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MBP 15" updated
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P
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May 19, 2015, 10:03 AM
 
Apple has made a minor update of the 15" MBP. It is still Haswell, but higher-clocked variants. The discrete graphics is now the Radeon M370X, a GPU that is completely unknown to the Internet. It might be the very old Cape Verde (Radeon 7770/250X desktop) but given Apple's claims about it, I'm hoping for Bonaire (Radeon 7790/260X desktop). We will have to see which it is.

Apple has apparently also increased the bandwidth to the flash storage to 4 PCIe lanes, something I expect will have roughly zero performance benefit, and switched to the new Force Touch trackpads.
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.
     
And.reg
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May 19, 2015, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Apple has made a minor update of the 15" MBP. It is still Haswell, but higher-clocked variants.
How so? All of the base and BTO clock speeds are the same as before.

Also, Apple went with AMD... instead of nVidia. What do you think, is it worth going for the AMD model?
( Last edited by And.reg; May 19, 2015 at 11:21 AM. )
     
P  (op)
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May 19, 2015, 01:05 PM
 
You're right, they didn't change the CPUs at all. My mistake.

That Apple went with AMD when nVidia currently has the better lineup for laptops is curious. I guess that nVidia's patent trolling is really annoying them, because something like the 950M or 960M seems like a more logical choice.

If the discrete graphics is worth it depends on what exactly it is. If M370X is old Cape Verde, I'd say no. If it is Bonaire, then it is a worthwhile upgrade.
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.
     
And.reg
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May 19, 2015, 04:05 PM
 
So on the mid-2014 models, if you hook up a 15" Pro Macbook with a nVidia dGPU to an external monitor/TV (even if it's low res just to do Powerpoint), then you're always running on the dGPU. Wouldn't that decrease the available time on battery for a given charge since it's using the dGPU? Is the AMD model the same way and if so, then would the iGPU model have better battery life if using an external monitor?
     
mindwaves
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May 19, 2015, 10:01 PM
 
Don't forget the $100 price increase. I'm still happy on my original MBP retina (circa 2012, I think). No plans on upgrading.
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P  (op)
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May 20, 2015, 04:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
So on the mid-2014 models, if you hook up a 15" Pro Macbook with a nVidia dGPU to an external monitor/TV (even if it's low res just to do Powerpoint), then you're always running on the dGPU. Wouldn't that decrease the available time on battery for a given charge since it's using the dGPU?
Yes.

Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
Is the AMD model the same way and if so, then would the iGPU model have better battery life if using an external monitor?
No idea. We'll have to wait until someone gets one and gives it a try.
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.
     
P  (op)
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May 20, 2015, 06:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
If the discrete graphics is worth it depends on what exactly it is. If M370X is old Cape Verde, I'd say no. If it is Bonaire, then it is a worthwhile upgrade.
Hm. Now I think that it might be Iceland, a frequently rumored chip that has yet to show up in a test anywhere. That would at least be interesting - Iceland is the same technology level as Tonga (M295X in the top iMac) but a smaller chip, so it might actually be a useful upgrade without killing the battery life. The fact that Apple has included 2GB of GDDR5 implies that it is not too shabby, in any case.
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.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 20, 2015, 07:57 AM
 
We're pretty sure its Iceland. We'll have our review unit in hand in a few days, we think.
     
P  (op)
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May 20, 2015, 11:39 AM
 
You just might scoop the Internet if you can show that, because I looked around a bit before posting, and just about everyone is assuming that the M375 (at least) is Cape Verde. I didn't see anyone making the connection that it might be Iceland.
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.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 20, 2015, 03:38 PM
 
There is precedent. Apple's had some C2D and Xeon processors before the rest of the industry did, so.

We'll see.
     
P  (op)
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May 20, 2015, 04:05 PM
 
You can look closer than that: Apple had the full Tonga (M295X) before anyone else, although the harvested version had launched on the desktop as R9-285.

Also, if M370X is Iceland, then surely M375 also is (Iceland is going to be faster than Cape Verde), and Lenovo already has a model with M375 available for order.
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.
     
P  (op)
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May 21, 2015, 05:22 AM
 
It can't be Cape Verde. Max resolution on external display is 5120 by 2160, and Cape Verde caps out at 4096*2160:

AMD Radeon™ HD 7700 Series Graphics Cards: 7790, 7770, 7770 GHz, 7750, 7730
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.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 21, 2015, 07:39 AM
 
Yeah, that's one of the things we looked at, and started thinking about it the other day.
     
badidea
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May 21, 2015, 09:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
It can't be Cape Verde. Max resolution on external display is 5120 by 2160, and Cape Verde caps out at 4096*2160
I actually wanted to ask where you found that information but then I realized that apple.de has a lot of wrong tech specs compared to apple.com - they don't list that resolution!
Weird resolution though! 21:9 5k? Do these monitors even exist yet? I just recently bought a LG 29" 21:9 curved monitor...and I love that format!

A few days ago I told myself that I will buy a new MacBook Pro when they are finally available but now I still ask myself if it is really worth it...again!
I still use a 17" early 2011 MBP (with matte display) which is now completely upgraded with SSDs and the performance is good enough for everything I use it for.
I'd love to get a retina display though and those ultra fast PCI-e SSDs in the new MBPs seem to be quite nice as well...but I would have to downgrade to a smaller display and less disk space (I have a 250GB SSD + 1TB SSD in my 17"), especially if I don't want to buy the really expensive 1TB option!

Convince me that it's still a good idea to upgrade now!
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P  (op)
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May 21, 2015, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
Convince me that it's still a good idea to upgrade now!
It isn't. I'm stuck on a 2009 iMac and very happy about it. If Skylake brings fantastic improvements, then maybe I should get that, but right now there is no reason to upgrade.

Sidenote: This might be the last MBP with discrete graphics. Skylake will bring a new graphics level, GT4, and I think that it is what Apple has been waiting for to ditch discrete graphics.
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.
     
badidea
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May 21, 2015, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Sidenote: This might be the last MBP with discrete graphics. Skylake will bring a new graphics level, GT4, and I think that it is what Apple has been waiting for to ditch discrete graphics.
Well, there's my good reason then - with discrete graphics there's a higher chance that a little mobile gaming does make some sense!
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pigmode
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May 21, 2015, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
It can't be Cape Verde. Max resolution on external display is 5120 by 2160, and Cape Verde caps out at 4096*2160:

AMD Radeon™ HD 7700 Series Graphics Cards: 7790, 7770, 7770 GHz, 7750, 7730

What's interesting is Apple doesn't indicate support for 5120 x 2160 @ 60Hz, necessarily at 5k. In my wishful thinking this seems to lend credence to the rumor of 8k monitors currently in development. Of course it doesn't have to be 8k, it could as well be 6 or 7k.
     
Le Flaneur
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May 22, 2015, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Apple has apparently also increased the bandwidth to the flash storage to 4 PCIe lanes, something I expect will have roughly zero performance benefit, and switched to the new Force Touch trackpads.
Boy, are you wrong. The throughput has increased by 2-2.5x:

Holy smoke! The new MacBook Pro literally is twice as fast | Computerworld
     
OreoCookie
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May 23, 2015, 01:01 AM
 
According to Anandtech, it is Cap Verde.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
P  (op)
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May 23, 2015, 06:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Boy, are you wrong. The throughput has increased by 2-2.5x:

Holy smoke! The new MacBook Pro literally is twice as fast | Computerworld
On a benchmark, sure. In the real world usage, unlikely.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
According to Anandtech, it is Cap Verde.
Yup, came here to post that. To me, this means that this is the last time we see discrete graphics in the MBP. Apple will replace that option with the Skylake GT4e graphics (72 EUs, so almost twice the performance of the current Iris Pro on execution width alone. DDR4 also doesn't hurt) and save the space for a little more battery.
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.
     
SierraDragon
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May 23, 2015, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
...A few days ago I told myself that I will buy a new MacBook Pro when they are finally available but now I still ask myself if it is really worth it...again!
I still use a 17" early 2011 MBP (with matte display) which is now completely upgraded with SSDs and the performance is good enough for everything I use it for.
I'd love to get a retina display though and those ultra fast PCI-e SSDs in the new MBPs seem to be quite nice as well...but I would have to downgrade to a smaller display and less disk space (I have a 250GB SSD + 1TB SSD in my 17")...
I have pretty much exactly the same box similarly modified (in my case to SSD+HDD, 16 GB RAM) and the same question. The matte display is a big deal for those of us who hate glare, but after 4 years daily use displays do age so I will be doing an A-B visual comparison in the Apple Store against the newest rMBP displays _IF_ Apple ever populates all their stores with them. As of 5 minutes ago my closest store (Emeryville, CA) still has no new MBPs on display.

The gamers on other sites whine about Cape Verde not being modern enough, but it seems to me that GDDR5 and on-the-fly i/d graphics switching might work really well. Especially since my usages involve volumes of large still images rather than games. Some of my apps (in particular Aperture, which is EOL anyway) are fairly GPU-sensitive.

Personally I really do not care about battery life much or graphics speed reduction during battery-only operation, but do care about driving an additional external display, 110v powered. Yosemite 10.10.3 and the AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB in the 2011 17" MBP works adequately driving my old 24" display, but a larger more modern display is in my future.

Like badidea said, "convince me that it's still a good idea to upgrade now!" - - Or not.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; May 23, 2015 at 03:27 PM. )
     
P  (op)
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May 23, 2015, 06:28 PM
 
It's more than anything a frustration with AMD's rebadging and lack of new cards. Cape Verde is a three year old card, and AMD has two newer generations of the same design that should be drop in replacements. They could have made the same basic design - 10 CUs, 16 ROPs, 2 memory controllers - but updated each of those units to the level used in Tonga (the GPU in the top iMac) for a faster and more power-efficient design. Instead they reuse Cape Verde for the 4th time (it's the 4th generation of mobile cards AMD uses it in). It's like they're not even trying anymore.

Of course this is driven in part by the lack of a new process to make GPUs on. The only 20nm process around is used pretty exclusively for mobile SOCs (including Apple A8), so they're still on the same 28nm node, but they could still have made a new chip at the same node (like nVidia) or even used a different 28nm process (28HPm used for Tonga).
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.
     
SierraDragon
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May 30, 2015, 03:33 PM
 
Barefeats.com has performance testing out on the new MBPs. Also the new models seem to be filtering down to the Apple Stores, so now we can actually touch them and visually compare against our older boxes.
     
P  (op)
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Jun 2, 2015, 08:44 AM
 
Intel launched the Broadwell-H CPUs that might have gone into these. Wonder why Apple didn't bother waiting two weeks?

EDIT: And Intel has hilariously failed to update even their own ark database. The titles for the new families are there, but only the new Xeon's are viewable.
( Last edited by P; Jun 2, 2015 at 08:57 AM. )
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.
     
SierraDragon
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Jun 2, 2015, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Intel launched the Broadwell-H CPUs that might have gone into these. Wonder why Apple didn't bother waiting two weeks?
My guess is that Apple is very intentionally trying to wean buyers away from waiting to buy based on new model releases (the annual iPhone phenomenon must be a huge PITA to manage). A new Macbook here, a new MBP there, etc. gives the trade press things to talk about and hopefully conditions consumers to believe that Mac products generally remain current, just buy one as needed.

Although I think chances are slim, personally I would love to see them use the latest chip release to slide out a 17" MBP in a month or two. When I finally A-B compared the new 15" MBP against my matte-display 17" the extra screen real estate and still-strong 2011 i7 made me decide to stay with the old box for now.

A new 17" with USB-C would have me waiting at the Apple Store door with cash in hand. And Apple could add credence to claiming to be king of the laptops.

-Allen
     
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Jun 2, 2015, 12:18 PM
 
There's literally no 17-inch Retina screen.
     
badidea
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Jun 4, 2015, 05:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Although I think chances are slim, personally I would love to see them use the latest chip release to slide out a 17" MBP in a month or two. When I finally A-B compared the new 15" MBP against my matte-display 17" the extra screen real estate and still-strong 2011 i7 made me decide to stay with the old box for now.

A new 17" with USB-C would have me waiting at the Apple Store door with cash in hand. And Apple could add credence to claiming to be king of the laptops.

-Allen
We are exactly in the same situation!
...and I have seen quite a few people on the net posting the exact same thing - all are waiting for a new 17" model!
I can't understand why this potential market seems not to be relevant anymore but I also I don't really believe that Apple will make a new 17" anytime soon!

There's literally no 17-inch Retina screen
Then they should build one...or shrink the 27" retina screen!
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Jun 4, 2015, 06:54 AM
 
As someone who sold them at the time, I can tell you that the 17" laptop market wasn't even relevant when Apple still made them.

The primary reason for the very few people buying them was resolution - and that died away completely with introduction of the retina 'Books.
     
pigmode
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Jun 4, 2015, 12:03 PM
 
I'd like to think Mac would revisit a larger notebook offering, given the ability to increase its marketability. If the 17" mbp wasn't successful my guess is it was because of size and weight, not disinterest in its larger screen. For the short term we know notebooks will most likely get a bit smaller and lighter. At some point the new 17" could be a 16" or 16.6" or even a 17", but I'd be surprised if it doesn't show up sooner or later.
     
And.reg
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Jun 4, 2015, 12:26 PM
 
A 17" model would be sort-of nice, but I don't see it happening, and it's not much bigger than the 15.4".

12.0" to 13.3" gives 23% more screen area, which is sort-of nice.
13.3" to 15.4" gives 34% more screen area, which is quite nice.
15.4" to 17.0" gives 22% more screen area, which is sort-of nice.

My ideal computer would have a 27" (not 17") screen and be as portable as the 13" Macbook. Somehow you'd have to have a screen that can be separated from the rest of the computer and can "unfold" into a high-res display. The closest technology would use some kind of collapsible electric paper that acts as a touch screen when disconnected and as a Mac screen when connected, since flexible batteries would be ready in time with the future displays, but I can't find any info as to where the technology stands in 2015.
     
P  (op)
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Jun 4, 2015, 06:26 PM
 
Is the 17" MBP the new xMac?
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.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 5, 2015, 02:06 PM
 
The same fifteen people will be clamouring for it for years, I guess.

Let them.
     
And.reg
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Jun 12, 2015, 03:33 PM
 
Also how do I fix keys that are slightly uneven or tilted? This has seemed to be a problem within the first week of use.
     
And.reg
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Aug 10, 2015, 02:44 PM
 
Alright I've tested the 2015 Model 15" MBP for a few months, since they've updated their battery life to 9 hours, which is better than the 7 hours my 2012 Macbook Air would get. I have my screen set to default res and 70% brightness, and I have only the Intel iGPU.

I've found that my real world battery life is on average 7 hours and 40 minutes. This is also consistent with me getting about 5-6 hours on my Macbook Air, or about 84% of the stated claim.
     
   
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