Why no quad core 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cayden, Dec 19, 2015.

?

Do you want a quad-core 13" rMBP?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Quad, what?

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  1. Cayden macrumors 6502a

    Cayden

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    I've always liked the 13" MacBook Pro more than the 15". It's far more portable and it just seems to fit my needs in size, and whenever I need a bigger screen I can just dock it with an external monitor. My only issue is that I'd like the quad core i7 and updated graphics cards. Why is Apple not allowing for a more powerful 13" just due to the size preference?
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    Thermal design.

    The chassis and cooling system cannot accommodate a processor that has a higher TDP than what's already in there. I believe the 13" has a 28W TDP dual core. AFAIK, intel does not manufacture a quad core processor with such low heat output.

    So no, it's not just because of size. It's because it's just not possible in that particular chassis and cooling system setup. The machine would constantly overheat and become unusable at that point.
     
  3. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    As snaky69 said, it's because Intel doesn't make a quad core chip with a low enough TDP that will allow Apple to increase the power without sacrificing battery life or chassis design.
     
  4. stevemiller macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #4
    I'm sure the reasoning provided so far is correct, but it does kind of suck that in the almost 5 years since they crammed quad core into the 15", and all the miniaturization and efficiency improvements driven by the mobile space, they still haven't cracked this one.
     
  5. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #5
    never say never. i remember lots of instances on forums (like this one) where users bemoaned something missing in an apple macbook/powerbook...and then, a version or 2 later...we got it. :cool:
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    This is not something that is likely to change. Intel is already running into significant limitations in reducing power consumption further in their chips so it's not like some big breakthrough is on the horizon. Further, few people really need a laptop, especially an extremely portable laptop, with a quad core, 45w chip. The few people who do can step up to the 15" MBP and it's not like it's a huge difference in size and weight to do so if you really have the need for that kind of power.

    Keep in mind that the VAST majority of laptop computers sold in the past 5 years or so use 15w U-series chips like those in the Macbook Air. The 13" MBP is already somewhat abnormally overpowered for its size and weight compared to the competition.
     
  7. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #7
    It's not only Apple who are up against the limits. The highly-rated and expensive Dell XPS 13 with i7 is dual-core. We are on a plateau of mobile processor power, and I wouldn't want constant intrusive fan noise for the sake of CPU grunt I don't need.
     
  8. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #8
    zhenya, you're probably right. but i remember, my first 13" macbook didn't have firewire, and the mac community raised an uproar. a lot of people believed it could never happen, there just was no way such a port would fit. next iteration: a firewire port.

    am not expecting to see a quad core 13" macbook pro, but am not ruling anything out. apple, if nothing else, makes things happen that surprise/annoy/confound us, all the time...
     
  9. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #9
    I have a 14" that has a quad and discrete graphics but it's probably 3 times as thick as the 13" rMBP. You have to take the good with the bad if you want thin and light then you have to give on processor.
     
  10. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #10
    quad core 13" rMBP would look something like this
    [​IMG]
     
  11. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
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    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #11
    so wait...is that it? the new 2016 quad-core 13" macbook pro? love it, can't wait to carry it around in my backpack... :D
     
  12. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #12
    I was debating if I should have gone with the 15" for just the quad core, but stuck with a 13" Retina Macbook pro. I like the size and portability of it.
     
  13. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #13
    i loved my previous 13" macbook pro (late 2011), the 2015 one is much better. thinner, lighter, faster. brighter. it's an amazing machine. and i can do my work (logic X) on it without the stalls & hiccups my previous mbp experienced.
     
  14. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    #14
    I genuinely prefer the 13" size for carrying in my backpack everyday, and when i bought my MBP 2 years ago I debated the same thing. Should I sacrifice portability for power? I tried a 15" MBP back in 2008 and I sold it after less than 6 months. It is simply too big for me to lug around everyday (I usually bike 20+ km everyday with this thing). So I decided to like with the compromise of the lower power for portability. And I am glad I did. If they would offer a quad core 13" MBP I would probably upgrade. If not (which it seems like is the case) I will stick with my current one :)
     
  15. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #15
    Yup agreed. I have the base model 13 inch 2015 macbook pro and it's done everything I could have asked for with ease so far.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    Mostly because they don't want too, I'm sure if it was important to their strategy, they would have done so. I think overall, the low end machines, like the 13" MBP and Mac Mini will always be dual core at this point.
     
  17. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

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    Location:
    Cincinnati
    #17
    I STILL want my PowerBook G5, dammit!
     
  18. Cayden thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cayden

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Utah
    #18
    These points make sense, especially the heat issue. I still wish I could get a machine running a quad core in the 13" form factor. I use my MacBook for audio editing and recording using Logic Pro X, and just wished I could have a machine that would bounce the exports faster. I have gone to the Apple Store and bouncing a 4 minute song takes seconds while my MacBook takes a minute or two. The other issue is having multiple audio fx open at the same time, lagging definitely occurs. It is likely it'll never happen due to Intel, but I'd still love that kind of machine
     
  19. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #19
    i gotta say, on my new 2015 13" (i7), am having none of the problems i had on my 2011 macbook pro. and bounces are pretty fast. but seriously, if they take a minute or two...that sounds pretty reasonable. and as for the audio fx...

    one trick that helped me enormously on my previous mbp: turn off wifi. reboot. open ONLY logic X, and go back to work. see if that helps... are you on LX 10.2? and what OS version??
     
  20. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #20
    I believe a new PowerBook would only be able to run 10.5.8 so it's unlikely apple will release one in the near term.
     
  21. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

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    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #21
    :confused:
     
  22. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #22
    The only thing that would work for the 13 MBP is Intels newer fanless chips.

    Google: Intel Core M
     
  23. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #23
    None of the currently available Core M processors are quad core.
     
  24. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #24
    It is certainly possible to have a quad core CPU in a 13" chassis, but it would mean significantly reducing the battery size to accommodate for the cooling system. it wouldn't make for a good portable.

    BTW, the main reason why Intel does not offer quad core CPUs at low TDP is because at those power levels they do not offer any substantial performance improvements over dual core CPUs. Remember that multi-core CPU is essentially cheating. We only make them because we hit diminishing returns with singe-core designs. Multi-core helps avoid these diminishing returns but does so at a cost if severely increased complexity and overhead. When the thermal output us constrained, the need for cheating becomes less important.
     
  25. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    #25
    It's sad... but I believe the reason is pure economics. People who want the Quad are forced to go up to the higher priced 15". For some reason, they always price their models to rarely overlap performance-wise in order to push the users to the pricier models.

    Another example of this is the Mac mini, which no longer sells a quad-core configuration. Or the iMac 21.5" that doesn't offer certain features, like RAM upgradeability only exists in the 27".
     

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