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The 2011 MBP refresh / buyers and owner's thread


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#1 of 161 Sam Posten

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Posted February 23 2011 - 02:52 AM

So yeah, the specs and a few spy shots have emerged on the refresh coming tomorrow morning.  The 13" looks neat but not a real massive overhaul.  i5 in a 13" is nice tho!

http://www.macrumors...as-thunderbolt/


No specs on the 15/17 yet tho!  That's what I'm waiting for...


Could this be liquidmetal???

http://forums.macrum...58#post11967458


Tomorrow is gonna be fun!


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#2 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 03:20 AM

I can't make sense of the 13" unit at all.   320GB 5400RPM combined with LightPeak, no USB3, an 8X DVDRW? No HDMI.  I mean, even if Apple is opposed to Bluray, I keep waiting for them to at least upgrade that.  And the weight -has- to be wrong.   4.5lbs? 

I mean, Sony and Dell are shipping their 13" books at sub 3.5lbs.  It should be interesting.  What will be the moments that get adopters outside of fanbois is the devices you can get on lightpeak.


And while they may view lightpeak as a future of sorts, most businesses will have projectors and items that take in HDMI... the ability to show a presentation for a business, or a home user with a projector for a family event is more likely to get a cheap projector with HDMI then not.. *shrug*


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#3 of 161 Sam Posten

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Posted February 23 2011 - 03:33 AM

I suspect we will see both LightPeak to USB3 and Lightpeak to HDMI adapters announced at the Intel press conference tomorrow, and also LightPeak hubs.


You guys know I'm easily excited by new tech, but I'm about bouncing off the walls here between my first new Apple computer and the iPad2 refresh next week.  I can imagine Nikon will have to announce the D700 replacement within a few days too, and I will be in the poorhouse.  I've been saving for a new laptop and camera for a while, it will be my luck they both hit the same time.


Also, remember Apple's strategy is usually to get some cool tech into the low cost units but it's always the middle of the available choices that you really want.  I suspect that the 13" we are seeing now is just a tease for the real temptations in the 15"s


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#4 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 23 2011 - 08:04 AM



Originally Posted by mattCR 

And while they may view lightpeak as a future of sorts, most businesses will have projectors and items that take in HDMI... the ability to show a presentation for a business, or a home user with a projector for a family event is more likely to get a cheap projector with HDMI then not.. *shrug*


Really? My modest experience in my sector, perhaps aberrant, is filled with businesses five years behind the tech curve. Projectors are VGA or DVI. HDMI is years away from appearing in the office where I'm at. I see HDMI being of interest for home use: an HDMI laptop would be a little  bit easier to connect to my TV than my DVI laptop.


Well, I guess my business sector remains behind the curve :)



#5 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 08:16 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 




Really? My modest experience in my sector, perhaps aberrant, is filled with businesses five years behind the tech curve. Projectors are VGA or DVI. HDMI is years away from appearing in the office where I'm at. I see HDMI being of interest for home use: an HDMI laptop would be a little  bit easier to connect to my TV than my DVI laptop.


Well, I guess my business sector remains behind the curve :)


Where you are at may be WAY behind the curve ;)   While older projectors are VGA, almost every hotel near by here, and definitely all the country clubs and convention halls adopted simple projectors with HDMI in, the reason being: you can grab an HDMI in projector for about $400 at Microcenter, and you know you can connect to what people bring in.   Most places figured out it was more hastle having their staff fool around with a projector then have it plug in and go, so you aren't wasting man hours.   ;)


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#6 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 23 2011 - 09:15 AM



Originally Posted by mattCR 


Where you are at may be WAY behind the curve ;)   While older projectors are VGA, almost every hotel near by here, and definitely all the country clubs and convention halls adopted simple projectors with HDMI in, the reason being: you can grab an HDMI in projector for about $400 at Microcenter, and you know you can connect to what people bring in.   Most places figured out it was more hastle having their staff fool around with a projector then have it plug in and go, so you aren't wasting man hours.   ;)

Yes, but first you need a committee and five years working the Futurization Plan, before you can go buy last year's technology for multi-site, corporate installation. I don't know what your crazy talk is, going out and affordably buying devices you need

Speaking of which, my coworker needs a new office PC. Is there something faster than the Pentium 4 he has, that I should recommend to him? Posted Image



#7 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 09:24 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 


Speaking of which, my coworker needs a new office PC. Is there something faster than the Pentium 4 he has, that I should recommend to him? Posted Image


Hah!   You know, I spend most of my time converting over a lot of offices.   Really popular right now are ultra-slim-ff.   I recognize the use of Macs, and this as a Mac forum, but way of the world, most offices are still server and PC based with apps to go with.   That having been said, the SFF is super popular.  AMD's new Zacate and Intel's upcoming SB-EV are both options that can use less then 35W total, be nice and damn fast, and so small they make your head spin.

http://www.engadget....x-ad03-blu-ray/


Is the big one, though most people are grabbing things like the $180 ION, and soon a cheap Zacate one just like it, which we're seeing at the $200 mark.   Thing is, faster then older dual core, dead quiet, almost no footprint, and easy to image


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#8 of 161 Southpaw

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Posted February 23 2011 - 10:13 AM

I'm most likely buying one of these new 13 inchers but I want SSD and better resolution that what was leaked.
Best place to get one asap at launch? The retail store? Apple online store? MacMall?



#9 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 23 2011 - 10:19 AM

Ha! I was kidding! Of course I have no input in what PC he gets! (but not the P4, that's real.) That's for IT to decide.

Me: "I'd like a awesome machine for engineering"

IT: "Pound dirt; you only merit something suitable for PowerPoint."


I love my Mac at home. But for office work, how do people with laptops get along without the fantastic docking stations WinPCs can use? Put my 15" laptop on the dock, and it's connected to dual monitors, ethernet, USB drives and dongles, speakers, keyboard and mouse. Pop it off, and I'm on the go. If I were setting up a home office and needed mobility, I'd have to think long and hard about the trade off between Apples great laptops and e.g. Dell's great docking system.



#10 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 23 2011 - 10:50 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

Ha! I was kidding! Of course I have no input in what PC he gets! (but not the P4, that's real.) That's for IT to decide.

Me: "I'd like a awesome machine for engineering"

IT: "Pound dirt; you only merit something suitable for PowerPoint."


I love my Mac at home. But for office work, how do people with laptops get along without the fantastic docking stations WinPCs can use? Put my 15" laptop on the dock, and it's connected to dual monitors, ethernet, USB drives and dongles, speakers, keyboard and mouse. Pop it off, and I'm on the go. If I were setting up a home office and needed mobility, I'd have to think long and hard about the trade off between Apples great laptops and e.g. Dell's great docking system.



Honestly we've hit kind of a cool divide.   Apple has some of the coolest trend setter hardware available for consumers.  And on the PC side, Microsoft has a server setup that makes IT life easy and infrastructure to support it that is just insane   Really, as an IT person, I love both platforms right now, and I hate both platforms right now.   I wish both would just do a bit more in a lot of different areas, but it is a good time to be a techie :)


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#11 of 161 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 23 2011 - 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by Southpaw 

I'm most likely buying one of these new 13 inchers but I want SSD and better resolution that what was leaked.
Best place to get one asap at launch? The retail store? Apple online store? MacMall?


If they are on sale tomorrow (as intimated by the "sealed pallets" reports) then any Apple Store location will be the fastest way to get one.



#12 of 161 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 01:06 AM

OK, the website is back but Store is still down.  Thinking I'm gonna go for the whole bologna 17" but CTO to the SSD, if it's not going to cost too much.  Will see.


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#13 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 24 2011 - 02:10 AM

Brief thoughts:   The 13" is "meh" it's a refresh, but there isn't anything big here, a graphic step back, a processor move forward, some tweak, lightpeak which has promise but no periphials.   Th 15"/17" are where it's at, Apple replaces the Nvidia graphics with the ATI and gets a much higher end option out of it, the ATI6xxx is far better PQ and 3D supports, and should run at a lower temp which means better battery life.   That's a win all the way around as far as I'm concerned.  I think it also opens Apple up to use AMD elsewhere, we'll have to see where they take it.   But that's good for the marketplace, a healthy competition. 

I have mixed feelings on Lightpeak. I say this for this reason. Despite all the "oooh wow" it is in a strange netherland. At 10GB, it is not fast enough to carry full format DisplayPort 1.2 (17.8GB) or HDMI 1.4 (15GB) so it will have to drop from them. Now, this is largely meaningless as I figure it'd output the lower standards, which are just not adjusted frame or 3D ready, which knocks it down some (9.4G/8.6G) but still doesn't leave a lot of room. But the bigger issue is that while faster then USB3, with a method to adopt and push across multiple formats through it's bus (USB1/2, Firewire, etc. can all be spun through it's bus) I don't see a real benefit for a macbook user. I could see it having an impact in a standalone workstation, but nobody on a 13" mac is porting around devices needed to make use of it. And i grasp that it is "future proof" but it seems to me it's future proofing against something that is unlikely in the extreme in 13" platform. I could somewhat see it in the 17" where it's more likely to be stationary. I don't begrudge them for doing it, it's cool tech adoption, but I wonder if the 13" would have been better off dropping LP and just having a straight displayport. Because the key impact for those users is that they get to spend a fair chunk of money on a cable to connect their lightpeak to a monitor.


But the 15" seems to be the straight up winner. It hits the right graphics card, the right speed processor, and all the functionality. I think Sam was right yesterday that of the models, that's where it starts. The 17" is neat, but nothing that really stands out outside of size from the 15".


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#14 of 161 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 02:38 AM

EXACTLY.


I'm torn tho.  I am definitely buying the loaded 15 or the 17, and wanted to get it this weekend.


If I buy the loaded 15 I might go for the Apple 256gb SDD for the redonkulous price of an additional $500.  I think the SSDs are BTO only tho, which means I couldnt have it tomorrow.  Couldn't go matte either.


The 17 is $300 more, has a bigger battery that gets roughly the same tine running due to the bigger display, adds exactly a point and gets a 'real' HD 16x10 1920x1200 display.  Adding SSD to that would make it over $3k.


Or I could buy either one with the stock drive and put in an OWC SSD down the road.


And all models come with a 10 year old POS DVD drive.  Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image



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#15 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 24 2011 - 02:40 AM

Can you give a LightPeak for Dummies summary? :)


You say it's not enough to do video. But I look at USB and I don't see a video connector, but a data pipe for drives, printers, and iPods. Why would I expect "usb" or such to connect to my TV or monitor? Does USB3 do video? Is there some hope one-connector-to-rule-them-all?


I feel USB2 is slow for copying video to an iPod or big file copies to the external backup drive. I welcome an upgrade to that system, even on laptops (since I use laptops as my desktop system at home and work). I see no reason to think 13" laptop owners have any less of that experience than a 15" laptop owner.



#16 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 24 2011 - 02:55 AM

OK.   In this case, the reason why it comes up is that in adding a lightpeak port, Apple has removed the Displayport.  This means that you will be using Lightpeak (Thunderbolt) to connect an external monitor.


Lightpeak is a bridge data standard. It's effectively part of the PCI-E hub, rather then sitting beside it.   Lightpeak acts as a spoke and wheel technology, so you can daisy chain devices, from IO devices (think hard drives, etc.) to anything else.   As a bus technology, Lightpeak can transfer data (USB1/2, Firewire, etc.) over it.   There was some thought about it handling USB3, but due to some electrical issues, at this point, but that may work itself out, I don't know.


Now, in order for Lightpeak to do this, it starts with a hub device and then uses a conversion connectors (think like dongles or breakout boxes) to provide this functionality.   It effectively means one port on a computer can handle almost all other types.


Part of the goal was to put everything in one, including video, which is what apple has done.   However, Lightpeak has a technical limitation at 10GB.   HDMI 1.4a is a bit over 15GB, and DisplayPort 1.2 is at about 19GB.  This is in part to compensate for higher resolutions (more then 1920x1200) and 3D options.  You can still run a display over Lightpeak just fine, as long as you either chop the audio transfer requirements (which I'm betting apple did) and limit the resolution of an external monitor and of course, no 3D.   We'll have to see how or the method apple used to pull off that technique.


Several view this as a "it kills USB" except that isn't the point of lightpeak at all.  Lightpeak is designed to simplify the connectivity to a PC by allowing one port that could control all devices.   In some ways, like a super-connector.    This is potentially fantastic in a desktop.   Iimagine one cable that goes to a breakout box that controls everything, monitors, printers, external drives, network, everything.   Great.   And it might come into something like a Dock for a  macbook, we'll see (though nothing like it has been previewed).   The hitch is going to be the devices and cost to implement.  Because right now Apple will be the only one shipping it on new PCs, and you can't add it retroactively to older macs or any PC, you have about a six month window where these are going to be the only devices that have it.  The quest is going to be for affordable periphials, breakouts and innovative usage.   For a desktop or someone after these, it's fantastic.   But for a micro-laptop, the inclusion of a straight displayport might have been a lot more consumer friendly.   We'll have to see how that works out.


There is no denying it is revolutionary technology.   But the question is going to be how quick can adoption happen.   Windows7 already has Lightpeak support built into it, but no devices boards or components that supply it.   So Apple gets hardware that will do it but not the periphials to really make you go 'wow'. 

Does that help?


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#17 of 161 Sam Posten

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Posted February 24 2011 - 03:05 AM

This was working last night but it's dead now:

http://www.9to5mac.c...peakthunderbolt


Just realized to get the upgraded screen resolution on the 15 it would be $100 more, and $50 on top of that for matte.  I'm torn over matte vs. glossy still, not sure which way I will go there, but it doesn't make sense to me to buy the upgraded high res screen on the 15 when it's just a bit more to get the 17...


It would kill me to buy the 17 with 256gb SSD at $2999, but I just might have to do it.


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#18 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 24 2011 - 03:05 AM

Thanks. I didn't know the DisplayPort was replaced by LightPeak.


I don't understand launching a brand new display interface, and then replacing it with something else before it's really gotten traction. Apple is normally conservative about changing master technologies, but now it feels like a thrashing about, throwing connectors in and out trying to find something to stick and differentiate them.


I don't understand the benefit of the uber port going to a breakout box. If I ultimately need a b/o box for all manner of connectors, then that's no better than needing a USB hub as I have now, or I want that integrated into my desktop case, which takes me back to buying a case today... so I don't see the practical benefit of an meta-connector that resolves down to the same mish-mash of connectors we have today. :)


I don't know. I'm not up on all this. My computers are still USB and DVI. This meta connector, somewhat-but-not-really a video output makes my head swim ;)



#19 of 161 mattCR

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Posted February 24 2011 - 03:11 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

Thanks. I didn't know the DisplayPort was replaced by LightPeak.


I don't understand launching a brand new display interface, and then replacing it with something else before it's really gotten traction. Apple is normally conservative about changing master technologies, but now it feels like a thrashing about, throwing connectors in and out trying to find something to stick and differentiate them.


I don't understand the benefit of the uber port going to a breakout box. If I ultimately need a b/o box for all manner of connectors, then that's no better than needing a USB hub as I have now, or I want that integrated into my desktop case, which takes me back to buying a case today... so I don't see the practical benefit of an meta-connector that resolves down to the same mish-mash of connectors we have today. :)


I don't know. I'm not up on all this. My computers are still USB and DVI. This meta connector, somewhat-but-not-really a video output makes my head swim ;)



The technology behind it is fantastic; 10GB ethernet functionality, etc.   The problem is, target devices aren't fast enough to use it, and like you said, you really need a breakout box to get the best of it.   I have mixed thoughts on how this is all going to play out.   There are things to love about the concept of lightpeak,  but it's real benefit won't happen for a bit.   I'm not at all sure how this all shakes out in the end.    If Intel can get board makers to adopt on the windows side, it will help immensely.  If they can't, then the cost of the adapters etc. will stay high and then people will feel a bit at odds without an easy straight monitor cable connector.


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#20 of 161 DaveF

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Posted February 24 2011 - 03:28 AM

I love the idea of 10 GB throughput for external drives and video cameras and (in the future) iPods :)


Hopefully they can sort it out.