Legacy Port MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by andrewtm, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. andrewtm macrumors regular

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    #1
    Seeing as Apple just announced the iMac Pro with legacy ports, specifically saying the product is catered to professionals, do you think that they'll do that with the next Macbook Pro? (assuming they're also catering it to Pros)

    Running on a Mid-2009 and ready for an update.
     
  2. vipergts2207 macrumors 65816

    vipergts2207

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    #2
    Doubtful. There's more room for stuff on a desktop as opposed to a thin notebook. Not to mention that by the time another redesign comes around USB-C will be fairly mainstream.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #3
    No - the iMac Pro is not limited by space, and it is targeting a different demographic than the average MacBook Pro User.

    With that said, the iMac Pro represents a new era of value for the Mac...in fact it represents a strange era of value so it means anything is possible.
     
  4. Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    There is though the rumor of the return of 17" MBP, having DDR4 SO-DIMM (thus >=32GB upper limit). It may not need to be literally the same size as the older 17", as thinner bezel and retina means perhaps a form factor similar to 2015 15" is already enough for it. Since the machine needs to be thicker than 2016 15" to accommodate thermo envelope for a higher TDP GPU anyway, parts of the rumor suggested "legacy" ports to be present along side TB3/USB-C that it takes higher height than just USB-C, which is what we see in the new 2017 iMac and the iMac Pro. Because of the need of higher power throughput, it automatically requires dedicated power supply than relying on USB-C, which probably also means return of MagSafe.

    Yeah of course this is just a rumor, but looking at the drastic change of direction with Apple recently, anything is possible.
     
  5. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #5

    What drastic change? I'm using two touchbar Macs and everything is better, but really about the same once I made a few changes.

    99.9% chance there will be no 17" nor have I seen anything about it anywhere. If Apple were planning a 17" we'd see some activity in that direction, such as new boards, cases and displays. Anyone spot anything viable in that direction?


    R.
     
  6. Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The "drastic change" is in the iMac Pro, a clear sign of change in direction from Apple. While the current iMac design is a good enough machine for most, some users demand even more, so instead Apple took the bold step of breaking through the limitation of the chassis design, keeping the same AIO approach but enhance the cooling efficiency to provide a form factor that is still akin to the traditional iMac, but with drastically more powerful components.

    One could imagine if the same approach is done on the touch bar MBP as well. While it may have been "everything is better" for your use case, some other users demand more from it, and Apple may go for a similar route to design an upscaled, less compromised version of it, dubbing it MacBook Pro-Pro or whatever. This is how the rumor of the return of a 17" has much more ground than before this WWDC.

    Also, components and chassis leaks from supply chain typically only comes very late before actual roll out. And the potential components used in this 17" MBP can just be generic laptop parts also shared by other laptop manufactures anyway. And then if released, Apple will expect not a large volume of sales since it is an edge product. These may be why we don't see it in any shape or form at all, yet.
     
  7. killawat macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Come on guys realllyyyyyy we are still talking about the 17"? The iMac Pro does not signal the return of the 17". No one bought them. People already complain about the "heft" of the 15".
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

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    #8
    I guess if they release a 17" with a more powerful GPU, that would shut up some of the "I want a gaming GPU" crowd. Of course, such computer would be very expensive and most likely won't sell well, but who knows?
     
  9. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #9


    There are few here demanding more from a laptop than I do. But that doesn't mean someone doesn't need more. And I have clients editing commercials and feature films using Mac, so I don't view Mac as a limited platform beyond the needs of an even smaller group of specialized users.

    Mac has NEVER been in the spec war. The design envelope has always been in pursuit of well-rounded superior design mated to good performance. I see absolutely NOTHING that has drastically changed in the established philosophy for Apple. The iMac got the expected boost in performance. It's a desktop. But I would have liked to see some additional effort in updating the physical design.

    Perhaps we just have different views on what "drastic" means.

    R.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP:

    If you really, truly want a full complement of legacy ports (as I did):
    Pick up a 2015 MBPro.

    There are probably new/old stock models still available, if you shop carefully.
    Otherwise, pick up an Apple refurb.

    Those are probably all the options you have...
     
  11. Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Well "drastic" is a relative term, you can take it however you will. If the iMac Pro being crammed with "workstation grade components" (Apple's words) is still within the "pursuit of well-rounded design" then I can see the same in a 17" MBP, which Apple doesn't need to invent because they have done it in the past. So what makes you think they won't do it then?

    Therefore the "drastic" in my term is that, given Apple's direction gravitating towards mobile and portability in the recent few years, I see the iMac Pro as a sign of back pedalling that can also creep into other product lines.
     
  12. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #12


    I'm curious as to what aspect of back-pedaling the MBP is guilty of.

    I had the 2015 MBP and now have the 13" and 15" Touchbar versions.

    Apple changed almost every aspect of the machines, which is always risky. The screen, speakers, form-factor, keyboard, trackpad, ports, SSD are all upgraded. And the latest refresh includes Kaby lake.

    Working with my pro photography needs, the new MBP is faster than last years model. It has a better screen, which is a big deal for film, video and still work. This is an area where Mac continues to dominate in the industry and I see no evidence that they're backpedalling.

    Apple made the most massive changes in years to the MPB and then added a touchbar. It's faster than previous generation, lighter, smaller and better in virtually every respect. Backpedal? Please explain.


    R.
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

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    #13
    I disagree. The iMac Pro is simply a replacement for the round Mac Pro. It's just continuation of the idea of a compact workstation. Apple might have decided that their Mac Pro vision was less fortunate, but they still keep the idea behind it. After all, there are plenty of professional users who'd want a workstation but don't really need modularity. Not to mention that the iMac Pro shapes up to be an incredible deal, money-wise.
     
  14. Chancha, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

    Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Backpedalling from their downward direction in terms of user demographic. Note that I am not labelling which side or which portion of the spectrum Apple "should" serve. In my view or some heavy duty users' view, the current 2016/2017 iterations of MBP has shifted downwards in terms of usability.

    The touch bar MBP issue has been debated to no ends on this forum and I really don't want to drag it any more but I will make it short. Let's say if Apple kept the 2015 chassis, but still threw in the same advancement in components and connectivity that is found in the 2016. For the 15" we would have gotten 2 TB3 ports in place of TB2, 2 USB-A, HDMI, SD card slot remain where they were, the DCI-P3 500 nits screen, MagSafe, 99.5wh battery, digital/analogue audio input. The Skylake CPU, faster RAM and faster SSD of course is the same. We also got to keep the old keyboard which may not be perfect but at least not controversial as the butterfly 2. Touchbar and Touch ID of course is added but perhaps not at the expense of losing tactile function keys, or at least spare the ESC key.

    This would have been a dramatically more versatile machine than the actual 2016, because the paper specs is almost the same as that while retaining the "legacy" connectivities, without comproming on features that seemingly were intended only to slim the machine down. The only things inferior would be less TB3 so perhaps no dual 5K external monitor, or the very slight decrease in weight and size found in 2016.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 8, 2017 ---
    You may be right, I reserve my judgement as I also do see the iMac Pro as such an oddity from Apple's usual routine, it's hard to place it correctly in their future road map before knowing exactly what the "modular Mac Pro" is going to be. But the original point of my response in this thread was about this element of surprise of the iMac Pro may creep into other product lines as well. If one were to say a 17" MBP with legacy ports must have too little demand for Apple to care, then literally no one asked for the iMac Pro either, not necessarily because people didn't want it, but that people simply didn't see it coming. In other words, the iMac Pro doesn't look like it will serve a user base large enough for Apple to care, yet they did it. One could use the same logic with a "Legacy Port MBP".
     
  15. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #15

    We now have new processors, as expected. I work in the media industry and the ports on the new machines can do everything and are more versatile. I don't want MagSafe. It was awful. It broke twice (cost 80 bucks twice) and cost me money in time. It was on the wrong side. I want a lighter smaller machine. That's why I have a laptop, which is supposed to be portable. And as Apple continues to focus on media industry workers, dual 5K was important.
    I agree on the ESC key, but these machines replaced a 2015 retina machines and they're simply better in too many respects for my few nits to have any traction (I miss the SD slot).

    As for the iMac Pro...I have a feeling it will be a big seller. I may buy one and I don't even need it for my work! It actually presents a lot of power and design for the money.

    You say "no one was asking for this and that" but the truth is that Apple does a ton of research before putting any design in motion. The success of the new MBP proves that their research is sound.


    R.
     
  16. Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I have been using Macs for more than 20 years and one of the main reasons I did it was Apple's desire to push the envelope. At times they did have to ditch older tech in order to move things forward, which I happily embraced. In retrospect maybe one or two times of pain had to be endured but overall the journey was fruitful than not (I work in music related industries so losing the optical drive caused major inconvenience).

    So to stress my point clear(er), I do not want Apple to "backpedal" omni-directionally. Instead they should position themselves more carefully to make sure their users are well served by their products right now, and also into the future. In my views the touch bar MBP may have been a product too ahead of itself, the omissions of "legacy" tech (which are actually current tech) was not necessary, they should have stroke a better balance in how much to compromise. If they must push out such a machine then at least should reserve a "higher" end model, perhaps exactly as what I described above, a bulkier MBP that has all the new and old stuff crammed in to meet the ends on this side of the spectrum.
     
  17. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #17


    But the robust sales show that the new machine is serving a majority. THAT is what Apple cares about.

    And let's be clear. The REPLACING legacy ports with better ports than can handle ALL legacy needs is not a problem. I have more "old" gear than most, including HDMI projectors, HD cameras, DSLRs, large format printers and so on. EVERYTHING works. Perfectly.

    The touch bar is new. We'll have to see how the whole industry responds to it over the next year.

    A "bulkier portable machine" to satisfy a small and dwindling group unable or unwilling to adapt would be a poor business move. This is exactly the same as when Apple pulled the CD/DVD drives from their laptops. It's as if no one remembers that! The outcry was even louder than this! But it was the right direction.

    The new MBP is a beautiful and powerful laptop. It can and will be improved, but it did make my recent 2015 machine feel old and bests it in most regards. That's progress and that's what sells.


    R.
     
  18. Chancha, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

    Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Again there is the issue of choice. Not having a more versatile machine is limiting the user's options. And then not having an alternative model when offering a machine with polarizing features, is alienation to that group of users due to lack of choice.

    I am on the exact opposite spectrum as yours, I NEED my machine to handle USB-A, HDMI, SD card with no compromised nonsense. I know dongles or docks work but they create needless points of failure. And I need a keyboard to absolutely type out what I intend to type, I don't think that's much to ask for from a 100 year old technology that dates back to telegram typewriters. That's why I actually went to buy a maxed out 2015 15" *after* the 2016 was announced. I want my machine to delivery performance and solve problems for my workflow today, not 2 or 3 years away from now when USB-C take off.

    The merits of the 2016 were desirable, such as the DCI-P3 screen which I would love to have but not at the expense of my workflow. I am sure the touch bar series will be wonderful machine whenever Apple get its stuff right, namely the terraced battery that didn't go in. For now I enjoy making money with a tool that works for my current world with current tech.

    The question by this thread's OP was therefore this: would Apple be interested to sell something new to the crowd that I am in? You seem to think not but with the clues from the roundtable and the iMac Pro or the modular Mac Pro, I still remain hopeful.
     
  19. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    LA, California
    #19

    It sounds like you object to the new design on paper, but not in practice.

    1) I require legacy ports. The USB-C ports "sounded" like an issue, but in PRACTICE turned out to be MORE flexible and with LESS to fail.

    2) Like a majority of users, I adapted to the keyboard and type faster on it with greater accuracy. Apple did their homework and did many tests, so this was a no-brainer upgrade. It's a drag if you spent time trying to adapt and couldn't, but most did. Apple sells to "most."

    3) What workflow do you have that's impacted by the new design? I'm a pro photographer and writer, and I connect to a ton of gear. I'm curious where the new machine fell short.

    4) Terraced battery will come. But after a week and my machine settled down, it BEAT my 2015 MBP for battery life and isn't far off from my air, while also delivering superior results via the screen.

    Anyway, if the old tech works for you, great. But the tech is moving AWAY from you. It won't do a U-Turn just for a few stragglers hung up on 5 year old tech.


    R.
     
  20. Saturn007 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2010
    #20
    1.
    You may have adapted, but do you have actual evidence that a majority of users did and that they type faster and with greater accuracy?! I find a touch of hyperbole in that remark and highly unlikely!

    2. "Apple sells to 'most'."

    Glad you put "most" in quote marks! Apple is known for selling to the upscale PC market, not the mass market; not the "most".

    3. I like the proposal above that a combo MacBook Pro, with several USB-C and A ports, card slot, and HDMI, would have been a good idea as a transition machine; an option for many. Many would have bought it even at a premium; Apple would have spare itself flak; and likely, ended up with more sales in 2016-2017!

    4. I'm among those who were critical of Dongle-Gate, arguing that that the couple of extra items, bit of expense, and slight weight were no big deal. However, it is true that convenience changed. I thought of that just the other day, for example, when I decided to transfer accumulated photos from a digicam to my MBA. I walked over to the laptop on the coffee table, popped out the card, and stuck it in the card slot. Photos came up, two clicks and done. Fast, simple, all hands on deck! Another afternoon, when I thought the card slot wasn't working, I had to hunt around the house for the camera's USB cable or for a USB multi-card reader to transfer the photos. A nuisance! With card slot on board, everything is at hand!

    5. Same with using projection devices for meetings -- while the dongles for the MBA travel in my laptop, one has to fish it out (sometimes figuring out which dongle is which), and join three things together -- cable, dongle, and laptop. One time, I dumbly left the dongle beside the device and discovered the next day, it had left the building with Frasier! In contrast to the MBA with dongle, the MBP with on board HDMI was magical -- true plug and play! Nothing to lose or leave behind!

    Legacy ports (and legacy keyboards) can be truly useful!

    Alas, though, that ship has sailed, at least if one wants a new MacBook X with a colorful, bright, high quality Retina Display. Still, that trade-off seems well worth it!
     
  21. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #21
    Some people will never be happy. It's a shame Apple don't sell older laptops for those that need the facilities they offer alongside newer models, and offered some kind of gradual phasing for those where things like ports are an absolute concern.
     
  22. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #22
    I am kind of surprised that they have discontinued the 2015 - they offered the 2012 Unibody 13-inch brand new through late 2016, and it was definitely a consistently strong seller for Apple as a low-cost alternative to compliment their flagship models - and I don't think it in any way detracted from the flagships.
     
  23. Chancha, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017

    Chancha macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    With me and my colleagues combined experience we can comfortably object the new design just on paper. We won't be far too wrong in practice.

    We have perhaps 5 boxes full of previous gen Apple branded dongles, even beige ones before they went all white, I know full well how to adopt myself when standards around me changed. What I am trying to say is not really that hard to grasp, I just want some means of smooth transition instead of being thrown off a train. We owned Macs such as Mac Mini 2012 / MBP 2011 that had both TB1 and FW800, I don't know how much potential TB1 bandwidth I was losing by having FW sticking around, but I could stay my FW devices plugged in until the rest of the industries picked up on USB3/TB. By the time FW was phased out, those machines were also due their service time, at that point the retina MBP with TB2+USB3 without FW made perfect sense.

    Whether or not the butterfly 2 is an improvement is subjective, but what I can say for sure is that a KB is bloody basic part of a computer, if someone wants to roll out a replacement with certain benefits, fine, but the prerequisite is to make sure it absolutely works first, for most people. I am not gonna pull some number out of my arse, but at least myself, or every other Mac users around me who have tried the new switches, none of us had a particularly good impression about it where most of us noted it would take substantial amount of time to get used to before typing on it error free. And we all did fine on the previous gen of Apple KB.

    I work in music recording, the workflows primarily deal with audio of course, but some times overlap to visual media in print, photography, and video, so it is a wide spectrum of needs I have. Digital audio interfaces need to run with minimal latency, any extra layer of interconnection would create dropouts or delays. Dongles / adaptor / cables what have you. And USB-C or TB3 native audio interfaces don't exist yet, and when they do they will be expense that does not enhance our quality or workflow, as audio doesn't need a lot of bandwidth until you tread into like 48 channels or very high frequency/bit depth, in which case there are dedicated hardware and protocol like MADI and workstation / reck class computers for the task, laptops have no business in that chain. In other words, a 2015 rMBP with direct USB3, or a 2011 unibody with FW800 actually are more useful in for example a live stage scenario where your mixer or guitar box runs with USB2/3 or FW (yes FireWire, they are still everywhere).

    I honestly don't know what you are talking about with "in PRACTICE turned out to be MORE flexible and with LESS to fail." I understand TB3 is a flexible standard for how much it encapsulates so yes it can be more flexible than ever, but how is there less to fail. Any extra stop gap in a signal chain is a point of failure, and any adaptor has 2 extra ends of such points. As long as the world that the MBP needs to interact to are not mostly USB-C, it entails more points of failure than many previous gen laptops with "legacy ports".

    SD card slot I can deal without, since some of our better cameras are on CF/CFast or XQD which requires card readers anyway, and being USB-C only doesn't make the situation better or worse. Though again there isn't a XQD USB-C reader yet and likely won't come any time soon. The irony is that even USB3 port in some higher end DSLRs is still a fairly recent adoption. And while we are at it, there is though one positive of going all USB-C that I can acknowledge, for video related transfer, be it during shooting or post or delivery, having higher bandwidth is always a plus, and the 15" MBP indeed is a beast at that especially for a laptop.

    HDMI, or any direct video output, is what I consider essential on a laptop. The chance of occasions that the display you need to plug into supports HDMI is like >80%, it is the current standard and won't go away any time soon. Not just the monitors on our desks, I can be in a room trying to playback our music videos on some client's HDTV or projector, or I can be in our guest room trying to show some rough edits on our studio couches. While it is true that the USB-C / TB3 specs already encapsulate DP and HDMI so technically it *is* a direct video output port, but the fact is the rest of the world hasn't moved on as quick as Apple wishes to, and the user will just be trapped in between. I am glad that at least with macOS and iOS, the AirPlay display mirroring gives a wireless solution for our in-house usage, in the whole building we got like 10 of Apple TV 3rd gen specifically for mirroring purposes. But again this only happened because we got full control of our premise wiring, once step outside the world is HDMI, or the occasional church or office that stick with VGA...

    I am smelling something similar with the tbMBP situation, it reminds me when the trash can Mac Pro rolled out and some folks here unironically recommened 32 daisy chained eGPU with the TB2 ports. In our studio, we still have a cMP 3,1 8-core running 10.6.8 and FCP7 cutting HD videos, it only recently got retired due too much demand to go 4K. We would have moved up an nMP or even an iMac for this purpose but we couldn't, because the primary storage is that 14-bay Xserve RAID that runs to the cMP via dual optical fibre channel, which is a PCI card. Thunderbolt fibre channel solutions do exist, but why should we invest in a solution where the problem should not even be there?

    The 2016/2017 MBP is a beast, but it is a specialized beast. Without an alternative, if the compromised features are essential to a user, then it is a useless machine.
     
  24. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    LA, California
    #24


    Facts are all I care about.

    As to the Keyboard...
    Yes, a majority of people prefer it. Several polls were taken here and even in this hostile environment the results were in favor of the new design. Most people said they could type faster, which isn't surprising because Apple used large test groups and found the exact same thing. If you don't own it, then I'm sorry, you are simply making stuff up. Ergonomics require and investment in time. It doesn't matter if its a car, camera or keyboard.

    As to HDMI...
    I have no clue as to what you're talking about. I'm using Mitsu 4K projector and a 70" Samsung display and both notebooks output beautifully. What is also interesting is that I recently brought my Sony Bavaria (three years old) back for use in the office. For some reason the last generation of notebook never worked right with it, but the 2016 works perfectly with USB-C and a simple adapter. I'm the "user" you refer to. How am I trapped? The top post production house in NY is using these new machines and they're pretty happy with them.

    Back to the USB-C ports...
    As I said, I have quite a bit of gear. Not all of it played perfectly with the built in ports on my previous MBP (2015 15"), but the USB-C ports seem to handshake without a hitch and sync up instantly, even when tethered to my HD DSLRs. It's amazingly smooth.

    As to cables and dongles....
    I've been part of the high end audio world for years. While the extra two ends sounds reasonable, in practice it's just not an issue. Thus far USBC has show itself to be superior, even with the need for a dongle or two.

    As usual, we have people unhappy with a device they don't own. On paper the Miata isn't much of a sports car. Paper isn't worth very much for cars or computers these days. After trying to use a pair of Dell laptops on a location shoot, which look much better on paper than the MBP, we learned that lesson yet again.

    Cheers,


    R
     

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