The New MBPs explained

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chrmjenkins, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
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    CA
    #1
    As evidenced by the more negative votes than positive votes on the new MBP story on the front page, it's obvious people did not get the upgrades they wanted. However, most of these people are irrational and are idiots. I'll show you why.

    disclaimer: I fully expect this to be ignored by the irrational and uninformed people it targets. I'm fine with that.

    Thermal Design Power

    TDP refers to the maximum heat a component will dissipate. For a longer definition, we turn to wikipedia:

    source: Thermal_design_power

    Traditionally, the standard MBPs had used 25W/35W CPUs (and 23W GPUs). Now that the core i5/i7 generation has arrived, the TDP of the CPUs in this family is 35W/45W/55W. Thus, assuming the 15/17 inch unibodies were designed with a 35W Max TDP in mind, it falls to reason that the only CPUs we would see from the i5/i7 line in the 15/17 inch MBPs would be those with 35W TDPs or less. This happens to include all of the i5/i3 family, as well as one CPU from the i7 family (the 620M). The 620M has the special i7 moniker due to its 4MB of cache (versus 3MB for i5 family processors) and the fact that its the fastest clocked dual-core Arrandale family processor. Arrandale

    So, if you're complaining about the lack of quad-core options, ****, as the current design iteration likely wasn't made to handle it.

    Now, on to the 13 inch MBPs. Countless people are bewailing the lack of Arrandale processors being available for this. Remember that from above, Arrandale family CPUs start at 35W ( for the non-CULV type things you see in ultralights like the Air). However, the 13 inch Unibody enclosure has never accommodated anything more than a 25W Core 2 Duo in its short lifespan. So, similar to above, it's not reasonable to expect that the platform would suddenly start using 35W CPUs. So, aside from an enclosure redesign or using a completely different motherboard with some non-mainstream i3/i5 processors (read: cost prohibitive), you're not going to get i3/i5/i7 in the current 13 MBP, so ****.

    But but Envy/GPU TDP/etc.

    The first criticism I expect many to have about the above analysis is that HP's ENVY series has virtually the same enclosure and runs the 45W i7 CPUs. (Along with the 5830 GPU, which has a slightly higher TDP than what the 9600M did). The first problem is the reliability of the HP brand, and this laptop in particular. HP has the highest failure rate in the industry. source: HP reliability This laptop is notorious for getting unbearably hot for the lap, and its heat output also becomes a concern for reliability. Apple needs to maintain an acceptable margin for the possibility of heat failure. HP is slicing that margin in order to tout their laptop as a superior product to both the MBP and other high-performance PC notebooks. Apple has the established notebook and is not known for targeting the crown for performance goals. It would be out of Apple's character to pursue a design like ENVY.

    I also remind you that the ENVY 13, which is comparable to the 13" MBP, sports lower TDP processors from the Core 2 Duo family (the max of which is 17 W). Thus, there is no argument to be made about the 13" MBP getting an i5/i7 processor on the grounds of the ENVY 13 supporting one.

    It could be argued that if Apple accepted a smaller TDP on the graphics core (the integrated 9400M of the previous generation was 11W) or completely eliminated it all together, they could fit a 35W CPU in there. This is probably true, yet it would represent a significant step backwards in graphics performance. Intel HD integrated graphics are still poor in comparison to even the 9400M, and after Apple touted gaming performance at the keynote revealing these MBPs, one would think that they feel it is a key performance metric. The fact that they've gone with the 320M rather than the 310M (the 310M is a slightly faster version of the 9400M due to a die-shrink) shows that they were committed to providing the most GPU power that they could given their enclosure. This is good for the consumer.

    If you still disagree and would rather have the i5/i7, either get a 15", buy a PC, or ****. Besides, Sandy Bridge is coming, and it's likely the platform Apple is waiting for to tweak their enclosures.

    Additionally, it's also possible that Apple could have switched to/offered ATI GPUs given that they are no longer using Nvidia chipsets (nvidia has no license to produce chipsets for Nehalem/Arrandale family procesors due to the integrated memory controller). Currently, ATI has some GPUs that offer more performance per watt compared to the mobile Nvidia options. The reasons for sticking with Nvidia are two-fold. The first is that they're simply maintaining a partner relationship, and they likely get their parts pretty cheap since Nvidia will want to keep their business. The second reason is Nvidia Optimus technology. While Apple implements it differently and it's not "true" Optimus, it achieves the same end result. Being able to switch from integrated to discrete GPU on the fly is both cool and the main reason that they can advertise their huge battery life numbers. Less battery life would be a huge step backwards in their eyes. After all, if they can offer netbook-like battery life, it gives you one more reason to purchase Apple.

    Well then, when is the redesign coming so I can have my quad core and current gen 13" MBP processors?!

    Apple is likely waiting for Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge. As long as Intel is willing to supply Core 2 Duo chips for Apple's 13" MBP, Apple is happy to take the cheaper part. However, Intel will eventually EOL the part, meaning Apple will have to migrate to Arrandale for the 13" as well, or they could simply wait until Q1 2011 (read: one year from now), and upgrade the whole line to Sandy Bridge. They would have the option to redesign enclosures as needed, and they could finally start offering quad-core options if they so chose (the desktop line is quad-core by default). This would be a good time for a variant given the life of the unibody enclosure by that point. We must also remember that Apple wants to keep these laptops thin and minimal. Higher TDPs require more than just an exhaust fan at the back of the laptop. (ie, copper heat pipes, air grills on the bottom or sides of the laptop etc.). This is the reason Apple is avoiding the current 45W CPUs as well as more powerful discrete graphics options.

    But The Screens!

    I'm sure there are some that are upset that the 15" doesn't have a full HD screen or that the ratio remains 16:10 as opposed to 16:9 (and many others who dread going to 16:9). The reason for the aspect ratio not changing is simply that the enclosure hasn't changed. When that happens, it's possible. That's completely up to Apple.

    As for full HD not being offered in a 15", it's simple. They need a feature to trigger the up-sell to 17". Many manufacturers, including Apple, are known for withholding upgrades such as this to get you to buy a more expensive version. That's how the business works. They've already offered a new, higher resolution screen for the 15" as well as antiglare options in both the 15" and 17" models. I wouldn't expect much more. As for more exotic options like IPS or Tri-color LED backlighting, it's anyone's guess. Maybe they feel the revenue from offering it wouldn't be worth it, or it could be that they feel this may prevent a small number of people from buying a Cinema Display for serious photo editing.

    Blu Ray

    I don't know that you can ever expect this one. Apple has constantly downplayed the importance of the format as well as the idea of a an optical drive all together (see: The Macbook Air). It's possible that they feel the effort of supporting it and the profit from it is small compared to those who would buy it or withhold due to the lack of its presence. The more likely answer is the protection of its revenue stream. Obviously, if you can't play a Blu Ray on your laptop, then you may as well rent or buy an HD movie from iTunes. The iPhone as a platform has demonstrated beautifully how Apple is willing to withhold features or apps in order to protect revenue streams (like the itunes store music sales). Allowing things like the Kindle App is probably to avoid the PR (and potential legal) backlash of being to controlling. Withholding Blu Ray does not pose this risk.


    Further information about the update:
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/new-macbook-pros-support-audio-over-mini-displayport.ars
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/macbook-pros-updated-with-corei5i7-processors-10hr-battery.ars
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/inside-apples-automatic-gpu-switching.ars
     
  2. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    I actually thought Apple did a great job with this refresh. It sure put some silly thoughts in my head, though I really don't need a new MBP at this stage. :)
     
  3. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

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  4. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #4
    If you believe they are idiots and will ignore this, then why post this info?
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #5
    Very good post; I did find it interesting that if you look at the 15" and 17" units, they actually both have Intel graphics paired with a NVIDIA dedicated GPU, not a 320M chipset.
     
  6. MacMandy macrumors 6502

    MacMandy

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  7. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #7
    The tree elves. They tell me to do things. And I do them. I can't resist their delicious cookies.
     
  8. itommyboy macrumors 6502a

    itommyboy

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    #8
    Lols the site Nazi's edited your title already.
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #9
    As with the Kindle app, my speculation is if Apple denies the Kindle app, then I can see Amazon pulling 1-Click from Apple; then how the heck is Apple support to sell stuff the 1-Click way? My 2¢ on that.

    To be fair, this one is more descriptive and concise; the other one can be perceived as offense (to the whiny types).
     
  10. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #10
    Denies? It's already in the app store. :confused:
     
  11. Perplexe macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2010
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    Montreal
    #11
    Great post... i am not satisfied with the update but i now better understand it...
     
  12. breathesrain macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #12
    As the voice of those idiots:

    Yes, but I want it to have an iX/dedicated graphics/higher resolution/etc.

    Just because I know it's reasonable doesn't mean I will be reasonable :)
     
  13. Quetsche macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2010
    #13
    Hooo how i love the "internet tough guys" with their big egos, it's always entertaining… :D
     
  14. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #14
    The problem with that is that Apple doesn't sell HD movies on iTunes! All of the movies available for purchase are in SD. "Digital copies" are in SD. HD rentals are available via Apple TV, but nothing for a computer. Is it different in the US?

    By the end of the week, it will have been five years since Apple promised Blu-ray support. It's taken far too long and I won't be buying any more Apple products until support is available.
     
  15. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #15
    In the US you can purchase HD movies from iTunes. There are more available for rent, but some can be purchased in HD (I have Iron Man and Up in HD on my desktop computer).
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #16
    Not a bad write up but you know what we could all do without? That's right, the bolded "****". Seriously, really unnecessary if you don't want to be called out as a troll with a lot of writing time on his hands.

    The 13", BTW (and no I can't ****) has no physical reason why it couldn't take a new processer, i5 or i3.
     
  17. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #17
    It was intended to be humorous. There are two factions on here are either those who complain about everything, or those who say that they can go buy something else. I was portraying an enraged member of the latter. I wouldn't have gone into near this much detail or explained the gray areas if I was trolling. (and it's quite humorous they edited my title but saw fit to leave all the STFUs in. If you notice, you can take out the sentences containing them and it's a strictly informative post).

    As for the 13", Apple doesn't put 35W processors in them, period. While it may be technically possible given the current enclosure, I've listed reasons above why they wouldn't have anyway. Besides, it's an upsell too.
     
  18. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #18
    Great post. Loving the STFUs.
    Uhh, yes there is. Arrandale processor + Intel PCH + Dedicated Graphics package + physcial space needed on logic board for GDDR3.

    Have you ever seen the logic board of the 13"? Its small. Small to the point where I would have been amazed to see Apple make it happen. Alas, they couldn't.
     
  19. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    51st State of America
    #19
    Because some people don't understand the bitching or the praise, not everybody has taken a side yet. Good post but a shame still on Apple's part, but I wasn't in the market for a new laptop yet so hence the lack of bitching on my part :).
     
  20. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #20
    I agree partially, with the analysis, except that they *could* have used the Core i7-620LM or 640LM (25W), if TDP was such an issue. They are probably similar prices to the C2D at launch. But that would have created a i7-i5-i7 13/15/17 inch ranking, which would look strange for consumers, and erode Apple's margins on the 13".

    The have an aluminium enclose - they *could* couple the cooling system to this, and support a 35W CPU.

    Apple always looks at the 'family' - that's also why the form factors are maintained for all of them, rather than the screwball screensizes for the 15 and 17 inch that some people were expecting.
     
  21. LucidPsychosis macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2010
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #21
    Care to explain the lack of 7200 RPM HDDs in the 13"? If that sounded overly venomous, I'm sorry. I'm honestly curious why this isn't an option.

    EDIT: Also, if I remember correctly, didn't Jobs say that this year would revolutionize the MBPs or something? How exactly did they accomplish that?
     
  22. slicke101 macrumors member

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    Mar 12, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #22
    Great read. Thanks:)
    Ordered myself the low end 13" earlier and was happy with that. Your post made my choice feel even better. Cheers.
     
  23. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #23
    Doesn't matter as you can easily do that yourself
     
  24. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #24
    Penryn Core 2 @ 2.4 and 2.66 Ghz would still faster for the most part. Maybe in some benches it would lose, but Core 2 would win more than lose.
     
  25. dault2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #25
    Do the new macbook pros have an ir receiver?

    Thanks
     

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