User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Speculation and Rumors »

Comet Lake-Y and -U, and the Mac


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Comet Lake-Y and -U, and the Mac
Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next Thread Tools
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 12:49

Intel has found yet more ways to make their line-up confusing as hell. They can't deliver Ice Lake in sufficient volume to make that the one and only path for their range of ~5W-28W CPUs, so they're also launching new replacements for Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake.

Like Ice Lake-U and -Y, Comet Lake-U and -Y will be referred to as "tenth-generation". Luckily(?), Comet Lake has the old numbering scheme, unlike Ice Lake. So a chip called Core i7-1068G7 is a 10th-generation Ice Lake i7, but a Core i7-10710U is (obviously!) a 10th-generation Comet Lake i7. Duh.

In good news, Comet Lake-U has a new memory controller basically backported from Ice Lake. This means LPDDR4 is coming to it, which means RAM that is higher performance (although not quite as high as what Ice Lake offers), lower energy, and, drumroll, 32 GB in the LPDDR form factor! And of course just as Intel decided to do that, they also decided not to do that for Comet Lake-Y. Because… why be consistent about that?

Comet Lake-U also integrates Wi-Fi 6 (a.k.a. 802.11ax), which is sort of interesting. Comet Lake-Y does not.

Lastly, Comet Lake-U goes up to six cores at 15W TDP, and Comet Lake-Y goes up to four at 7W TDP.

So, in short, these Comet Lake parts are an interesting alternative to Ice Lake. Ice Lake has a faster memory controller and way better integrated graphics, but Comet Lake has more CPU cores. That's kind of a weird trade-off, especially considering laptops of this class rarely have dedicated graphics. So a vendor like Apple or Microsoft can either choose… better graphics, or better CPU. Um.

There's also a wholly separate interesting thing called Lakefield, which combines Ice Lake (well, technically, its Sunny Cove core) and Tremont, the new Intel Atom microarchitecture. It's a hybrid Intel Core / Intel Atom chip, perhaps a bit in the way Apple has their "Fusion" technique, and ARM in general has "big.LITTLE": require a lot of performance, and the beefier Ice Lake chip sets in; stop requiring it, and Tremont will do. This cooooould be (or have been) interesting for something like the 12-inch MacBook, but I just don't see Apple using this sort of thing. It also feels a lot like something Intel tries, doesn't see much uptake on, and then throws away without ever revising it/iterating upon it.

Back to Comet Lake. It's not clear to me when — I've seen a leaked roadmap suggest Q2/2020, but I've also seen claims that there will be first shipments later this year. But at some point, Comet Lake-H and -S will apparently happen, sort of reunifying some of the Skylake offshoots after the weird mess of Kaby Lake Refresh + Coffee Lake + Whiskey Lake + Amber Lake + Cascade Lake. Comet Lake-H and -S are supposed to offer ten cores, which makes sense if the -U does six now.

Well.

What if the -U offering LPDDR4 means that the -H will, too? That could mean that the next 13-inch MacBook Pro offers 32 GB, and the 15-inch might even go to 64 (no doubt Apple would make that an insanely expensive BTO option, of course).

What if Apple got a deal with Intel that they can use Comet Lake-H very early on, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro does in fact ship with it?

Are you getting it? These aren't three products!

Wait, wrong presentation.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 13:38

Blah, blah, blah, and bring on Ax.

Seriously, there is a reason why Apple makes these decisions for us, and just picks a part and sticks it in there. I guarantee they cannot wait to rid themselves of this problem.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 14:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Blah, blah, blah, and bring on Ax.
I'm not an ARM Mac believer, especially at the higher end.

(But I wasn't an Intel Mac believer either and was clearly way off on that.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Seriously, there is a reason why Apple makes these decisions for us, and just picks a part and sticks it in there.
I mean, sure, but… uh… you could shut down virtually any thread in "Speculation and Rumors" then.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 15:22

Oh, I know that. I'm just saying that it's good for Apple's customers that they make processor decisions and stick with them, rather than offering all the options that, say, Dell offers on their website. Someone needs to make an educated choice on these things. I, for one, haven't got the time to go out and research which of the umptyleven processors is a good fit for my life. If there is one thing I greatly appreciate about Apple, it's that they wade through all that stuff you just posted and say, "nah, we're just gonna go with XYZ chipset and be done with it."

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 15:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I'm not an ARM Mac believer, especially at the higher end.

(But I wasn't an Intel Mac believer either and was clearly way off on that.)
I'm very much a believer. I know Ax isn't as capable at the top end, but we all know that's not where it's going to start. The top end will be dominated by Intel (or AMD) for at least the next five years, but they seem to be running into one wall after another. Once Apple gets the basic design sorted out and gets a computer into the market (at the low end where the students and easy-users don't care so much what's under the hood as long as it gets the job done) then the cycle will build and the tech will roll uphill. At some point, Ax and OS X are going to merge and the results are going to be game changing, I think.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-22, 15:48

I’m glad you started this thread, chucker. I was just about to ask kscherer to take all the discussion we had about future laptops in the Ive thread and spin that off into a new thread.

I think Apple is likely to prefer Ice Lake-U/Y to Comet Lake-U/Y, just because Apple always seems to prioritize graphics performance and the Gen11 graphics are supposed to be way better than Gen9.5 graphics, even though there are apparently no models on the horizon with eDRAM (sigh). The base 15W MacBook Pro only just bumped up to 4 cores; I don’t think they’re going to be itching to bump it up to 6 immediately if they can instead boost graphics performance dramatically.

But of course Apple would use Comet Lake-H to boost core counts on the models that use dedicated graphics (and there’s no Ice Lake-H anyway, so they’d kind of have to go that way).

I don’t want to be that guy, but…AMD’s upcoming 7nm 4000 series Ryzen Mobile parts, based on their third-gen Zen core called Zen2 (it’s not just Intel with fucked-up nomenclature!) sound hella compelling. They basically combine a Zen chiplet with up to 8 cores with an RDNA Navi GPU chiplet on a single die, so it’s almost like you have a discrete GPU, although of course it still shares system memory. And it comes in two lines: 15W 4000U, and 35W 4000H.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong

Last edited by Robo : 2019-08-22 at 16:16.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 15:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Oh, I know that. I'm just saying that it's good for Apple's customers that they make processor decisions and stick with them, rather than offering all the options that, say, Dell offers on their website.
Strong agree. Apple being opinionated (and often correct, for my needs/tastes) is part of why I choose them.

But us geeks can occasionally take a deeper look and also a peek at the road not taken (by Apple).
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 15:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
But us geeks can occasionally take a deeper look …
That's why we're here!
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 15:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
their third-gen Zen core called Zen2 (it’s not just Intel with fucked-up nomenclature!)
Four words. Apple Watch Series 1.
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2019-08-22, 15:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
At some point, Ax and OS X are going to merge and the results are going to be game changing, I think.
Isn't that kind of what iPadOS is though? Desktop goodies (including external drives & mouse support) on an iOS device. Full Photoshop CC and I'm sure Illustrator is in the works. The iPad Pro is fast becoming a touch-screen MacBook, no?

So it goes.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 16:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
Isn't that kind of what iPadOS is though? Desktop goodies (including external drives & mouse support) on an iOS device. Full Photoshop CC and I'm sure Illustrator is in the works. The iPad Pro is fast becoming a touch-screen MacBook, no?
Yeah.

I think for the next five years or so, it’s exactly what Craig made clear with the ginormous “No” slide. They’re not merging. They’re letting each platform be its best.

This isn’t the Windows 8/10 strategy, and I have no doubt Apple took a close look at how that turned out (not so great! Especially at first), and don’t want to repeat those mistakes. The touch screen laptop from Apple is the iPad Pro. The keyboard+trackpad tablet is the MacBook Air. It’s not a perfect straight line, but it’ll work.

Second, shared framework code! iOS has always shared tons of code with OS X, and it’s only increasing. With SwiftUI, that’s going even further.

The open question is whether there exists a third step, five, ten, fifteen years from now. Are the Mac and the iPad forever?

I’m not sure even Apple knows.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-22, 16:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
I'm very much a believer. I know Ax isn't as capable at the top end, but we all know that's not where it's going to start. The top end will be dominated by Intel (or AMD) for at least the next five years, but they seem to be running into one wall after another. Once Apple gets the basic design sorted out and gets a computer into the market (at the low end where the students and easy-users don't care so much what's under the hood as long as it gets the job done) then the cycle will build and the tech will roll uphill. At some point, Ax and OS X are going to merge and the results are going to be game changing, I think.
I’m a believer too in future Macs using custom Apple silicon too – Apple wants to control all its core technologies, and also their A-series SoCs are really damn good and Intel no longer really has a process advantage over TSMC, so it’s like, why stick with Intel? Legacy/compatibility? Apple never really lets that limit them for long.

If Apple were designing their first laptops today, would they go with Intel? Not a chance. That sort of says it all, I think, because Apple is all about not letting the past encumber them.

I agree they’ll start at the low end, but that has its own messaging challenges. Particularly what it would be like if the low-end MacBook that was powered by an ARM chip was faster in some ways than the pricier Intel MacBook Pro.

We already have custom Apple ARM chips in Macs, of course. I think the way forward might be this: Apple might just make that T-series chip more and more capable. In some ways T2 is already the “central” processing unit of the system – it’s what controls the boot process, it’s what controls access to the SSD. Maybe T3 will have a Neural Engine that developers can access with their own apps for tasks where it makes sense to, just like the system already uses the T2 as an ISP and codec processor. Maybe with the T3, macOS itself will run entirely on it, with the Intel chip just being an “application processor.” And then Apple can encourage developers to write their code to use the T-series chip more and more, and eventually the Intel chip is dropped, like training wheels.

That way, when the “transition” happens, the low-end Mac never has something the high-end Mac doesn’t. They’d both have the same T-series chip; the Pro models would just also have Intel chips for a little while longer, for workloads that still required them.

I don’t think Apple is going to take any A-series chip or A-X chip and just plop it into a Mac. I think they’d have a special, larger chip that was essentially an “A-XX” when the time came, and they’d give this chip its own branding, whether that’s T4 or G1 or whatever. MacBooks are larger, pricier objects than iPhones or iPads, so they should have larger, pricier CPUs. I think they’ll want to avoid the “it just uses a mobile part” stigma.

There is still opportunity to share that chip with other products, though – just like how the Apple TV and HomePod use A-series chips. The chip I think Apple would make for a Mac is basically the same as the chip I think they would want for a game console, for example…

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-22, 16:24

kscherer said that Ax SoCs and macOS were merging, not that iOS and macOS were merging. Which is admittedly an awkward way of putting it, but I largely agree: macOS will run on devices powered entirely by Apple ARM (not necessarily A-series) SoCs.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-22, 16:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Maybe T3 will have a Neural Engine that developers can access with their own apps for tasks where it makes sense to, just like the system already uses the T2 as an ISP and codec processor. Maybe with the T3, macOS itself will run entirely on it, with the Intel chip just being an “application processor.” And then Apple can encourage developers to write their code to use the T-series chip more and more, and eventually the Intel chip is dropped, like training wheels.

That way, when the “transition” happens, the low-end Mac never has something the high-end Mac doesn’t. They’d both have the same T-series chip; the Pro models would just also have Intel chips for a little while longer, for workloads that still required them.
Maybe. That might even be a transition that would work with my current job, which is heavily (but decreasingly) Windows-focused.

(There’s definitely open questions, though. Do they get separate RAM? If not, how does that work? Is the T3 also the memory controller?)
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-22, 16:35

Anyway, back to the main point.

I do really hope that Apple somehow made a deal to get access to Comet Lake-H in time for the new MacBook Pro design later this year. It would kind of suck to launch a new design with an “old” chip. Especially as the new MacBook Pro design is probably going to be, like, three thousand dollars to start.

I feel like any intelligent new laptop design would sort of have to be based around LPDDR4, at this point?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 17:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
Isn't that kind of what iPadOS is though? Desktop goodies (including external drives & mouse support) on an iOS device. Full Photoshop CC and I'm sure Illustrator is in the works. The iPad Pro is fast becoming a touch-screen MacBook, no?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
kscherer said that Ax SoCs and macOS were merging, not that iOS and macOS were merging. Which is admittedly an awkward way of putting it, but I largely agree: macOS will run on devices powered entirely by Apple ARM (not necessarily A-series) SoCs.
Yeah, what Robo said. I'm talking processor and Mac OS, not iOS and Mac OS. And the iPad Pro is not a laptop, no matter what anyone says—including Apple. Put that thing on your lap and poke the screen. I dare you. Unless you brace with the free hand, that top-heavy sucker is going right over on the floor.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-22, 17:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Anyway, back to the main point.

I do really hope that Apple somehow made a deal to get access to Comet Lake-H in time for the new MacBook Pro design later this year. It would kind of suck to launch a new design with an “old” chip. Especially as the new MacBook Pro design is probably going to be, like, three thousand dollars to start.

I feel like any intelligent new laptop design would sort of have to be based around LPDDR4, at this point?
One could hope, but Apple is going to make their choice based on availability and thermal characteristics. Also, it is highly likely that this rumored 16" MacBook Pro thing is not going to be a "redesign" other than a larger screen within the same space.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-22, 17:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Also, it is highly likely that this rumored 16" MacBook Pro thing is not going to be a "redesign" other than a larger screen within the same space.
I strongly disagree. I mean first, I don’t think it’s going to be exactly the same space, if they keep the 16:10 aspect ratio – the body will have to get slightly wider, I think. But more to the point, Apple never really changes screen sizes without redesigning the product, because the screen size is integral to the design. Also, if it has a new keyboard with more depth, that requires major internal changes to make everything else fit.

Now, will it share the same general design language, edge-to-edge screen excepted? Almost certainly. It might even be the exact same thickness as the existing MacBook Pro (I’m not expecting it to be thinner). But even that would still require an internal redesign if the keyboard is changed, just like how the iMac Pro is a vastly different design on the inside despite being externally the same form. Changing the keyboard’s depth takes a ton of volume out of the very core of the computer. It’s going to have to be a very different machine; building that machine around new standards like LPDDR4 makes sense.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a new finish option, or perhaps even a new material. They’re going to want the MacBook Pro to not get heavier, despite the larger screen. Apple hasn’t used titanium in sixteen years, and then suddenly there are two new titanium products within a month of each other? That’s the sort of thing that makes me raise my eyebrows.

Plus, the current MacBook Pro design is three years old this fall – it’s a little late in the game to just be iterating on the old design. And it’s safe to say that the current design hasn’t been as universally beloved as previous generations, which each lasted four years. Even three years later, I still see way more 2012-2016 MacBook Pros in the wild, and I’ve stopped thinking that’s a fluke. I think Apple is pretty eager to get off this keyboard design and put this mess behind them and signal that with a new MacBook Pro design built around a new keyboard.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-23, 02:11

So, uh. Comet Lake-H would be nice. But, um.

What if the new big MacBook uses Comet Lake-U.

Comet Lake-U goes up to six cores, just like the current base 15-inch model. And while there apparently isn't going to be a 28W version of Comet Lake-U (at least not that Intel is willing to talk about yet), the 15W models support a 25W TDP-up mode. And switching to lower-watt processors would help the thermals work in a similarly-sized case where the keyboard takes up more volume...

After cases for the 2016 design leaked, I was half convinced Apple was going to switch to lower-watt processors to make that design possible. In actuality, what they did to make that design possible was severely compromise the keyboard. Looking back now, I'm not sure that was the right choice, even if the alternative was using 28W processors. (And sure, some of us would want a good keyboard and H-class processors, but if that isn't possible in the current form factor, I'm not sure I can see Apple making a regression on size and weight.)

I'm not saying I think this is going to happen. Overall, I think I'd bet against it, but I think it's worth considering (and maybe preparing ourselves for). A few years ago I would have been much more sure that Apple would make the choice to go with lower-watt processors, but I think they were a little bruised by the reaction to the current design and they've had a bit of a come-to-Jesus moment in regard to re-dedicating themselves to meeting the needs of their pro users. But maybe they feel a U-class processor could be a worthy component of a pro-grade system, if it's paired with a powerful GPU and a more capable T-series chip and fast RAM and fast SSDs.

In another recent thread, chucker said that ideally, MacBook Airs would use U-class processors and MacBook Pros would use H-class processors, but I'm not sure Apple agrees. I think Apple might feel that an ideal 2019 MacBook/Air would use a Y-class processor and an ideal 2019 MacBook Pro would use a U-class processor. It would maybe be a little weird, if the 13/14-inch MacBook Pro used a 28W Ice Lake-U chip and the 16-inch MacBook Pro used a 25W Comet Lake-U chip. But the Ice Lake-U chip's TDP would include graphics, and the Comet Lake-U chip wouldn't. So the total system power in the 16-inch Pro would still be higher. (And of course, maybe that 14-inch Pro would have to use a 15W chip, like the two-Thunderbolt-port models do today).

Each new MacBook Pro has gotten noticeably thinner and lighter — that's one of the things that makes each new design so noteworthy. I actually think this year's new design is probably going to be an exception, because increasing the Z-height of the keyboard alone is going to require miniaturization of everything else. I think it's going to be more like a "do-over" of what a MacBook with roughly the same form factor as the current MBP should have been all along. But that's also not very exciting.

To Apple's credit, they've gotten away from the idea that new pro products have to be a sexy exciting re-inventions. The new Mac Pro is just a giant cheese-grater tower with a ton of power and customization, because that's exactly what pro users wanted, and the sexy exciting 2013 Mac Pro wasn't. But the MacBook Pro has always straddled that line a bit. It's not a pro-only product in the way that the Mac Pro is. A lot of users buy it because it's a faster MacBook or because it has a bigger screen or because it's just the coolest laptop money can buy. So maybe Apple will feel the need to push forward on mobility to make the new design feel exciting, for all those people.

Maybe there should be both a MacBook Pro and a thicker, beefier PowerBook.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-23, 03:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
So, uh. Comet Lake-H would be nice. But, um.

What if the new big MacBook uses Comet Lake-U.
I'd have another reason to move away from macOS is what.

Also, they're going to higher-end ceilings on the desktop side with the iMac Pro and Mac Pro — surely they're not gonna do the opposite on the laptop side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
In another recent thread, chucker said that ideally, MacBook Airs would use U-class processors and MacBook Pros would use H-class processors, but I'm not sure Apple agrees. I think Apple might feel that an ideal 2019 MacBook/Air would use a Y-class processor and an ideal 2019 MacBook Pro would use a U-class processor. It would maybe be a little weird, if the 13/14-inch MacBook Pro used a 28W Ice Lake-U chip and the 16-inch MacBook Pro used a 25W Comet Lake-U chip. But the Ice Lake-U chip's TDP would include graphics, and the Comet Lake-U chip wouldn't. So the total system power in the 16-inch Pro would still be higher. (And of course, maybe that 14-inch Pro would have to use a 15W chip, like the two-Thunderbolt-port models do today).
Yes, I can see Apple thinking along those lines but…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Maybe there should be both a MacBook Pro and a thicker, beefier PowerBook.
Exactly.

Maybe Apple's apparent notion that almost all laptops should be Air-like is correct (that wouldn't surprise me). But it would leave a gap of a workhorse laptop. Keyboard complaints and everything aside, I think that's one of the underlying currents of what's wrong with the 2016 models.

They mitigated it somewhat by moving the 15-inchers away from LPDDR again towards DDR, but from an assortment of weaknesses like the throttling issues (which it appears they've mostly fixed swiftly, but which damaged the reputation for much longer than that), they kind of retained the status of not being high-end.

And honestly, I just don't get the marketing here. If the iMac Pro and Mac Pro are workhorses, and they very clearly are (almost nobody should be buying them), then the MacBook Pro should be the mobile workhorse. A -U CPU sends the opposite signal.

Find a new suffix that isn't "Pro".

Last edited by chucker : 2019-08-23 at 03:12.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-23, 03:57

Like I said, I think Apple's been humbled a bit with the reaction to the 2016 design. All reports are that it really caught Apple by surprise, and that's about when they started to form their pro user panel and started to talk about how they were going to take pro Mac users seriously. So I think 2019!Apple is less likely to be moving in that direction than 2016!Apple is. I am sort of expecting this to be the "apology MacBook Pro."

That said, there are some things pros griped about I'm not expecting them to go back on. Like, I don't think they're going to go back to having full-size USB ports.

It's hard, because they're so reliant on Intel. What if Intel just can't get them Comet Lake-H in time? That's when things get sticky, and they have to start making some harder choices. They could go with a year-old Coffee Lake Refresh chip, and not get LPDDR4x and not get Wi-Fi 6 "for free," but that doesn't seem ideal. If they're faced with the choice of, say, a Coffee Lake Refresh-H chip in 35W TDP-down mode, or a Comet Lake-U chip in 25W TDP-up mode...

I don't think the Gen-10 weirdness is just going to be this year. It seems like the U/Y processors are always going to be "ahead" of their H-class cousins, in terms of architecture and process. So that's something Apple will have to consider.

I agree that the marketing is weird. "Pro" means different things across Apple's line-up. If you ask me, there shouldn't be a $1,299 "MacBook Pro" with 15W processors. That should just be the MacBook. But Apple clearly disagrees.

This new thing's definitely going to be priced like a Real Pro machine, though, at least at first. I think it really should be on the H-class chips, with a 10-core option. But I also think it should really have a 3:2 display, and it seems like they're going to stick with 16:10. So clearly Apple doesn't answer my calls.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-23, 04:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
It's hard, because they're so reliant on Intel. What if Intel just can't get them Comet Lake-H in time?
It'll be weird to ship a major new line of laptops with… the same CPU, but it honestly isn't that big a deal either. It's a problem in messaging, not in substance. It's not like Coffee Lake Refresh has suddenly gotten stale or bad. It's still 14nm, but Comet Lake-H will be as well. Other than probably (we don't really know yet) adding two more cores, it isn't even that interesting. And for most apps, adding cores has diminishing returns.

I'd much rather see a laptop with a nicer keyboard now than wait half a year for a laptop with a CPU that will probably only be marginally better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
That's when things get sticky, and they have to start making some harder choices. They could go with a year-old Coffee Lake Refresh chip,
It's from April! Apple wasn't even late to put it in.

LPDDR4 and Wi-Fi 6 would be nice, but we don't even know if Coffee Lake-H will offer those. Coffee Lake-Y does not, so… things are weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I agree that the marketing is weird. "Pro" means different things across Apple's line-up. If you ask me, there shouldn't be a $1,299 "MacBook Pro" with 15W processors. That should just be the MacBook. But Apple clearly disagrees.
Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
This new thing's definitely going to be priced like a Real Pro machine, though, at least at first. I think it really should be on the H-class chips, with a 10-core option. But I also think it should really have a 3:2 display, and it seems like they're going to stick with 16:10. So clearly Apple doesn't answer my calls.
I can never really get that worked up about ratios. 16:9 seems a bit too thin, but other than that…
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-23, 04:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I'd much rather see a laptop with a nicer keyboard now than wait half a year for a laptop with a CPU that will probably only be marginally better.
Oh, 100%. Apple needs to put that albatross of a keyboard behind them as soon as possible. This new MacBook Pro is easily the most important Mac Apple has released in years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I can never really get that worked up about ratios. 16:9 seems a bit too thin, but other than that…
It's partially wanting an ~1800-line display in a 13/14-inch form factor without having to run the display at a weird scaled resolution, but it's mostly that I want the displays to get bigger without the laptops getting bigger, and there is way more room for the display to grow vertically on the current design than horizontally. Take the top half of the notebook and make all the bezels as narrow as the ones on the sides, with no logo area. Put a 3K (16")/2.7K (14") panel in that space and that's basically what I want.

Also, 3:2 is just a nice aspect ratio. It feels right.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-23, 06:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Take the top half of the notebook and make all the bezels as narrow as the ones on the sides, with no logo area. Put a 3K (16")/2.7K (14") panel in that space and that's basically what I want.
Doesn't that lead to the UltraFine effect of a weird forehead?
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-23, 09:44

It would be the same on all sides. Like the iPad Pro.

I think that’s part of what makes a “Liquid Retina” display - the illusion that it’s all screen, that it’s pushed right to the edge. The border has to be the same on all sides.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-25, 20:19

This is how I think the line-up should shake out:

14-inch MacBook: From $999, uses 15W processors. Basically the successor to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 2 TB ports. One port on each side. New rounded, non-wedge-shaped aluminum design in fun colors. 3 pounds. 2688x1792 screen.

12-inch and 14-inch MacBook Air: $1299 and $1499. Uses Y-class processors or ARM SoCs. Fanless, maybe portless. ~2 and 2.5 pounds. Super thin wedge shape, with all the contoured battery cells that suggests. Maybe made out of titanium. 2304x1536 screen on the 12-inch.

14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro: $1999 and $2499. Uses 28W processors on the 14-inch and 45W processors on the 16-inch. As close to the dimensions to the current MacBook Pros as possible, but lighter due to the use of titanium. Two ports on each side. 3072x2048 screen on the 16-inch.

Now, do I think the line-up is going to end up exactly like this? No. But it's not far off from the way the iPad line is: the value tier model in the medium size, the thinner mid-range model in both a medium and a smaller size, and the high-end Pro model in both a medium and a larger size. I think they cover pretty much all their bases, with this sort of line-up.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-26, 03:58

Hrm.

On the one hand, I think the notion of the Air as a boutique/aspirational product is gone. It found much better success in its 2010 rethink as the new low-end MacBook. That would also mean that having a MacBook that's cheaper than that, and actually has a better CPU, wouldn't work.

On the other hand, you have a good point that they've reintroduced the Air branding as the mid tier on the iPad.

We'll see what they do with the low-end iPad. If you're right, it'll only be a spec bump revision. If so, for consistency's sake, I think your proposed line-up makes sense.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-26, 09:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
On the one hand, I think the notion of the Air as a boutique/aspirational product is gone. It found much better success in its 2010 rethink as the new low-end MacBook.
You might be right, but I don't think the Air makes sense as the low-end MacBook. If you're going to have a model where you really push the limits of miniaturization and thinness and lightness — and to me that's what the "Air" name still implies — I think that can't be the low-end MacBook, because all that limit-pushing has a real cost to it. The 2010 13-inch MacBook Air was able to be the new low-end MacBook (eventually) because it wasn't a model that pushed the limits of thinness and lightness. It wasn't really a step forward from the 2008 model in terms of size or weight. It was more about adjusting that form factor to the mainstream, actually removing costly features like the elegant port door and (for a time) the illuminated keyboard to get the price down. (Which is why I think it should have just been the new MacBook, at that point, but that's neither here nor there.)

To me, it doesn't make sense to do the wedge shape if you're not going to also have the expensive contoured batteries, because otherwise you're just shipping air inside the computer. It doesn't make sense to do the wedge shape if you're not going to go all the way with it and make it as svelte as possible. I think it does make sense to make a product that takes the next steps forward in miniaturization and thinness and lightness, because Apple needs to stay ahead of its competition and keep innovating. But that doesn't have to be The Mainstream MacBook For Everybody. It actually probably shouldn't be, because thinness and lightness are good upsells.

Now, you could say that my proposed $999 aluminum/three-pound/14-inch-ish MacBook and $1299 two-pound-ish/12-inch MacBook Air scenario is a lot like the 2015-2018 MacBook Air/12-inch MacBook scenario, and the 12-inch MacBook was just discontinued. But I think the difference is one of expectation: in my plan, the 12-inch $1299 model wouldn't be expected to be the new mainstream notebook for all people, like the 12-inch MacBook was. It'd be fine for it to be a slightly niche ultraportable with the goal of tempting MacBook buyers to move up in the line. (Also, I think the 12-inch being discontinued maybe has less to do with Apple deciding there isn't a market for it and more to do with Intel problems and maybe the keyboard problems, too. I think we'll see a return of that form factor.)

Discontinuing the 12-inch model was an odd regression on the portability front for Apple; their lightest notebook got 35% heavier overnight. They introduced the 2018 Air as sort of a cheapified replacement for the 12-inch MacBook, because they were sure the Air name and the "iconic wedge" was what people wanted, but I think they cheapified the wrong computer. They sell the base MacBook Pro for only $200 more with a quad core with the fancy eDRAM graphics and a Touch Bar! Swap in a regular dual core and take out the Touch Bar and I think it would probably be easier to hit $999 with that product than with the MacBook Air, and with higher performance than the odd 7W Air to boot.

I just...I just can't make sense of the new Air, chuck. It's ~90% the weight of a MacBook with a 28W processor, and it has a 7W processor and a fan that is just sort of hanging out off to the side. It just doesn't seem ideal, for like anyone. And Apple's acting like it's the return of the king. I have to hope it's a stopgap and will be a relatively short-lived design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
We'll see what they do with the low-end iPad. If you're right, it'll only be a spec bump revision. If so, for consistency's sake, I think your proposed line-up makes sense.
Well, I never said I thought I was right. I'm wishcasting, a little.

The current rumor is that the low-end iPad is going to get a slightly larger screen, but still smaller than the Air? I can't make sense of it.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-26, 13:27

I have a friend who needed a MacBook for college and he was going to buy a used one for $600-700 but I convinced him to buy a new Air because Best Buy had them on sale for like $799 (the 2018 model without True Tone, but still, a super good deal right?) and that way he would for sure get a new battery and everything. He messaged me back and was like “I got the MacBook Air, like you said! And Best Buy discounted it another $50!” and I was like “they…did?” and then I was like ohhhhhh nooooooo because of course he bought the old old old non-retina Air.

So, yeah. Apple’s confusing Mac line-up until this summer is still claiming victims. They really need to not just keep old models around for literally years on end just to hit a certain price point. Probably not the best way to make new users have a good Mac experience.

There shouldn’t be Mac models that are like landmines we have to warn people to avoid.

And the worst thing is, his cat immediately chewed through the $80 power cable. And if he had spent the extra $50 to get the 2018 MacBook Air, he would just be able to use any USB-C cable. So the old technology ended up costing him more…and he’s going to judge the whole platform based on years-old technology and think I’m crazy for liking Apple.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-26, 14:54

Did you find out too late, or why didn't he just return it within the window?

(Also, I'm not entirely convinced the new Air is, in all regards, a better product than the old one. Mostly, sure. But it has a weak CPU, weird ports, a bad keyboard, etc. Yes, this has been litigated over and over, but it's plausible to me the new Air would've made him even less enamored with the Mac…)
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kaby Lake MacBooks at WWDC chucker Speculation and Rumors 44 2017-06-02 02:36
OT - boycott BP - dumping waste into lake michigan DrGruv AppleOutsider 0 2007-07-28 04:06
Shooting sprees in Philadelphia and Salt Lake City Barto AppleOutsider 9 2007-02-13 11:23
Aftermath: the looting of Lake New Orleans HOM AppleOutsider 43 2005-08-31 19:52
Deep Impact: Comet whacking curiousuburb AppleOutsider 46 2005-07-05 23:12


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 21:04.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2019, AppleNova