like to have answered (and Anand's article helps very little) is how much less power it is. Considering how Intel praised its Tri-gate it should be more than from 45 to 65nm. But what is know till know of performance and clock speeds suggests that it will be no different than the 65 to 45nm switch or 45 to 32.

Anand claims some better power consumption under load but that just seems a bit odd in comparison. It is hardly any better than 2500 and that is also a Quad at almost the same clock speed as the 2600k. Comparing the power consumption of those chips on other sites to anand's it seems he just has a fairly hot 2600k. On other sites the difference between 4 threads and 8 threads is almost none existent or more like 15W not 22W.
Which would suggest this 3770k is only by a rather small margin better than the latest crop of 32nm chips. Which would be quite bad and probably the reason for such a tiny clock speed increase with the same TDP classes and/or the whole delay. I think 22nm process doesn't do as smoothly as the others.

I have a feeling 22nm TG Ivy Bridge will be underwhelming for all but Ultrabooks which benefit from the GPU.
And that's why I said it may disappoint. TDP doesn't decrease, and neither does power consumption.

What TDP measures is how much heat the chip puts out on average, or how much heat Intel "thinks" it puts out on average. In Penryn's case, even though power consumption dropped, heat was still about relatively the same, but in exchange, IPC improved, and also frequency scaling improved.

Like you said, Anand's article makes it seem like power consumption isn't significantly different compared to Sandy.

There is a significant CPU performance as you can see in this encoding test. See the top 2 Ivy Bridge CPU's. 53 fps ( ivy bridge ) vs 36 fps ( sandy bridge )

Also a couple of Ivy Bridge CPU's are scoring 50% better than the Sandy Bridge CPU's in the following test.

So in conclustion, you can't say based on 1 CPU test that the Ivy Bridge CPU is a disappointment. Especially since Ivy Bridge is offering better performance at less power drain.
Where is less power drain?

Regarding the top 2, do take note that they are hexa-core (6-core) processors as opposed to quad. That's why the difference is so large compared to the 2600K. Compare the highlighted part to the 2600K and you'll see the quad vs quad result. In which case, it's not much difference.
 

xVeinx

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2006
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My question, in connection with the possibility of future retina displays for the Mac, is whether Ivy Bridge will be mandatory for these displays. I don't know how well even a current Mac Mini with Sandy Bridge, for instance, would be able to do in terms of driving such a high resolution monitor. Gaming and such aside, it would be nice to add in a new retina display to current machines, and not have to upgrade all hardware. Even the current Mac Pros might have an issue depending (older dedicated cards don't have the resolution explicitly supported in the specs, though I don't believe that is a hard limit, it may require better drivers to optimally support the higher resolutions...) on whether or not they get new drivers and/or are able to update to newer graphics cards.
 

bill-p

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Jul 23, 2011
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My question, in connection with the possibility of future retina displays for the Mac, is whether Ivy Bridge will be mandatory for these displays. I don't know how well even a current Mac Mini with Sandy Bridge, for instance, would be able to do in terms of driving such a high resolution monitor. Gaming and such aside, it would be nice to add in a new retina display to current machines, and not have to upgrade all hardware. Even the current Mac Pros might have an issue depending (older dedicated cards don't have the resolution explicitly supported in the specs, though I don't believe that is a hard limit, it may require better drivers to optimally support the higher resolutions...) on whether or not they get new drivers and/or are able to update to newer graphics cards.
I don't think Ivy Bridge is mandatory for a Retina Display.

For day to day task, technically, all current Sandy Bridge MacBook Pros should be able to get by just fine. The problem is mainly the amount of memory such high resolution displays would consume, and realistically, battery life will take a huge hit because the backlight has to be a lot brighter to fully illuminate what is conceivably tinier gaps between each pixel.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,992
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St. Paul, Minnesota
I've been saying this since day one.

Ivy Bridge will give 5-10% better CPU performance, 25-35% better GPU performance, and run cooler and longer. This platform is targeted towards ultrabooks, not full sized laptops.
 

Fleet would mac

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2012
36
0
There is a significant CPU performance as you can see in this encoding test. See the top 2 Ivy Bridge CPU's. 53 fps ( ivy bridge ) vs 36 fps ( sandy bridge )
...
Also a couple of Ivy Bridge CPU's are scoring 50% better than the Sandy Bridge CPU's in the following test.
Seems like you've misinterpreted the results here. The top two bars in these tests correspond to expensive 6-core versions of the Sandy Bridge i7. Obviously these two tests scale well with the two additional cores.

The bars you should be comparing are the ones in green (the Ivy Bridge i7 3770K) to the ones for the i7 2600K (the closest corresponding Sandy Bridge CPU). Do that, and you'll see that the performance improvement with Ivy Bridge is only around the 10% mark.
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
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Was thinking on buying a 2.4Ghz 17" Macbook Pro glossy for £1,720. This a good deal? The thing is with technology, there's always something newer around the corner.

I'd hate it if Apple merged the Airs and Pros :/
It sounds like you should wait. They are only a few months away at this point, and all signs point to a redesign.
 

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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It sounds like you should wait. They are only a few months away at this point, and all signs point to a redesign.
What does re-design mean? A merge of the Pro/Air or a slightly thinner Pro? I've waited this long so a few more months wouldn't hurt.
 

Liquinn

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Apr 10, 2011
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It sounds like you should wait. They are only a few months away at this point, and all signs point to a redesign.
What if there's no redesign? Then I've basically waited for nothing. That's the risk I have to take I suppose.
 

bill-p

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Jul 23, 2011
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What if there's no redesign? Then I've basically waited for nothing. That's the risk I have to take I suppose.
I think that if there is no design, then you can buy the older version for cheaper, and it'll only be 10% slower on average.

But personally, I'd scout for a MBP 15" Early 2011 on Apple Refurb for $1300. That's an excellent price in my opinions. Unless you need a faster discreet GPU for any reason at all.
 

BlackbookGuy

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2012
131
2
It depends on what you mean by disappoint, since as mentioned it will not be Star Trek. But I have a Macbook from 2006, so this year when I buy a 15 inch machine it will in no way disappoint.

But as far as Sandy to Ivy, I'm sure you are correct - it will not meet the hopes of some of the dreamers on these boards ;)
 

bill-p

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It depends on what you mean by disappoint, since as mentioned it will not be Star Trek. But I have a Macbook from 2006, so this year when I buy a 15 inch machine it will in no way disappoint.

But as far as Sandy to Ivy, I'm sure you are correct - it will not meet the hopes of some of the dreamers on these boards ;)
Well, I think the problem is that when Ivy hits, would you go for a $2000 Ivy MBP or a $1500 Sandy MBP that's only 10% slower?
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
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What TDP measures is how much heat the chip puts out on average, or how much heat Intel "thinks" it puts out on average. In Penryn's case, even though power consumption dropped, heat was still about relatively the same, but in exchange, IPC improved, and also frequency scaling improved.

Like you said, Anand's article makes it seem like power consumption isn't significantly different compared to Sandy.
I guess we interpret some things a little different. I say it is definitely significantly different. The difference is just less than I expected or had hoped for.
Also TDP is not average heat output it is supposed to be maximum heat output (Turbo doesn't count).
Also in Penryn's case the heat dropped a lot. Just search for the wolfdale stock cooler. That thing was tiny and almost like a third of the former in size. Heat decreased by a big amount. TDP was simply rated the same because that is how Intel like it. Heat reduction wasn't big enough to move chips into a lower TDP class especially at the beginning of production with a none mature process and still a little higher V. Yet only a fool would claim that the T9000 and 8000 series wasn't a lot cooler than the T7000. Half a year later there were the P9000 series that came with 25W TDP.
Power consumption and heat was always very closely related.
TDP is just an very very basic approximation. Some CPUs are simply in a higher TDP class because they don't want them to look to good. There are loads of low end CPUs that would deserve much lower tdp classes.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
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Well, I think the problem is that when Ivy hits, would you go for a $2000 Ivy MBP or a $1500 Sandy MBP that's only 10% slower?
The new one of course. It's not really a problem!
Right now it's the same situation between the early 2011 and the late 2011 models. The Ivy update might actually bring other new features (redesign? retina? 7XXX series ATI GPUs?), so it's really a no brainer.


@dusk

You are right, for mobile chips, the TDP is really just a rough measure of the energy consumption. Actual consumption is much lower when idle (below 5 W I guess), and can be higher during turbo boost phases. The Ivys are supposed to have a programmable TDP, so one might be able to set it to any value, e.g. for heat management purposes.
 
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bill-p

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Jul 23, 2011
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I guess we interpret some things a little different. I say it is definitely significantly different. The difference is just less than I expected or had hoped for.
Also TDP is not average heat output it is supposed to be maximum heat output (Turbo doesn't count).
Also in Penryn's case the heat dropped a lot. Just search for the wolfdale stock cooler. That thing was tiny and almost like a third of the former in size. Heat decreased by a big amount. TDP was simply rated the same because that is how Intel like it. Heat reduction wasn't big enough to move chips into a lower TDP class especially at the beginning of production with a none mature process and still a little higher V. Yet only a fool would claim that the T9000 and 8000 series wasn't a lot cooler than the T7000. Half a year later there were the P9000 series that came with 25W TDP.
Power consumption and heat was always very closely related.
TDP is just an very very basic approximation. Some CPUs are simply in a higher TDP class because they don't want them to look to good. There are loads of low end CPUs that would deserve much lower tdp classes.
Maximum heat output is pretty questionable, because like you said, Turbo factors in.

But that's the problem. Whether you want to include it or not, you can't disable Turbo. At least not on a MacBook running Mac OSX. So it is always factored in for mobile, and thus TDP for mobile becomes more like an average figure than a maximum figure.

In fact, we should look at Core i processors with Turbo and use them as the base rather than talk about Penryn... because obviously Ivy Bridge isn't Penryn.

The new one of course. It's not really a problem!
Right now it's the same situation between the early 2011 and the late 2011 models. The Ivy update might actually bring other new features (redesign? retina? 7XXX series ATI GPUs?), so it's really a no brainer.
In case it's just the same enclosure but with a new ATI GPU and a new Ivy Bridge CPU, which would be your choice? Pay $500 difference for 10% improvement in performance only?

While I am not completely of the belief that Retina Displays on Macs are impossible, I sincerely don't think they are ready for this year yet, or drums would have sounded, part leaks would have flown all over the place, and more assets would have been put into Mountain Lion. I believe Retina Displays are more for 2013... when Apple has stabilized the display supply channel for future iPads and they can wholeheartedly go back and apply the same principles to Mac screens.

The redesign rumors are more likely, but again, I'm not sure we'll see it this year. Intel is still delaying Ivy, and without chips to design boards for, I don't think Apple can complete a redesign any time soon. At this rate, it'll be August/September until we can at least see any new Ivy chip, but that's mostly because Intel pushed Ivy release dates back.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,715
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The CPU isn't everything.

As mentioned, USB3, properly supporting SATA III SSDs (SATA III SSD in Sandy Bridge MBPs is poor, but Apple never did put SATA III SSDs in those machines anyway), better GPU etc. are big things for some. Depending on the needs of the user not necessarily a good upgrade for those already running 2011 MBPs but for those who are not it should be an excellent upgrade over their current machines. If you find Ivy Bridge MBPs underwhelming you could always buy a 2011 MBP on the refurb store after the 2012 MBPs are released.
There is always a range of options, and you can check third party retailers for their clearance options as well. Of course if you wait a bit, refurbs of the new ones will pop up too. If you're looking at something like a 15" mbp, the low end Ivy might be more appealing than the mid range Sandy when comparing features and price points, but we'll have to wait and see to be sure.

Actually, since Intel's mobile roadmap shows the same TDP envelope, I'd think power consumption stays the same while performance gets a 10% bump. It's still very insignificant for 15" and 17" Pro.

There was a rumored 35W quad Ivy, though, so I guess that one might be for the 13" Pro.

In any case, I agree with the rest of the sentiment here. Looks like Retina Display would be the bigger update. Now I wonder if they can push Retina Display this year... considering how hard it is to manufacture those screens at a reasonable price point.
Something you must remember is that Apple uses generic displays in these. Display panels are one of the most commoditized parts of them all (although it's possible to tweak the implementation). I don't think Apple alone would be able to make such a thing affordable in their notebook lines. If a company like LG or Samsung could line up orders with other oems as well, such a thing could happen assuming production capacity. If capacity is low, they'd be expensive no matter what. Just remember that Apple didn't invent the concept of higher display resolution. They had devices with really high projected volume and price points providing a suitable spot to debut newer hardware features.

Well Apple haven't updated the Mac Pro so why would they bother updating the Macbook Pro?
Maybe, because the MacBook Pro line does achieve a decent number of sells - and the Mac Pro doesn't.
Both of you are very silly. Apple doesn't really do minor refreshes on this line, meaning no adding thunderbolt, no price adjustments, bumps in base ram configuration, etc. That part is kind of weak. @ Thares, you don't have numbers to back that up, but two years into the design what would you expect? Right now the newest cpus just launched. Some gpus that would be appropriate to such a machine are about to start shipping. It would be pointless to go back a year on gpu models at this point. You guy are both grumbling without looking at real information.

The redesign rumors are more likely, but again, I'm not sure we'll see it this year. Intel is still delaying Ivy, and without chips to design boards for, I don't think Apple can complete a redesign any time soon. At this rate, it'll be August/September until we can at least see any new Ivy chip, but that's mostly because Intel pushed Ivy release dates back.
They could have engineering samples for testing, but Intel isn't the only manufacturer that had some trouble with 22nm chip fabrication.
 

BlackbookGuy

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Feb 21, 2012
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bill-p said: Well, I think the problem is that when Ivy hits, would you go for a $2000 Ivy MBP or a $1500 Sandy MBP that's only 10% slower?




True, but it's a tough choice between living with HD 3000 for several years or paying more for a new one with HD 4000 and using that for years. Either way it's way more computer than I've had before and will be nice.
 
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thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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In case it's just the same enclosure but with a new ATI GPU and a new Ivy Bridge CPU, which would be your choice? Pay $500 difference for 10% improvement in performance only?
Well, I bought the late 2011 base model - the CPU was exactly a 10% performance boost, however the improvement in graphics performance was substantial.

We will have to see exactly what the benefits of the new Ivy CPUs in the mac are, and also how the new ATI GPUs perform. Both have potential for significant power savings, in particular under load.

Also, it's not so easy to find a new MBP with $500 off, even if it is one generation old.
 

Mojo1

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2011
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The new one of course. It's not really a problem!
Right now it's the same situation between the early 2011 and the late 2011 models.
It depends... We'll have to wait and see what the update does performance-wise.

Spending $500 for a 10% speed increase doesn't pencil-out for me. I got my early 2011 MBP brand new for $909; there is no way that I would spend between $1100-$1200 for the late 2011. The speed increase is an imperceptible 4.3%. The 15" MBPs got a speed bump of 9% and 10% respectively. It isn't worth $500 to me.

http://lowendmac.com/musings/11mm/late-2011-macbook-value.html

I'm in the market for another 13" MBP. Since I don't need it ASAP I am waiting to see what the rumored update offers. If it is an incremental upgrade like the late 2011 I'll be bargain-hunting for either an early or late 2011 model. Most of my Macs have been purchased at discounts ranging between 25% and 45%. I've only owned a few current Mac models and it hasn't bothered me one bit. Getting a nice discount is sweet, particularly when it comes time to sell the Mac and I get back much of what I spent on it...

If you must have the Latest and Greatest you are going to pay for the privilege... and for a lot of people that means paying with a credit card at a high interest rate. There is nothing smart about that!
 

bill-p

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Jul 23, 2011
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True, but it's a tough choice between living with HD 3000 for several years or paying more for a new one with HD 4000 and using that for years. Either way it's way more computer than I've had before and will be nice.
Well, if you go with a 15" MBP, then Intel HD 3000 or 4000 is the least of your concerns, because you get dedicated graphics.

I'd agree that it's a tougher choice for 13" Pro, but then again, neither HD 3000 or HD 4000 is good enough for any substantial gaming even at low settings (Battlefield 3 being a good example), and if you are mostly in OSX, then you don't even need to worry about HD 3000 vs 4000 at all because there are very few situations in OSX where you'll feel the GPU is the limitation.

Well, I bought the late 2011 base model - the CPU was exactly a 10% performance boost, however the improvement in graphics performance was substantial.

We will have to see exactly what the benefits of the new Ivy CPUs in the mac are, and also how the new ATI GPUs perform. Both have potential for significant power savings, in particular under load.

Also, it's not so easy to find a new MBP with $500 off, even if it is one generation old.
Actually, it's not that hard.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD318LL/A

There you go, that's $500 off the Early 2011 model. I have seen the base Early 2011 2.0GHz quad-core i7 for as low as $1300. That one is a little harder to find, but the higher-end models? $1500 is a good price point at which you'll find these machines more often than not.

And under Mac, I'd think the CPU is more important than the GPU, unless you are still rocking Intel GMA 3100.
 

NickZac

macrumors 68000
Dec 11, 2010
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I think that Apple will do a case redesign on this one. Now is the best time given the CPU is not really going to be a working selling point and the performance increases are going to be (presumably) modest. When they went from the C2D and ix dual core models to the SB quad cores in the 15/17, that was a HUGE selling point and justification to upgrade in itself. IB doesn't have that. Yes, the transistor redesign may increase battery life, but as of right now I don't know many MBP users who complain about the battery. Sure, I'd love a few extra hours but I can't complain about what I am getting currently. If they do a really nice case design or add some sort of unique feature, I may very well buy one. USB 3 (which seems almost a sure bet), a better screen, a 6.0 GBPS SSD (such as the Samsung 830), a better power cord design, and 16xx MHz RAM would all also be tempting. And of course, they could always introduce something completely profound. If they don't, I'll stick with my year old model as it is still one of the faster laptops on the market, it works flawlessly, and I cannot say enough positive things about it as it is the best computer I have ever owned...so in order for the new MBP to make me excited enough to the point of dropping another $3,500, Apple will need to do something profound...and the sporadic releases of the MBP have taught me to neither expect it nor discount it.
 

Fleet would mac

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Mar 8, 2012
36
0
They could have engineering samples for testing, ...
I think we can be sure of that. :)

At the public release of Sandy Bridge, Gary Keys of ASUS said in a webcast with Intel and AnandTech: "We've been testing this product [Sandy Bridge] for months now". So it's pretty safe to say that the big OEMs will already have complete motherboards in final testing as we speak.