Tick vs Tock - buying a Mac based on Intel's delivery

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by addictive, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. addictive macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    I'm using a Macbook 2008 unibody, i've upgraded the internals to 8GB RAM and 256SSD. The display and battery life are the two parts of the laptop which see outdated.

    I'll buy a new Macbook Air/Pro in the future but I know I can keep using my current machine until then.

    My question is what have been most peoples experiences when considering a Mac purchase based on Intel's Tick Tock formula?

    Is the newer micro architecture e.g Haswell with its impressive battery life more of a driver and more important than lets say the performance in the Ivy Bridge shrink from Sandy Bridge? I am not comparing between Haswell vs Ivy Bridge.

    I'm considering whether to buy in 2015 a new Macbook with Broadwell (the shrink of Haswell) or wait until late 2015 but more likely 2016 for the new micro architecture Skylake.

    Thoughts and advice please.

    (taken from Wikipedia: "Tick-Tock" is a model adopted by chip manufacturer Intel Corporation since 2007 to follow every microarchitectural change with a die shrink of the process technology. Every "tick" is a shrinking of process technology of the previous microarchitecture (and sometimes introducing new instructions as with Broadwell) and every "tock" is a new microarchitecture.[1] Every year to 18 months, there is expected to be one tick or tock).
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't think people decide on Intel's Tick/Tock approach, but rather buy a laptop when they need it.

    FWIW, that approach isn't going to work too well, in 2015 Broadwell will finally hit the streets, and then 6 months later (supposedly) Skylake. Intel has said that skylake is not delayed so it may be a very short lifespan for Broadwell.
  3. addictive thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Most consumers don't decide on Tick/Tock but many people on this forum are at least aware of the Tick/Tock and many have probably made a purchasing decision based on Intel's delivery which is why i'm asking it here.

    I know Broadwell is mean to be followed closely by Skylake but given how many delays Intel has faced in recent years and the investment they've sunk into making Broadwell I can't see Broadwell having a very short lifespan. I'd not be surprised if Skylake came out in 2016.
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Like Mike suggested above, I wouldn't worry too much about improvements in processor speed/size/technology at this point. There are going to be continuous improvements in that area, until we get to quantum computing with transistors the size of one single molecule, and after that, who knows what.

    If you need a laptop right now, the right time is now. Sure, Skylake will more than likely give battery-life improvements, but what comes after Skylake will be even better, and it's a never ending cycle of catch up. Personally, I would be more inclined to wait for impending graphics improvements, if I knew they were just over the horizon, rather than a fairly small clock speed bump.

    It's hard to see how anyone with a healthy budget, in the market for a laptop, could go wrong with a very capable MBP with its gorgeous retina screen, 16Gigs of memory, up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash and two TB2 ports, especially the 15" model with discrete graphics.

    If on the other hand you think you're fine for now with what you've got, sure wait another year, and see what happens. By then you've certainly got your money's worth out of that '2008 unibody Macbook'. Best of Luck!

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