[RANT] Why are we responsible for non-upgradable RAM and why it is apples fault

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ploki, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Ploki macrumors 68000

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #1
    http://ifixit.org/2763/the-new-macbook-pro-unfixable-unhackable-untenable/

    What's happening now?
    Apple is giving us the exact same choice, except the pricing isn't equal at all.

    High-end rMBP, 256gb SSD, 16GB RAM, 2.7ghz cpu: 2,749$
    High-end cMBP(hires), 256gb SSD*, 16GB RAM*, 2.7ghz cpu: 2,842$

    *RAM:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233251
    *SSD:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227792

    (the difference for the 512GB version accounts for 200$ in favor of cMBP)
    ----
    low end (2,3ghz, 8gb ram, 256gb SSD)
    rMBP: 2,199$
    cMBP(hires): 2,164$ (vertex 4 and Crucial RAM, GF 650M only 0.5gb ram)

    Even if you upgrade everything yourself, to get a similar performance from a cMBP as rMBP you pay equal. Deduct 100$ for HiRes screen.
    Apple is basically teasing with retina screen... Basically: "If you get the non-upgradable version, we'll throw in the retina screen for free".
    The prices get ridiculous if you upgrade through apple. When I say ridiculous I mean really ridiculous. "Get the retina, it's a no-brainer, you'll save 500$" ridiculous.

    Of course I'm taking comparable performance, with the base 5400rpm drive and 4GB RAM the cMBP is obviously cheaper.

    So is the cMBP getting dropped? Does anyone have retina sales figures?


    This are the thoughts I accumulated on the forum in the last couple of days... Just wanted to put them together.
     
  2. Brian Y macrumors 68040

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    Oct 21, 2012
    #2
    Well logic tells you it's cheaper to build. Small connector soldered on board is cheaper than a sata connector + cable + mounts and space for drive. Soldered ram chips are cheaper than RAM sticks + connectors + space required for RAM.

    Plus in the retina you're losing alot of ageing tech - such as the ODD (although you'll need to add 30$ for an ethernet adapter which I don't really consider to be ageing :p).

    Everyone moans about the price of the retina - but for what you get (in my opinion) it's an absolute bargain (the 15" - the 13" not so much).
     
  3. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Wireless AC is here. It's gigabit in speed. For many that'll replace gigabit Ethernet. Few consumers use Ethernet anymore though, 450mbps wireless N will keep up with any home Internet connection, and few of them are transferring large files to a NAS or booting a VM to a PXE server!
     
  4. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #4
    Wireless is not stable enough at any speed to warrant using it for things like firmware updates or OS loads through PXE boot. It's too susceptible to interference from things like filing cabinets, walls, racks in a data center, etc.

    One would be much wiser to use a wired connection to a top-of-rack switch in a data center when doing any type of maintenance that requires a network connection.

    Don't get me wrong, wireless has its advantages, but it's definitely not to the point where it can replace a wired connection in every scenario.
     
  5. LeeM macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2012
    #5
    i do a lot of online timed assessments for uni. whenever i do those or upload an essay i'll always plug in to ethernet to avoid any potential wireless issues
     
  6. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    Jul 6, 2010
    #6
    The point here is that the average consumer doesn't need Ethernet anymore. If you are going to be loading OS through PXE boot then you arent the average consumer.
     
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #7
    No, and I agree completely. But the same scenario where you'd be in a server room tethered to an ethernet cable, or even plugged in at your desk, makes a thunderbolt or USB 3.0 gigabit ethernet adapter not a really big deal. For most consumers, GbE is something they don't even know what it does! I was at the Apple store the other day and some girl pointed to the ethernet jack on a non retina and said "Why does it have a phone jack?"

    Apple isn't going to change or modify their products to cater to a small niche, as much as those of us in a small niche would like them to. I mean I would love in addition to the thunderbolt port, a DVI port for my other display, two SSD's (one in the optical bay) like I did aftermarket, etc., etc., But these things Apple is not going to do. Instead we have aftermarket suppliers, dongles, etc., to fill our needs.

    Thunderbolt has enough bandwidth right now to even handle some FibreChannel or 10GbE adapters if/when they become available.

    I use gigabit at home as well. I have an older IBM dual-Xeon server running Ubuntu Server, has a stack of drives in it, couple RAID and some just flying Solo. That server hosts my network drives which store DSLR image files, music libraries, etc. All things that are much nicer to work with over GbE. I also use time machine, to an Apple Time Capsule, and it's significantly faster over GbE than it is via Wi-Fi, even when I'm in the same room and getting a full 450Mb/s via ATC.

    But, I wouldn't lose any sleep over a dongle. What's so inconvenient about a dongle when you are plugging into a wire anyway? And I recognize the consumer market just doesn't need ethernet anymore. They don't know what it is, and even if they do, they don't use it. 10-12 megs of internet speed in most homes means Wireless N is far and away beyond what they need. Chances are they are just using their ISP's cheap motorola Wireless G router/modem combo anyway.
     
  8. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #8
    Of course not. I'm simply pointing out, to any "average consumers" that could be reading, some reasons why it's not good enough to replace a wired connection for every scenario.

    That's my point.
     
  9. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #9
    I'm not talking about ethernet dongles here, either. Wasn't knocking them in any form or fashion.

    There have been a lot of comments in these forums about how Ethernet is dead, long live wireless, and if you still use wired you're passe, etc. Which is simply not true.

    I'm simply pointing out to "average consumers" why wireless is not a valid option everywhere in every scenario.

    I've only provided one specific example, pertaining to IT in large data centers ... there are also valid examples to support this for the home as well.

    Those same things I mentioned that cause interference exist in the home as well. Walls. Furniture. Appliances. They can cause all sorts of issues with a wireless connection. There are lots and lots of threads in forums everywhere, where people are having issues with their wireless connections on their laptops. Those issues won't be going away with the adoption of AC wireless. Many of them either go unresolved, or take days/weeks of tweaking settings, calling ISP tech support, or Wireless router vendor tech support to get resolved, and some only get partially resolved.

    So, there's not a chance that wireless technology, in its current state, can be used as a complete drop-in replacement for a wired connection in every household. Looks great on paper, and may work great for a lot of people, but there will always be situations (at work and at home) out there where nothing can beat a wired connection.
     
  10. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #10
    I really see ethernet as VGA/DVI.

    Strapping each video out to a laptop is "convenient". Efficient? hardly.
     
  11. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #11
    Again, I agree with you, I really do. I don't think it's dead, I use it in my own home. For one, the 'backbone' of my home network (Router, modem, server, desktop computer, etc.) will remain ethernet. My hope is, is that soon after Wireless AC hits the shelves, we will start to see 10GbE trickle down into an affordable consumer space, and I'll switch to that!

    With SSD prices falling, I'm drooling over the prospect of running 10GbE in my server along with a RAID10 array of SSD's, running 10GbE via thunderbolt to my MBP and 10GbE to my workstation... oh that'd be great!

    Again, my point was the, even though ethernet would serve the average consumer better, they aren't going to use it. The average consumer, for example, could be better served by buying their own network equipment instead of leasing crappy stuff from their ISP, they could save buttloads by doing their own upgrades instead of buying Build-to-order in their MBP's, etc. etc. Unfortunately, they won't. Ethernet in the home is disappearing, leaving a bunch of frustrated users wondering why every time they turn on the microwave, facebook stops working!

    Some of us (like myself) use ethernet every day. And ethernet isn't outdated like VGA or DVI. Your MBP has MiniDisplayPort buried inside it's thunderbolt connector, the retina models even add HDMI. There are current generation video standards capable of driving lots of pixels, and even carrying audio and daisy chaining! The MBP doesn't have 10BaseT, it has gigabit ethernet, which is the current de facto standard. In data centers and high end professional environments, you'll see 10GbE or even 100gb FCoE, but that is EXPENSIVE, Gigabit is the fastest performing solution in a cost effective market.

    Apple didn't wait for someone else to come out with good gigabit adapters, they released a thunderbolt gigabit adapter right away. I think Apple realizes that there is a significant market of tech-savvy customers who understand the advantages of ethernet in certain situations. But, I think they also realize that the market is shifting (not because Wi-Fi is better, but because it's more convenient), and so shoehorning ethernet onto the retina model was not a priority.
     
  12. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #12
    Gotcha!
    Ethernet was in fact the fattest connector on the old design. As fat as the USB3.0 on the new one.

    I still prefer the TB way than samsung/sony proprietary ethernet port+breakout cable solution.
     
  13. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #13
    But ethernet and USB, or even thunderbolt, aren't the same thing. USB and Thunderbolt are for direct attached devices, ethernet is a network device. So even if thunderbolt or USB 3.0 are faster, they won't replace GbE (save for being the spot you plug the adapter in). So the point of GbE isn't it's speed, but the fact that it is the fastest way to currently connect to a network. (Well, in the consumer space anyway, but not likely that a lot of consumers have 100GB FCoE in their homes!)

    Thunderbolt is faster than 10Gbps FibreChannel and is also much cheaper, but it is also unfortunately not a network standard. So you can't go out and buy a 'thunderbolt router' and route your internet connection and connect NAS devices. You can certainly create a 'network' per se of direct attached storage devices though, but what you can't do is share those devices independently with several computers. You can't plug 10 computers into a single thunderbolt RAID array, like you can plug 10 computers via GbE to a server with a RAID array inside of it! (Though you could use a thunderbolt equipped machine as a server, but again, you are limited to GbE throughput anyway!)

    Unless, I suppose, you connect a thunderbolt array to one computer and then Daisy chain all of the other computers together via thunderbolt. Optical cables aren't available yet so you stock to like 12 feet or something, at over $50 a pop for the cable... well that would be one odd, and very expensive solution wouldn't it! I don't think it would work anyway.. LOL
     
  14. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #14
    Aware of that, just started thinking if apple is going to drop usb standard connector in favor of USB micro for going thinner. :)
     
  15. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #15
    Who knows :p

    Most of the connectors we use now are larger than they need to be, they are only large because they want to retain backwards compatibility. In the case of USB 3.0, they want to retain backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 devices. Which makes perfect sense, although it seems like only Apple actually does that! (What I mean by that is, all of these Windoze machines have a bunch of USB 2.0 ports, and one or two blue USB 3.0 ports... it's annoying! Why not just make them all USB 3.0 like Apple.. so I don't have to play a guessing game. USB 2.0 or 3.0 doesn't matter, I just plug it into an open spot!)
     
  16. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I've seen that. So idiotic. "which is blue now" doesn't matter god damnit. Windows laptops still have 4pin FW... for god sakes :)
     
  17. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #17
    LOL, well in all fairness, the 4 pin FireWire port is actually more so that it can be used as an 'external' machine to a base desktop. To sync files or copy them to the notebook. You know, like back in the 90's when we used to do that, that Apparently Windows PC manufacturers don't realize we don't do anymore...
     
  18. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 21, 2008
    #18
    :D If they copy apple bluntly in following that stupid thin factor (no matter how much I appreciate my retina i wouldn't care if it were more thick), I have no idea why they don't copy solutions that are actually good
     
  19. TennisandMusic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #19
    You can plug USB 2 into the "blue" USB 3 ports. Typically the reason they do that on PCs is you get SO MANY USB ports that they can't all be USB 3. So they add a few USB 2 ports with a USB 2 controller.

    Apple gives you 1 or 2 ports, and they happen to be USB 3, so of course they don't need to be colored blue.

    Kind of funny that they even have people brainwashed on that fact too. I remember when Phil Schiller came out and said "that's not how we do things at Apple!" Complete BS, he made it sound like Apple did something special to have USB 3 and 2 on the same port. Not true in the slightest, and a complete lie.
     
  20. Radiating macrumors 65816

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    Dec 29, 2011
    #20
    So you're mad that Apple is charging the same price for the upgradable cMBP as an rMBP with the same specs.

    The reason the rMBP is cheaper is because of volume discounts on the high end hardware, not because Apple hates you and wants to destroy your upgradability.

    Upgrading your own computer is over rated and silly as well. I've upgraded and custom built all my computers and it's a huge pain. The rMBP proves that if you just sell everyone top of the line hardware and get volume discounts you can get the same performance as a fully customized custom built laptop, for the same price, without any additional work.
     
  21. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I actually have a retina. :)
    I'm not mad at Apple for that, I'm disappointed that they didn't just make the "cut" because they're showing they're not sure in their design decisions...

    Still, rMBP doesn't get half the profits of iCrap.
    I still think the business model "make profit with low-cost crap, make bleeding edge less profit with high-end" works.
     
  22. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #22
    I love my Retina and to the OP, this was the exact logic and math I used when thinking about my purchase.

    I was once set on the cMBP for the upgrade ability, then I realized I wanted it with the AG-High-Res screen and the Ethernet, FW, and Optical meant nothing to me and I would never use them and I would replace the Optical with the original HDD.

    Then I realized, I was spending the same or more for an inferior screen with fixed resolution opposed to the Retina with a scalable/adjustable resolution.
     
  23. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    #23
    If you get 16GB of RAM, what are the odds that you'll need more RAM without a new processor and GPU? Nil for your average user, slim for the non-average. So I'm not sure what the issue here is.
     
  24. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'm perfectly aware. But take my desktop for example, I've got a gigabyte brand motherboard and every single one of the ports is USB3.

    Few laptops I've seen have so many USB ports that you could really make an argument that there is just no way they couldn't add another USB 3 controller. It's all for cost savings. My little sister just got an Acer laptop for school, it has a total of TWO USB ports, one on each side (sort of like the air). On the left side is USB 3.0, on the right.. is USB 2!

    I'm not a fan of that fragmentation, it's annoying. I'm perfectly aware that those USB 3.0 ports are USB 2.0 compatible. What's a pain though, is taking, say, a USB 3.0 hard drive and having to 'rearrange' things to get it on one of the USB 3.0 ports. The technology is there, there's no reason for it. Hubs can be used internally on the motherboards as well. That's how the gigabyte motherboard on my desktop works. It has something like 14 USB ports on the back, in addition to three I/O pinouts on the motherboard for front panel USB ports. So in total, I've got 18 USB ports on my homebuilt desktop. It doesn't use 18 USB controllers! The controllers support multiple ports per, and onboard hubs help make it possible. Way back when USB originally came out, one of it's advantages over serial and parallel ports was it's ability to do just that, replicate ports and share bandwidth. Rather than having to have individual controllers, you could have just one replicating ports, or through the use of external hubs or even daisy chaining! (Little known fact, USB DOES support Daisy Chaining, it just never caught on, and hubs became so cheap nobody was really motivated to produce daisy-chain capable USB peripherals!)

    Also, Phil Schiller wasn't claiming (at least not the impression I got) that they were the only ones with a backwards compatible USB 3/2 port. But rather, that unlike the others, they weren't going to cheap out and stick one USB 3.0 port while leaving the rest on USB 2.0 controllers. Instead, they were going to simply make EVERY port a USB 3/2 port. The example he showed on the screen also only had a couple USB ports, and just ONE USB 3.0 ports. MANY laptops I've seen have just ONE USB 3.0 ports. THAT is the issue, it's not at all technically impossible or difficult for a laptop that even has 4 or 5 or 6 USB ports to have them ALL be USB 3.0.

    Unless I misunderstood Phil and he was trying to insinuate that Apple had the only backwards compatible USB ports, but I don't think so. Remember, that's not Apple marketing, that's Apple's developer conference. That's a conference full of software engineers, tech journalists, and hardware/accessory vendors. Those folks understand that the USB 3.0 standard from Intel includes USB 2.0 compatibility on the same controller/port. Those same people would probably know that Apple is going to stick with only USB 3 compatible controllers and ports, and not cheap out and stick a second legacy USB 2.0 controller for the rest of the ports. (Again, there ARE a lot of Windows laptops with one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port!)

    And, if you'd read my entire post, you'd know I understand that too, since I mentioned that being part of WHY the USB standard has remained in that form factor and not gotten smaller!
     

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