New MacBooks coming this spring, reports suggest

That Intel 6-series chipset bug sort of threw a wrench in the works, but according to AppleInsider, Apple’s next MacBook Pro refresh will be postponed by less than a couple of weeks as a result. Basing itself on word from sources "familiar with the matter," the report predicts that volume shipments of the upcoming Apple laptops will kick off "between late February and early April."

Little seems to have transpired with the machines themselves. A couple of months ago, DigiTimes reported the systems will exhibit a "slight change in chassis design." Around the same time, we also heard future entry-level MacBooks might employ Sandy Bridge’s integrated graphics component without help from a third-party GPU. (One would expect Apple to continue offering discrete graphics on higher-end MacBook Pros, though, of course.)

In a related story, CNet News suggests Apple will follow up in June with refreshed MacBook Air laptops also based on Sandy Bridge. An anonymous source "familiar with Apple’s plan" allegedly let the schedule slip. As CNet points out, the MacBook Air line really could use the CPU upgrade. Apple has been outfitting these machines with ultra-low-voltage Core 2 processors ever since the first Air model came out in early 2008.

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    • Tumbleweed
    • 8 years ago

    The one that needs a serious refresh is the Mac Mini, still stuck with Core 2 Duo! Gads. Put a SB Core i3/i5 in there, eSATA & USB 3 ports, BTO SSD boot drive option, and you’re good to go. Oh yeah, don’t sell it with less than 4GB of RAM.

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      The Macbook, Macbook Air and 13″ Macbook Pro also have Core 2 Duo’s. One of the supposed reasons was the dispute between Intel and Nvidia regarding chipsets. Nvidia could provide chipsets for Core 2 but not Core iX. Why would this matter. All of the products listed including the Mac Mini don’t have the room for a logic board to fit a CPU, NB and discrete GPU. That leaves just Intel’s integrated GPU for first gen Core iX. These integrated GPUs are not faster than the Geforce 320 chipset that Apple uses.

        • tay
        • 8 years ago

        Sandy bridge is OpenCL capable now so expect all 3 to get upgrades.

          • Voldenuit
          • 8 years ago

          Doesn’t SB use its CPU for OpenCL computations? Which is the same as not being OpenCL accelerated at all, since it’s no faster than falling back to x86/SSE.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            Indeed. The IGP is not compute-capable, so Intel built an emulator on the CPU.

            Ever used Direct3d or OpenGL with software acceleration? It sucks. Same thing with OpenCL.

            That’s low, Intel.

    • potatochobit
    • 8 years ago

    it is a PitA to clean a heatsink on a macbook pro, they need to fix this
    charging 2000$ for onchip IGP is also laughable, I dont think I will buy another macbook pro for awhile

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      Which Macbook Pro that cost $2000 has only an IGP?

      Edit: Do you have a MBP and not know that it has an IGP and discrete GPU? That would be pretty funny.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        Read a bit harder next time. He’s saying that if the next refresh of MBPs use SB without discrete graphics, then he doesn’t see it justifiable to spend $2K on one.

          • jdaven
          • 8 years ago

          Sorry but that still doesn’t make sense. There is absolutely no reason for Apple to remove discrete graphics from its 15″ and 17″ MBP. No rumors have even suggested that. Actual the rumors say that Apple will move from Nvidia to ATI discrete graphics in the next round of updates.

          [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/09/apple-to-rely-on-intels-sandy-bridge-graphics-in-future-macbook/[/url<] Saying that Apple will use integrated graphics only (now it uses Intel and Nvidia switchable graphics) in its 15" and 17" lineup is just completely making things up. The statement from either one of you doesn't make any sense at all.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            IGP for a $1.2K machine is still unjustifiable.

            They’d better keep a Nvidia or AMD GPU in there.

            • Skrying
            • 8 years ago

            Why? There’s nothing I do on my MBP 13 that would require a crippled Nvidia or AMD discrete graphics chip over the Sandy Bridge graphics chip. In fact, I would gladly make the trade now if I could cut the weight a little bit, save some more battery life and make the system even a little more thin.

            Speed is the last reason I bought my MBP. Superior chassis, keyboard, touchpad, battery life, screen, power adapter design and warranty support more than make up some speed disadvantage that never effects me because everything I do on my laptop has had more than enough performance available to it for several years now. Improvements in other places, like the ones I listed, are FAR more valuable then any crippled discrete graphics option.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            Enjoy your downgrade then.

            Myself, I’d like to use OpenCL and play Starcraft when I wish to. SB is capable of neither.

            • Hattig
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t know if Apple can get the room in the 13″ chassis to put a discrete graphics chip, once you factor in the optical drive, hard drive and battery. That’s why they went with Core 2 Duo and the NVIDIA 320M last time, on balance the extra GPU power was more important than the extra CPU power.

            OpenCL on Sandy Bridge is going to suck unless there is a discrete GPU. I rather hope that AMD has been able to create a small footprint GPU for Apple with on-package RAM, even if it is only a 160 shader Caicos chip running at low clock speeds. However I suspect that the MacBook Pro 13″ is going to end up sans discrete graphics. There’s no risk that the larger MacBook Pros will not have discrete graphics though.

            They’ll probably up the resolution to match the 13″ MacBook Air though.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            SB is supposedly cooler than Core 2. If the latter can be fitted with a GPU then so should the former.

            I really hope they up the resolution, though.

            • glynor
            • 8 years ago

            Their low-end Macbook (the non-pro one) starts at $1k, and that’s assuming they don’t drop prices on the entry-level notebook. I’d guess that’s likely since Apple also doesn’t like having two products at the same price-point, and the Macbook Air also is priced at $999.

            I’m not saying that it isn’t still going to be expensive (Apple doesn’t care about the value segment), but you’re still fudging that number upwards.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            The cheapest MacBook I can find costs 930€ here, which translates into $1260. This is the non-pro version.

            Regardless, one quid is still too much for an Intel IGP. I could see that going into plastic $500 machines, but one would expect something better from Apple.

    • blastdoor
    • 8 years ago

    I thought I recalled some talk (maybe even from Apple itself?) about expanding some of the characteristics of the Air to the rest of the Pro lineup (ditching the optical drive, going all SSD, etc). I could see how maybe they wouldn’t want to go that far in the 17″, but it seems like that might be a nice way to go with the 15″.

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      I see Apple combining the 13″ MBA with the 13″ MBP but not the 15″ MBP.

        • tay
        • 8 years ago

        With SandyBridge and SSD isn’t an Air just a mini Pro anyway?

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          Not at all, MacBook Pros have ports. MacBook Airs don’t.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        Maybe the MBPs will keep their disk drives and chassis and Apple will expand the Macbook brand?

        I could see plastic MB13s and MB15s with SSDs, no disk drive, and tapered chassis, but retain full voltage parts.

        I think Apple would catch a lot of backlash if they removed the disk drive from the MBPs.

      • KoolAidMan
      • 8 years ago

      15″ Macbook Air will be my next upgrade. Faster CPU and discreet GPU with SSD storage, while dropping the optical drive and seriously reducing the size and weight of the machine in the process. Can’t wait.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    So what happened to the rumoured AMD-based MacBook?

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      Was there ever anything that suggested it was more than just wishcasting?

      • ShadowTiger
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe negotiations fell through and thats why AMD is jettisoning its executives?

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      No suitable AMD CPU’s are going to be ready in time. Llano and Bulldozer will not be ready until the summer. Zacate/Ontario are not any faster than Core 2 Duo/Geforce 320. Could save on power but I don’t see them backing off performance that much.

      But who said it was these Macbooks that AMD is going into? Could be any Apple product in the future that uses AMD.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Maybe it turned into a Mac Mini…?

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 8 years ago

      Intel made them a deal they could not refuse. The only thing that annoyed Apple about going Intel in the past was the crappy GPU’s that were in the integrated chipsets, so they used nVidia to get around that.

      Now that Sandy Bridge’s GPU is semi-decent and useful for all the things that Apple needs it to be useful for, well there’s a lot to like about Intel. Meanwhile, AMD still won’t have Bulldozer ready for laptops until early next year, which is where the big money is (especially for Apple). Llano might be decent, but its CPU performance would be a downgrade from the series currently being used by Apple. And Bobcat won’t even be in the same league.

      Throw in the low cost of a decent Sandy Bridge with its built-in GPU, well, why wouldn’t they use SB? Makes sense to me. Next year, well they might consider swapping out for Bulldozer, but if the performance is about the same with Ivy Bridge as with laptop versions of Bulldozer, then I doubt it since it’d cost money to redesign the motherboard around the different motherboard, different CPU/GPU, and the like.

      I think AMD missed the Apple boat and it’s gonna set sail for a few years on Sandy Bridge (and Ivy Bridge and other like-designed CPU’s). AMD took too long to get Fusion out imo.

        • BlackStar
        • 8 years ago

        The GPU isn’t capable of OpenCL, so it’s not “useful for all the things that Apple needs it to be useful for”.

        Other than that, yeah, SB. With a separate GPU on the 15” and larger versions.

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