The wolves are circling the rMBP, Dell XPS and Razer 14". Its a good thing

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by whitedragon101, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    I have said before "why does no-one just take a run at Apple and try to make something that really competes with a rMBP." Not just a big box with high specs and a bad screen, but real competition. It seems Dell (XPS) and Razer (14") are doing just that and I think its a very good thing. I'm hoping real competition will keep Apple on their toes innovating and putting in the best hardware they can.

    A case in point:

    There are several threads about the new nVidia Maxwell chips and whether Apple will put in the new 850m or the 860m or even whether Apple could choose no Maxwell at all. There is no hardware reason they can't use an 860m. So it all comes down to what will Apple decide to put in.

    The new 14" Razer laptop will be fitted with an 870m GTX, yes an 870m ! in a 14" laptop. It will have an SSD and an IGZO screen with a higher resolution than a rMBP. The Dell XPS will almost certainly be upgraded to an 800 series chip and chances are they will put in the highest performing chip they can (for the chassis TDP budget) as the XPS is clearly gunning for the rMBP.

    Now what I hope is that these developments will light a fire under the rMBP hardware team to at least meet these kind of spec levels.
  2. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    It's the beauty of capitalism and competition. :D

    Remember when the Blackberry was the absolute #1 "it" phone to have? Then came the iPhone, then Android, and now it's pretty much iPhone vs. Samsung trying to one-up each other every 6-12 months.

    The winners? Consumers.
    The losers? Our wallets. :p

    Before the MBP came out, I thought that the Dell XPS or Alienware were the only "it" laptops out there (granted, I did not know much about the MBP until maybe 2-3 years ago). Now Razer is stepping up its game, and Dell as well. If Apple wants to get a bigger grasp on the gamer market (after all, many of the same games that you find on consoles are now on Steam or the App Store such as Bioshock Infinity which I saw the other day), then they will do what's best for business.

    With that being said, Apple will probably squeeze in the best dGPU they can, but they probably will not want to get away from the current advertised battery life. Hopefully the next gens of CPUs/GPUs will give consistent increases in the battery department (e.g. big boosts to performance without sacrificing power).

    Capitalism, baby!
  3. psik macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2007
    Yes, specially capitalism baby and globalization to the people who make this stuff in the factories in China or whenever and they never make enough money to buy an apple product once in their life. Yes capitalism baby
  4. Robisan macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2014
    Good luck using that native resolution with Windows and software designed for Windows. Until Microsoft offers better scaling and support of hi-res screens the hardware makers are going to be handicapped.
  5. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    No, they will take all the hardware that fits their needs the best.
    Apple's needs are based on their vision and the experience they want to bring to their customers.

    not 'the best dGPU' or the best 'SSD'.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Apple has never played spec wars. They tend to hype certain specs when they're ahead of others. The rest of the time they don't mention them as much. I think you're definitely setting yourself up for disappointment. They actually dropped to integrated only in the bottom spec even though that meant slower graphics than the prior generation.
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Apple measures battery life with the integrated GPU only. Most users will use the dedicated GPU only when plugged in anyway.

    Windows offers very good resolution independence support. The problem is that one of its core features - backwards compatibility - becomes its greatest downfall here. Because the core Windows UI API is so primitive, there is almost no way to make scaling work with 'classical' programs, without rewriting large parts of of it. In contrast, most programs written for OS X will automatically take advantage of the scaling. Same goes for asset management. I don't see any solution for Windows here - only waiting it out. Apple has a massive advantage in this area. Linux is even worse actually.
  8. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    lol google chrome and almost all installers ever made don't support scaling properly. I'm amazed at Chrome though, it's a blurry mess!
  9. SimeoneSergio macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2012
    London UK
    It seems you forget the biggest reason why we all have a rMBP (or a mbp in general):

    OSX. Goddamn Unix with a GUI.

    You can push whatever hardware you want under the bonnet, yet i don't think you'll want to go back to Microsoft.

  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    This occurs every laptop generation. Apple comes out with a great computer, in time others copy it. Or they're out of the gate with newer technology. Apple seems to be content with the pace of their updates and design, regardless of what others do.

    As the other member stated, the hardware is but one piece of the puzzle, and I get to run a rock solid OS which is another.
  11. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    I agree I don't want Microsoft. But hopefully the presence of more competitive systems will put pressure on Apple to at least keep their hardware competitive.

    I think there is a bit of a change here though. No one before has really tried to go head to head with the rMBP on everything. The form factor, SSD, screen , build quality, battery life. Before yes a PC laptop may be faster but usually its bigger with a bad screen and an HDD etc. I don't think Apple minded this because an ugly box with high specs is not a competitor to a Macbook Pro. But well made laptops in close to identical form factors with retina screens, SSDs and high specs are directly competing.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    HP did completely ripped off the look/feel of the aluminum MBP (or was it the MBA I forget) - It happens
  13. existe macrumors member


    May 11, 2009
    One thing that I have always noticed is you can resell your MBP a ton easier and faster than any Windows Laptop. I may pay more to get into the Apple hardware but I know I am going to get a better ROI than if I invest in Dell/Razer/HP.
  14. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    True, but if they made everything here, we wouldn't be able to afford it because of our labor costs. We're not the only ones outsourcing to China. Plenty of EU countries do it as well, but we just do it on a much larger scale.

    The Made in China trend will change in a decade or's going to Brazil.
  15. whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    I agree. I do prefer to buy Apple for a number of reasons. What I'm hoping is that direct competition will make the rMBP better.
  16. theromz macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Makes it funny that they have a line called Envy that all look like Macbook rip offs. Ironic naming. Their iMac copy looks good, along with their Thunderbolt display copy haha.
  17. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    They don't. It's a tiny segment they've never cared much about. The proof is in the pudding.

    This, too, doesn't square with Apple's history. In fact, they almost never do this. Look no further than the failure to include a 760M in the last generation of rMBPs and, instead, going with the flimsy 750M. And keep in mind that the dGPU has no impact on the battery claims, since those numbers are based off the iGPU.

    Economics teaches us that within capitalism, commodity markets are different from other markets in which manufacturers can differentiate their products. It also teaches us that monopoly pricing is different from pricing in an efficient market. Apple's somewhere in the middle, but the notion that there's some sort of real pressure that Apple feels from other manufacturers doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
  18. whitedragon101, Mar 18, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014

    whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    "NVIDIA provided some research showing that PC gaming is an extremely large industry – competing in yearly revenue with the likes of movie theater ticket sales, music, and DVD/Blu-ray video sales. Along with that growth, growth in the gaming notebooks market has been significant over the past three years, and even greater growth is expected for 2014." - Anandtech

    I think Apple does care about games they just try to balance it with the things they love most, battery life and portability. There are 2million Mac users of steam and growing. Thats just the users on OSX not counting those who game in bootcamp which is most Mac gamers. Every one of them will want a decent GPU.

    How do we know the rMBP could have handled the TDP of the 760m?

    That doesn't quite hold up to scrutiny either.
    I can't quite imagine Apple not monitoring and reacting to developments of other manufacturers products in the same sector. The degree to which they do so and the manner is up for debate . But the idea that they feel no real market pressure at all is not realistic. Imagine an iPhone meeting where an Apple staffer suggests ignoring developments at other manufacturers and ignoring competing products. Sounds crazy. Because it would be. It would be no less crazy when the meeting is about a laptop.
  19. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm not sure the Razer is a threat to the MBP.

    It's using a non-Maxwell GPU that takes almost as much power as the entire rMBP all by itself.

    With the Razer, emphasis seems to be very much on gaming and much less on portability. There isn't anything new there. That's the same spot Alienware has occupied for years.

    I don't think the thermal profile of the 760m is compatible with the MacBook Pro. Which is another reason I'm very uneasy about a GPU that puts out as much heat as an entire MacBook Pro in a 14" case. I wouldn't be surprised if Razer severely downclocked that chip.
  20. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    It's a great thing and I'm glad that both of those notebooks have a higher resolution screen than what the Retina MacBook Pro has because I'm hoping that Apple will put a 3840 x 2400 display in the 15" or bring out a 17" with that resolution as it would provide a much better non-blurry 1920x1200 effective desktop area.
  21. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    A 17" 4K MacBook would be excellent and I'm sure at the right price, would sell well too.
  22. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    Soft drinks are also a big, multi-billion dollar market. You don't see Apple competing in that market either. The size of a market is not what determines whether a particular company chooses to compete, or compete heavily, in that market.

  23. theromz macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Difference is Soft drinks have nothing to do with Apple's products or strengths. Gaming is huge on iOS, and hopefully more game developers push to using openGL instead of DX on desktop. I could easily see gaming taking off on Macbooks. Even the Airs have pretty capable gaming machines now, there is a huge growing indie scene these days to capture the more casual market too.
  24. whitedragon101, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    whitedragon101 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Fairs fair. You said gaming was a tiny segment Apple didn't much care about. Thats two statements:
    gaming is a tiny segment = not so
    apple don't care much about it = fair enough. I guess with the use of 'much' thats could be read as a pretty broad statement

    Thats what I wandered. If they actually had 5w of thermal headroom available to go to 55w or if 50w was/is the practical max.

    I agree up till now Apple may not have felt the "need to match other manufacturers spec for spec." But I wasn't creating a strawman. In your argument I was also with you right up until the statement :

    I think you mean't "some sort of real" to mean : a high and significant amount (where real==significantly high)
    But it can also be read as : some==any and real==existing

    But I think down that road there be dragons. (i.e arguing about words and not what we know to be the meaning of the others argument). I get what you mean from your clarification ; apple don't feel the need to match "spec for spec." However, I think the idea that Apples rMBP is immune to competition is not the case. I think they just haven't had any direct competition. Year on year people say look at manufacturer X their GPU/CPU is much better than apples etc etc However, when you take it as a package

    Thin and light
    high quality build
    high quality glass trackpad
    good battery life
    retina screen
    fast SSD
    mid level GPU
    high end CPU (i7)

    Other manufacturers have not matched up. But with the Dell XPS and the Razer 14 they tick most of the boxes. (Although style wise and build quality they are still not quite there). However, matching something so desirable is not enough. It has to have better specs than a rMBP to be a significant challenge. I'd say Apples advantage is just like the VW Golf. See here :

    The gist being : Even if another manufacturer equals your product if they were copying you in the first place people still want the original.

    The tipping point though is what happens if Dell come out with all the qualities listed above and its significantly better than a rMBP?
  25. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Sorry to say but 860m is out of the question.

    While GM107 is much more efficient than GK107 it also runs close to double the performance while efficiency is not 100% more.

    GM 107 at max consumes a good bit more than GK 107 and an 860m is GM 107 at max.

    90W under 3dmark 06

    This is roughly equal to a 765m


    62W gaming is far higher than the 750m. Its using about 50% more power for 200% the performance.

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