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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > So when will the Sandy Bridge 13" MacBook Pros surface?

So when will the Sandy Bridge 13" MacBook Pros surface?
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masugu
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Jan 16, 2011, 12:11 AM
 
OK, Sorry if I missed a post here. Have not been around for a while...

I am typing this on my 13" Core Duo Rev 1 Intel BlackBook...Jonesing for a new MBP.

What do folks think? Spring?
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Waragainstsleep
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Jan 16, 2011, 09:45 AM
 
I suspect Apple will be waiting to see what Intel do with integrating nVidia cores for the on board graphics. Or maybe they'll switch to AMD Fusion. Who knows. At least for the 13" MBP. Bigger ones should continue to have dedicated graphics so might get the platform upgrade sooner.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jan 16, 2011, 10:11 AM
 
Anywhere in the span March to May is my guess. The 13" will only get the duals, and the dual Sandy Bridges aren't even out for a few weeks yet - the launch was for both, but only the quads have (just) begun shipping.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I suspect Apple will be waiting to see what Intel do with integrating nVidia cores for the on board graphics.
They won't - or put another way, they have already. The deal between Intel and nVidia was about letting Intel use nVidia patents in their designs, but the argument from nVidia is that Sandy Bridge already does so, that the new GPU is too similar to what they put out. nVidia didn't design it, but they claim that is similar enough to infringe patents. Sandy Bridge is a big step forward graphics-wise, and (barely) beats the 320M in the current 13".

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Or maybe they'll switch to AMD Fusion. Who knows. At least for the 13" MBP.
Which Fusion is that? The first Fusion chips, Zacate/Ontario, are meant to compete with Atom and manages to obliterate it in early testing. A 1.6 GHz E-350 runs about even with a Core 2-based 1.2 GHz Celeron CULV. It might possibly find room in the 11" MBA, but I doubt it. The second Fusion launch, Llano, isn't even here yet, and will still use the old Phenom II core, which is no match for Sandy Bridge. Honestly, you'd need a quad to even beat the dualcore Core 2 currently in there, and I can't see how that fits the power envelope of a 13". Only with the launch after that, with the Bulldozer core, does AMD have a chance to challenge around the lower end of the segment. First rumors are that at least the desktop versions are competitive, but we have seen no numbers.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Bigger ones should continue to have dedicated graphics so might get the platform upgrade sooner.
Possible but unlikely, as the only chips available sooner are the quads, and even if Apple uses them it will be a tiny part of the launch. They might fit quads in the top 17" and even 15", but the focus stays on the duals for at least this generation.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
masugu  (op)
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Jan 17, 2011, 04:37 PM
 
Thanks...

I was not figuring anytime soon. Apple has no desire to launch with all the PCs...

Spring or Back-to-school...figures.
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Salty
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Jan 20, 2011, 09:13 AM
 
My guess is Apple has no desire to get out sold by PC vendors with better chips than them. The launch of a major update is not a time for them to look like they don't care about their hardware. Especially as their focus moves toward the iDevices that gives them more reasons than ever to simply make sure that their computers have whatever the latest hardware is and to stop worrying so much about sticking to random release windows. My hope is that we'll start to see Sandybridge in MacBooks as soon as Apple can get the chips in meaningful numbers.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 20, 2011, 09:27 AM
 
Probably about 3 months before SandyBridge gets replaced.
     
mduell
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Jan 20, 2011, 02:48 PM
 
Second quarter
     
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Jan 21, 2011, 05:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Probably about 3 months before SandyBridge gets replaced.
Here's Intel's price list - notice how there aren't any Sandy Bridge dualcores on it yet? Intel launched Sandy Bridge, but the duals aren't here yet. Apple could update the top iMac and spread quads further down the chain of the iMac and MBP lines, but they can't update everything yet - so they most likely won't do anything.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Salty
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Jan 23, 2011, 03:41 AM
 
So when do the duals go on sale? It's a shame we won't be able to see the quads in the 13 inch Oh well maybe when I buy my next next computer.
     
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Jan 23, 2011, 08:52 AM
 
Feb 20.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
AltecXP
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Jan 24, 2011, 12:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
My guess is Apple has no desire to get out sold by PC vendors with better chips than them.
Really because PC makers already have better chips. They have i3's instead of C2D and i7's that are actually better then the i5. Dual core i7's aren't worth their money against a high end i5. Everyone else is using Quad i7's.
     
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Jan 24, 2011, 01:19 AM
 
Yes but those i3s are coming with without decent graphics chips.
     
drnkn_stylz
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Jan 24, 2011, 11:44 PM
 
The Sandy Bridge IGP does look promising, but for the 13" I would prefer to have a discrete GPU and ditch the ODD, or at least have an option for it.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
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Jan 26, 2011, 06:10 AM
 
I care more about having an SSD boot as well as room for a real HDD. If they could fit that in plus a half decent discrete GPU that'd be golden... preferably if it could switch which one it used on the fly.
     
Phoible
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Jan 30, 2011, 01:54 AM
 
It actually doesn't matter all that much whether they are running a dual or quad core processors. The dual-core chips are clocked higher, so unless you are running things that require lots of threads, performance is going to be comparable (since the quad core won't turbo as high, even when it's running 1 or 2 cores).

The difference between the last-gen i7 dual and quad-cores was pretty small. The i7 2.66ghz in the MBP 15 and 17 was pretty close to the low-end quad core, and the 2.8ghz is close to the higher-end one. The quad-cores dissipate (at least) 10W more, which means that battery life is going to be quite a bit worse. Apple would never trade off battery life for performance, so I'm guessing we will stick with the dual-cores.

I'm pretty sure that the Sandy Bridge on the new Macbooks will be nearly as fast as on the desktops. I would guess that we get the 2520M and 2540M, which turbo up to 1300mhz (the fastest desktop processors go to 1350). In this case, we will probably see integrated graphics performance roughly comparable to the Geforce 320M, but the CPU performance will be a lot better. Overall, should be a large win. I'm guessing the high-end 15 and 17" models will get the 2620M, and will have discrete graphics as well as integrated. Discrete graphics on the 13" models just isn't going to happen (especially if it gets even smaller)

My Macbook is almost 4 years old at this point, and I'm really looking forward to a significant upgrade.
     
Salty
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Jan 30, 2011, 03:29 AM
 
I have my credit card waiting for a Sandybridged 13 inch... preferably i5.
     
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phoible View Post
It actually doesn't matter all that much whether they are running a dual or quad core processors. The dual-core chips are clocked higher, so unless you are running things that require lots of threads, performance is going to be comparable (since the quad core won't turbo as high, even when it's running 1 or 2 cores).
If, however, you are running things that require lots of threads (such as, oh, audio production), performance is going to be significantly higher in the quads, especially with hyperthreading.
     
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Jan 30, 2011, 07:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phoible View Post
It actually doesn't matter all that much whether they are running a dual or quad core processors. The dual-core chips are clocked higher, so unless you are running things that require lots of threads, performance is going to be comparable (since the quad core won't turbo as high, even when it's running 1 or 2 cores).
No, the fastest quadcore will turbo higher than the fastest dual (3.5/3.4 compared to 3.4/3.2 on one/two threads). The slowest quad will also turbo faster than all but 4 duals (including the lowvoltage versions). More importantly, the quads have more cache - 6 or 8 megs compared to 3 or 4 megs for the duals - so the quads will have a slightly higher IPC. The advantage won't be large if you're running one or two threads, but the quads will always be faster on any thread count. There are situations where the slowest quad (2630QM - which doesn't have a price yet, btw) will be slower than the fastest dual (2620M) but they are rare - basically a task with 1 or 2 threads that has a working set smaller than 4 MB, not using the GPU and is over quickly enough that Turbo can be used all through the set. The first tests of mobile Sandy Bridge show that it is a HUGE boost compared to the last gen, and even faster than the current quadcore iMacs.

Originally Posted by Phoible View Post
The difference between the last-gen i7 dual and quad-cores was pretty small. The i7 2.66ghz in the MBP 15 and 17 was pretty close to the low-end quad core, and the 2.8ghz is close to the higher-end one. The quad-cores dissipate (at least) 10W more, which means that battery life is going to be quite a bit worse. Apple would never trade off battery life for performance, so I'm guessing we will stick with the dual-cores.
Clarksfield (last gen quad mobile) was hampered by still being at 45 nm - and anyway, it had an IPC advantage because of the integrated memory controller so it still beat the duals at any reasonable workload. That process node advantage for the duals is gone, and if you check the test I linked above, namely the last page, you will see that the newest quads use less power than the old dualcore Arrandale parts currently in the Macbooks. Apple could move to quads and claim a battery life increase. The issue is price and space in there for the bigger cooler it would need to fully exploit the turbo modes.

The 45W TDP for the new quads means a 47W platform TDP, comparable to a 45W platform TDP for the standard voltage Core 2 used in earlier Macbooks/MBPs. It's higher than the Arrandales, but it is also so much faster that it isn't really comparable.

Originally Posted by Phoible View Post
I'm pretty sure that the Sandy Bridge on the new Macbooks will be nearly as fast as on the desktops. I would guess that we get the 2520M and 2540M, which turbo up to 1300mhz (the fastest desktop processors go to 1350). In this case, we will probably see integrated graphics performance roughly comparable to the Geforce 320M, but the CPU performance will be a lot better.
This has already been tested. Fully specced, the Sandy Bridge graphics beats the 320M by a hair.

Originally Posted by Phoible View Post
Overall, should be a large win. I'm guessing the high-end 15 and 17" models will get the 2620M, and will have discrete graphics as well as integrated. Discrete graphics on the 13" models just isn't going to happen (especially if it gets even smaller)

My Macbook is almost 4 years old at this point, and I'm really looking forward to a significant upgrade.
I really hope that there are quad options in the 15" and 17". The duals are not "almost as good", even if I'm sure that Apple will claim it, and the addition of quads in the iMac 2 years ago means that the MBPs are way overdue.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 30, 2011, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
This has already been tested. Fully specced, the Sandy Bridge graphics beats the 320M by a hair.
If you're referring to that Anandtech article from about a month ago, the machine with the Sandy Bridge graphics was running an i7 CPU, whereas the 320M was on an Apple 13" MBP with a Core 2 Duo, and even with that huge advantage in CPU power, the Sandy Bridge was only able to beat the MBP on the lowest detail settings — on medium, it got beat pretty consistently.

My guess is that if you did that same test with a Core i3, so the CPU performance would at least be in a similar ballpark, the Sandy Bridge graphics would lose handily across the board.

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Jan 30, 2011, 03:29 PM
 
I continue to think Q1, at least for the larger laptops. With Apple's cash, expertise and momentum there is no upside to letting PC's show stronger performance. Also Apple likes to control product components like chips by preordering, and once they have ordered JIT manufacturing suggests we will see Sandy Bridge MBPs coming out the other end of the snake sooner rather than later.

If Apple presents a full-strength implementation I will buy a max 17" to replace my hot-chocolate-compromised 17" C2D. OTOH if Apple initially holds back on max performance I will just nurture the lame C2D box until the speed bump. The wait for C2D while using a TiBook worked fine for me.

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( Last edited by SierraDragon; Jan 30, 2011 at 04:09 PM. )
     
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Jan 30, 2011, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
If you're referring to that Anandtech article from about a month ago, the machine with the Sandy Bridge graphics was running an i7 CPU, whereas the 320M was on an Apple 13" MBP with a Core 2 Duo, and even with that huge advantage in CPU power, the Sandy Bridge was only able to beat the MBP on the lowest detail settings — on medium, it got beat pretty consistently.
I mean this one, so probably yes. At medium, Sandy Bridge gets beat by about the same distance that it won at low quality, but both are generally unplayable.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
My guess is that if you did that same test with a Core i3, so the CPU performance would at least be in a similar ballpark, the Sandy Bridge graphics would lose handily across the board.
You can't, that's precisely the point! Arrandale cannot have nVidia integrated graphics, and without going into why, that means that an Arrandale + 320m solution is not possible. Would an Arrandale +325m win? Of course it would - so? The system has a way higher aggregate memory bandwidth, it would be a terrible GPU if it didn't win.

That said, I don't think these games are CPU limited here. Compare the i5-460M and the i7-640M, both with the same GPU. They have almost identical framerates in all tests, despite the clockspeed, cache and turbo advantage of one CPU. The only time that really shows up is the Starcraft 2 test, which the Sandy Bridge graphics fail spectacularly.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 30, 2011, 05:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
You can't, that's precisely the point! Arrandale cannot have nVidia integrated graphics, and without going into why, that means that an Arrandale + 320m solution is not possible. Would an Arrandale +325m win? Of course it would - so? The system has a way higher aggregate memory bandwidth, it would be a terrible GPU if it didn't win.
Read what I wrote again. The i3 processor certainly will be usable with the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics (or, at least, it will when it's released in a few weeks), and using that in the comparison vs. the Core 2 Duo will be much closer to being a fair test — and I expect that the C2D + 320M will win consistently in that scenario. Pitting an i7 against a Core 2 is beyond unfair.

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Jan 30, 2011, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Read what I wrote again. The i3 processor certainly will be usable with the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics (or, at least, it will when it's released in a few weeks), and using that in the comparison vs. the Core 2 Duo will be much closer to being a fair test — and I expect that the C2D + 320M will win consistently in that scenario. Pitting an i7 against a Core 2 is beyond unfair.
Ah, you mean a Sandy Bridge i3 - then I see. There is only one mobile i3 planned - the 2310M - and it will have a lower graphics turbo and a smaller LLC, so not quite the same GPU to compare with. It seems clear that the key to the Sandy Bridge graphics performance are the abilities to clock up and to use the very fast LLC, and the i3 will have nerfed both of these things.

EDIT: And while it's too late for me to bother looking this up, I think the Sandy Bridge LLC runs at CPU clock, so what LLC there is will be slower as well, further hurting the GPU performance.
( Last edited by P; Jan 30, 2011 at 06:36 PM. )
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 30, 2011, 06:23 PM
 
So i3 in the MacBook and Mac mini, and i5 in the 13" MacBook Pro?
     
CharlesS
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Jan 30, 2011, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Ah, you mean a Sandy Bridge i3 - then I see. There is only one mobile i3 planned - the 2310M - and it will have a lower graphics turbo and a smaller LLC, so not quite the same GPU to compare with. It seems clear that the key to the Sandy Bridge graphics performance are the abilities to clock up and to use the very fast LLC, and the i3 will have nerfed both of these things.

EDIT: And while it's too late for me to bother looking this up, I think the Sandy Bridge LLC runs at CPU clock, so what LLC there is will be slower as well, further hurting the GPU performance.
All the same, it's far more likely to be what will be in the 13" MBP than the i7 is. Any Macs with an i7 in them are likely to be using a discrete GPU anyway, making the whole thing moot.

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Jan 31, 2011, 02:19 AM
 
i3 vs i5 would be a great way to differentiate the different 13 inch models.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 05:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
All the same, it's far more likely to be what will be in the 13" MBP than the i7 is. Any Macs with an i7 in them are likely to be using a discrete GPU anyway, making the whole thing moot.
Current 13" MBPs (and all 13" MBPs that I can find) have processors priced in the middle of the i5 range. The i5 regular voltage mobiles all have the full graphics turbo, if with the smaller LLC.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 08:55 AM
 
Good to know! Though I think they could move the 13 inch white down to an i3 and still have the vast majority of it's market content.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 04:57 PM
 
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 05:12 PM
 
Came here to post that. I don't really think that it makes a difference, but you never know - if they were planning to launch in the next week or two, they'd have to delay now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 31, 2011, 08:15 PM
 
This is just in a small number of units and only affects the desktop version doesn't it? Though who knows they might have only announced that it affects the desktop version. We all know companies are big on avoiding guilt until they can help it.
     
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Feb 1, 2011, 05:37 AM
 
Intel identifies it as a design issue in the 6-series chipset. "Design issue" means "not production issue" - ie, it's 100%, every single chip of a certain revision. 6-series means more than one chip. While it could mean H67 and P67, both the desktop chipsets, there is nothing in the announcement to imply it.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 1, 2011, 08:03 AM
 
It's a design issue with all B stepping (which was the production standard) 6 series chipsets. One of the PLL transistor gates is a bit thin and can degrade over time; Intel's modeling expects 5-15% of the chipsets to eventually have their 3Gb/s SATA ports fail.

But the first two 6Gb/s ports are fine, it's only the other four 3Gb/s ports that degrade over time. Apple only uses 2 SATA ports, so they're fine with the current 6 series chipsets.
     
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Feb 1, 2011, 10:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
But the first two 6Gb/s ports are fine, it's only the other four 3Gb/s ports that degrade over time. Apple only uses 2 SATA ports, so they're fine with the current 6 series chipsets.
For current MB/MBPs yes, but they use three on the iMacs (the third for the optional SSD, but even if the SSD isn't there, they would presumably put the optical on the slower 3Gb/s ports). Rumors also have it that Apple is considering a dual disk SSD+HD setup on at least the larger MBPs.

The latest reports also claim that the SATA ports will fail completely - the first just spoke of a performance degradation.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 1, 2011, 05:00 PM
 
Everything, regardless of the Intel Sandy Bridge problem, points to the new line of MBPs being announced very soon. History of their rollouts shows how long Apple typically has between refreshes, and par for the course, it's about that time right now given the age of the current lineup.

And, historically the launches have always been around March with April shipping.

Whether the Intel issue affects that, I suspect nobody really knows for sure except a very quiet SEC-bound company insider at Intel, but for now what's being circulated in public doesn't point to something that would affect a MBP shipping in April.

You can look at AppleInsider for the article about the delays and shipping.
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Feb 2, 2011, 03:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by zl9600 View Post
Everything, regardless of the Intel Sandy Bridge problem, points to the new line of MBPs being announced very soon. History of their rollouts shows how long Apple typically has between refreshes, and par for the course, it's about that time right now given the age of the current lineup.
Yeah, but the usual rollouts don't include not being able to get motherboards from Intel because they've recalled them. Apple doesn't really have a choice in this.

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zl9600
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Feb 2, 2011, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Yeah, but the usual rollouts don't include not being able to get motherboards from Intel because they've recalled them. Apple doesn't really have a choice in this.
No doubt, but you will recall the myriad issues that crop up every year tend to delay products shipments but rarely their announcement. I could be wrong, but as far as everyone knows from what is coming from Intel, they are not anticipating much delay beyond April to catch up, which given the timing fits okay with the MBP rollout, which has usually been announced/leaked sometime in Q1 and shipped early Q2.

But who knows. Christ, the machine may ship without Sandy Bridge. This is one launch that either the leak-happy people have stopped caring about because OMG white iPhone IPad2 derangement syndrome, or the ship is pretty tight.
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Feb 2, 2011, 05:21 AM
 
The defect wouldn't affect Apple portables. It only affects four of the six on-board SATA ports and Apple only need two in a MacBook/Pro. Apple could use the dodgy controllers if they wanted to.
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Feb 2, 2011, 06:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The defect wouldn't affect Apple portables. It only affects four of the six on-board SATA ports and Apple only need two in a MacBook/Pro. Apple could use the dodgy controllers if they wanted to.
Um.

Originally Posted by P View Post
For current MB/MBPs yes, but they use three on the iMacs (the third for the optional SSD, but even if the SSD isn't there, they would presumably put the optical on the slower 3Gb/s ports). Rumors also have it that Apple is considering a dual disk SSD+HD setup on at least the larger MBPs.

The latest reports also claim that the SATA ports will fail completely - the first just spoke of a performance degradation.
     
Salty
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Feb 2, 2011, 06:58 AM
 
Or it could mean they're going to end up delaying putting in boot SSDs
     
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Feb 2, 2011, 09:16 AM
 
Apple isn't going to ship hardware with known, pre-publicized defects. The company can be dumb at times, but it isn't that dumb.

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indigoimac
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Feb 2, 2011, 10:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Apple isn't going to ship hardware with known, pre-publicized defects. The company can be dumb at times, but it isn't that dumb.
Or they can say screw it and if it breaks they'll add a maintenance program... or as someone else pointed out... if they are that pressed they can retool and use sata3 as the main drive bus and ignore sata2 completely... hell, maybe it'll force apple to embrace sata3... what a lovely change of pace that would be.
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Feb 2, 2011, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by indigoimac View Post
Or they can say screw it and if it breaks they'll add a maintenance program... or as someone else pointed out... if they are that pressed they can retool and use sata3 as the main drive bus and ignore sata2 completely... hell, maybe it'll force apple to embrace sata3... what a lovely change of pace that would be.
Apple knowingly shipping defective hardware isn't "screw it, let's start a maintenance program" -

for one, it's "class-action lawsuit" which is inevitably more expensive than waiting four weeks.

For another, it actually constitutes fraud in most civilized countries, and as such is subject to criminal law.

Third, where will they get the parts now that INTEL has stopped shipping them and is destroying all inventory?

And finally:
Originally Posted by P View Post
The latest reports also claim that the SATA ports will fail completely - the first just spoke of a performance degradation.
     
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Feb 2, 2011, 01:00 PM
 
If you send in a motherboard to Gigabyte now, you get your replacement in april. 2-3 months turnaround? Why? The Cougar Point chipset is produced on a 65nm or 45nm process (the TDP has actually gone up compared to Ibex Peak, so they didn't switch node), both of which are VERY stable by now, and it has to be absolutely tiny compared to a CPU, so I doubt that production problems are the issue here. Intel is making them by the boatload, so those chips must be going somewhere else. Guess where? Big OEMs, of course - priority given to those who buy the most expensive CPUs. I suspect that HP, Dell and Apple are in a very good position right now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 2, 2011, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by indigoimac View Post
Or they can say screw it and if it breaks they'll add a maintenance program... or as someone else pointed out... if they are that pressed they can retool and use sata3 as the main drive bus and ignore sata2 completely... hell, maybe it'll force apple to embrace sata3... what a lovely change of pace that would be.
There is no such thing as SATA 2 or SATA 3, there are only SATA 3.0 Gbps and SATA 6.0 Gbps with various extra features. I'm sure that Apple will be using the fastest SATA ports the chip offers, and maybe they can live with only having 2 ports available in some models (they can disable the other ports completely by just not linking those pins to anything, like they usually do), but that would be at the low end where the CPUs aren't even available yet.

Besides, what would you rather have - an SSD or the optical on SATA 6.0 Gbps? If anything, this will accelerate any plans to eliminate the optical, but my guess is that it will do absolutely nothing.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Feb 2, 2011, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The defect wouldn't affect Apple portables. It only affects four of the six on-board SATA ports and Apple only need two in a MacBook/Pro. Apple could use the dodgy controllers if they wanted to.
Not if Intel won't sell them to them.

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mduell
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Feb 2, 2011, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
For current MB/MBPs yes, but they use three on the iMacs (the third for the optional SSD, but even if the SSD isn't there, they would presumably put the optical on the slower 3Gb/s ports). Rumors also have it that Apple is considering a dual disk SSD+HD setup on at least the larger MBPs.

The latest reports also claim that the SATA ports will fail completely - the first just spoke of a performance degradation.
The MBP SSD could be on mPCIe, which is pretty common in laptops. I know Apple uses mSATA on the Air, but I don't think that precludes using mPCIe in the MBP.

The initial reports I saw said the degradation would eventually cause failure of ports 2-5. Ports 0 and 1 are unaffected.
     
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Feb 2, 2011, 06:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The MBP SSD could be on mPCIe, which is pretty common in laptops. I know Apple uses mSATA on the Air, but I don't think that precludes using mPCIe in the MBP.
Could be, certainly, but the specific format used for the SSD on the Air indicates (at least to me) that they plan to use it again and that it will live until replaced by LightPeak. If they only meant to save space in the Air, they could just as easily have put the entire thing on the motherboard. It would obviously hurt their ability to make BTO models, but that didn't stop them from soldering in the RAM. I'm just guessing, of course, but that's how I read it.

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The initial reports I saw said the degradation would eventually cause failure of ports 2-5. Ports 0 and 1 are unaffected.
That's how I read it as well - that the circuit in question was not used at all by port 0 and 1.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
mduell
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Feb 2, 2011, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Could be, certainly, but the specific format used for the SSD on the Air indicates (at least to me) that they plan to use it again and that it will live until replaced by LightPeak. If they only meant to save space in the Air, they could just as easily have put the entire thing on the motherboard. It would obviously hurt their ability to make BTO models, but that didn't stop them from soldering in the RAM. I'm just guessing, of course, but that's how I read it.
The mSATA card is about the same size as the mPCIe cards.

I also don't expect LP to replace it; why would you? PCIe is already there and faster.
     
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Feb 3, 2011, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The mSATA card is about the same size as the mPCIe cards.

I also don't expect LP to replace it; why would you? PCIe is already there and faster.
In the long run, I expect LP to replace SATA for SSDs across the board, not just for Apple. SSDs will run into the 6.0 Gbps limit soon enough, and SATA is a bad fit for SSDs anyway - might as well make a controller directly to LP as make one directly for SATA. PCIe may be faster, but if you want to keep the current organization of a desktop box, you need something that connects with a cable rather than a slot. With LightPeak set to increase performance significantly without changing the physical interface, it could be a very good fit for SSDs.

This is getting a little far afield, and it's pure speculation from my side, but I do think that SSDs will abandon SATA not just in Macs, and LightPeak seems a better fit to replace it.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
 
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