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grommit
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Join Date: Mar 2006
 
2006-03-12, 01:13

Hi All,

Just been wondering whether Apple will take the same design process for it's portable line as in the past.

When Apple released the Ti Pb 15" it was a new design. Then they released a new iBook design. The Pb then transitioned to the iBook design.

Now Apple has released a new Macbook Pro 15" using the current original design and it is rumored that the new Macbook 13" is an ALL New design.

My question is that will the new Macbook Pro 17" be introduced with a revised Macbook Pro 15" later this year with the same Macbook 13" encloser.

What does everyone else think will happen with the design direction of the portables in general?

Thanks.
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SpecMode
Wait what
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NorCal
 
2006-03-12, 01:19

Well, seeing as we don't yet know how much the MacBook's design will be changing (it may be significant, it may not), it's probably a bit early to guess at whether the Pro design will be changing as well, especially so soon after the line's 'introduction'.

That being said, it sounds like what you're asking is strikingly similar to what's being discussed in this thread, so you might want to keep an eye on that instead.

By the way...welcome to AppleNova!
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rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2006-03-12, 02:36

I think Apple's all about simplicity these days, and I don't know how their current designs can get much simpler except just getting thinner and smaller.
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jimbo123
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Join Date: Apr 2005
 
2006-03-12, 03:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by rasmits
I think Apple's all about simplicity these days, and I don't know how their current designs can get much simpler except just getting thinner and smaller.

Funny enough I was thinking about this today. I think Apple is only limited to what hardware is out on the market. Take the iMac for example. I cannot see this becoming thinner unless they introduce intergrated graphics and flash memory to replace the hard drive. This will just not happen.

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doublem9876
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Join Date: May 2005
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2006-03-12, 11:27

Can someone explain exactly what Integrated Graphics are, compared to a regular graphics card, and why they are so bad?
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 11:42

"Integrated graphics" refers to having graphics implemented as part of the chipset, as opposed to having a separate chip (or chip on a separated card based on e.g. AGP or PCI Express) dedicated exclusively to graphics.

This is not inherently bad. It has, however, two implications.
1) An implementation of integrated graphics is usually very low-end and simple. Integrated graphics chips are generally targeted for office use; any graphics chip will be more than good enough for that, so the line of thinking is to implement very little technology at all. This makes them cheap and still good enough. For higher-end uses, however, it becomes problematic. Most specifically games, which have (for years) been on the bleeding edge of graphics technology, but also for high-end graphics and video work, e.g. Apple Motion, and, to a lesser extent, even applications for iLife, such as iMovie, not to mention the general OS. Quartz Extreme, Quartz 2D Extreme, Core Image and Core Video all benefit from graphics chip acceleration (whereas QE and Q2DE will be disabled entirely without the availability of such, CI and CV will merely be throttled to a simpler mode). In the long run, this means that even for everyday work, you could benefit from a somewhat modern graphics chip.

2) Integrated graphics often (but not always) are further simplified by sharing their RAM with the RAM used by the CPU. Sometimes a hybrid approach is taken, which ATi calls HyperMemory and nVidia calls TurboCache (yay for euphemistic marketing). But even then, a significant portion of the RAM is not dedicated to the graphics. This is primarily a latency, and secondarily a bandwidth problem. In other words, because of the longer path that needs to be taken to store and retrieve graphics information between RAM and graphics chip, the chip can't actually run at its full potential performance.

The Intel Mac mini is the first time in many, many years that Apple has used integrated graphics. This created a bit of an outcry simply out of principle, but in practice, it isn't necessarily a big deal, as the Mac mini was always supposed to be a very-low-end machine anyway. It isn't intended for any kind of work that would require (or greatly benefit from) a dedicated graphics chip.

Hope that helps.
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doublem9876
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2006-03-12, 11:44

Definitely. Thank you.
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Aesahaettr
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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2006-03-12, 13:38

And what is wrong with flash memory to replace the hard drive? Again, I'm new to the tech aspects of computers, but I always thought that flash storage means a lot faters, and a lot more space, including not being affected by the temperature that much.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-03-12, 13:49

It's the life.

Flash memory are great as oh say, storage, but not as a swap.

OS and apps files and read off the HD several more times than off a flash drive.

IIRC, an average HD can write/read up to 100K, some up to 200K times, whereas an average flash drive will fail at around 10k.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-12, 13:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
And what is wrong with flash memory to replace the hard drive? Again, I'm new to the tech aspects of computers, but I always thought that flash storage means a lot faters, and a lot more space, including not being affected by the temperature that much.
1. Flash is MUCH more expensive per byte. By magnitudes. You can get a quarter-terabyte hard drive for the price of a 2 GB Flash stick.
2. Flash lifespan is much shorter for write operations.

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Aesahaettr
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2006-03-12, 13:53

So do you think they'll come up witha way to make it a lot cheaper (by magnitudes)? I'd love to see a solid state storage iMac sometime...

Did you read the article about Intel putting flash chips into computers later this year?
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Brad
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2006-03-12, 14:04

Putting flash into computers is a really old idea. You store read-only (or write-rarely) apps and system files on the Flash and you use the hard drive for the user space. You don't need to have read an article to figure that out.

No, I don't think flash will get a lot cheaper any time soon. It will continue to be more expensive than traditional disk-based systems for quite some time because flash is much more complicated to manufacture.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Aesahaettr
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2006-03-12, 14:07

So do you see any possible alternatives to hard drives any time in the next 5 years? I see lots of problems with them and think they should be replaced asap.
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Brad
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2006-03-12, 14:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
So do you see any possible alternatives to hard drives any time in the next 5 years?
Not with the same price-to-byte ratio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
I see lots of problems with them and think they should be replaced asap.
Problems like what? Anything that's new to the past 20 years?

I say that because manufacturers are well aware of the limitations of spinning platters and have been working to improve and reinvent things for decades. "ASAP" is a very subjective term and the current storage situation is not nearly so dire. There aren't newly-invented computing devices sitting on shelves collecting dust just because small and fast storage isn't available.

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Aesahaettr
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2006-03-12, 16:27

The problems with them that I don't like is just the obivous stuff, such as the random changes in data due to temperature and other factors. This sort of thing is the cause of corrupted files, and the reason it's good to reinstall your OS every few months. Also, I've heard it's slower to have to spin the platter so many times to read the data, and uses more energy. This is just from what I've read, so I could be wrong. It just seems so much simpler to have one non-moving solid state storage drive that is not affected by the temperature of the room, is faster, and can hold loads more data. Was what I've read correct, or did I misinterpret it?

Also, it seems to me that a spinning platter is to a CD as a solid state HD is to digital music. CDs are basically obsolete already, and hard drives have been around for a while now, so I would just really like a computer with something new, you know?
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Brad
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2006-03-12, 16:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
The problems with them that I don't like is just the obivous stuff, such as the random changes in data due to temperature and other factors. This sort of thing is the cause of corrupted files, and the reason it's good to reinstall your OS every few months.
Bizarre. In fifteen years of using various computers every day at home, work, school, and travel, I've never experienced this. I've not reinstalled the OS on this computer in nearly a year and I have had zero data integrity problems; even then it wasn't because of any corruption but simply because I wanted to use a new version of the OS (10.4). Maybe at extremes this is a more prominent problem, but it's not for the majority of computing environments. I strongly suspect that if you've had to reinstall your OS, there was another problem at the source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
Also, I've heard it's slower to have to spin the platter so many times to read the data, and uses more energy.
Yes, it's well established that flash memory is faster and uses less power. However, you'll note that traditional drives have gotten relatively smaller, faster, and more energy efficient over the years as well. The platter technology is not stagnating entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
This is just from what I've read, so I could be wrong. It just seems so much simpler to have one non-moving solid state storage drive that is not affected by the temperature of the room, is faster, and can hold loads more data. Was what I've read correct, or did I misinterpret it?
You assume that solid state devices are not affected by temperature and store more data. Both assumptions are wrong. Commercial NANDs are generally listed with operating temperatures between 5°C (40°F) and 70°C (160°F). Hard drives have the same operating range. As for storage, you will not find a 200 GB flash drive anywhere. Heck, you can't even find one with a tenth or a twentieth of that capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
Also, it seems to me that a spinning platter is to a CD as a solid state HD is to digital music. CDs are basically obsolete already, and hard drives have been around for a while now, so I would just really like a computer with something new, you know?
Your analogy is inherently flawed. A CD is a spinning platter, but digital music is content that can be stored on any medium, solid state HD or otherwise. I'm really not sure what you're trying to say there. Hard drives are old technology? So is the binary logic gate, but it's not going away any time soon.

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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-03-12, 18:48

Besides, it sounds as if you've having data integrity problems, it may be your environment- if the computer is stowed in a airtight casing next to a radiator and furance in a 70 degree plus room, I would definitely expect such behavior

There are other factors, but I seem to recall some electrical engineer saying that cooling of electrical system is prime uno factor of its longevity.
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Aesahaettr
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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2006-03-13, 10:49

Well I just had those problems with my laptop, which is no more. It would get burning hot after being on for like 5 hours, while my roommate's computer worked perfectly after being on for months at a time, but his was a desktop, so I guess that is to be expected. My analogy was just comparing the devices that have to spin to read data to those that don't. You were right in thinking I was trying to just say hard drives ARE old technology.

So you don't think there will be any replacement for a hard drive any time soon? What do you think the limit to storage capacity is on a hard drive?
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T2dak668
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-03-13, 10:59

i don't think we will see a big case re-design until 2007 for the MBP... but yes the new MacBook will look a lot different then the current iBook

17" Powerbook 1.33ghz G4, 1.5GB Ram, 80HD, Tiger, BT Mouse and MM / 2 60Gb iPods white & Black / 512mb Shuffle / 250GB Lacie FW HD
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2006-03-13, 12:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWretched
So you don't think there will be any replacement for a hard drive any time soon? What do you think the limit to storage capacity is on a hard drive?
Again, no, not for many years. Maybe in ten years things will be different, but I don't expect major changes in the next three or four. The price-to-byte ratio is still just way too high and the lifetime too short for widespread replacement with flash.

I expect hard drive capacity will reach well into the terabyte range before tapering off altogether. Current terabyte "drives" are actually just multiple smaller drives RAIDed together. However, there are always developments to push the limits higher. Hitachi, for example, is currently working with storing bits perpendicular to the surface to allow for ten times as much storage on the same surface area.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Aesahaettr
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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2006-03-13, 13:31

Yeah I read about perpendicular magnetic recording. I can't wait till that comes out. I read an article about that in Popular Science, which is actually the same one that said room temperature can effect and corrupt small bits of data, even if it is in the range that hard drives can operate in. PMR will not be affected by temperature nearly as much as current hard drives.
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