Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vingochr, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. vingochr, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    vingochr macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    I originally commented on the CPUs on the new MBPs, so here's a round up of predictions on the new Sandy Bridge processors, assuming the rumour photos are true.

    Firstly, with the MBP 13":

    Current MBPs use dual core (2C/2T) P8600 and P8800 2.4 and 2.66 GHz CPUs (about 2.5 years old now) with GeForce 320M integrated graphics.

    Predictions for the new ones are the dual core (2C/4T) i5-2410M (2.3GHz) and either the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) or the i5-2540M (2.6GHz). I'll go with the i5-2520M as the 1k unit price is $16 cheaper ($225) than the previous high-end model and it is better value than the $41 more expensive i5-2520M chip with only 100MHz CPU increase. So CPU predictions are the i5-2410M (2.3GHz) for the low spec and the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) for the high spec 13 inch MacBook Pro.

    What does this mean to us consumers?
    1) In price: CHEAPER &/ BETTER SPECS
    The i5-2410M (2.3GHz) is an OEM chip so has no price to compare it to, but for the high spec, the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) is cheaper than the current P8800 (2.66GHz). This is quite significant as the integrated Sandy Bridge (HD 3000) iGP is on the CPU die, not adding to the power requirement or the cost of the laptop. This means that the cost of the CPU/iGP combination is much less than previous due to the current 320M integrated GPUs. This allows for either more expensive and useful components in the rest of the laptop (i.e. SSD, better battery) or overall lower costs (unless there is a redesign, which the photos would prove otherwise for the 13 inch, if they are legit).
    The Current CPUs are at a TDP of 25W with the iGP at ~12W with a total of 37W for CPU/iGP combo. For the i5-2410M and the i5-2520M, they have a TDP of 35W, ~2W less than current. In addition, the power-saving features of the Sandy Bridge processors will help to reduce the TDP when the CPU is not stressed. This will enable (slightly) more power for use elsewhere and/or a longer lasting battery (and hopefully cooler laps).
    Undisputedly, the CPUs are much, much faster than the current chips. The low spec P8600 is the same CPU I have in my Late 2008 Unibody MBP, which shows you that Apple haven't done much of a haul on the 13" MBP in the last 2.5 years. This is mostly because of the dispute over integrated graphics usage between Intel and NVIDIA. The new HD 3000 Intel iGPs are a massive improvement over the last Intel HD iGPs, while it is pretty much comparable to the 320M in performance according to latest benches, they could be a bit faster as there are some driver compatibility issues that have shown the Intel HD 3000 up in some areas. Basically it will do anything you needed the 320M to do (playing games on low levels is about its limit). With Quick Sync, you will see massive improvements with supported software in video encoding. If the technology could be extended to other rendering, this could really blow the trash out of the 320M CUDA-wise. The benches for Quick Sync in the desktop HD 3000 show it is more than up to par with even the fastest desktop GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD in video encoding.

    Secondly, with the MBP 15"/17"
    Current laptops use the (2C/4T) i5-520M (2.4GHz), i5-540M (2.53GHz), i7-620M (2.66GHz) and i7-640M (2.8GHz) with GeForce GT 330M graphics. The CPUs are all at 35W TDP with the GT 330M has at 23W, 58W CPU + GPU combo TDP.

    For the predicted chips for the 2C/4T variants, i5-2520M (2.5GHz), i5-2540M (2.6GHz) and i7-2620M (2.7GHz) all at 35W. These would replace the current i5-520M (2.4GHz), i5-540M (2.53GHz), i7-620M (2.66GHz) CPUs. Apple may choose to finally adopt the incredibly fast quad core i7 CPUs. There are the options of the slower i7-2630QM and i7-2635QM (both OEM at 2GHz) the faster i7-2720QM (2.2GHz) and i7-2820QM (2.3GHz), and the blazingly fast i7-2920XM (2.5GHz). All these are 45W TDP apart from the i7-2920XM which is 55W. The 2720QM is about 60% faster than the 2630/35 according to benchmarks, and comes in at $378 for its 1k unit price, $32 more than the current i7-640M chip. With the power savings at lower CPU stresses, it may be plausible to use these quad core chips in the MBPs, maybe only the 17". The 2820QM and 2920XM are way too pricey to ever be included without it being mega bucks to us consumers. The 2635QM has slightly better graphics than the 2630QM, which may be preferred by Apple.

    My predictions are i5-2520M (2.5GHz), i5-2540M (2.6GHz) and i7-2620M (2.7GHz) at 35W 2C/4T and i7-2635QM (2GHz) and i7-2720QM (2.2GHz) at 45W 4C/8T.

    It would seem if Apple go with AMD they'll could have the HD 6830M and if with NVIDIA it could be the GT 525M, both at about 25W TDP. The AMD is the much more powerful of the two, both being faster than the previous GT 330M. This would give the dual core CPU/GPU combo TDP of 60W and the quad core combo TDP of 70W. This is a 2W increase for the dual core and a 12W increase for the quad core. If they use SSDs this could reduce TDP to allow for similar or better battery times for both the dual and quad core CPUs. With the Intel iGPs being much faster this time around, this could reduce the power for normal/light use as the power saving benefits of the CPU and using the integrated GPU instead of the discrete GPU would reduce the power required from the batteries. Basically, if Apple don't go with the quad core chips, they'd be stupid, unless they actually can't get rid of the heat efficiently.

    The i7-2720QM laptop would be the best performance laptop around if they did go with one, which is probably why they won't; Apple never seem the lead the pack in comparison of CPU or GPU performance. To compare it to all of Apple's current CPUs, it is faster than single core versions of all but the fastest Mac Pro 2.66 GHz 6-core "Gulftown" Intel Xeon (X5650) processor and much faster than the iMac 2.8GHz i7-860 processor. So if Apple only go with one Quad core, it'll either be the 2630QM or 2635QM.

    Basically, I think the refresh will be phenomenal for the 13" models and very good to amazing on the 15" and 17" models depending on if they redesigned and/or get quad core processors.
  2. DrJohnnyN Suspended


    Jan 27, 2010
  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    If anything, the battery life will be something to be jealous about. It seems that with every refresh apple bumps it up another 2 hours.
  4. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Now that you lost an hour of your life which you'll never get back...

    What is the point of your post given we'll all know precise details in just a few hours?
  5. FX4568 macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
  6. vingochr thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Very good point, I was thinking the same as I posted it. To be perfectly honest, with no updates to any real rumours, I wanted to give some people something to keep them interested for a while. And something to keep me busy too.
  7. Sarngate macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    If you're just going to be a negative **** then don't bother posting.

    Thanks for the post OP, i personally found it interesting. Geek FTW :)
  8. vingochr thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Apple have gone with the quad core chips, even on the 15". I don't mean to brag, but my predictions on the CPUs aren't looking too shabby. Taking this in mind, they may only go for the top 2 dual core chips or maybe just the dual core i7. We shall wait and see...

    That's flipping incredible! On the other hand, the GPU in the quad core 17" is AMD 6750 1GB and in the 15" is AMD 6490M 256MB. Looks like Apple are being creative with different GPUs finally, and not just the RAM.
  9. SiriusExcelsior, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    SiriusExcelsior macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2003
    Canis Major
    Great work, vingochr, the CPU bits look quite promising, although I'm surprised Apple went with a quad-core i7 for a standard 15" config. Maybe that's the higher 15", and there's another lower 15" config (there were 5 rumoured SKUs right?)

    EDIT: Looks like the rest of the configs are out..
    2410M (or 2649M) and 2620M for the 13" (I'm guessing 2410M)
    2630/5QM and 2720QM for 15"
    2720QM for 17"

    Can anyone shed light on the graphics though? Wiki has the 6490M pegged at 512MB of VRAM, and Apple has gone with 256MB. Looking at the 13", that has 384MB shared for its IGP, which I'm assuming also applies to the IGP in the 15 and 17". It doesn't really make sense to me that the IGP should have more shared memory than the GPU dedicated memory... shared memory performance notwithstanding..
  10. vingochr, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    vingochr thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Roundup and recommendations

    Hey guys, thanks for all the interest and feedback.

    It seems Apple pulled a fast one and most of my predictions for exact CPUs were a bit out. They have made significant speed increases in the CPU department, with no standard SSDs.

    The LOW spec 13" MBP CPU was the 2C/4T i5-2415M 2.3GHz (OEM) 35W 3MB Level 3 Cache
    The HIGH spec 13" MBP CPU was the 2C/4T i7-2620M 2.7GHz ($346) 35W 4MB Level 3 Cache

    The LOW spec 15" MBP CPU was the 4C/8T i7-2635QM 2.0GHz (OEM) 45W 6MB Level 3 Cache with AMD Radeon HD 6490M GPU ~20W with 256MB GDDR5 VRAM
    The MID spec 15" MBP/LOW spec 17" MBP CPU was the 4C/8T i7-2720QM 2.2GHz ($378) 45W 6MB Level 3 Cache with AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU ~25W with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
    The HIGH spec 15" AND 17' MBP CPU was the 4C/8T i7-2820QM 2.3GHz ($568) 45W 8MB Level 3 Cache with AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU ~25W with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
    (1k unit price in brackets)

    Pretty much a very decent CPU/GPU upgrade considering how similar the prices are for the previous generation. As far as I'm aware, the MacBook Pro is the only Sandy Bridge Laptop now shipping (others have withdrawn due to chipset recalls) and, very surprisingly is one of the fastest laptops you can buy, if not the fastest. In comparison I think this is cheaper than any other 2820QM laptop, feel free to correct me. It's unusual that Apple are competing quite competitively in the performance laptops.

    Quite a step forwards for Apple: very, VERY fast laptops. Shame no 16GB mSATA SSDs though.

    13" MBP: 2.3Ghz i5 and 2.7GHz i7 DUAL CORE
    15" MBP: 2.0GHz i7, 2.2GHz i7, 2.3GHz i7 QUAD CORE
    17" MBP: 2.2GHz i7 and 2.3GHz i7 QUAD CORE
    AMD HD 6490M 256MB GDDR5
    AMD HD 6750M 1GB GDDR5

    My opinion, go with the QUAD CORE 2.2GHz i7 15" MBP as it is much faster than the 2.0GHz, and comes with the much more GDDR5 VRAM, along with a better graphics card. It is a reasonable size, so is actually useful as a portable (cf the MASSIVE 17"). Go for the Hi-Res display (Matte is my choice as it's better on my eyes and is much better for using when out and about). Go for the 7200 RPM HDD at 500GB or leave the current installed then install some SSD later when it gets much cheaper. You can get Apple to install the SSD for you at a fairly competitive price. Go for a Hybrid drive (e.g. SG Momentus XT) if you want to, it's nothing near SSD speeds, but you will see considerably better performance for regular tasks and have decent storage space for not much more than a standard 2.5" HDD. Almost ALWAYS install more RAM yourself. You can always get it cheaper elsewhere and you can sell the factory RAM on eBay.

    If you're on a budget, the low 13" MBP is good Apple value for money.
    If you're into performance, definitely look into the 15" and 17" MBPs, they'll blow your socks off. (See it for yourself on www.cpubenchmark.net the 2630/5QM is ranked #81, the 2720QM at #17 and the 2820QM at #16. For reference, the quad-core i7 iMac (i7-870) 2.93GHz is at #36 in the rankings with only the best single Mac Pro hexa(6)-core Xeon chips (W3680 and X5650) 3.33 & 2.93GHz being higher at #5 and #14 rankings)
  11. stayathomedad macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011

    Thanks for the info.

    What's your thoughts on upgrading from last year's i5-520M to the new 2630QM when using Adobe Lightroom to edit RAW files?
  12. vingochr thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Definitely the new 2630QM will be better, twice as many cores and threads and also Intel's Quick Sync may have some features that can be implemented to improve editing. Not too sure what intel has planned with it, but CPU-wise it'll be much better.
  13. washburn macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2010
    So are the new CPUs mobile chips designed for laptops... or are actually like the desktop cpus?
  14. vingochr thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2011
    CPUs are specially designed for laptops. The "M" on the end of the processor code is to say it's for a mobile computer, eg, laptop, notebook or netbook.

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