What Are You Expecting for the MacBook Pros Late 2011/Early 2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rekhyt, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    What are you expecting for the next MacBook Pros (15"/17") in late 2011/early 2012? I've decided to hold out even though I am really tempted right now to purchase a new MacBook Pro (Currently have the late 2008 one), but I remember the people on MR who had said that my MacBook Pro would be 'future proof'

    (In a way-works perfectly right now, but it is ancient now compared to the new MacBook Pros. However, I do feel really sorry for a guy who recently purchased his i7 MacBook Pro 15" in September, just to see that his new MacBook Pro is now under the current 13" ones.)

    What are you hoping for?
    • Better graphics card?
    • New design?
    • Mini SSD/flash memory for boot drive?
    • Lighter?
    • Even better battery life?
    • ...
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    This is quite obvious. Same thing with the CPUs.

    This is possible.

    I would expect this when MBPs get a redesign.

    Maybe little but not significantly. Must leave some market for the MBA ;)

    Probably yes. At least a bit.

    Ivy Bridge CPUs, AMD 7000M-series graphics, USB 3.0
  3. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Better GPU? 2012 - sure, 2011 - highly unlikely
    New Design? 2012 - quite possibly, 2011 - don't see it happening
    SSDs? Along with the redesign, it requires quite a reconfiguration of the internals which I don't see happening with the current design, not much point

    You'll probably get a modest clock speed bump this year. Ivy Bridge next year will go to a smaller manufacturing process so the CPUs will be cooler and use less power, will clock higher and quad core should trickle down in the lower models. The integrated GPU will also get a boost in the number of execution units and a clock speed boost.
  4. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
  5. Mikey7c8 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I think the mSATA boot drive is likely and USB3 are both likely. Would like to see the Hi-Res screen of the 13" MBA moved over, at least as an option.
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    Although it won't happen, I would like a blu-ray drive. Just saying it hoping it will come (although it likely will never happen).
  7. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    Doubt USB3. Apple's pushing Thunderbolt.
    They might stick a couple of USB2 ports in there just for compatibility issues, but I don't think they'd want to pay new licensing fees for USB3.

    Thunderbolt > *, ports
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    USB 3.0 will be included in Intel's 7-series chipsets.
  9. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Who ever told you this tried to sell you snake oil. There's no such thing as "future proof". But I'll address your concerns one by one.

    Most notably, the refresh is going to be in early 2012. For the last 3 or so refreshes, it's mostly followed an update to Intel's CPUs which they unveil at CES. There's no point in updating before then.

    1) Graphics card - Last 2 refreshes have had updates. This one probably will to.
    2) New design - What exactly is better that machined aluminum? What is considered a "new design"? Removing the ODD? Being thinner? I should point out to people that the previous design lasted from 2003-2008. Designs aren't just updated on a whim, but because there's something actually better out there. We'll see what comes along.
    3) Mini SSD - I predict they'll just go mini-SSD only like the MacBook Air, ditch the ODD, ditch the hard drive space, and stick in a HUGE battery.
    4) Lighter - Doubtful. Any space gained from ditching old components will be replaced by battery, and it's the densest thing in the laptop.
    5) Better battery life - always. Real world performance will vary. Don't expect 7 hrs playing Crysis or something.

    Lastly, the MBP is not going to pull an MacBook Air and become thinner unless it gets rid of the ODD and hard drive slot. Those are the main components dictating the thickness of the laptop, and they can't make it thinner "just because it's cool". Anyone opening up a MacBook Pro has seen how tight all of the components are.

    Unless you're looking at the 13", I'd buy now. The 13" has a weak integrated Intel GPU that will be improved in Ivy Bridge (2012) compared to Sandy Bridge (2011).

    My 2 cents.
  10. Roman2K~, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    (Sorry for digging up a 16 days-old thread.)


    I never liked Sandy Bridge processors, with their locked multipliers on non-K series, having to choose between overclocking (P67) and IGP + appealing QuickSync Video (H67), plus the SATAII flaw. All that tarnished what is otherwise a great improvement over previous generations, in both instructions per clock-cycle and IGP speed.

    To me, Ivy Bridge is going to be SB done right: the fixed, clean, polished version.

    Given that Apple was among the first manufacturers to integrate SB, they're very likely to be first with IB too. From early rumors, the release date of Ivy Bridge processors (late 2011) seems to coincide with the expected one of MacBook Pros (early 2011 => late 2011). That would be perfect. The late 2011 MBPs would be the ultimate one to get.

    Optical Drive:

    Obviously, no internal Blu-Ray drive. If they wanted to do it, it would have be done it by now.

    Judging by the success of MacBook Airs, which don't have the usual DVD SuperDrive, I think Apple may conclude that optical drives don't matter that much anymore nowadays, media consumption happening primarily over the Internet. For those who want a Blu-Ray / DVD reader / writer, there's the external drive option.

    Best case scenario, that will make room for an additional 2.5" drives (SSD + HDD), while still giving some room for additional space for the battery.


    Just like now, the 13" will be limited to the IGP. 15" and 17" will get a discrete, swichable GPU.

    Hopefully they will come back to nVidia.

    While Apple may have their say about Mac OS drivers for AMD GPUs (or even write their own from the ground up), on other OSes it's a different story. A good example is the state of their XvBA library. I will let libva developer G. Beauchesne's quote explain it:
    Their drivers and libraries are just begging for an overhaul, or a complete rewrite. nVidia have defects of their own but at least they're consistent and careful in their driver updates.

    However, as Apple have invested money into AMD graphics processor and drivers, I fear they're going to keep those. Though if they write their own drivers, it's alright.


    There's only one thing that I can hope for: that they finally ground / shield / isolate the audio processing components / sound circuitry. The infamous audio jack hiss has been plaguing MacBooks for years now.

    The move to Ivy Bridge would be a chance to wipe the slate clean in the audio department and do it right for good.


    Those are my predictions / hopes. I am in the process of saving a big pile of money for this. Unless I change my mind by the time they come out, and if they deliver on the audio part at least, I will finally own a powerful MBP as my main computer. I predict the late 2011 is going to be an excellent one.
  11. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I regard this update as a performance update with the first Quads and the big jump from C2D to SB. The next refresh might focus on ergonomics.
    The highend 15" this time has a much higher maximum power draw. With the Die shrinks that will hopefully be better but I don't expect much more speed only an increase in GPU speed for the 15" with 28nm GPUs. Ivy Bridge on board GPU will not get a too significant boost that will drastically change how you can use it.
    Maybe a redesign adds to this and they built a more ergonomic case. hopefully no sharp edges and maybe slimmer or better more silent cooling, even better battery.
    The only thing that is more or less a given is a 22nm CPU (that runs cooler should increase battery life a little) and late 2011 the 28nm GPU shrink is scheduled, which probably means a significant jump in GPU number crunching power and possibly some new architectures. Since it will still be 128bit and GDDR5 it will not change the game but it should do for a good increase.
    The 22nm CPU won't do too much for speed as it will only be a little higher clocked and run a little cooler but generally still be a dual or Quad and basically the same architecture.

    Maybe 2012 will also be the year of hybrid SSD+HDD. In a 15" you will still need a big storage option as it should be a pro machine. Thus you cannot go the Air SSD router but if they do a redesign a hybrid solution would be great. I did hope for this in the 2011 refresh but I guess they didn't care enough about the MBP lineup to do a significant enough redesign. They lost focus on their good products with all their ipad, iphone toys.

    And yes better Audio would be great. I don't get why my MBP cannot do sound quality as good as my iphone and if that one couldn't hold a candle to my old trekstor mp3 player.
  12. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    -Better graphics are always welcome. I'd love to see a highend 1.5gb card.

    -Don't really care about the design. It's nice as it is, so I don't want Apple to try and profit on that part.

    -Mini SSD... what a waste of SSD. Right now even the 128 SSD is too small for my own use. I guess a lot of "common" people will be happy with something like 60gb.

    - Lighter, sure why not. Is liquid metal lighter than aluminium?

    - Better battery life. Hm... why not. But I wouldn't expect more than like an hour more or so, seeing how they went down on the early 2011.

    What I would like to see beyond that is fitting all the ports with one more thunderbolt port, and then the rest should be the 2nd fastest (can't remember what that is atm), and one more port than available now in the 15".

    Get rid of the Superdrive, and offer it as a cheap sidekick to an mbp purchase... with thunderbolt compatibility ofcourse.

    Include the option to outfit the 15" with a high capacity 7200rpm drive, so I wont have to buy that one the side like I do with the early 2011.

    Dump the prices on SSDs please, they've been around long enough.

    Oh... and the whole... "let's make the choices 2.0, 2.2 and 2.3"... **** that :) After reading enough about how negligible the performance increase is I WANT to see a bigger difference in those cpus.
    I reckon the following options would be fair next year:
    2.2 as base
    2.5 as 2nd to best
    and a proper jump to
    3.0 on best configuration.

    That's about it :) I could be content with that.
  13. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    late 2011's will likely not see a GPU bump. 2012's sure.

    tbh, the 2011's don't need a GPU bump.
  14. Looon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
  15. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Late 2011 I expect a little spec bumps, 2012 I expect full redesign.
  16. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What will it improve? OCing will still be limited to K-series CPUs. Z68 should be out in the next quarter and it will let you OC and use the IGP.

    See your source again. It says ships in Q1 2012. Intel will most likely do what they have done before, release Ivy Bridge in CES 2012. I don't see why would they change that. Production will start in Q4 2011 so that is why some sites say 2011.

    BTW, that source is also wrong. IB's IGP will have 16 EUs, not 24, unfortunately.

    AMD provides superior mobile GPUs compared to NVidia in terms of performance per watt.

    To be honest, I doubt there is going to be late 2011 MBP. There isn't much point in updating the CPUs with 100MHz higher clock speed and leave everything else unchanged. I hope Apple rather waits for IB and AMD 7000M-series graphics and gives the MBP another great update instead of a tiny one.
  17. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Similar speeds (or minimal increase) but less heat.
  18. Roman2K~, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

    Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    I don't really mind that OC is limited to K series. What's annoying is the IGP not being usable, at least for its QuickSync Video, with the P67 chipset. Even then with H67, you can't have a discrete GPU and still use QuickSync Video (at least not without tricks from Lucid). Z68 will be a welcome improvement in that regard.

    OK. It said "launch" in Q4 2011, "serious volume shipments" in Q1 2012. One could hope Apple would get the first batches following the "launch" :D.

    The source is just a rumor, one dating from way back at that (late October 2010), so it's not surprising that it was wrong.

    Not sure that's still the case with the GTX 500 series, even against AMD's 6000 series. Even then, I would rather have inferior performance but properly coded, quality drivers making for fully usable GPU rather than the most efficient GPU by a tiny margin, but underutilized, unusable under certain OSes, and with unstable drivers, sometimes introducing more bugs than improvements.

    I should note that the above may not apply to GPUs in Apple's notebooks since they're likely to be polishing / rewriting AMD's drivers, optimizing them for Mac OS X. I'm talking more about what I experienced on Windows and Linux. Hopefully that won't translate in Apple's machines.
  19. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Fermis are like hot stoves. NVidia GT 540M would be somehow comparable to AMD 6750M in terms of TDP but even though it has 5W higher TDP, it's slower. Drivers is a moot point because it's hard to say what brand has better OS X drivers. I wouldn't say NVidia drivers have been great.
  20. Inside_line macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2005

    They can go to IPS displays....

    They can offer to give resolution option of 1440x900 on the 13"....

    They can offer AG on the 13"....

    They should put a GPU in the 13" but I doubt it.
  21. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    OK, that's good to know, thanks. That would explain the switch to AMD then.
  22. smugDrew macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    in a dwelling
    Waiting for a late 2011 (Hopefully by November) MBP update too.

    Honestly really disappointed with the 13" MBP Display, everything else is good.

    So what are the chances of a late 2011 refresh? Judging by the past MBP update schedules - it seems really likely to me - perhaps even in time for OS X Lion?
  23. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    For the 13"

    ODD out, 2.5" HD out

    blade SSD in, discrete gpu in, IPS screen with MBA res
  24. smugDrew macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    in a dwelling
    Agreed, the resolution on the 13" MBP is very pedestrian for a MBP, even the MBA has a higher resolution panel...
  25. mac00l macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    I would expect the usual performance bumps.

    Design wise, unibody is nearly perfect, I don't expect any drastic changes in the next years. But I would love that MBPs had a scratch-resistant glass cover at least in the hand rest area, something resembling Iphone4 design. That way youll have the sturdiness and resistance from Aluminum, and the smoothness, ease of cleaning, and protection from glass.

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