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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 2012 redesign: guesstimates Q1?

2012 redesign: guesstimates Q1?
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evoLver
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Mar 14, 2011, 10:55 PM
 
I keep buying my laptops about 1 year before redesigns. I really need one now, but I am choosing to squeeze more life out of it since it BASICALLY works (2007 2.2Ghz doing intensive audio work).

I am cautious about buying first versions of a major redesign (is this founded?). I am trying to calculate how long I will have to wait for ver2 of the coming NEWEST BESTEST. Looks like Sandy Bridge is Q1 (edit : I meant Ivy Bridge). Could the redesigns be Q1 also, with ver2 at Q3? Maybe sooner?

i could just buy the latest quad and be pretty set for a good while. But it seems there is something big coming with 2 drives, improved TB, etc.
( Last edited by evoLver; Mar 17, 2011 at 08:49 PM. )
15" Macbook Pro / 2.2ghz / 4g ram / 10.6
     
Brien
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Mar 14, 2011, 11:04 PM
 
I had a Rev. A MacBook (the Core Duo one, in black) that had nothing but problems. Total lemon.
I replaced it with a Rev. A MacBook Pro. No problems at all so far.
Before both of those, I had a Rev. D iBook G4. Also a lemon.
My point is, there's a chance of more problems on the first iteration, but it's not really a turn-off. If you want the first wave, go for it.

Just keep in mind that the next redesign will likely drop the optical drive, FW800, and possibly shift to 16:9 displays, so if any of those are deal-breakers, buy now.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 15, 2011, 09:09 AM
 
The Pro 'Books that just came out are Sandy Bridge. It's fairly likely that these will be the last of the current design.

The current 15" and 17" MacBooks Pro are all quad-core and faster in many respects than the low-end Mac Pro, and all current MacBooks Pro support 16 GB of RAM.

The Thunderbolt port will hopefully turn out to be the de-facto port for everything serious; interfacing from Thunderbolt to any and all pro hardware you might be dealing with (including PCI cards such as the UADs or the ExpressCard-connected Magma chassis) should be fairly trivial, though there isn't any hardware available yet.

To ease that transition, the machines retain all legacy ports.

If you're looking for the smooth transition, a finalized design, yet support for the next greatest up-and-coming, paired with almost silly amounts of horsepower, there has never been a better time to buy than now.
     
P
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Mar 15, 2011, 09:48 AM
 
Guessing what the next revision will look like design-wise is always hard, but the CPUs should be Intel's 22nm successors to Sandy Bridge, codename Ivy Bridge. Very little is known about them, but changes are likely to be small. Expect bigger LLC (aka L3 cache), a bigger GPU (twice the current one) and higher clockspeeds. I also expect quadcores to wander down through the price segments, but probably not enough to squeeze one into the 13" yet.

A bigger redesign is probably about due, but they are very hard to predict and there is really no guidance from anything else one where Apple is moving - the MBPs are very much in tune with the rest of Apple's designs. The optical is likely going - the App Store shows that it can happen, and the external DVDs work well enough. Expect the space to be dedicated to battery and the thickness of the entire 'book to decrease. A screen resolution upgrade is also way overdue, and I expect some sort of SSD solution. I would also expect the FW800 port to be replaced by another TB port, and it wouldn't surprise me if Ethernet went as well, at least on the 13".

In all honesty: If I were in the market for an MBP, I'd buy one right this second. The only thing "missing" is a higher screen resolution - the performance just took a huge step forward, and nothing before Haswell in 2013 is likely to significantly improve upon 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.
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 15, 2011, 01:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by evoLver View Post
I keep buying my laptops about 1 year before redesigns. I really need one now... I am trying to calculate how long I will have to wait for ver2 of the coming NEWEST BESTEST.
Fuggedabout ver2 - that is just intentionally trying to drive yourself nuts. Unless you want a small size (in which case wait to see the MBA refresh), or care more about slimmer/lighter than you do about performance, the current top MBPs are the NEWEST BESTEST. I agree with what the other guys said below - and back that up with a new 17" on order.

Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The Pro 'Books that just came out are Sandy Bridge... If you're looking for the smooth transition, a finalized design, yet support for the next greatest up-and-coming, paired with almost silly amounts of horsepower, there has never been a better time to buy than now.
(emphasis mine)

Originally Posted by P View Post
In all honesty: If I were in the market for an MBP, I'd buy one right this second.
(emphasis mine)

Just do it.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 15, 2011 at 01:56 PM. )
     
turtle777
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Mar 15, 2011, 01:55 PM
 
^^^ This.

-t
     
CharlesS
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Mar 15, 2011, 02:20 PM
 
The MBP doesn't really need a redesign. I've got a late 2008 unibody, and I've been nothing but thrilled with it — it's a really well-designed laptop. If I had the cash and needed a new laptop now, I'd definitely go for one of the new MBPs — they're the best ones Apple's ever made.

The 2012 redesigned models will probably axe the legacy ports and possibly the optical drive, and they'll probably be a bit of a pain to use as a result until the rest of the industry catches up as you'll need adapters for everything — just like with the original iMac before USB took off. It might also be full of v1.0 glitches. I'd go for the current ones — they're excellent machines.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Longwalker
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Mar 15, 2011, 09:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
...A screen resolution upgrade is also way overdue, ...The only thing "missing" is a higher screen resolution...
Two clarifications about screen resolution:

1. Higher resolution is currently available as a factory option (as well as an option for non-glossy screen).

2. Higher resolution is problematic without the years-in-the-waiting Resolution Independence support from OS X (promised back in Tiger days!). As it stands, increasing the screen resolution just makes everything smaller... dialogs, UI buttons, menus, fonts, etc. Some of that can be alleviated by increasing the font size in Safari, Mail, Word, Pages, etc., but sometimes that's not possible (i.e., iTunes), so there can be significantly more eyestrain when using higher DPI screens. I know because I used to own a 17" MBP with 1900x1200 resolution and I found everything to be too small so I "regressed" back to a 15" MBP with normal DPI. But I do understand the attraction since you can fit more on your screen and everything looks so crisp.

BTW, I have noticed that Apple's glossy displays make text look very sharp even *without* going to high-DPI screens. In the past (pre-Glossy screen days), Macs with LCDs had a certain "fuzziness" or "jagginess" to text that was not there in Windows... I read technical white papers on it and learned that it's due to design differences between the OS X font rendering engine vs Windows ClearType font renderer. In a nutshell, Windows tries to make fonts more readable on LCD even if it means sacrificing the unique qualities of the chosen font; whereas Mac OS X tries to render the font on the LCD screen the same way it'll look on a printout, even if it means that it's a little less readable. This ClearType font readability technique reminds me of the psychoacoustic modeling used to compress music down into AAC or MP3 files... you throw out some of the original source material in order to fit it to the device.
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 15, 2011, 10:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
...Higher resolution is problematic without the years-in-the-waiting Resolution Independence support from OS X (promised back in Tiger days!).
I buy high-rez matte because glossy gags me. Dreaming, I am convinced that resolution independence will be here any day now...

In the meantime it is constant on/off with the reading glasses, which sucks.

-Allen
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 16, 2011, 05:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
I buy high-rez matte because glossy gags me. Dreaming, I am convinced that resolution independence will be here any day now...
Because All Major and Minor Developers will now have heeded Apple's call from five years ago and vectorized their entire interfaces…

Somebody over on Ars postulated that the 13" MacBook Pro is staying at 1280x800 because the next step is double-rez, a la iPhone.

That makes sense, but will take a while.
     
P
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Mar 16, 2011, 06:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
Two clarifications about screen resolution:

1. Higher resolution is currently available as a factory option (as well as an option for non-glossy screen).
Not on the 13". The resolution there is lower than on the 13" MBA.

Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
2. Higher resolution is problematic without the years-in-the-waiting Resolution Independence support from OS X (promised back in Tiger days!).
Actually no, Apple never promised it. What they did was add partial support, which was then interpreted as a feature round the corner.

Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
As it stands, increasing the screen resolution just makes everything smaller... dialogs, UI buttons, menus, fonts, etc. Some of that can be alleviated by increasing the font size in Safari, Mail, Word, Pages, etc., but sometimes that's not possible (i.e., iTunes),
You can increase the font size in iTunes Preferences

Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
so there can be significantly more eyestrain when using higher DPI screens. I know because I used to own a 17" MBP with 1900x1200 resolution and I found everything to be too small so I "regressed" back to a 15" MBP with normal DPI. But I do understand the attraction since you can fit more on your screen and everything looks so crisp.
It's mainly because you can fit more on the screen. The 1280*800 is roughly a quarter of what you can fit on a 27" iMac. The DPI is almost identical, yet you tend to sit closer to a small laptop. The need for a higher res is thus much greater on the 13" than on the bigger ones that have the option.

Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
BTW, I have noticed that Apple's glossy displays make text look very sharp even *without* going to high-DPI screens. In the past (pre-Glossy screen days), Macs with LCDs had a certain "fuzziness" or "jagginess" to text that was not there in Windows... I read technical white papers on it and learned that it's due to design differences between the OS X font rendering engine vs Windows ClearType font renderer. In a nutshell, Windows tries to make fonts more readable on LCD even if it means sacrificing the unique qualities of the chosen font; whereas Mac OS X tries to render the font on the LCD screen the same way it'll look on a printout, even if it means that it's a little less readable. This ClearType font readability technique reminds me of the psychoacoustic modeling used to compress music down into AAC or MP3 files... you throw out some of the original source material in order to fit it to the device.
You're partially right, but you're mixing several things up. Glossy screens make the blacks blacker, which means that text has more "pop" and can become easier to read, but I think it is more an effect of comparing older LCDs with newer ones. Old LCDs often had weaker backlights to begin with and they would wear easily. More modern LCDs have stronger backlights, and now often use LED backlights which do not wear as much. I think that if you made a comparison between an older LCD that had never been turned on and a modern LCD, the difference would be smaller.

You are absolutely correct that Windows and Macs have a different focus in their text rendering. Mac OS X tries very hard to replicate the exact appearance of the font - including using grays to render pixels that would be partially black - while Windows focuses on readability to the extent that all fonts tend to look the same on the screen. This doesn't have anything to do with ClearType - Cleartype is about 10 years old, and Windows did this since 1.0. Microsoft has recently developed a new text rendering algorithm called DirectWrite - used in the brand new IE 9 - that works more like the Mac way.

Cleartype is a fancy name for a trivial technology. An LCD uses multiple subpixels to render the colors. If you know the order of these subpixels, you can triple the effective horizontal resolution. This trick was actually used on the Apple II but then forgotten (as we all used CRTs) and then rediscovered. Apple uses the same trick from 10.2 and on - you can disable it in System Preferences -> Display, if you like.
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.
     
evoLver  (op)
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Mar 17, 2011, 12:04 AM
 
Oh! You guys ALMOST have me convinced to not wait for the redesigns. LOL that I'm making myself crazy waiting for a "ver2" etc. Gonna have to think about this, and maybe pull the trigger

About the Resolution independance support: this is important to me. I have my eye on the hi-res 17" matte, and my aging eyes could be in trouble. Is this going to be a software update eventually or is it a hardware update?
15" Macbook Pro / 2.2ghz / 4g ram / 10.6
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 17, 2011, 02:22 AM
 
The next one is going to be a complete redesign, aka version 1.

Waiting for it contradicts everything you've been asking.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 17, 2011, 02:43 AM
 
Also, resolution independence is a software issue, unless you fo the iPhone route and simply double the pixel count.

The former requires support from ALL developers; the latter, hideously expensive displays driven by massive graphics cards, neither of which exist or make sense at the moment.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Mar 17, 2011, 07:33 AM
 
While it is only a matter of time before Apple drops the optical drive, I wouldn't expect much more of a redesign than that. It will get thinner yes, might get the SSDs used in the Airs too, but then again they aren't as fast as the 2.5" versions available so I suspect a 2.5" slot will remain for the time being. I wouldn't expect grand changes to the styling or much else. They will continue to use a unibody case design thats for sure. The whole point of the unibody was to make it quicker to retool the production lines.

Also the timeframe is rarely as obvious to Apple as it may seem to us. Like many others, I was half expecting the ODD to go this time around. Now it wouldn't surprise me if it stays around for one more iteration.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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