Why would new 2016 MBP NOT ship with Xeon?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by triumph71, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. triumph71 macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2014
    Assuming we are going to see new MBPs this fall, can someone please explain to me why Apple would NOT ship them with Xeon mobile processors?

    From my quick look over the intel Ark site, and comparing the top-o-the-range Core i7-6970HQ with the Xeon E3-1515Mv5 processor, they appear to share many traits:

    • 2.8 Ghz base and 3.7 Ghz turbo
    • TCP of 45W
    • FCBGA1440 socket
    • Support for DDR4-2133
    • 4 cores and 8 threads
    Comparison: http://ark.intel.com/compare/93336,93358

    The primary difference is that the i7 has a Iris Pro Graphics 580, while the Xeon has Iris Pro Graphics P580. The P looking like an extra "pro" moniker.

    Everything else is nearly identical except the Xeon just has more workstation features like support for ECC memory, vPro, TSX-NI, Intel 64, Flex Memory Access, Trusted Execution Technology, etc.

    The big difference is that the i7-6970HQ has a recommended customer price of $623, while the Xeon E3-1515Mv5 is listed at $489.

    The Xeon is $134 cheaper than the i7!

    BTW, the next step up in mobile Xeons, the E3-1535MV5, is listed at exactly the same $623 as the 6970HQ, but has a 2.9 Ghz base, and a 3.8 Ghz turbo, but only has P530 graphics, making the 1515Mv5 a better option IMHO.

    Comparison: http://ark.intel.com/compare/89610,93336,93358
  2. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Because Apple might choose not to ship it with the Xeon.
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    "Why would new 2016 MBP NOT ship with Xeon?"

    IMHO Apple doesn't see their laptop offerings as workstations. I just dropped $5k on two Dell workstation laptops a couple of weeks ago with Xeon processors and 32GB RAM for my company, REALLY nice PCs - I just don't see Apple getting into this game, or I would have spent that money on two shiny rMBPs instead... :oops:
  4. triumph71 thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2014
    Why don't you see it? The Mac Pro has Xeons.. It's a Pro machine. The MBP is a portable Pro machine, intended for professional users, but up until this past year, a mobile xeon didn't exist. Now it does, and from all metrics I can see, it's equivalent to the top of the line mobile i7, and it's actually the cheaper option :)
  5. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Xeons are new on the block, so its certainly not impossible. However, Apple has never put mobile quadro or FirePro GPUs in the rMBP so I'm not holding my breath.

    I suspect that reason for the lack of professional grade GPU is that unlike the Mac Pro, a lot of consumers buy the rMBP, including the 15".

    What Apple should do is come out with a 14-16" Retina MacBook with a 15W-28W i5 or i7 for $1499 then start putting Xeons in the MacBook Pros. It's kind of ridiculous that you have to pay $2000 just get a decent sized 15" Mac laptop.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There is no technical reason not to, but I don't see it.
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Tend to agree, Apple is pricing itself out of the consumer market and at the same time retreating from the "professional" market. 15" MBP is a powerful notebook, equally not a portable workstation. If Apple was to offer a Xeon option these days it would be more likely related to marketing than technical prowess. Same as others, possible, equally not likely.

  8. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Sep 29, 2014
    Especially when the hardware is 3 years old
  9. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Apple has data on what their user do with their rMBPs. I am sure if they thought the needed Xeon processors they would include them. But, it seems most people are just fine with the i7 level that is in the 15" rMBP. It is a good compromise between heat generation, power consumption, battery life, and cost.
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Personally, and as a small business owner, much of the SW that would take advantage of a Xeon mobile processor doesn't exist on a Mac and none of that SW we use on Windows uses AMD processors - Quadro GPUs are where it's at, and Apple's pretty much locked down driver extensions. There's lots of nice SW available for OS X, and some unique software that I use everyday that runs only on a Mac.

    I'll counter you a bit, respectfully - read up on the Mac Pro forum here, and you'll read posts by plenty of frustrated MP owners about the languishing hardware platform, etc., et al, ad nauseum. I like my rMBP, but I have to turn to to a Dell laptop with 32GB of RAM and a Quadro GPU to get some real work done in my industry and be billable. And, I do use my Mac to run Win 10 in Parallels to VPN into my Win desktop while I'm on the road, also to get some billable work done.

    Honestly, I'm secretly hoping that Apple's taking its time to get it right - there's too much going on right now with new chips, USB-C ports, and new GPUs. I'm still waiting, having until the end of this FY to buy more stuff, but I'm laying out my budget next month - as are most of my friends who own small companies. We're small beans, though - schools and the IBMs out there are where its at. If a rMBP with a Xeon hit the street tomorrow, yeah, I'd buy one - maybe Apple's bought a few of the same 5510s residing in my office, and they're waiting to see if you can cook breakfast on them before going that route themselves? FWIW, the 5510 with the Xeon is a nice PC and it runs pretty cool, but it's still Windows.... :p
  11. triumph71 thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2014
    Of course the CPU is only a small part of the total package. I'm writing this on my aged 2008 Mac Pro (only has USB2!!!), and i'm only entertaining the idea of switching to a rMBP for my primary machine based on the ability of said laptop being able to drive two 4k displays, quality display, speedy drives, speedy memory, thin and lightweight, lots of fast ports etc. I do also follow the Mac Pro forum, and have been waiting for a 2nd gen NMP which has yet to materialize. I also run my own business and it's 100% mac-based. My newest machine is a 2013 MBA, but am not-so-patiently waiting to upgrade them all to modern versions if only Apple would be so kind to release something worth upgrading to.

    Regarding the CPU for rMBP question however, the Xeon E3-1515Mv5 is effectively the exact same silicon as the Core i7-6970HQ just with a few options enabled. It runs with the same thermal envelope etc. So it won't run hotter than the i7 version.

    i think the key thing here is the Xeon is basically the same chip with the exact same features as the i7 (with a few extra things that won't likely be used) but is considerably cheaper! This really is no downside that I can see. It would make the MBP more prestigious sounding and allow for either a) greater profits for Apple b) a slightly cheaper overall price or c) better quality components/display.
  12. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I'm down with every bit here, and I don't get it either. The higher cost of the Dells we ordered were IMHO due to the larger M.2 SSD, Quadro GPU, and upgraded repair plan and definitely not the CPU. Most of what you wrote about desirability in a laptop I have in my late-2013 rMBP, but I'm wanting more as well to get me through the next few years! And, we're finding that the E3 is running several degrees cooler than the i7s we're still using - and we haven't updated most of the PCs to the Anniversary Update yet. Also, I'd love to pop for a couple of 2nd-Gen nMP units too. Grrr. Waiting here, too! Cheers!

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