To aftermarket accessory makers: here's how to fix the MBPR

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bhtooefr, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. bhtooefr, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    bhtooefr macrumors regular

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    #1
    Do things the Seidio way.

    Basically, make a new bottom cover for the MBPR, made from aluminum billet, with a different taper, so that the MBPR sits ~10 mm taller. (Edit: Nope, not extremely thin. I fail at math, clearly. It's thicker than the MBP if you do this.)

    Put two things in that bottom cover.

    The first thing is screwholes for a 2.5" HDD, and a SATA connector with cabling to go to the SSD slot on the motherboard.

    The second thing... big-ass battery. And I mean huge. I think you could get 12 cells with the same capacity per cell as stock, or 6 double-capacity cells, without even trying too hard. Then, either screw this into your bottom cover, or make a retaining strap of sorts to screw it to the unibody, then screw your bottom cover to the retaining strap instead of the unibody.

    Sell the bottom cover with SATA connector+cabling only for $100-150.

    Sell the big ass battery for $250, and offer a bottom cover, SATA connector+cabling, and big ass battery for $300-350. Add another $50 a service where you can send your MBPR in for careful removal of the old battery.

    Any accessory maker that wants this idea, it's yours, for free, and it fixes every problem but ethernet (you've got space to do it, but the ways to do it are ugly and hackish), optical drive (you could actually fix that, but it's also ugly and hackish), and RAM (no way to do that).
     
  2. Vexed macrumors member

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    Jun 1, 2012
    #2
    Other than the Retina display, this pretty much defeats the appeal of the thing - size. While people are buying it for that display, I don't know of that many people that are buying it only for that.

    And at the point that size is no longer an issue, you would save a substantial amount of money just buying a non-Retina MBP instead of buying retina and slapping some extended accessory on the bottom.
     
  3. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Skipping to the important bits. Now, never mind why this is a horrible idea imho:
    1. Make the system less responsive? No thanks. Having used SSDs as my desktop's boot drive, going back to HDDs - even with the best VelociRaptors - would feel like trying to live without electricity.

    2. More battery power = greater fire hazard, heavier.

    3. Basically a super-expensive (with the usual Apple-friendly retail markups) custom modification that voids AppleCare to alleviate what you perceive as current RMBP disadvantages? No thanks.
     
  4. bhtooefr, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    bhtooefr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Actually, I'm only saying to add 10 mm to it. Basically, you'd be going from 1.8 to 1.9 cm thick. (Edit: From 1.8 to 2.8, actually, because I fail at math.)

    Compare to 2.4 cm thick for the non-Retina.

    Weight may be up in old MBP territory with a bigger battery.

    In any case, as far as the battery goes, looks like double capacity is impractical due to TSA regulations. (Would put it at 190 Wh, and 160 is the max.) So, at a 160 Wh battery, you're looking at 11:45 battery life based on Apple's claims, and it'd be serviceable in the future.

    As for the 2.5" bay... you don't HAVE to put spinning platters in there, although some people certainly will. It also makes SSD upgrades cheaper, and if you do a workload that wears out SSDs, you can replace them much more easily.
     
  5. MacReloaded macrumors 6502

    MacReloaded

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    #5
    10 mm = 1 cm
     
  6. bhtooefr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Ah, damnit, herp derp. You're right.

    So, 2.8 cm. Hmm. That is thicker.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #7
    Boy am I lost ... and was lost at the term "MBPR." You ok OP?
     
  8. Surely Guest

    Surely

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  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #9
    It sounds more like a good way to trash a MBP-RD. If the current design doesn't meet your needs, buy something else. I think it's fine the way it is.

    Need more storage? Buy an external drive.
    Not enough battery power? Plug it in to AC.
    Need ethernet? Buy one of these.
     
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #10
    Always with the answers!

    Need to make your portable less portable? Here, hook **** up to it! :p

    You know we lurv you GGJCJC
     
  11. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    SSDs don't need to be 2.5" 9.5mm-height. If you ever open up one of them you'll see a lot of empty space for the sake of backwards-compatibility with existing 2.5" 9.5mm-height drive slots.

    SSDs don't need the 2.5" size to retain SATA3 performance, either.

    If you do a workload that wears out SSDs, you should be using enterprise-oriented SSDs i.e. Intel 710. Or you can buy a large SSD and use less than 100% of its available capacity.
     
  12. bhtooefr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    MBPR == MacBook Pro Retina.

    Anyway, I've thought of another way to do it, although it would mandate battery replacement.

    Only go 5 mm (0.5 cm) thicker (wouldn't need to be that thick, except for preserving battery capacity), and rearrange the battery. Put the HDD/SSD in the battery recess, and make the battery cells smaller as far as width and depth, but thicker, to maintain capacity.

    Then, you would be a little thinner than a normal MBP.

    More could be done by mandating that your drive be 7.5 mm thick, instead of 9.5, but that reduces the commodity drive appeal.

    Also, the reason for picking 2.5" is to give options. Sure, there's plenty of 1.8" SSDs, but if you really, really want spinning platters, they're an option with 2.5" 9.5 mm, and there's plenty of 2.5" 9.5 mm SSDs on the market, too.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    The difference is that you keep the portability, hooking up things only when they're needed, rather than adding to the bulk of the MBP.
     
  14. bhtooefr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Because, you know, adding 1 cm of thickness and a pound or so of weight to the MBPR will make it so not portable. ;) (I'd be more inclined to agree if that were added to the older MBP design, but...)

    Oh, and the older MBP design is on its way out - they even called the Retina one the "Next-Generation MacBook Pro", after all. So, let's say when Haswell comes out, if you want something the size of the older MBP, you're SOL unless you go to the Windows laptop makers. (Or unless Apple backpedals on this, which I really, REALLY doubt.)

    And, if I always need to hook a bunch of things up... a large external drive, a Thunderbolt ethernet adapter, etc., etc. is actually a lot more of a pain to haul than a slightly thicker laptop that has it all in there. (Granted, I don't actually care about the ethernet that much, or the optical drive, or even the battery capacity (the serviceability is an issue though), but I was just expressing a convenient way to solve the problems that it has, and as a side effect, it let you put an amazingly huge battery in to use up the space that would otherwise be empty.)

    I'll be buying a MBPR because it is the best machine for my needs at this time, primarily due to the screen. See my sig for what I'm running now - until Monday, that was the best machine in the world for my needs that actually existed, and I had to build that thing from parts from multiple models of ThinkPad. But, the MBPR isn't perfect, and there are flaws that can be fixed by the aftermarket.
     
  15. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    There is no single accepted shorthand for MacBook Pro with Retina Display. You call it MBPR, I call it RMBP, it's the same thing.

    There are no 2.5" 7.5mm-height drives, only 2.5" 7.0mm-height.

    If you really need a 2.5" drive option, buy the non-Retina MBP and use the money saved to buy a TB Display, problem solved.
     
  16. bhtooefr thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I don't NEED a 2.5" drive option, I'd just like one. Note that I said I'm buying the thing, as it is, anyway.

    And, I already have something better than a TB display (an IBM T221), but... I want something on the laptop itself that's at least 2048x1536 and is IPS (which is what I have now), which means... the only computer in current production that meets those needs is the MBPR.

    Otherwise, I'd probably get a Precision M4600, as for my needs, except for the display, that machine is better in every way. Yes, it's quite bulky and has mediocre battery life, but those are lower on my priority list. But, it's extremely serviceable (to the point that even the GPU and CPU can be replaced at will, without a motherboard swap), warranty options are better than AppleCare for my needs, and I like the pointing device options better (I prefer pointing sticks, although Apple's trackpad implementations being excellent makes up for that somewhat). But, the best they can do on the screen is 1920x1080 IPS, which means they don't get a sale to me, Apple does.
     
  17. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #17
    Hm, that sounds interesting, though it can be done in a more elegant way -
    Take out the original battery, put 2x HDDs in that area to utilize height more efficiently, and use thin but huge battery to cover the entire laptop.
    That probably won't work due to battery overheating in the area close to CPU, GPU and heatsinks. Should add 5mm or so.

    P.S. here's another even more simple and elegant solution - put a regular SATA -> apple connector cable and a simple braket on the bottom cover to accommodate 2.5" SSD without enclosure. Probably not worth it, but may be useful for someone with an old SSD or uncontrollable upgrade urge :)
     
  18. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

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    #18
    So since you personally don't need more space, it is a horrible idea for anyone anywhere to sell slower but larger media even as an option, got it.

    You're quite right. It is insulting to the user that the MBPR comes with as much battery as it does. They should have removed batteries until it had an hour of battery life, tops. ... Either that, or maybe, just maybe, there could exist circumstances under which battery life is important enough for people to accept some amount of weight or alleged fire hazard.
     
  19. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #19
    How about this?
    Make the cover add 8mm to the laptop
    then you have room for a 7mm SSD... with 1 mm to spare for non conforming drives...

    Then add a big battery (as big as possible)..

    Still not an economic solution though...
     
  20. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #20
    Well, one doesn't simply make a workstation out of the ultraportable all-in-one kind of laptop, but if the cooling system in MBPR is adequate (and I'm pretty sure it is) then it may be worth trying. Let's see what thunderbolt is all about, it may end up as a good standard for external desk-based dock stations to somehow make up for the lack of straight connectivity. Imagine a box with the size of 2-3 Mac-minis with:

    - a slot for a high-end sound card
    - 2x 3.5" HDDs
    - a bunch of ports on the front panel
    - extra TB input for a full-size graphics card
    etc.
     
  21. bobcan macrumors 6502a

    bobcan

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    #21
    ... how to fix the MBPR ..


    Yup.. That's a bout it.. Really..

    = = = = = = = =

    So.. RE: ".. how to fix the MBPR .. " :apple:

    Haha.. Hahahahaaaa.. :D

    INDEED.. it has been 'out' ONE day and it needs 'fixing'.. Good Thing that Apple hasn't spent any time, or money, on this pathetic-tool of a machine previous to its release.. :rolleyes:

    Too Bad.. IF they had ANY Good People and Engineers imagine what they might come up with.. Geeezzz.. :p


    :)
     
  22. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #22
    The tension on the screws if you added extra thickness would not be within tolerance. You'd have to have longer screws with a short bite to screw into the existing mounts, in-short the machine is not engineered for a bottom plate any thicker than currently on the machine.

    The batteries in this machine are glued all over, ifixit tried to remove it during their teardown and couldn't for fear of penetrating the plastic.

    Last of all 'Cool story bro'
     
  23. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

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    #23
    Oh, it's a lovely machine. It's an excellent upgrade from the old MacBook line.

    It's just that it's not meaningfully a "pro" machine. Here's how you can tell: In most of the threads in which people point out things they want that it doesn't have, the response from the fanboys is "oh, who cares, most consumers don't need that, that's just a feature for professionals."

    All the skill in the world cannot make a product contrary to its design. If the design people say "make it thin, no matter what you have to lose to do it", then the engineers will make it thin, no matter what they have to lose to do it.
     
  24. Artagra macrumors member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    #24
    I've always thought Apple or a third party should do something along these lines. Either by making a replacement bottom panel, or by making a larger battery that takes up the Battery + Optical drive (or even Battery + Optical drive + HDD space, only leaving a small gap for a MSATA adapter + Drive) - that would give you a huge battery life, at an increased cost, but without sacrificing much.

    I also wish Apple offered lesser CPUs as build to order options - personally, a Retina Macbook Pro with a Dual Core 17w/35w or Quad Core 35w CPU would be very attractive to me - I would easily trade some CPU performance for battery life. I understand the business / economic reasons they don't do this, but I wish they would!
     
  25. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2011
    #25
    No thanks.

    I'd rather a hyper juice battery and a thunderbolt external anyway. So I could use the small machine as is and then when I needed the extra battery or space use the externals.
     

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