What do Intel/AMD/nVidia product roadmaps meanfor future MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tuna, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. tuna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #1
    SO there are a lot of "future MBP speculation" threads but I'm very curious to hear from people who understand the product roadmaps from Intel, AMD, and nVidia, and have an idea of what their implications may be for future MBP models.

    I've had my iPhone for a while now and I'm in love. I'm interested in buying my first ever Mac computer, but I'm not happy with the current generation. I'm talking about the fact that Apple had to stick with the Core 2 in the 13" and is having to sacrifice battery life on the 15" due to the crappyness of the integrated Intel graphics.

    What in the real-world product roadmaps of these companies is likely to get Apple out of this dilemma? Is there going to be an nVidia integrated solution for Core iX? Are upcoming AMD CPUs confirmed to be radically more efficient with relatively strong AMD/ATI integrated graphics? (There have been a lot of rumors about high level Apple / AMD talks)

    I've read this Ars Technica article here:

    How Intel and AMD will make 2011 the year of the laptop

    But it unfortunately only glances about the details that I would like to know. The author concludes with:

    "for my money, a Sandy Bridge [Intel CPU/GPU chip] + discrete NVIDIA combo will be the premium mobile platform to beat next year, and I personally can't wait until it comes to the MacBook Air (my laptop of choice)."

    But I'm not satisfied with his speculation. He's relying on Intel's promises that Sandy Bridge's GPU will be much improved from the current Intel integrated graphics, which I have trouble believing, and he also for some reason believes that manufacturers will be able to fit discrete graphics in ultraportables.

    Does anyone here understand these product roadmaps better, or can maybe point me to articles with the same topics as the Ars article, but with better analysis?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    We don't have enough info about e.g. Sandy Bridge to make model specific speculations. There are no benchmarks available nor anything that would show how significant will the 2011 be.

    I would guess we will see quad core laptops in 2011 along with Sandy Bridge as there should be reasonably priced and specced CPUs available. Low-end and probably mid level MBPs will remain dual core though but what I've read, Sandy Bridge should provide better clock for clock, core for core performance so we'll anyway get a performance bump.

    As for GPUs, AMD is also moving towards IGPs and integrated mem controllers meaning that low-end laptops will likely use them as there is no space for dedicated GPU and it would raise the price. 15"ers will likely have dual GPU system with auto-switching like now so IGP is used when idling and when more power needed, the dedicated will kick off.

    Haven't read much about NVidia's new GPUs but I would expect them in late 2010 after the consumer level desktop GPUs are out. What they'll bring, is totally unknown for me

    AMD I would totally left out unless we get some more proofs about Apple moving towards AMD.
     
  3. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #3
    Was Apple not trying to do something significant by implementing CUDA support across their entire line? I thought that CUDA support was supposed to lead to wide implementation of GPU accerleration. I can imagine that for things like image/audio/video processing and disk burning that highly parallel GPUs could do those tasks much more efficiently while keeping CPU resources free.

    Yes, on Macs with discrete graphics the issue of the integrated Intel graphics is not quite as bad. But where do they go with integrated graphics-only Macs?

    I imagine that we'll find out relatively soon. There's no way that even Apple can sell Core 2 systems for the next year. In a few months you won't even be able to find them on the shelves, it will all be Core i3/5/7. And for good reason as they seem to be great CPUs.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    I haven't heard anything about CUDA support but it's NVidia only plus mobile GPUs aren't THAT fast so I doubt it would bring huge improvements. OS X already supports OpenCL which unleashes the power of GPUs but it's still pretty badly supported by software

    IGPs are fine for most people, only gamers actually whine about bad performance but Macs aren't for gamers. There are low-end dedicated GPUs which also fit fine in any Macs so it's up to Apple. Sandy Bridge should bring better IGPs and currently, they aren't even that bad, about as slow as 9400M.

    C2Ds are still great CPUs. Especially low-end iX CPUs i.e. Core i3s aren't much faster, only 10% or so. Even though the production of C2Ds will end in late 2010, it doesn't mean that we won't see them anymore. I'm fine with C2D and so are millions of others, the fuss about iXs are just killing them even though the gap isn't that huge
     
  5. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #5
    The only specific number I've heard is a 20% increased performance from Arrandale to dual-core Sandy Bridge-MB, but that's of limited usefulness because clock speeds weren't given.

    Given the rumored TDPs, I think that will only be the case if Apple disables the integrated GPU when the discrete GPU is active. Apple might pass on quad-core Sandy Bridge if they want CPU + IGP TDP to be 35 W max.

    There's an unconfirmed report that mobile GF108 (GF100 GF104 GF106 GF108 GF119) will have 96 SPs, 560/1120 clock, and 1600 MHz RAM on 128 bit bus. Rumors on GF104 and GTX 460 have been all over the place but it appears to be at least 1/2 of a GF100.

    I'm going to speculate on AMD now. Assuming AMD CPUs come to the Mac next year, I'm almost certain that Llano will be used in the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. I think quad-core is quite likely for the MacBook Pro and possibly the MacBook and Mac mini if prices are low enough. I think there will probably be a discrete GPU in a Llano MacBook Pro, but if Llano's GPU ends up powerful enough Apple might not use a discrete.
     
  6. tuna thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #6
    I'm under the impression that even the 9400M is faster than the current Intel GMA HD graphics, and that the 320M is a little faster than the 9400M. Thats what notebookchecke.net would have me believe.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Graphic-Cards.130.0.html

    And I really disagree that its only gamers who would have a legit complaint with terrible graphics performance. Apple has been trying to add a lot of 3d animations and complex visual effects to their interfaces. Their computers need to be able to run them smoothly while also playing video or whatever other tasks are likely. And yeah, I don't think its unreasonable that they should want a computer that will be able to boot up WoW, Half-Life 2, Starcraft 2, or whatever other games it is that don't even have very high system requirements and which tens of millions of people will be playing.
     
  7. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #7
    Correct me if I'm wrong but animation effects don't stress the GPU that much. At least not compared to games.
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #8
    I'm still waiting for more concrete information on the GF104.

    I'm seriously expecting Llano in future Macs. Both Intel and AMD are going to System on a Chip like solutions. AMD appears to be offering HD 55xx or slight more power on Llano's onboard IGP.

    I don't have much faith in Intel being able to provide an IGP solution with OpenCL and DirectCompute support.
     
  9. hypermog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    #9
    Ok let me make an argument here in defense of the current MBP 13". First, the 2010 MBP 13" has the best battery life of any Apple computer ever:

    [​IMG]

    That's pretty awesome. It's possible because C2D and the nvidia chipset are unusually mature for being in a still-viable part of their lifecycle.

    2. The 320M is not just a little faster than the 9400. It's over twice as fast in some benchmarks. Just look at this WoW benchmark from Anand's review:

    [​IMG]

    3. Anand states that "While Sandy Bridge (due out in 2011) will have much improved graphics performance, I don't believe it will have much of a compute focus." This has terrible implications for the MacBook Pro line. What it means is that Sandy Bridge could be barely faster than Arrandale in terms of CPU performance, while equal to the 330M in terms of integrated graphics performance.

    That's going to do nothing for the MBP. You'll be waiting around for Ivy Bridge in 2012 or later for a big boost in CPU & GPU performance (unless Nvidia wins their lawsuit with Intel, for which who knows what will happen...).

    4. You can upgrade the current 13" quite a bit. Get the 2.66 ghz version. Boost up to 8GB RAM. Throw in a superfast SSD. Your speed is going to be at least comparable to an i3 if not an i5 in some benchmarks.

    5. When something comes out in the future, you will have gripes with it no matter what.
     
  10. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #10
    Microarchitecture-wise, Westmere to Sandy Bridge is a larger jump than Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge. The major compute performance boost in Sandy Bridge is AVX. Ivy Bridge may be advantageous to computers like the MBP because it could have cooler quad-cores.
     

Share This Page