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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Is Apple forgetting about the pro users?

Is Apple forgetting about the pro users?
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Veltliner
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Jan 8, 2009, 01:37 AM
 
The new 17" MBP is without doubt a beautiful machine.

But it's handicapped by a few things. Most of by the non-exchangeable battery.

But there's more.

As beautiful the LED backlit displays are, do they really supply the best screen for pro users? Or isn't it rather a nicely slick screen?

I'd have expected something like a wide gamut display on the new MBP.

Something like this laptop, that claims to cover 72% of the Adobe RGB gamut.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...id=7-9314-9557

I miss versatility and a display that's closer to desktop quality.

What's your take on this? Does Apple neglect the "hard core" users that actually "made" this company? Will it all go to slick entertainment? Not that slick entertainment and design is a bad thing. As long as I get great features.
     
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Jan 8, 2009, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
The new 17" MBP is without doubt a beautiful machine.

But it's handicapped by a few things. Most of by the non-exchangeable battery.

But there's more.

As beautiful the LED backlit displays are, do they really supply the best screen for pro users? Or isn't it rather a nicely slick screen?

I'd have expected something like a wide gamut display on the new MBP.

Something like this laptop, that claims to cover 72% of the Adobe RGB gamut.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...id=7-9314-9557

I miss versatility and a display that's closer to desktop quality.

What's your take on this? Does Apple neglect the "hard core" users that actually "made" this company? Will it all go to slick entertainment? Not that slick entertainment and design is a bad thing. As long as I get great features.
How does that Wacom tablet help a photographer? (Curious)
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mduell
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Jan 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
The new 17" MBP is without doubt a beautiful machine.

But it's handicapped by a few things. Most of by the non-exchangeable battery.
Why is this particularly significant for pros, or at all? If you need extended runtime away from a wall socket, there are external batteries available.

Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
As beautiful the LED backlit displays are, do they really supply the best screen for pro users? Or isn't it rather a nicely slick screen?
The type of backlight (CCFL, LED, etc) has nothing to do with the surface coating. Apple offers both "slick" (glossy/glassy) and matte options for the 17".

Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
What's your take on this? Does Apple neglect the "hard core" users that actually "made" this company? Will it all go to slick entertainment? Not that slick entertainment and design is a bad thing. As long as I get great features.
Millions of iPod buyers made the Apple we know today, not a few hard core users in a forum.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 8, 2009, 08:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Millions of iPod buyers made the Apple we know today, not a few hard core users in a forum.
He might be talking about the fifty or so users who held the candle and weathered the storm before Jobs returned to the helm.

The Macintosh was not intended primarily as a "pro" machine - the slogan for much of the '80s was "The computer for the rest of us".

It became the defacto "pro" standard for a decade simply because it made a whole new industry possible - desktop publishing.
     
Ted L. Nancy
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Jan 8, 2009, 10:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The Macintosh was not intended primarily as a "pro" machine - the slogan for much of the '80s was "The computer for the rest of us".

It became the defacto "pro" standard for a decade simply because it made a whole new industry possible - desktop publishing.
Good observation.

And as far as the battery complaint... I don't get it. Isn't the whole point of the non-removable battery to ACCOMMODATE pro users since the non-removable form allows for a larger, more adept battery... giving the supposed 8 hours of runtime?
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Simon
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Jan 9, 2009, 04:14 AM
 
I agree. If anything I'd say the 8h battery is the pro feature on the new 17".
     
Big Mac
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Jan 9, 2009, 04:23 AM
 
And if you're really a Photoshop pro, I'm betting you're going to get a large, high quality, external display, instead of relying on any built-in laptop screen.

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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 9, 2009, 06:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
And if you're really a Photoshop pro, I'm betting you're going to get a large, high quality, external display, instead of relying on any built-in laptop screen.
To an extent.

For a whole segment of the photographers' market (e.g. sports photography), being first to the market with their shots is absolutely key to their business, so getting images as proof-ready as possible while on location before sending them out to contractors/agencies via UMTS is their daily bread.

And even for those who aren't so pressed for time, being able to do as much preliminary editing as possible while on location and during travel time (which would be lost time otherwise) translates to real cash.

Third, having an excellent built-in display, where images can be presented in brilliance and depth directly on the shoot, has an immediate and very real effect on clients - instant feedback and decent editing capabilities mean tremendous savings if re-shoots or excessive post can be avoided.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 9, 2009, 06:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Why is this particularly significant for pros, or at all? If you need extended runtime away from a wall socket, there are external batteries available.
Are there? I thought Apple still wasn't licensing the MagSafe adapter out. Have they finally changed their stance on that, or are we just talking about horrendously expensive hacks that involve cutting off the connector from an Apple power adapter and then grafting it onto something with a soldering iron?

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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 9, 2009, 07:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Are there? I thought Apple still wasn't licensing the MagSafe adapter out. Have they finally changed their stance on that...?
No, they have not.

Any "solution" involves either hacked-off and Frankensteined MagSafe cables, or batteries and step-up transformers.
     
OreoCookie
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Jan 9, 2009, 08:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
As beautiful the LED backlit displays are, do they really supply the best screen for pro users? Or isn't it rather a nicely slick screen?

I'd have expected something like a wide gamut display on the new MBP.
Huh? Apples does advertise the fact that the new display has a much wider gamut than its immediate predecessor (60 % larger gamut, 700:1 contrast ratio*). I don't exactly understand your complaint here.

LED backlighting does not have any negative impact on IQ, on the contrary, it does lead to a larger gamut in some instances. It also switches on instantly (no warm-up time required) and is often brighter.

* I guess those are the numbers for the glassy finish, the matte finish will most likely have lower numbers.
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Maflynn
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Jan 9, 2009, 08:18 AM
 
I marvel how many people complain how a machine isn't pro level because it isn't to their liking. Personally I think the MBP is a "pro" level machine (regardless of the 17 or 15") because the MacBook Pro fulfills my needs. Also most "pro" users actually like the LED back lighting in fact this is the first post I've seen that advocates CCFL back lighting.

Then there's the rehashing of matte vs glossy screen. Pro users have said they the glossy is awful while other pro users says its a more accurate color representation. You, know I like it the glossy and I use it, others like the matte screen and they have the opportunity to get that with the 17" MBP

I don't need so called "pro" users bemoaning that its not a pro machine especially when he gets his facts mixed up. I don't look for a laptop or computer because it has the word Pro on it, but rather if the configuration and price will meet my needs. For years Apple Laptops have done just that. I don't care if its a "pro" machine or not, it works for me and a lot of other people.
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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 9, 2009, 08:27 AM
 
Another thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of professionals are FAR too busy USING their machines to bother dicking around on any internet forums complaining or praising their machines.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 9, 2009, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Huh? Apples does advertise the fact that the new display has a much wider gamut than its immediate predecessor (60 % larger gamut, 700:1 contrast ratio*). I don't exactly understand your complaint here.
His point is that "60% larger gamut" is a somewhat useless figure, since it's relative to previous machines, not an objective, absolute scale (like the Adobe gamut)
     
Maflynn
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Jan 9, 2009, 08:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of professionals are FAR too busy USING their machines to bother dicking around on any internet forums complaining or praising their machines.
Only us hardcore geeks
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OreoCookie
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Jan 9, 2009, 09:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
His point is that "60% larger gamut" is a somewhat useless figure, since it's relative to previous machines, not an objective, absolute scale (like the Adobe gamut)
I realize that relative numbers are useless in that comparison, but I thought his complaint was that Apple hasn't included a display with a large gamut or paid enough attention to the display. Although we do not know by how much, I do think display IQ has been improved (significantly?!).
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Voch
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Jan 9, 2009, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of professionals are FAR too busy USING their machines to bother dicking around on any internet forums complaining or praising their machines.
I promise to go away after I finally make my MacBook or MacBook Pro purchase (okay...I may have a few questions about it).

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mduell
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Jan 9, 2009, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Are there? I thought Apple still wasn't licensing the MagSafe adapter out. Have they finally changed their stance on that, or are we just talking about horrendously expensive hacks that involve cutting off the connector from an Apple power adapter and then grafting it onto something with a soldering iron?
Battery Geek sells the adapter for $20, which seems a bit cheap if they're having to buy adapters from Apple and hack them off. They may have just contracted with the same ODM that Apple uses.
     
amazing
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Jan 9, 2009, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of professionals are FAR too busy USING their machines to bother dicking around on any internet forums complaining or praising their machines.
Meaning that anyone who posts in this thread is NOT a Pro user, right?

Well, I'd like to have it on record that I'm not pro-this or pro-that!
     
CharlesS
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Jan 9, 2009, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, they have not.

Any "solution" involves either hacked-off and Frankensteined MagSafe cables, or batteries and step-up transformers.
And it seems really wasteful to me to buy the whole power adapter, cut off one tiny bit of it, and throw the rest away. Hardly "green" in my book.

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Battery Geek sells the adapter for $20, which seems a bit cheap if they're having to buy adapters from Apple and hack them off. They may have just contracted with the same ODM that Apple uses.
A quick Google search turned up this:

http://www.atpm.com/13.08/magsafe.shtml

So apparently they do make a MagSafe clone, but at the time that article was written, it was so cheap and unreliable as to make it practically unusable. In the comments section we have a post claiming that the problem has been alleviated with a newer version of the adapter... but the post is written by the company that makes the adapter itself. Add this to the fact that they're probably infringing on Apple's patent and will probably get forced to stop making this before too long, and it all adds up to a great big from me.

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Veltliner  (op)
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Jan 10, 2009, 10:47 PM
 
I guess we have two key points here:

1. You need an external battery, which is, so I gathered from this thread, not yet available, except as a rather unreliable hack.

I don't think a non-replacable battery is practical. In my opinion, a modular approach is better and more flexible. (see, for example, the approach to RED with their "brain" (which contains the sensor), which can be expanded to very different types of camera, video and/or still.

8 hours are long, yes, but how long will it be when you use applications that use more processing power?

2. While the new LED displays are certainly a good step up, how well do they fare compared with the Lenovo screen? Has anybody seen them both?

A friend of mine owns a 17" MBP with the matte display. I must say, that this screen quality is not really useable for editing or presenting images.

PS: a WACOM tablet gives you a lot more feeling when editing images, especially for creating masks or using the brush for painting with light. With a mouse it's, by comparison, like trying to draw with thick gloves on.
     
Brien
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Jan 11, 2009, 03:25 AM
 
As a 'pro' user, I find the glass screen fine. It's so easy to clean I don't mind the glare, plus I have a 15" external when I need the accuracy.

I don't think a non-removable battery is as big a deal as people are making it out to be, but I do agree there's times when you would want the option.
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 04:43 AM
 
It's obvious swappable batteries offer more flexibility. What's also obvious is that by using a fixed battery capacity could be extended significantly. The trade-off was 7/8h fixed vs. 4.5h exchangeable.

Apple chose fixed guessing that most people think more battery life is better and overall only very few people need more than 8h battery w/o recharging. It's a choice that will probably suite many and disappoint a few. No surprise some disagree.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jan 11, 2009, 04:52 AM
 
How do they define "8 hours"? By using which software? Microsoft Word or Final Cut Pro? What if you use an external hard drive for back-up?

If external batteries would be readily available, this would be much less of an issue. I'm sure there will soon be some solutions. But then, instead of just swapping a battery, you need to move the laptop AND the external battery (once you exhausted the main battery).
     
CharlesS
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Jan 11, 2009, 05:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
I'm sure there will soon be some solutions.
Unless Apple decides to license the MagSafe adapter, it's unlikely that there will be any legit solutions...

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Ted L. Nancy
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Jan 11, 2009, 06:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
How do they define "8 hours"?
The same way all computer companies define battery life in their laptops: In their favor.
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Big Mac
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Jan 11, 2009, 06:57 AM
 
The interesting thing will be to see if Apple does the same thing when the 15" gets its next rev.

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Jan 11, 2009, 07:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The interesting thing will be to see if Apple does the same thing when the 15" gets its next rev.
I sure hope so. I'd much rather have a built in 8h than an exchangeable 5h.

I'd go so far as to say I'd immediately pick one up just for that. But I'm not counting on it happening.
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The interesting thing will be to see if Apple does the same thing when the 15" gets its next rev.
.. and even the MacBook. Personally I like the "door" with easy access to HD and memory. Perhaps future designs could implement the non-removable battery as well as access to the more frequently updated components.
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OreoCookie
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Jan 11, 2009, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
If external batteries would be readily available, this would be much less of an issue. I'm sure there will soon be some solutions. But then, instead of just swapping a battery, you need to move the laptop AND the external battery (once you exhausted the main battery).
You mean something like this?

It's quite easy to estimate the battery life rather accurately, just look at the battery capacity: the new one has a battery capacity of 95 Wh (compared to 68 Wh), that's an increase of 40 %. If you take Apple's claim of 7 hours run time (with dedicated gpu, 8 hours with the integrated gpu) seriously and compare that with the previous run time of 4.5-5 hours, then this seems coherent with the increase in battery capacity. So to get a reasonable estimate, I'd just take the typical run time of your 17" MacBook Pro and add the increase in battery capacity to that. That should give a reasonable indication as to how much longer you can work with your ProBook until the battery runs out.

Of course, this says nothing about Apple's claim that the new battery will lose capacity at a slower rate than older LiIon batteries.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jan 11, 2009 at 09:32 AM. )
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Jan 11, 2009, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I sure hope so. I'd much rather have a built in 8h than an exchangeable 5h.

I'd go so far as to say I'd immediately pick one up just for that. But I'm not counting on it happening.
And I hope NOT, if it includes going away from that oh-so-easy to access hard drive bay. Take the whole bottom cover off (how many screws? how small?) or use a simple latch? Which gives the best access? If they move to something like the white MacBook's HD bay in the process, I would feel differently.

I'm probably making way too big a thing about the hard drive bay, but think of the possibilities of having an easily swapped out hard drive, especially in today's low-cost hard drive market. You could have a drive with just "pro" apps, one with games (big ones that take up a lot of space wouldn't be a problem), one with ALL your photos and music, and never have to buy one of those titanic and still expensive humongo-capacity drives. The possibilities that came to mind when I finally saw the Apple Store guy demo the battery and hard drive bay of the new 15" MBP were staggering.

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Jan 11, 2009, 01:27 PM
 
IMHO you're overreacting. The current 15" requires a Philipps 00 screwdriver to swap the HDD. The new 17" is exactly the same. The only difference is the number of screws you need to remove. Should that concern anybody interested in exchanging the HDD? No. The point is that for both MBPs it's easily done in two minutes and it doesn't void the warranty. It requires no special skill or effort. All you need is the screwdriver and that's the same for both.

I can only repeat: HDD and RAM access is a separate issue and has nothing to do with the battery. The HDD and RAM will be a piece of cake to swap on the 17" MBP.


[See that tab to remove the HDD?]
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 11, 2009 at 01:35 PM. )
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 11, 2009, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
IMHO you're overreacting. The current 15" requires a Philipps 00 screwdriver to swap the HDD. The new 17" is exactly the same.
Actually, you also need a T10 (I believe) torx driver to remove the anchoring screws from the hard drive itself.

Other than that: agreed. The difference is ten screws, or about a two minutes.

And the only criticism of the uni MacBooks' build quality I've read so far concerns warped battery covers - a concern which is moot in the 17" 'book.
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 03:29 PM
 
That is correct. The drive is fastened to the carrier with Torx screws. But the other screws (be that the bottom shell on the 17" or the carrier bracket on the 15") are both Philipps, the same size actually.

The important point is that a HDD swap always has required and still does require a screwdriver. And nothing about has changed with the 17". Again, the non-swappable battery and RAM/disk exchange are unrelated issues. The novelty is the battery. RAM/disk exchange will be just as easy as on the 15" unibody. IOW the new 17" will make disk swaps a whole lot easier than it was on the old 17".
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 11, 2009 at 03:41 PM. )
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 04:24 PM
 
I don't think switching the 15" MBP or MB to a non-accessible battery would see the same gains since they've already eliminated much of the retention hardware by putting it under a removable panel.
     
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Jan 11, 2009, 08:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
To an extent.

For a whole segment of the photographers' market (e.g. sports photography), being first to the market with their shots is absolutely key to their business, so getting images as proof-ready as possible while on location before sending them out to contractors/agencies via UMTS is their daily bread.

And even for those who aren't so pressed for time, being able to do as much preliminary editing as possible while on location and during travel time (which would be lost time otherwise) translates to real cash.

Third, having an excellent built-in display, where images can be presented in brilliance and depth directly on the shoot, has an immediate and very real effect on clients - instant feedback and decent editing capabilities mean tremendous savings if re-shoots or excessive post can be avoided.
This is very true for me. I do advertising, stock and editorial and a lot of it on location. My 2.8 GHZ glossy screened MacBook Pro is doing awesome by the way.

When I am on the road and I am getting files to clients, I let them know that the files might need slight adjustments. Not a single client has said they have had to do that, they think the files are darn near press ready right out of the FTP folder.
     
amazing
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Jan 11, 2009, 11:46 PM
 
Apple makes laptop models that fit into specific, high-sales, market niches. The iBooks and MacBooks were mostly aimed at students and "casual" laptop users. The Powerbooks and MBPs are mostly aimed at business use. Obviously, many students might need the MBP, and many execs would be quite happy with a unibody MB. If a "Pro-user" happens to fit into the MBP market niche, all well and good--Apple has a laptop for them.

Point I'm making is that Apple makes laptops for the prime market niches where they expect to sell bunches. They don't, for example, make an extreme gaming laptop, because they just don't expect to sell bunches of those.

I don't think Apple is aiming the MBP at "pro-users" but rather at business users. And, I think that's one good reason why they went to glossy screens and are dropping some firewire. Glossy is in, and how many businesses use firewire--I'm guessing a small percentage?
     
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:50 AM
 
The MBP still has FireWire.

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Jan 12, 2009, 01:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
The MBP still has FireWire.
"dropping some firewire". I frequently find myself using both the fw-800 and the fw-400 on my MBP at the same time. I'd hate to have only fw-400--and yes, I know firewire is daisy-chainable, but I've had some disk burn failures when I've tried to burn from a firewire HD to a firewire 16X burner.

At least the MBP has the expresscard slot, so you can add esata or more firewire or a memory card adapter.
     
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Jan 12, 2009, 02:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
"dropping some firewire". I frequently find myself using both the fw-800 and the fw-400 on my MBP at the same time. I'd hate to have only fw-400--and yes, I know firewire is daisy-chainable, but I've had some disk burn failures when I've tried to burn from a firewire HD to a firewire 16X burner.
Over FW800???

The MacBook Pro has never had "more Firewire" than it does now: There's only ever been a single FW800 controller chip behind those two ports.
     
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Jan 12, 2009, 03:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
"dropping some firewire". I frequently find myself using both the fw-800 and the fw-400 on my MBP at the same time. I'd hate to have only fw-400
You don't have only FW400. The MBP clearly has FW800. And since all you need to connect a FW400 device is a 9-pin to 6-pin cable, you've got FW400 too.

As Spheric pointed out, the old MBP had the FW800 and FW400 ports connected to the same controller, so there's no functional difference between using those two ports and using the two devices daisy-chained, or in a hub.

Getting rid of FW400 is something that should have happened years ago.

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Jan 12, 2009, 04:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Getting rid of FW400 is something that should have happened years ago.
This can't be repeated enough.
     
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Jan 12, 2009, 01:16 PM
 
Point being that the MBP gave you 2 fw ports, and you didn't have to rely on how the external bridge chipset handled daisy chaining.

Or maybe there's something else at work? My 12" AlPB did fine with the fw HD burning to the daisy chained fw burner. My new early-2008 MBP would produce a significant amount of coasters with the same setup, until I connected each fw device to its own fw port. I could always blame faulty media.

Since we're allowed to dream here, wouldn't you like 2 USB ports and 2 fw-800 ports?
     
   
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