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Santa Rosa update not worth it
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May 23, 2007, 02:01 PM
 
with the non-stop threads of "buy now or wait?" i thought i would bring some non-apple-specific information

Anandtech, a well-respected tech website, notes that Santa Rosa isn't all that. and this isn't just idle speculation that some random nobody posts. This is a recent article/review based on an actual Santa Rosa laptop provided by Intel.

AnandTech: Intel Santa Rosa Preview: Centrino V Evolves

even with the LED display, i don't think it will be worth it. sure, the led display generates less heat, but it is the videocard and the powersupply that causes all the heat (notice that the area around the magsafe port) gets superhot when you have it plugged in.

i use my laptop as a desktop replacement so battery life isn't that important to me.

less mercury? it doesn't directly and immediately affect me, so it doesn't have as much sway with me. and with the way greenpeace bullies apple around, i hope apple doesn't give into them all the time. it will only encourage them.
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May 23, 2007, 02:13 PM
 
Worth is in the eye of the beholder and I think a lot of people are aching for some newer technology. I myself am less concerned with LED displays as much as looking to get a faster computer (coming from a coreduo Macbook)
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May 23, 2007, 02:35 PM
 
Like 128k said, worth is in the eye of the beholder and we don't even know what the June generation of MBPs will consist of. My guess is that the sum total will overall be worthwhile for those of us running heavy graphics apps like Aperture, Photoshop and the like. Just the 4 GB RAM alone IMO is worth it.

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May 23, 2007, 03:58 PM
 
well with wwdc so close, it would be wise to at least wait for the keynote now.
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May 23, 2007, 05:18 PM
 
It might not be of interest to you, but for people who do scientific computing and run codes that need a lot of memory and are bus limited, SR will be a welcome improvement.

And of course for the people trying to use 3D apps or games with a GMA 950 SR would be a noticeable improvement thanks to the X3100.

And BTW, the case heat has nothing to do with the backlighting. LED backlighting reduces power draw somewhat compared to the current fluorescent backlight. But it's very little compared to what a heavily crunching CPU and GPU draw. The reason why the back of the the MBP is the hottest part is because that's where a lot of the heat is generated and is transfered to (heat pipes lead to fan/vents), not because of the screen (you can verify that the lid is cool).
     
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May 23, 2007, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It might not be of interest to you, but for people who do scientific computing and run codes that need a lot of memory and are bus limited, SR will be a welcome improvement.

And of course for the people trying to use 3D apps or games with a GMA 950 SR would be a noticeable improvement thanks to the X3100.

And BTW, the case heat has nothing to do with the backlighting. LED backlighting reduces power draw somewhat compared to the current fluorescent backlight. But it's very little compared to what a heavily crunching CPU and GPU draw. The reason why the back of the the MBP is the hottest part is because that's where a lot of the heat is generated and is transfered to (heat pipes lead to fan/vents), not because of the screen (you can verify that the lid is cool).
ah, i believe my words might have been too carelessly chosen.

i forgot about the 3gb vs 4gb ram limitation. that is a significant improvement.

to me, santa rosa is about a couple main things:

1. wireless n-technology - this is a moot point since mbp already has n-wireless built-in
2. robson cache - improves startup times, which is almost neglible for the mac, and the anandtech review shows little improvement
3. improved integrated graphics - another moot point for mbp since mbp have discrete (separate) memory for the graphics

my point about the led screen was that one of its touted advantages was that it generates less heat, and that the screen is NOT a major source of heat.
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May 23, 2007, 07:19 PM
 


Hello battery life!
     
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May 23, 2007, 07:21 PM
 
I think Apple has smart people on their team that realize just because their is a chip update from Intel doesn't mean it's necessary to put one out there for their laptops.

I'm also fairly certain that people actually begging for faster MacBook Pros are probably using 2.33GHz machines with 1gb RAM. Try throwing 3gb minimum in there and then see what you think.
     
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May 24, 2007, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Hello battery life!
Umm, not really.



Here's what AnandTech really says about battery life:
Under load, we have Santa Rosa consuming a bit more power than its predecessor, which is honestly what we'd expect. With a faster FSB and no real improvements to power management when the CPU is under load, Santa Rosa will eat up the minutes left on your battery quicker than its predecessor when you're actually getting work done. At idle, we'd honestly expect it to be a toss up between Santa Rosa and its predecessor, with the new platform possibly even coming in a bit lower on the power meter thanks to the enhancements made to the platform.

It's true that power consumption when idle drops considerably on SR (due to the 400 MHz FSB downclock), but in terms of real life battery time I think idle power draw fails to give an accurate picture as indicated in the AnandTech article. I use my MBP to do work and most of the time it's not idling. According to the above numbers in terms of battery life we should expect more from the LED backlighting than from the chipset switch. Of course we still don't know if Apple will make use of Robson and what that will do for us in terms of power. AnandTech again is less than thrilled:

Adding Turbo Memory into the mix could change things as it is supposed to increase battery life, but we simply don't know at this point. We didn't see any change in power consumption with Intel's Turbo Memory enabled or disabled, but that could be the fault of our test platform.

If we want to see major gains in battery life, we'll have to wait till Apple releases something like a "MB lite" or until Intel releases Penryn/Montevina. SR is basically Napa + Robson + FSB improvement + 802.11n (available on late Napa too though) and not a radically new chipset designed for low power consumption. Penryn/Montevina are expected to improve power consumption over SR significantly. It remains to be seen how much of that actually materializes.
     
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May 24, 2007, 04:10 AM
 
Would the MacBooks (non-Pros) be likely to get the RAM limit upped as well or would Apple just give this to the MBPs?
     
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May 24, 2007, 04:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Gamoe View Post
Would the MacBooks (non-Pros) be likely to get the RAM limit upped as well or would Apple just give this to the MBPs?
The MBs still use the Napa chipset which limits you to 3.2GB addressable RAM. On the C2D MB Apple claims there's a 2 GB RAM limit, but you can insert 3 GB and they will be available just like on the MBP.
     
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May 24, 2007, 05:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
even with the LED display, i don't think it will be worth it.
Why wouldn't it be worth it? For the same price, you'd rather stick with the current Core 2 Duo's? Seems worth-while to me to update the line.
     
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May 24, 2007, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It's true that power consumption when idle drops considerably on SR (due to the 400 MHz FSB downclock), but in terms of real life battery time I think idle power draw fails to give an accurate picture as indicated in the AnandTech article. I use my MBP to do work and most of the time it's not idling.
Perhaps for you, but not for all of us. When I'm getting work done on a laptop, I'm usually in Office, Remote Desktop, or a command prompt, none of which are really working the CPU; I've got big boxes on the other end of the network to do the crunching.
     
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May 24, 2007, 11:58 PM
 
i just hope that if apple does go santa rosa that they use a single 2gb stick in the high end 15", i dont wanna hafta buy 2x 2gb and have spare 1gbs
     
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May 25, 2007, 05:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Perhaps for you, but not for all of us. When I'm getting work done on a laptop, I'm usually in Office, Remote Desktop, or a command prompt, none of which are really working the CPU
Considering we are in the MBP forum, it's safe to assume people are mainly interested in heavy-duty professional use. Office and MSRD are something you can do on a MB (or PB for that matter).

Scientific computing, animation, graphics design, audio that's MBP stuff. When people run those kinds of apps, the MBP won't get a lot of idle time. Also, it's important to point out that just because you're not "doing" anything at the moment, the chipset isn't necessarily idling (Rosetta emulation of MSRD is a good example for that). To put it in simple words: Even when the MBP switches to SR and LED backlighting, don't expect to suddenly get 5h off the 60Wh battery when you're actually doing work.

That said, even the idle gains under SR aren't really that spectacular. Again, AnandTech re: idle consumption:
At idle, we'd honestly expect it to be a toss up between Santa Rosa and its predecessor with the new platform possibly even coming in a bit lower on the power meter thanks to the enhancements made to the platform.
( Last edited by Simon; May 25, 2007 at 06:08 AM. )
     
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May 25, 2007, 05:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by thetman View Post
i just hope that if apple does go santa rosa that they use a single 2gb stick in the high end 15", i dont wanna hafta buy 2x 2gb and have spare 1gbs
There's a good chance. On the original CD MBPs they had 1 GB in one slot on the 17" and high end 15" model. The high end PBs before that had one free slot as well. And RAM prices are very low right now.
     
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May 25, 2007, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Considering we are in the MBP forum, it's safe to assume people are mainly interested in heavy-duty professional use. Office and MSRD are something you can do on a MB (or PB for that matter).

Scientific computing, animation, graphics design, audio that's MBP stuff. When people run those kinds of apps, the MBP won't get a lot of idle time. Also, it's important to point out that just because you're not "doing" anything at the moment, the chipset isn't necessarily idling (Rosetta emulation of MSRD is a good example for that). To put it in simple words: Even when the MBP switches to SR and LED backlighting, don't expect to suddenly get 5h off the 60Wh battery when you're actually doing work.

That said, even the idle gains under SR aren't really that spectacular. Again, AnandTech re: idle consumption:
At idle, we'd honestly expect it to be a toss up between Santa Rosa and its predecessor with the new platform possibly even coming in a bit lower on the power meter thanks to the enhancements made to the platform.
"Heavy-duty professional use" isn't something done (willingly) on a 2 core/3GB box in my book. As I said (and you so conveniently trimmed out), I've got a box with four times as many cores and ten times as much RAM on the network for doing the heavy computation. The laptop is for Office and similar light-duty (at least on the CPU) apps, a command prompt, and remote desktop.

MB and PB are both out because I need screen space (at least pixels, if not inches) and to run Intel-only apps.

I'm unable to reconcile that statement from Anandtech against the graphs they provided, which shows a 25% decrease in power consumption.
     
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May 25, 2007, 10:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
sure, the led display generates less heat, but it is the videocard and the powersupply that causes all the heat (notice that the area around the magsafe port) gets superhot when you have it plugged in.
Chiming in kinda late here, but ummmmm ...... Doesn't ALL the power in a laptop come FROM THE POWER SUPPLY? So an LED display, using noticeably less power, would reduce the draw on that power supply, and thus reduce the heat it generates?

I thought so.[/quote]
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
i use my laptop as a desktop replacement so battery life isn't that important to me.

less mercury? it doesn't directly and immediately affect me, so it doesn't have as much sway with me. and with the way greenpeace bullies apple around, i hope apple doesn't give into them all the time. it will only encourage them.
Me, me, me, me... What about the countless others who want decent battery life, don't want to contribute to spreading metallic mercury around, and actually like this planet and want it to be less poo-like? So the Santa Rosa processor isn't YOUR cup of tea. Fine. Buy a computer now. But don't tear down a computer that a lot of people want just because you prefer mauve to eggplant highlight colors.

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May 26, 2007, 03:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Me, me, me, me... What about the countless others who want decent battery life, don't want to contribute to spreading metallic mercury around, and actually like this planet and want it to be less poo-like? So the Santa Rosa processor isn't YOUR cup of tea. Fine. Buy a computer now. But don't tear down a computer that a lot of people want just because you prefer mauve to eggplant highlight colors.
wow. i think you missed the points, and you're over-reacting without really reading/thinking about what i wrote.

my original post wasn't mindless emotional bashing of Santa Rosa (which is a platform, not a processor). I linked to an actual recent review from a reputable source, and i even broke down the parts that make up the Santa Rosa platform. if you think it is a processor, you are mistaken. Santa Rosa still uses Merom Core 2 Duo chips. It is like saying the original Centrino is a processor. (Pentium M was the processor, Centrino is the brand name that also included the processsor, chipset, and wifi)

are you afraid that my comments will prevent apple from making a Santa Rosa laptop? I'm not "tearing down" a computer; i'm pointing out objective data that may take away some of the smoke and mirrors that marketing puts up. And i'd like to point out that Intel was the source of the laptop in the Anandtech review.

"a computer a lot of people want" ..... EVERYONE wants the next revision, regardless of what is in it. You've been here long enough to know that one week after a revision comes out, that being are wanting to know what is in the next revision. And remember how people talking constantly about Rev A,B,C,D,E powerbooks and how people swore that they wouldn't get a powerbook until Rev C?

As for the environment, although this isn't the right subforum, i do agree that the environment is important but....

1. i disagree with greenpeace's aggressiveness/attitude towards apple. this article sums up my attitude.

O'Grady's PowerPage - the browning of greanpeace

2. i'm pragmatic. If people's only source of income in a developing country is strip mining or deforresting, then so be it. if there is no viable alternative for that area, then there is none.
======================
addendum - what is santa rosa exactly?
Centrino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. Core 2 Duo chip (already exists)
2. better integrated graphics (mbp uses discrete graphics) and power saving bus switching (graphs in above posts show mixed results)
3. n-wireless (already exists)
4. Robson memory (tests show minimal improvement)
5. more ram support (a point i already conceded)
6. EFI compliant (already exists)
7. better aero vista support (if you're looking forward to this, go to another forum....hahahaha)
( Last edited by uicandrew; May 26, 2007 at 03:23 AM. )
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May 26, 2007, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
addendum - what is santa rosa exactly?
Centrino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. Core 2 Duo chip (already exists)
2. better integrated graphics (mbp uses discrete graphics) and power saving bus switching (graphs in above posts show mixed results)
3. n-wireless (already exists)
4. Robson memory (tests show minimal improvement)
5. more ram support (a point i already conceded)
6. EFI compliant (already exists)
7. better aero vista support (if you're looking forward to this, go to another forum....hahahaha)
Santa Rosa is a platform. It requires 3 things:
A Crestline chipset (965PM or 965GM)
A Core 2 Duo CPU
The Intel 4965AGN wifi chipset

The chipset includes support for 2, 4, 5, and 6 in your list, but none of them are required. The manufacturer could use the PM chipset without the integrated graphics, not install Robson, limit memory support in the firmware, and not use EFI.

Item 7 in your list is really a repeat of item 2; it will also help with OSX GUI performance.
     
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May 26, 2007, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
wow. i think you missed the points, and you're over-reacting without really reading/thinking about what i wrote.
I responded because it seemed you were completely dismissing the new processor on extremely thin assumptions, and I focused my response on how you closed your post (the "me" part). No, I don't think even a lot of negative reports will impact Apple, but I do think that your opinions here might impact a lot of our users.

Apple does not physically "make" any of its hardware, and it's often a good thing to have an extra observer on hand to ensure that one's contractors are not only doing a technically competent job, but that they're doing it well; while I often abhor the aggressive and always-confrontational stance Greenpeace takes for EVERYTHING, in the case of reducing mercury used in products, I'm pretty much happy with what they're doing because so few people understand how much mercury is in how many products they use. Heavy metal poisoning is not a nice thing, and it's bad for US, not just the environment.

And while the article you cite is fairly objective, your presentation of it was not. No processor is "all that" for everyone, but the Santa Rosa platform (not just a CPU) is an attempt to move ahead in a direction that is as close to "all that" as can be done for as many users as possible.

And yes, I probably overreacted to some extent-mainly because of your concluding remarks. If it isn't all about ME, then it can't be all about you, either.

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May 26, 2007, 02:15 PM
 
You're all missing the point about the LED display: It reduces power consumption slightly, but that is a side effect. Very late in the development of LED LCDs, they used MORE power than current models, but they were still developed. Why?

Contrast. The weakest point in color reproduction on LCDs is that the contrast drops, the blackness levels aren't any good. This is because to get a black surface, the LCD tries hide the light being generated behind it and it fails. Light leaks out. On a LED LCD you can turn off the light completely in black areas, thereby improving the blackness levels. Hopefully this will remove the need for CRTs for color work - maybe not in the first generation of displays, but soon. The improved battery life is a nice bonus.

Santa Rosa, then: Robson is a nifty piece of engineering that provides very minimal benefit because of lack of software support. Intels demos show a bigger benefit, so it can be done with better drivers. Expect them in Leopard, if Apple decides t use Robson.

Increased FSB helps with the speed in certain applications that really tax the FSB. Others are less affected. That it clocks down is just a way to compensate for the increased battery draw that come from the higher default speed.

Wireless-N is nice, even though Macs already have it. One, Santa Rosa's Draft 2.0 compliant and very likely to work with the final standard - current Macs are only Draft 1.0 compliant. Two, if it's included in the chipset and not on a separate chip, that decreases Apple's costs. We can at least hope that they decide to pass that on to us.

Santa Rosa's the smallest update to Centrino to date, but it helps. I'm expecting more from the LED LCDs, though.
     
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May 27, 2007, 11:57 PM
 
Santa Rosa is just the next iteration. It has some nice improvements, but they are not really in power consumption or CPU speed.

I'm waiting for the LED backlid displays - I would buy a MBP with that and no SR chip. If Apple only offers the SR chip and no backlit LEDs in the next MBP, I will wait. As others have indicated, the improved networking has already been addressed by Apple.

For those old-timer Mac fanatics, I'm just enjoying the regular chip updates by Intel. Apple might not always need to use each incarnation, but it's certainly good to have these options over the options provided by the leftovers of Motorola.
     
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May 28, 2007, 12:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by SEkker View Post
I'm waiting for the LED backlid displays - I would buy a MBP with that and no SR chip. If Apple only offers the SR chip and no backlit LEDs in the next MBP, I will wait.
I feel the same. I've been waiting a long time for laptop monitor technology to improve. My eyes are important to me and using my laptop's monitor strains my eyes after awhile. When I hook up my laptop to my CRT monitor it's like I'm in heaven. It's brighter, the colors are better, and I can use my computer for hours without having eye strain. I can't wait for the day when I can retire my heavy CRT monitor and just use the laptop monitor.

LED monitors may not be the miracle I'm asking for but any improvement would be a welcomed addition for me. LEDs are suppose to be brighter and have better colors so that's a start...now let's see if Apple can fix this grainy screen issue. The more time we as a society spend on our computers the more important things like ergonomics become.
     
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May 29, 2007, 03:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by SEkker View Post
I'm waiting for the LED backlid displays - I would buy a MBP with that and no SR chip. If Apple only offers the SR chip and no backlit LEDs in the next MBP, I will wait. As others have indicated, the improved networking has already been addressed by Apple.

For those old-timer Mac fanatics, I'm just enjoying the regular chip updates by Intel. Apple might not always need to use each incarnation, but it's certainly good to have these options over the options provided by the leftovers of Motorola.
the most recent poster noted that he is wanting the led displays to reduce the eyestrain, but mentions that the crt was a better display for him.

that seems counterintuitive since the lcd's advantage was "lack of flicker" and that the flicker caused eyestrain.

anyways, i second the opinion that the more frequent updates of intel are nice, relative to the powerpc chips. I believe the powerbook just stalled for SOOOO long in terms of meaningful chip updates. I remember the rumors of the G5 powerbook, and how all the rumor sites were coming up with other possibilities like dual G4 powerbooks (not to mention the powerbooks with 1920x1280 that never showed up)

the downside to the frequency of updates is going to be the resale value of macs. with the updates so sparse with the powerpc, they held their value longer. but up to now, i'm still impressed by the ignorance of ebayers and how they still pay top dollar for G5 machines (how do G5 imacs get more than intel imacs???)

the thing that surprised me about the whole article (which caused me to link to the review was the fact that INTEL provided the hardware and the improvement wasn't that impressive, and you'd figure that intel, out of all people, would have time to optimize things.

for my final comment of this thread about the environment, i'll still count my blessings that greanpeace is not ELF (earth liberation front - the ones who burn homes and dealerships). i know too well the dangers of heavy metal poisoning, since it is part of my profession to know the dangers of heavy metal poisoning.

yup, it's not all about me
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May 29, 2007, 04:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew View Post
the most recent poster noted that he is wanting the led displays to reduce the eyestrain, but mentions that the crt was a better display for him.

that seems counterintuitive since the lcd's advantage was "lack of flicker" and that the flicker caused eyestrain.
I have my CRT fresh rate set to 100hertz so there really isn't much flicker. I don't think it's the flicker that's casing me problems. I'm not a optometrist so I'm just guessing here, but I think my eyestrain is do to my LCD monitor being dimmer and it looks grainer than that my CRT. All I know is that I can't use my LCD monitor as long as my CRT without my eyes getting tired.
     
   
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