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2016 Thunderbolt Display
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kscherer
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2016-06-01, 15:42

Rumors are beginning to float that Apple is prepping a new TB display, possibly with a built-in GPU. I find this intriguing, considering Macs would no longer need the GPU to drive a super-hi-res 5k display, even under the most demanding loads.

I think this has been discussed, before, but I don't remember for sure.

Anywhoo, what you think?

I could see Apple having two different offerings. Perhaps a 4GB model and an 8GB model, or something along those lines. Price is going to be a major issue. If this is true, and they start around $1500, then it will make little sense. But if a package like that starts at $999, boy!

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Kickaha
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2016-06-01, 17:44

I think it's a natural evolution of Thunderbolt, and something I've been anticipating since it was announced.

FINALLY.
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PB PM
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2016-06-01, 17:45

So Apple will want $3k just for the display. DOA.
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turtle
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2016-06-01, 17:53

Yeah, I con't imagine many would be willing to buy it. Then again, Apple never targeted everyone in the things they built, just those willing to pay the price for it.

I do like the idea, just can't imagine it being feasible for most households. Still not something I would be willing to buy unless it was literally dirt cheap.

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Kickaha
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2016-06-01, 18:05

I'm willing to wait until an actual price for an actual product is announced and shipping before declaring it unviable or not.

For our household (two teen students who are above-casual but not-hardcore gamers, one pro photographer), this coupled with three less expensive laptops makes a TON of sense in the tech way. Pricing would be the go/no-go determinant.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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PB PM
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2016-06-01, 18:19

I'm going to throw a random thought out here, but if these things are real and the price is not over $1k, the iMac is dead. Why? People buy iMac's for the display more than anything (semi-power users who get quad core i7 models aside). If anything it could see the rise of the Mac Mini as a more usable semi-power user machine, if Apple is willing to put the right guts into them.
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kieran
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2016-06-01, 18:29

This would be awesome to dock a notebook into, especially a smaller one such as the MacBook. Hopefully it's made to work with the MacBook if that's the case.

I'd definitely be interested in having a 5K screen like that. Definitely a splurge, but it could be really nice, especially with not having to throw out the display when replacing the computer like with the iMac.
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kscherer
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2016-06-01, 18:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
So Apple will want $3k just for the display. DOA.
It may well be that Apple wants $2999 just for the display, or they may charge much less. Considering a 5k iMac is $1799, I have a hard time believing they cannot produce a 5k display for a lot less than $1500, even with a GPU built in. I won't actually be surprised if it is $999. We all thought the Apple tablet would be $999 and up, and the Mac universe was shocked when it was just $499. Same thing with Apple Watch. This isn't even a matter of possibility; rather it's more a matter of probability. If they use the same panel (which is a very good panel) and the same GPU as the iMac, I can see them doing it for $999 for a base unit, and perhaps $1499 for one with a suped-up GPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
I'm willing to wait until an actual price for an actual product is announced and shipping before declaring it unviable or not.
Good plan!

If this is a thing, I think they will sell quite well at $1499, like hotcakes at $999. Anything over $1499 and a 27" iMac makes a helluva lot more sense.

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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-01, 18:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
I'm willing to wait until an actual price for an actual product is announced and shipping before declaring it unviable or not.

For our household (two teen students who are above-casual but not-hardcore gamers, one pro photographer), this coupled with three less expensive laptops makes a TON of sense in the tech way. Pricing would be the go/no-go determinant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I'm going to throw a random thought out here, but if these things are real and the price is not over $1k, the iMac is dead. Why? People buy iMac's for the display more than anything (semi-power users who get quad core i7 models aside). If anything it could see the rise of the Mac Mini as a more usable semi-power user machine, if Apple is willing to put the right guts into them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran View Post
This would be awesome to dock a notebook into, especially a smaller one such as the MacBook. Hopefully it's made to work with the MacBook if that's the case.

I'd definitely be interested in having a 5K screen like that. Definitely a splurge, but it could be really nice, especially with not having to throw out the display when replacing the computer like with the iMac.
Hm.

If they included a GPU and a hard drive/solid state drive.... basically everyone's reasons for owning a desktop over a laptop would disappear. Your screen would have the heavy duty graphics power and storage.... your laptop would provide everything else.

Interesting concept, except the GPU will eventually fall behind, leaving you with a very valuable screen but outdated graphics power.
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kscherer
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2016-06-01, 18:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I'm going to throw a random thought out here, but if these things are real and the price is not over $1k, the iMac is dead. Why? People buy iMac's for the display more than anything (semi-power users who get quad core i7 models aside). If anything it could see the rise of the Mac Mini as a more usable semi-power user machine, if Apple is willing to put the right guts into them.
Nope. By the time the Mini is thrown in there, you will get more iMac computer for the money than the Mini is going to deliver.

As of right now:

Quad i5 27" iMac / 8GB / 1TB / with wireless keyboard and mouse - $1799

Dual i5 Mac Mini / 8GB / 1TB / with wireless keyboard and mouse - $1876

People who buy Mini's don't buy them with Apple monitors. In the vast majority of cases, Mini's go to budget buyers. A fancy new [expensive] display won't change that. More likely is the professional photographers, videographers, and graphic designers will have a hard look at MacBook Pros and a new display. That will have a far greater impact on iMacs than the Mini.

The Mini has never had an appreciable impact on iMac sales, regardless of what display tech it was served alongside. Even back in 2012 when the Thunderbolt Display was brand new, cutting edge, and marketed alongside the quad i7 Mini, it had zero impact. The same money has always bought way more iMac than Mac Mini.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
except the GPU will eventually fall behind, leaving you with a very valuable screen but outdated graphics power.
Well, that's always been the case with Macs, so nothing really changes.

I do like the idea of a drive being built in there as well. That would sell!

So, how about this:

27" 5k Retina Display w/2GB GPU - $999
27" 5k Retina Display w/4GB GPU and 512GB Flash - $1499
27" 5k Retina Display w/8GB GPU and 1TB Flash - $1999

Think about option #3 with a quad i7 13" Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 256GB flash at around $1799. In other words, for the same price as a rocked-out 27" iMac, you get almost the same thing, but portability. One cable connects the whole kit together, power, video and data.

Yep, I'm dreaming.

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PB PM
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2016-06-01, 20:55

Which is why I said, "if they put the right guts into them." If there is no iMac there is no reason to under power the Mac Mini, you just have more types. Aka, entry level, $499 as now, with better specs as it scales up. The only reason the Mac Mini is poor value (entry level model aside) is to protect iMac sales.
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alcimedes
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2016-06-02, 10:38

Man, I'm so torn on this. I know that Apple is about 99% likely to make it just the screen/GPU/storage combo, and the GPU will be some custom, one-off crappy for gaming 2D card, but I can wish that they'd include the ability to fit a standard GPU into this display, and the ability to swap them out years down the road.

The entire justification for dropping more money on a display is that it will survive through two or three machine upgrades. Building in the GPU makes me wonder.

I also wonder how the price/performance of that setup will compare to external TB GPU's. Same idea, only it's not tied to your screen forever.

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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2016-06-02, 10:51

A display with built-in GPU and storage and hub-like functionality, suddenly making those 11", 12" and 13" various MacBook models seem like a smarter buy...it all seems like cool, innovating and novel Apple. Which means I put the chances at about 8%.

Sorry.

Believe me, it hurts me to say it more than it hurts you to hear it.

Most I can imagine Apple doing on this front is a new 27" overpriced display that gazillions of people would (or could) never buy. And if it does come with its own built-in GPU, everyone here knows damn well it'll be some middling, underwhelming joke-of-an-option with the shit soldered/welded out of it firmly into place, to ensure that within 8-14 months, you're feel like a royal chump for the $$ you convinced yourself to drop.

Yes, it's fun to speculate and dream (I made quite a hobby of it myself for years). But let's all be reasonable, and realistic, here. Temper those expectations, gang.
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kscherer
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2016-06-02, 11:02



The eternal optimist has lost his optimism.

… and he might be right.



Edit: Well, poop!

Last edited by kscherer : 2016-06-02 at 13:44.
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Frank777
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2016-06-03, 08:38

I simply don't get why Apple would double the price of the TB Display, when they could sell the Display and the Dock (containing the GPU and HD) separately.

Yes, putting everything inside one box would be more elegant, but it ups the price significantly.

The person at Apple who insisted on such radical simplicity has been been dead for almost five years.
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Frank777
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2016-06-03, 08:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
A display with built-in GPU and storage and hub-like functionality, suddenly making those 11", 12" and 13" various MacBook models seem like a smarter buy...
Meaning future models right? Because the current, upgraded 12" MacBook still doesn't have Thunderbolt 3.
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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-03, 10:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I simply don't get why Apple would double the price of the TB Display, when they could sell the Display and the Dock (containing the GPU and HD) separately.

Yes, putting everything inside one box would be more elegant, but it ups the price significantly.

The person at Apple who insisted on such radical simplicity has been been dead for almost five years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Meaning future models right? Because the current, upgraded 12" MacBook still doesn't have Thunderbolt 3.
I believe the entire point is that putting an eGPU in the display would negate the need for new IO and would work over Thunderbolt 2, and possibly Thunderbolt.

Even Thunderbolt 3 does not support DisplayPort 1.3 (which has 5K support) so that wouldn't matter.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2016-06-03, 10:51

That does seem to be the point. The purpose of the system would be for the computer to send the data to the display, which would then render it and display it on screen. There would be no need for any video signal from the computer at all, negating any concern for what Displayport does and does not support. The data would be carried via PCIe, just as it is inside a desktop computer. The GPU inside the display would take over from there.

The only difference between this system and a desktop would be PCIe over TB, rather than PCIe via a slot. Otherwise, the tech is identical—and just as fast.

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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-03, 12:26

With the Thunderbolt Display selling for the same $999 5 years later I think it is very realistic to think Apple could put an eGPU in a new 5K display and match the $999 price or bump it to $1299 with eGPU for older models, $999 without (assuming they release models that somehow support DisplayPort 1.3).
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Dr. Bobsky
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2016-06-03, 15:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
That does seem to be the point. The purpose of the system would be for the computer to send the data to the display, which would then render it and display it on screen. There would be no need for any video signal from the computer at all, negating any concern for what Displayport does and does not support. The data would be carried via PCIe, just as it is inside a desktop computer. The GPU inside the display would take over from there.

The only difference between this system and a desktop would be PCIe over TB, rather than PCIe via a slot. Otherwise, the tech is identical—and just as fast.
I'm not so sure about the just as fast bit -- even if it is just data, wires and switches slow transfer down the more there are between the processor and the display. Practically speaking this may not mean much -- our visual system ticks along at a pretty slow rate (given just how fast we can make electronic systems, and hell, given just how fast smaller creatures see the world -- again wires and distance slowing shit down for us).

What I do like about the idea is that instead of having to maintain two computers or two computers and a set top box, a laptop and an easily upgradable screen are perhaps all you need. We're moving into the period where computers will become white goods so it is up to the electronics companies to find their replaceable razor heads to keep driving sales whether it is content or a screen with a relatively short anticipated consumer lifetime.
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alcimedes
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2016-06-03, 15:36

External GPU's running over TB 2 are over 90% as effective as inline PCIe cards, last I'd looked. I've been debating an external GPU setup I could use with both my laptop and desktops.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Apple to enter the external GPU market, but Apple has always been strangely absent in pushing the boundaries of the GPU aspect of computing, I wouldn't expect them to start now.

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Frank777
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2016-06-03, 17:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Even Thunderbolt 3 does not support DisplayPort 1.3 (which has 5K support) so that wouldn't matter.
Um, what? Wasn't DP 1.3 finalized in 2014? Why doesn't TB3 support it? I thought we were well on the path to DP 1.4 for 8K displays now.
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Frank777
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2016-06-03, 17:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
This is a wonderful opportunity for Apple to enter the external GPU market, but Apple has always been strangely absent in pushing the boundaries of the GPU aspect of computing, I wouldn't expect them to start now.
Back in the early days, Apple was terrified the Mac would get pegged as a toy for gaming instead of being a respected computing platform.

Then gaming became a mega billion dollar business, and nobody at Apple noticed.
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Eugene
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2016-06-04, 13:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
27" 5k Retina Display w/2GB GPU - $999
27" 5k Retina Display w/4GB GPU and 512GB Flash - $1499
27" 5k Retina Display w/8GB GPU and 1TB Flash - $1999
Even though the current 5K iMac comes with 2GB of video memory, it's not really enough. 4GB should be the absolute minimum.

Also I just don't get it, personally. If it has a GPU, storage, USB, Ethernet, Thunderbolt, then it's just an iMac missing a $150 CPU and a few extra ICs...

Last edited by Eugene : 2016-06-04 at 15:50.
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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-05, 12:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Even though the current 5K iMac comes with 2GB of video memory, it's not really enough. 4GB should be the absolute minimum.

Also I just don't get it, personally. If it has a GPU, storage, USB, Ethernet, Thunderbolt, then it's just an iMac missing a $150 CPU and a few extra ICs...

Maybe an iPad Pro would gain the ability to work with the new display?

Or all Apple mobile devices?
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Eugene
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2016-06-06, 05:35

Or leave the iMac specs to the iMac and don't bother glomming a desktop or high-end laptop GPU inside a display. The future for Apple isn't augmenting the power of an iDevice via a wireless dock concept. The iDevice should have all the capability built-in and continue to share displays via technologies like AirPlay. You should never see a dialog pop up on your iPad Pro indicating that an app requires an external display to run optimally.

As a bleeding edge Apple customer, I'm trying to think of any way for me to justify buying an incomplete iMac labeled as a "smart monitor." I'd rather separate the display and GPU imto constituent parts, but Apple will never allow that sort of hardware flexibility.
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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-06, 18:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Or leave the iMac specs to the iMac and don't bother glomming a desktop or high-end laptop GPU inside a display. The future for Apple isn't augmenting the power of an iDevice via a wireless dock concept. The iDevice should have all the capability built-in and continue to share displays via technologies like AirPlay. You should never see a dialog pop up on your iPad Pro indicating that an app requires an external display to run optimally.

As a bleeding edge Apple customer, I'm trying to think of any way for me to justify buying an incomplete iMac labeled as a "smart monitor." I'd rather separate the display and GPU imto constituent parts, but Apple will never allow that sort of hardware flexibility.
I think you are ignoring the fact that the majority of Thunderbolt displays are used with MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs right now. In that scenario, the GPU in the display makes a lot of sense. And it makes more sense when you throw compatibility for a 5K display in with the Mac Pro and Mac Mini.
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Eugene
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2016-06-06, 21:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
I think you are ignoring the fact that the majority of Thunderbolt displays are used with MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs right now. In that scenario, the GPU in the display makes a lot of sense. And it makes more sense when you throw compatibility for a 5K display in with the Mac Pro and Mac Mini.
???

Why put it in a display at all when it likely won't be upgradeable and also won't be as powerful as I want it to be? Stick it in its own box, and daisy chain it to a Thunderbolt display.
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Frank777
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2016-06-06, 21:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
???

Why put it in a display at all when it likely won't be upgradeable and also won't be as powerful as I want it to be? Stick it in its own box, and daisy chain it to a Thunderbolt display.
Exactly. External GPUs are precisely what Thunderbolt 3 is for.
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Brave Ulysses
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2016-06-07, 16:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
???

Why put it in a display at all when it likely won't be upgradeable and also won't be as powerful as I want it to be? Stick it in its own box, and daisy chain it to a Thunderbolt display.
Because that is unApple.
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