Losing the quad core race

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 10THzMac, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. 10THzMac macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2007
    #1
    Is anyone else as frustrated as me at Apple's refusal to produce a power laptop with a quad core chip, or indeed to keep up with new GPUs in mobile products? I cannot quite believe that a quad core has not made it into either of the last two releases.

    Am now getting very close to going for something like the Dell Alienware models, with both a quad-core chip and an Nvidia 260 GPU (with options to go faster still).

    This would be a thousand times more useful to me than utterly irrelevant developments like being made out of one piece of metal, or a long-life battery, given that I move from mains to mains most of the time. Please put the go-faster engineers back in charge of laptops Apple!
     
  2. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sep 26, 2006
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    #2
    If you are one of the few people who will buy an Alienware, which is over twice as thick as a Macbook, and is, for all intents and purposes, a desktop with a battery, go ahead.

    We know this of Apple: form over function and less-pro and more high end consumer.

    What race?
     
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Aug 23, 2005
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    Ireland
    #3
    It sounds you need an Alienware, not an Apple! ;)

    But seriously, Apple has always been about refinement, elegance in their products and not super powered GPU's and fastest processor speeds ever. This has always been the case, so I don't see any need to be irritated now by the lack of change in this area.

    With heat problems causing as much issue as they do to Apple's laptop range, can you imagine what sticking in a 4 core, super fast GPU would do ? We would end up with a uber plastic vented ashtray in order to deal with the heat dispensation it would create, in fact we'd end up with an Alienware case ;)
     
  4. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    Race??? It's a race???

    I didn't know it was a race! :eek:

    Alienware notebooks are fast, Alienware users are slower from all that weight! :D

    If Apple created a notebook that included everything that everyone wanted it would be a 15 pound beast.

    They are called ALIEN-ware for a reason! ;)
     
  5. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    #5
    Apple doesn't make laptops that are in fact desktop replacement. They're using laptop parts in desktops, however.

    Sounds like you needed a gaming PC :).
     
  6. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    Apr 3, 2009
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    Canada
    #6
    yea or if the thing breaks...good luck with dell customer support....

    the shelf life on those gaming notebooks is like a year 1 and a half on the outside there not built to long last an cost the price of a good used car.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    The Dell page indicates the Alienware laptop weighs 11 pounds. I'd love to see anyone lugging that around in a backpack with books and other stuff. 11 pounds is not a laptop in my book. And how hot do you think it runs?
     
  8. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

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    Oct 23, 2005
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    #8
    Tell me why you need a quad core in a laptop, and I’ll tell you why buying a laptop is a stupid purchase for you to make.
     
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    The Anthropocene
    #9
    This right here. Honestly, they're probably waiting for more power efficient/cooler chips, but if you're really needing 4+ cores you probably shouldn't be getting a laptop.
     
  10. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #10
    There is no race to lose. They simply don't make a product that hits the segment of the market that interests you.

    The laptop you describe would be useless to me and many others. You should go buy what you need elsewhere.
     
  11. 10THzMac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2007
    #11
    I need to do demos with parallel processing, and fed up with lugging Mac Pro about. It is even heavier than Alienware. And I am a lot more interested than performance than appearance.
     
  12. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #12
    How about we get a quad core and 6GB RAM standard in an iMac? You don't need a quad core in a laptop, but leaving the consumer desktop line in C2D world is a little sad. Especially when it's fairly easy to find a cheap PC option with 4-6GB RAM Standard, while Apple still proudly hails us with 2.

    Now, those ship with Vista, which amazingly is using 6GB of RAM within minutes of startup and just to make the thing feel 'snappy' they have to do that, while OS X runs great at 2... but come on. At least bump that up to 4GB.

    Last question... what are you doing that requires you to need the juice of a quad core? Other than bragging rights? I have here at home an '08 2.8 8 core that moooooves, at work I use my boss' old 2.7Ghz Dual G5 and.... it's about the same. The only place I'll notice a difference is photoshop filters and any rendering I do. Oh, and the G5 likes to moo when it's thinking.

    Bottom line - a C2D has plenty of juice to handle just about everything the average person does, and even half of the pro industry (I'm in Web Design and Photography). Obviously, Video and Audio and processor intensive jobs benefit GREATLY from the cores and such... but if that's truly your profession, you're not doing that on a laptop.

    I know, I kind of contradicted myself from beginning to end, but I'd only ask for a Quad core iMac for marketing, help make it seem like people are getting more than just OS X for the $500 price difference. My cousin needed a new computer, Dell had a great sale on a Quad w/6GB RAM, dedicated 512MB GPU and a monitor, I just couldn't sell her on a baseline iMac with the nVidia chip, 2GB and a dual core - for $500 more.
     
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #13
    ...I think you need a netbook:D
     
  14. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

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    Oct 23, 2005
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    #14
    What programs are you using?

    And how many times a year are you doing demos? A QC Alienwear laptop is like $4,000…is it really worth it? Persoanlly, if I was doing trade show type demos, I’d just drag my MP with me and save myself the 4 grand. At least your demo wouldn’t have the sound of a small helicopter emitting from it.
     
  15. womble2k2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #15
    The number of cores within a processor is only one aspect that affects a computers performance. Additionally, it depends on the software as to whether you will get any gains from quad core.

    Equally important is the overall system architecture, bus and memory speeds, amount of memory, how memory is managed (both by the hardware and by the OS), how processes are managed (again, in hardware and by the OS - something GCD should improve in SL), thermal management (i.e. - if running quad cores at full speed causes heat to build up, the cores will back off, and processing power drops), ......

    One of Apple's strengths is to launch well designed, well implemented hardware and not just jumping on a bandwagon to say they have a particular technology.

    I remember a few years ago, in the GHz race years, the UK's PC World advertised very high clock speed CPU computers at very low prices. They sold well, but then buyers realised that this was done at the expense of overall system design. That is to say, they had only the most basic of motherboards which couldn't make use of all of the processing power and had slow system buses, slow memory, reduced 2nd level cache memory, cheap IDE hard drives (based on older P-ATA - clocked at half the speed of competitors), very basic integrated graphics cards with no Graphics card upgrade option (i.e. no interface slot for graphics cards), etc.

    So people buying these machines could shout that they had the fastest CPU speed, but their machines were actually rubbish with a very limited useful life!!

    Apple will release quad cores into their products when they are able to offer significant advantages. I don't think this time has come yet!

    Phil
     
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    Judging by some of the Geekbench scores I've seen on the same computer with 10.5 and 10.6, we might be near quad-core performance with the current and previous gen MacBook Pros. OpenCL looks like it has some nice performance gains.
     
  17. womble2k2 macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
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    London
    #17
    OpenCL (Snow Leopard) with a 9600M GT!!
     
  18. womble2k2 macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2009
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    London
    #18
    Doh, you beat me to the OpenCL bit!
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    While I agree with both of you now, primarily because the tech just isn't there yet to have the quad core in a light notebook with battery life that exceeds the duration of a sneeze, I think these posts will seem very quaint in a year or two. ;)

    I'm a fan of multiple cores because I think they make running multiple apps and threads more efficient. I'd love to have more power on a laptop because it allows more development to be done on one, and I like to be mobile. That said, I don' want my notebook to weigh more than it does now, or be even hotter than it is now, so I'll wait for the tech to advance a bit.
     
  20. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #20
    Hmmm... then a Mactop's not for you, I'm sorry to say:rolleyes:.
     
  21. 10THzMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #21
    Good point, but it's a bit chicken and egg - I do so few coz it's a pain to organize. And progs are things like GridMathematica and Cuda. In the case of GridMath the point is to show people the benefits of parallelizing, and going from one to many processes. Saying that some 2-core chips are as fast as 4-core misses the point - a quad 2Ghz processor would be more useful for demos than a duo 4 GHz. Cuda is in fact OK on a Mac Book Pro - it would just be rather better with a 260/280 mobile. I would really like to do this on a Mac rather than buy a ghastly lump of a PC laptop.

    The OpenCL point misses the point. I already know about Cuda and OpenCL - while they do make simple numerical stuff go fast they do not do "real math" - I already want the fastest possible GPU AND multiple cores on a Mac.
     
  22. zw-gator macrumors 6502a

    zw-gator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    Oh I know. I'm going to be eating my words in a few years :p

    I wouldn’t be shocked if in a few years, laptops as thin as the MBA become standard…along with quad cores, 500gb SSDs and 8GB of ram…all while running 50*C or cooler under a heavy load :apple:
     
  23. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #23
    Honestly, is a laptop really the answer here?

    Assuming you have a projector at the site or you are bringing a projector and have a screen available, why not buy a small form-factor PC like a Shuttle SP35P2? Seems like a reasonable compromise.
     

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