MacBook Pro 13" - CPU Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kitenut82, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. kitenut82 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hi All,

    I'm sure if this question has already been answered, I have through some of the older threads, and haven't found an answer yet.

    As you are all aware the MacBook Pro 15" & 17" have been provided with a upgrade of the Intel Core iX processors but the 13" hasn't.

    I am considering buying my first Macbook (PC User Converted), and havent been wondering whether to bite the bullet and buy one now, or wait a while to see if Apple apply the new Intel CPU to the 13".

    Does anyone happen to know if or indeed when this is going to happen?

    Thanks in advance


  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It will probably happen eventually but nobody knows when.
  3. chapmac macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Hi - there are sound and well documented reasons why Apple didn't go with the Core i processors in the 13" - primarily to do with Intel's weak integrated graphics and there being no space within the 13" chassis for a second graphics card. A quick google or search around this forum will get you more information.

    Apple will however have to look for an alternative solution soon however as the Core 2 Duo processors are being phased out of production before the end of the year. Intel will also be introducing an updated chip architecture early in the new year too.

    Difficult to know exactly what Apple will do as there are several options available such as dropping out the optical drive to provide space for improved graphics. Some have even rumoured a wholesale switch to AMD processors.

    My own take on this is that currently it is not a good time to buy a 13" MBP. The new Macbook air might well be the first indication that Apple are moving in a slightly different direction and the fact that something will have to happen to the chipset means a little patience might be worthwhile.

    No one knows what / when the next update will be, but my guess is that there will be a fairly major update by Spring next year.
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    That is wrong. It is very very likely to happen (for various reasons) along with the upgrade of the whole MBP lineup to SandyBridge CPUs in March or a little later next year.

    some of the reasons
    a. The upgrade from C2D to Sandy Brdige is something and cannot be called not worth it by Jobs.
    b. There is enough space for an additional Chip in the MBP13 but they need a significant board redesign, which they probably already did in a prototype for the last MBP but they liked the 320M option more.
    c. Most importantly Intel is not going to make 45nm CPUs forever and they will be forced to design a notebook that takes advantage of 32nm anyway and they know it.
    d. They will almost definitely upgrade MBP 15 and 17" and there is no reason why they wouldn't upgrade the 13" along with those.
    e. The new Intel integrated GPU is a fast as the old 9400M and it was always enough so they really cannot complain about performance anymore. (only drivers)
    f. ...
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You seem to be confused. Saying something is "likely" is not the same thing as saying something is "sure to happen."
  6. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

    Oct 15, 2010
  7. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    An i5 processor will go in the 13" as soon as Apple decides to use a tiny bit of their $51 Billion cash reserves to design a new board inside that accommodates the processor and GPU.

    It could have happened on the last update. Apple decided to put in a cheaper processor and charge the same $1,200 and increase their $51 Billion cash reserves, which is on target to reach over $90 Billion in 2012.
  8. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Show me a 13" laptop under 1" thick with a dedicated gpu and optical drive.
  9. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    Can't find that.

    Sony Z is a couple mm too thick.

    The Acer Aspire TimelineX AS4820TG-7805 arguably qualifies as thin enough, but it's a 14" model. Amazing that it has switchable ATI graphics and an i5 processor for just $749. Weighs 4.65lbs which is almost identical to the 13" MBP.

    Does Acer have $51 Billion in cash?
  10. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    The Z is 35% thicker than the MBP13. It also costs $1800, but thats beyond the point.

    The 4820 is such a low quality piece, that Engadget couldn't recommend it. Doesn't help that it is nearly double in thickness next to the MBP.

    Seriously, don't try looking for a laptop with the request I made. It doesn't exist. The TDP requirements for both the i5 and the 330m is at 58W. That is a large increase from the TDP requirements of the P8600 + 320m which is around 40W (Probably lower). Apple simply does not have enough area in the chassis to incorporate 18W of extra TDP in the MBP13 without taking out the optical or reducing battery size. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN CHANGE THIS. This is why the Sony Z is 35% thicker. This is why the 4820 is twice as thick. With the thicker chassis, they can increase the size of the heatsink. I'd estimate that the 4820 has double the heatsink surface area compared to the MBP13.

    With Apple, you purchase quality. Apple doesn't skimp on things like plastic hinges or massive keyboard flex. Instead Apple is routinely is praised for its high quality displays and innovative tech like unibody construction, multitouch, glass trackpads, and Magsafe in it's products. Things you will have trouble finding elsewhere (but people love assigning absolutely no value to).

    If your interested in cutting corners and getting better specs, I think Acer may be your next laptop. If your interested in a quality laptop that constantly exceeds in quality and customer satisfaction ratings, this forum is a good start in finding your next MBP. Your choice.
  11. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    I don't know where your measurements are from. What I found posted shows almost identical thickness between the Acer and MBP. You're not confusing the Air with the MBP are you?

    I've read plenty of customer reviews for the Acer Timelines so I'm aware of their quality control issues. The problem with your argument is that what you point out about Apple's materials being better is only worth about $50 at most. The Acer is around $450 cheaper, yet has an i5 processor and better GPU.

    No I won't be buying an Acer Timeline. It does not have a backlit keyboard. Same reason I won't look at an Air.

    I'd much rather have Intel HD graphics and a mid-point i5 processor than what the MBP has now. I have IntelHD graphics on my HP desktop and it has no issues with scrolling, playing 1080P videos from youtube etc. The IntelHD graphics for a laptop will also power a large desktop LCD at HD resolutions without issues as to scrolling, 1080P etc. I read a post from a Sony Y series 13" owner that only cost around $700. I don't play games and MBP laptops are not for that crowd anyway.

    Apple won't use IntelHD graphics because then nearly every Windows laptop can be turned into a fully functioning hackintosh. A really stupid reason not to use the Intel graphics.

    The sooner Apple drops the optical drive to correct the problem the better as far as over 95% of potential 13" purchasers are concerned anyway. This has been discussed here in depth.
  12. ravensfan55 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2009
    And if Apple were passing off its MacBook Pro laptops with entry-level integrated graphics, they would be criticized.

    The bottom line is that the C2D+320m solution that Apple uses now offers better performance and battery life than an i3+Intel HD system. Intel HD graphics are good for your everyday tasks, but when you compare them to the 320m or even the older 9400m those chips put a beating on the Intel HD.
  13. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    1.3" Sony Z website (

    1.1" Acer TimelineX 4820 (
    Don't remember where I got the 1.85" measurement, possibly an older model.

    .95" MBP13 (

    How did you assign a $50 value to Apple's materials? Did you just grab it out of thin air? If it only cost $50 to Acer to bump up its laptops to Apple quality, I'm sure they would do it in a heartbeat.

    Apple doesn't use Intel HD graphics because it is a step behind. Even the old generation 9400M surpasses it.

    But lets just see what happens if Apple magically included the i5 with HD graphics instead of the C2D with 320M:

    20% in CPU performance (passmark). Over 66% decrease in GPU performance (3D Mark 06).

    Your computer:
    1500 3D Mark 06 (GPU)
    2344 Passmark (CPU)

    Current MBP13:
    4500 3D Mark 06 (GPU)
    1880 Passmark (CPU)

    Sounds like a good idea to me! So what do you plan to do with that 20% increase of CPU performance sir? You traded 300% GPU performance for it!
  14. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    Amen to that! I wish they'd put some of that money into their computer development to accommodate an i5. I hope they aren't blowing all that dough trying to figure out how to get a white plastic button to match a white plastic case- although, that does seem to be where Apple's priorities are these days.

    I won't go bigger than 13 in, and I would much rather have i5 cpu performance than a 320m gpu. And I would much rather have a sandy bridge cpu with integrated graphics. So I'll cross my fingers in March 2011.
  15. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    And what do you plan to do with that extra 20% CPU performance? You would be giving up 300% GPU performance for it.
  16. DJ-R macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
    Don't forget up coming Core i9, 6 cores for Mobile + Hyper-thread up to 12 cores virtually.
  17. lembowski macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2010
    I'm in a similar situation as the OP. I don't have to get a new computer right now but I want one. I do agree that it is a bad time to buy a MBP 13". I don't mind waiting till the new models come out (assuming it happens between now and February of next year).

    My only hesitation is if Apple makes the changes I believe they will to the 13" Pro it will make it much more expensive. I don't even really see the current 13" as a Pro spec wise, its just a better looking slightly better Macbook in my mind. I envision a new 13" with an i5, better screen upping the price to a Pro price around $1499. This makes more sense in a pricing structure to differentiate the different models Apple now has.

    I'm now debating on picking up the MBP 13" at Microcenter for $999 or the MBA 13" for $1,325 based on the specs I want.
  18. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    I would be very surprised if Apple did not include i5/i7 in the next generation 13". Spring of next year is when Apple will make the switch.
  19. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    "The 4820 is such a low quality piece, that Engadget couldn't recommend it. Doesn't help that it is nearly double in thickness next to the MBP."

    Since when is 1.1" "double in thickness" compared to .95"?

    And what are you going to do with your 300% more GPU performance?

    Yes, I did pull the $50 figure out of thin air. You think a unibody aluminum case is worth that much? I don't think my unibody soda cans would be made out of aluminum if that were so. I have not read anywhere that Apple uses anything different parts wise than HP, Dell and Sony. Apple does not make their hard drives, the processors are made by Intel, the GPU by nVidia.

    Apple designs it, Foxconn builds it. Do you really think that Foxconn has nothing to do with acquiring the parts either? I certainly do not. I also see the same sorts of complaints in laptop forums for Dell, HP and Sony as I do for Apple.

    There is one difference though. I see "kernel panics" in Apple forums, the Apple version of Windows' BSOD. I don't see the BSOD in Windows' forums anymore and I have never had a BSOD in XP, Vista or Windows 7.

    So are the kernel panics a hardware issue or software?

    Have you seen the new Dell XPS line? Depressing.

    HP got smart on the backlit keyboard with the Envy, but put the optical drive back in. Then they used a bait and switch on a 900P "Radiance" screen that no longer exists. About 200 people got one on their Envy.

    The Sony Z is great, but horribly expensive. The rest of Sony's laptops are junk, the LCD panels washed out.

    And I believe Apple has more cash than Sony, HP and Dell combined by a huge margin. And what is Apple going to do with it? Probably design some new gadgets that no one needs.
  20. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Playing SC2 right now. It's unbearable with a measly Intel HD graphics GPU.

    What are you going to do with 20% more CPU?

    Most people would benefit more from 300% GPU over 20% CPU.
  21. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Well, I don't know what "SC2" is.

    Anyway, I could never get a hackintosh distro to install. It always stuck on a grey screen. Early this morning I tried to wipe a hard drive with a linux nuke disc and it would not work. So I burned another SL distro -iatkos or something like that- that I had siting on my Windows drive and tried it while I wondered what to use. Under formatting I found the same thing I was looking for, a quick pass with zeros, and it worked! So after that I partitioned and clicked the install and now I'm using my HP with 10.63 and IntelHD graphics.

    Plays youtube videos in 1080p and no mouse pointer issues, so I guess this version of Intel graphics is compatible. Oops! I can't set HD resolution. Knew this couldn't be right.

    Later I'll find out if installing the update bricks it. Right now I'm going to play with this.

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