Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Apr 2010 16:55 UTC
Apple "After an unusually long wait, Apple has finally released updated models of its MacBook Pro line of notebooks. The 15" and 17" models offer the latest Core i5 and i7 processors, though the 13" model still uses a Core 2 Duo processor. But new processors aren't the only improvement; Apple has also seen fit to increase the base RAM configuration to 4GB on all models and bump the hard drive and SSD options. And Apple claims battery life has been improved, with some models now going as long as 10 hours without plugging in."
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from apple?
by poundsmack on Tue 13th Apr 2010 17:18 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

"On-demand performance.
Off-the-charts efficiency.

The 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models come standard with automatic graphics switching. It’s a breakthrough technology from Apple that switches graphics processors on the fly to give you performance when you need it"

Nvidia's Optimus technology did not come from Apple. I hope Apple rephrases that or Nvidia says something...

Reply Score: 2

RE: from apple?
by zlynx on Tue 13th Apr 2010 17:54 UTC in reply to "from apple? "
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

As I understand it, Nvidia made it work on Windows. What Apple did is make it work on OS X. A very different thing.

The technique has nothing to do with the hardware anyway. It's purely an OS driver and software change that allows quickly synchronizing the video state onto a different piece of hardware.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/04/13/nvidia_says_new_macbo...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: from apple?
by _txf_ on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: from apple? "
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

AFAIK Nvidia writes the driver for osx too. I doubt that they would let anyone use their "precious" ip just like that even if that is apple.

Note that Optimus also has the nvidia gpu completely decoupled from the Display. The gpu writes into the intel framebuffer and I don't doubt that there is some hardware logic involved with switching the gpu on and off even if buses are not electrically switched like previous dual graphics laptops.

The one thing apple would have to do is update their display server to allow on the fly switching without needing a restart/logout.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: from apple?
by kaiwai on Wed 14th Apr 2010 05:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: from apple? "
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

AFAIK Nvidia writes the driver for osx too. I doubt that they would let anyone use their "precious" ip just like that even if that is apple.

Note that Optimus also has the nvidia gpu completely decoupled from the Display. The gpu writes into the intel framebuffer and I don't doubt that there is some hardware logic involved with switching the gpu on and off even if buses are not electrically switched like previous dual graphics laptops.

The one thing apple would have to do is update their display server to allow on the fly switching without needing a restart/logout.


I doubt that Apple would want to deal with the crap programming of Nvidia when one considers the hell which Xorg programmers had to go through when it received a giant code dump from Nvidia years ago with specifications obfuscated throughout the code. I love my MacBook Pro but I think Apple is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to GPU's - even if they wanted to write the drivers themselves they wouldn't have the required GPU expertise which can fill in the blanks of the specifications and there would be a serious lag between product development by Nvidia and Apple eventually getting the specifications.

Oh well, I'm happy that Nvidia finally got their manufacturing issues sorted out that caused the GeForce 8400 series to die; I remember hearing horror stories from MacBook users who had gone through something like 4-5 mainboard replacements because of it so I am happy that the MacBook Pro I have has got things sorted out in the quality control.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: from apple?
by Neolander on Wed 14th Apr 2010 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: from apple? "
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Actually, recent 13" macbook pros seem to have serious quality issues.
-A friend of my father bought one in early 2009, to discover that wi-fi did not work, along with part of the keyboard.
-My girlfriend's one (september 2009) lasted about one week before the motherboard died.

(PS : Resolution Independence is a complex task, and needs flexibility that the hardware generally does not have. It should be moved in software, really.)

Edited 2010-04-14 07:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: from apple?
by kaiwai on Wed 14th Apr 2010 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: from apple? "
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, recent 13" macbook pros seem to have serious quality issues.
-A friend of my father bought one in early 2009, to discover that wi-fi did not work, along with part of the keyboard.
-My girlfriend's one (september 2009) lasted about one week before the motherboard died.


You must have had a run of bad luck but so far I have had a good run without any problems; 'serious quality issues' - through your experience of bad luck? if one is going to use 'bad experience' as a benchmark then America must be a horrible place to visit based on my very isolated experience when I went for a holiday a couple of years ago. A few isolated issues cannot be generalised over the whole 13.3inch range that have shipped.

(PS : Resolution Independence is a complex task, and needs flexibility that the hardware generally does not have. It should be moved in software, really.)


Yeah, well it probably explains has held off until people are 100% Cocoa native because from what I understand things get really screwed up when it comes to Carbon based applications which aren't resolution independent native.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: from apple?
by Moochman on Wed 14th Apr 2010 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: from apple? "
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I can confirm the uneven quality. My 3-month old 13" MBP's screen just died. It's not even recognized as a monitor in System Preferences anymore. (For now I have to keep the laptop plugged into an external monitor 24/7, because I have serious work to do and can't afford to give it up for a few weeks' repair.) On top of that, the WiFi is flaketastic and the Bluetooth has half the range of my old 15" MBP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: from apple?
by kristoph on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: from apple? "
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

AFAIK Nvidia writes the driver for osx too. I doubt that they would let anyone use their "precious" ip just like that even if that is apple.


Do you really think Apple - Steve Jobs - would let a third party write a key driver for their platform? Seriously?

NVIDIA assists Apple - they basically have NVIDIA employees working for Apple - but Apple owns the code.

(This is not an uncommon approach, Microsoft has many vendors working on campus on drivers.)

]{

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: from apple?
by _txf_ on Wed 14th Apr 2010 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: from apple? "
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

really? I read an interview with one of the nvidia linux devs and he basically stated that 90% of the nvidia driver is shared between all the platforms (that is osx,bsd,solaris,linux and windows). It may be that I'm mistaken but surely that means that the vast majority of the driver is written by nvidia with osx specific interfaces written by apple.

Reply Score: 2

RE: from apple?
by computeruser on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:26 UTC in reply to "from apple? "
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

Nvidia's Optimus technology did not come from Apple. I hope Apple rephrases that or Nvidia says something...

nVidia says it's not Optimus: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=108696
nVidia Optimus provides software support to switch the GPU automatically using the same output on Windows. NT has supported GPU driver switching without losing the session since at least Windows 2000; this is how Remote Desktop works. Windows 7 also supports full composting (Aero) with completely separate drivers. Optimus switches the current GPU in a user-friendly and meaningful way on Windows.

Besides the driver and window server implementation, all that is needed to implement this is two GPUs and a software-controllable switch between the two GPU outputs (or shared video output hardware).

The difficulty of implementing such a feature with the current X.org infrastructure probably explains why Optimus is not supported on Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: from apple?
by zdzichu on Wed 14th Apr 2010 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE: from apple? "
zdzichu Member since:
2006-11-07

It certainly possible in Linux, was done as PoC by Radeon developer: http://airlied.livejournal.com/71734.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: from apple?
by _txf_ on Wed 14th Apr 2010 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: from apple? "
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Possible, yes, with lots of caveats and nasty hacks. Time to get it working properly 6-12 months if someone were inclined to do so, which does not appear to be the case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: from apple?
by computeruser on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: from apple? "
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

I didn't say it wasn't possible, just that nVidia didn't support the feature on Linux.
From the linked page:

To make this as good as Windows we need to seriously re-architect the X server + drivers.

X.org/Linux is now missing display capabilities that are present in Windows and Mac OS X. Reminds me of how XFree86 was missing dynamic desktop size/resolution/output changing for years after Mac and Windows systems had it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: from apple?
by _txf_ on Wed 14th Apr 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: from apple? "
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I would blame the whole xfree mess on complete and utter willful mismanagement.

What we have now is just lack of resources, and a lack of desire to admit that X.org is backward, with the only features in it's favour more or less relegated to very niche uses. Also there are no free modern drivers that integrate properly which is what most graphics manpower is attempting to correct.

Reply Score: 2

Disappointing
by nathbeadle on Tue 13th Apr 2010 17:40 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

I find it quite disappoint that Apple brought the 13" in to the MacBook Pro line up... and then essentially shafts it from getting an i5 processor. I'm sure it's to entice people to buy a 15" laptop instead, but really... if it has the Pro name, give it the Pro game!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Disappointing
by tylerdurden on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:00 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Some of you are professionals at finding something, anything, to complain about.

And if they had released an i5 13 incher, then you would be complaining how the battery life was poor, or it gets too hot, or the name does not sound good in a haiku, or...

Edited 2010-04-13 18:00 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Disappointing
by _txf_ on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

there is a cpu that is modern and far more power friendly which is the i3 simply due to the fact that it uses a smaller feature size than the c2d.

there are laptops with i3, just saw one on engadget today. With the mbp battery who knows how long it would last

Edited 2010-04-13 18:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Disappointing
by tylerdurden on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Disappointing"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Well, then get one of those shiny core i3 laptops, no?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Disappointing
by _txf_ on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Disappointing"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I wanted to get a new laptop and move to a mac, I didn't want to use windows (which is required for optimus) and I didn't want to get a big laptop. A 13" MBP with an i series cpu would have been perfect with that massive battery.

And NO I'm not going to buy those overpriced 15" MBPs

Edited 2010-04-13 19:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Disappointing
by tylerdurden on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Disappointing"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

We all want things... but I am sure Apple is more concerned with the needs of paying customers, than geeks with small pockets and ever shifting goal posts.

I assume for that price point, it was a matter of Apple choosing between a core2/nvidia GPU or ditching the GPU for a core i3 alternative. I am yet to see a non-apple laptop in that price range with a decent GPU.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Disappointing
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Disappointing"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

well that's sort of the point; this is a _Pro_ model, what's the price point got to do with it? It's not supposed to be a budget system. As I said earlier, calling it a Macbook and selling it for $999 would seem to make more sense. I wouldn't buy one, but I could see why some people would. Why pretend it's a Pro model, though, when it really doesn't have the specs to back it up?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Disappointing
by tylerdurden on Tue 13th Apr 2010 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Disappointing"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Well, thanks for proving my point.

Seriously? A 3 letter term (pro) is your nitpick. Good grief...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Disappointing
by _txf_ on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Disappointing"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Why would they have to ditch the gpu they could stick a nvidia 310 in there?

Cost probably isn't one. I'm sure they have to pay extra due to the custom made 320 gpu which quite likely offsets cost savings from the old c2d. I would be willing to pay more if the specs backed it up.

TDP rating isn't either as arrandale has the same power output for an extra 20% performance plus the fact that there is no northbridge to contend with.

It would have been the perfect laptop:
arrandale cpu, large battery, nvidia gpu and osx. Oh well, as you say, there is always that nice i3. I can always put osx on it...

Edited 2010-04-13 20:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Disappointing
by tylerdurden on Tue 13th Apr 2010 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Disappointing"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yeah, obviously the only thing necessary to design a piece of hardware is to write a post with a laundry list of specs, and voila it magically gets produced.

To get an i3 in the 13 inch means a complete redesign of the logic board (in order to keep the nvidia gpu). And that means increased costs, probably they have more margins in the 15 or 17 inchers to absorb the redesign costs (or that segment is not as sensitive to design costs as the mid/low end).

I think a lot of you seem to be under the impression that HW design is free and brought by pixie fairies.

I don't care that much for apple, and I don't feel like defending them. As I said, if you find an i3 small form laptop with similar specs (GPU, battery life, alloy construction, etc) and similar price as the 13 inc macbook, by all means... buy it then.

Edited 2010-04-13 21:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Disappointing
by biffuz on Wed 14th Apr 2010 09:42 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Disappointing"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

Why would they have to ditch the gpu they could stick a nvidia 310 in there?

It's not so easy. The current MBP 13" (and MB) mainboard is _very_ small, and barely fits the two chips (the CPU and the GPU which also acts as northbridge and southbridge). Actually, it is smaller than most 10" netbooks' boards!

If you want to use an i3/i5, with its integrated GPU and northbridge, you have no choice but to use an Intel southbridge, as Intel does not license the bus between the north and southbridges.
So, if you want to use a better GPU than Intel's (and you want because it sucks), you have no choice but to add a third chip on the board, and - simply put - the MBP 13" is too small for that!
Unless you shrink something else, of course, like the battery.

The MBP 15" and 17" do not have such restrictions and use a three chip design. But this means they use the Intel's GPU when in low power mode, and that's because I think they're inferior to the older ones: a 20% more speed on the CPU does not compensate for the 300% less speed and minor features of the GPU!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Disappointing
by Ford Prefect on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

If you have a closer look at the market you see that a customer would be lucky to find even a 15" with i5/i7 option from a competitor!

Actually, I don't know any, but I'm sure there must be one out there...

13" is not the size for a powerhorse laptop, it never was and it will probably never be. In larger models you have much better possibilities for cooling, bigger battery, etc.

It comes at a prize to stuff everything into a small form factor, and that prize is not only money!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Disappointing
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Never mind premium competitors, frickin' Asus makes a 13" system with a Core i-series CPU (i3-350M):

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/13/asus-u30jc-1a-review/

Sony, meanwhile, has had a 13" model out with Core i5 by default for a couple of months, the 2010 Vaio Z series. And it's substantially lighter than the 13" MBP, and outdoes it in a lot of other features. Granted it's substantially more expensive, but as the OP said, the point here is that if Apple's going to call it an MBP, it should have premium features (and, if necessary, a matching price tag). With the specs it has it's an entry to low midrange system pretending to be a premium system. Just call it a Macbook and be done with it.

Edited 2010-04-13 18:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Disappointing
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Disappointing"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

oh, and the Thinkpad X201 is 12" with Core i5/i7 CPUs. And again lighter than the MBP 13". Starts at $1,099, too.

If you want to get really silly, you can go with the Panasonic R9:

http://www.dynamism.com/notebooks/panasonic_r.shtml

which is 10.4" big and technically has an i-series CPU. That's a bit of a cheat, though, as it's the extremely-reduced i7-640UM (only runs 1.2GHz).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Disappointing
by bousozoku on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

I find it quite disappoint that Apple brought the 13" in to the MacBook Pro line up... and then essentially shafts it from getting an i5 processor. I'm sure it's to entice people to buy a 15" laptop instead, but really... if it has the Pro name, give it the Pro game!


After all the people who complained ad naseum that Apple had murdered their wonderful 12 inch PowerBook, the company finally put something together. Who knows whether those people actually bought any.

The 12 inch PowerBook was always the red-headed stepchild, as they say, getting the oldest or oddest technology. The 13.3 inch MacBook Pro follows and got supposedly Apple-only graphics hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Disappointing
by computeruser on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:39 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

The 13" MacBook Pro was introduced last summer. Even before today, Apple didn't offer the fastest Core 2 Duo CPUs that they offered on the 15"/17" models - the 13" only uses the 25W TDP P-series CPUs, whereas the bigger models are offered with the faster 35W TDP CPUs.

Intel has 18W TDP i5/i7 at 1.07-1.20 GHz; these are probably too slow for Apple to consider. There are 25W TDP i7 CPUs at 2.00-2.13 GHz, but these might also be too slow for Apple to consider for the 13" model. And since these CPUs have integrated GPUs, they would need to add on an extra GPU. (Since they specifically upgraded the 13" MBP's GPU to one with three times the number of shaders, I'm guessing they don't want to put exclusively Intel integrated in the 13" MBP.)

I have a 13" MBP and like it quite a bit. It's about the same weight as a standard 14" Latitude, HP Compaq, and ThinkPad business notebooks, but comes with much better battery life. (Yes, you can get bigger/extra batteries for these laptops, but they add to the weight and often the size.) It also comes with a better GPU than the Intel integrated offered as standard in 14" business notebooks. (When 14" business notebooks are often offered with more powerful GPUs, they usually have reduced battery life over the integrated graphics version.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Disappointing
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"There are 25W TDP i7 CPUs at 2.00-2.13 GHz, but these might also be too slow for Apple to consider for the 13" model."

That doesn't make a lot of sense. Those processors would out-perform the 2.4-2.66GHz C2D CPUs they *did* use.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Disappointing
by computeruser on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Disappointing"
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

Marketing might be involved. The 13" MacBook has a 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo. Apple probably wouldn't sell a whole lot of 13" MBPs if they had a CPU with less MHz than the regular MacBook.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Disappointing
by arpan on Wed 14th Apr 2010 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Disappointing"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I believe the point is that the processor might be a bit faster, but you would not be able to use the nvidia graphics with core i3,i5,i7 processors. Then you would be stuck with only Intel Integrated graphics, since the 13" does not have the space for a dedicated GPU.

So, the tradeoff would be a processor which is a little faster, but a GPU that is a lot, lot slower. Since Apple is using the GPU more and more in Snow Leopard, they probably want a decent GPU in their computers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Disappointing
by _txf_ on Wed 14th Apr 2010 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Disappointing"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

The the real stupidity here is that they are forcing the gpu to use system ram. They shove a load of extra shader cores specially for this MBP which are then being wasted from bandwidth starvation making the gpu 320 perform much worse and possibly (no benchmarks yet) nearly comparable to an intel gpu. Genius strategy to get more use out of the gpu

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Disappointing
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Disappointing"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

oh, and as noted in a useful anandtech comment thread:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2902/3

it's not entirely simple to make straight TDP comparisons from the Core 2 to Core i generations, as the i processor packages incorporate functionality that was separate in the 2 series.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Disappointing
by kaiwai on Wed 14th Apr 2010 04:57 UTC in reply to "Disappointing"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it quite disappoint that Apple brought the 13" in to the MacBook Pro line up... and then essentially shafts it from getting an i5 processor. I'm sure it's to entice people to buy a 15" laptop instead, but really... if it has the Pro name, give it the Pro game!


To quote that wise hip-hop philosopher 'Public Enemy' - "don't believe the hype". The i series are only marginally better so if you already have the generation I have (2009) then this isn't an update targeted at you - it is targeted at those who owned the previous generation. Then again, who the hell upgrades every 6-9 months? buy the damn laptop, run it into the ground and then 2-3 years later, then upgrade. Good lord, no wonder the US is the debt capital of the world with frivolous money wasters like I see here.

Reply Score: 2

13" into the proline...
by SuperDaveOsbourne on Tue 13th Apr 2010 17:53 UTC
SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

Maybe they did it to make room for their new iPad systems. The 13" is in today's market an afterthought belonging to the transitional NetBook market that will eventually go away due to the coming (next generation) iPad's with video out and being a full blown computing device. The 13" is of little importance in the next 2-3 years of business for Apple.

Reply Score: 1

Battery
by darknexus on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:27 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Ten hours on an I5 or I7? Usually I find Apple's battery estimates to be mostly right, but that seems overly optimistic unless the size of the battery has been severely bumped. Also, do I assume they've done soldered battteries again?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Battery
by computeruser on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "Battery"
computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

Only the Core 2 Duo-equipped 13" MBP is advertised with 10 hour battery life. (The previous model had 7 hours advertised). The Core i5 and i7 15"/17" MBPs are advertised with 8-9 hours.

Still, why does this seem unlikely? Apple is using the mobile versions of the Core i5 and i7, which have a TDP of 35W in the systems they are shipping. This is the same TDP as the higher-clocked Core 2 Duos in the previous MBP 15"/17". Increased battery life is the combination of increased power savings from the new CPU, the CPU-integrated memory and PCI-e controllers, the CPU-integrated GPU, and probably a larger battery since more is integrated onto the CPU.

Reply Score: 1

Apple and MySQL
by tony on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:48 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's an interesting phenomenon, the number of people whining about Apple products who would never buy them anyway. I remember the same thing about MySQL. The loudest complainers are always those who would never use the product anyway.

I love my MacBook Pro, and I'm itching to get one of the new ones.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Apple and MySQL
by AdamW on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:40 UTC in reply to "Apple and MySQL"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I did actually consider the MBP as a new laptop. Why not? I want something with nice hardware to run Fedora on, Apple's as valid a choice of vendor as any. But the product was unconvincing even as part of the last generation (mainly, for my purposes, because it's substantially heavier than all the other 12-13" systems I looked at), and now it's a 'new' generation but still with last-gen CPU, it becomes even more unconvincing.

The 15" and 17" models look perfectly decent if that's what you want, but it's not what I want. What's the problem with me being disappointed that Apple doesn't seem to be able to come up with a convincing play in the sector I'm interested in? It's certainly possible someone could make something better than the Vaio Z, but Apple's waaaay short of the mark with this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple and MySQL
by tony on Wed 14th Apr 2010 04:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple and MySQL"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

I did actually consider the MBP as a new laptop. Why not? I want something with nice hardware to run Fedora on, Apple's as valid a choice of vendor as any. But the product was unconvincing even as part of the last generation (mainly, for my purposes, because it's substantially heavier than all the other 12-13" systems I looked at), and now it's a 'new' generation but still with last-gen CPU, it becomes even more unconvincing.

The 15" and 17" models look perfectly decent if that's what you want, but it's not what I want. What's the problem with me being disappointed that Apple doesn't seem to be able to come up with a convincing play in the sector I'm interested in? It's certainly possible someone could make something better than the Vaio Z, but Apple's waaaay short of the mark with this.


The Vaio's have had such utterly shit build quality in the past, I'd have a hard time trusting Sony to make a laptop that would last the hell I put my laptops through, let alone normal use. The only other vendor I trusted was IBM, and from what I can see the Lenovo quality has gone down. I'm a traveling instructor, and my laptop has flown 50,000 miles in 2010 alone (and it's only April).

I love Linux, I use it in my lab and it's a great server platform, but there is no way I'm using it for a laptop. I went through too many "many Linux will work as well as Windows/MacOSX" years only to be disappointed. The biggest issue for me is the dual displays, as documented in many places:

http://www.astro.umd.edu/~teuben/linux/laptop-display.html

And holy crap, read this guy's experience:

http://www.linux.com/news/hardware/peripherals/237262-external-linu...

Man, I just plug it in, and it works.

It's still an utter, miserable mess with Linux, and there's no way I'm flying 7,000 miles to teach a class only to have to ask the class to wait while I futz with X settings.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Apple and MySQL
by AdamW on Wed 14th Apr 2010 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple and MySQL"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

on the Linux stuff - it's not really on-topic for this thread, is it? you could just as easily throw Windows on the MBP, or leave OS X on it. My point was just that I was considering it as a piece of hardware, and Apple as a hardware vendor like any other.

Just referring to the build quality of 'Vaios' is kind of missing the point, because brand distinction is something Sony *doesn't* do well: Vaio is the name used for _all_ Sony PCs, from the cheapest to the highest-end. Cheap Sony systems certainly have had build quality issues, but I've bought a couple at the higher end of the spectrum and never had any trouble. They have completely different standards and processes for the different lines, but it's not very well communicated in the branding. I wouldn't expect the W line to have the same kind of quality as the Z, for e.g. Not that I think Sony is the be-all and end-all, as I said, there's definitely space for something to improve on the Z, I just haven't found one yet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Apple and MySQL
by tony on Wed 14th Apr 2010 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Apple and MySQL"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

on the Linux stuff - it's not really on-topic for this thread, is it? you could just as easily throw Windows on the MBP, or leave OS X on it. My point was just that I was considering it as a piece of hardware, and Apple as a hardware vendor like any other.

Just referring to the build quality of 'Vaios' is kind of missing the point, because brand distinction is something Sony *doesn't* do well: Vaio is the name used for _all_ Sony PCs, from the cheapest to the highest-end. Cheap Sony systems certainly have had build quality issues, but I've bought a couple at the higher end of the spectrum and never had any trouble. They have completely different standards and processes for the different lines, but it's not very well communicated in the branding. I wouldn't expect the W line to have the same kind of quality as the Z, for e.g. Not that I think Sony is the be-all and end-all, as I said, there's definitely space for something to improve on the Z, I just haven't found one yet.


I haven't taken a good look at the Vaio's recently so they might have gotten their act together, but any of the lines in the past 5 years have had very poor build quality compared to others, Z or otherwise. I typically only see Lenovos, Dells, and Macs among other road warriors. Although HP is increasing (at Dell's expense it seems). I hardly ever see Sony in professional settings.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Apple and MySQL
by AdamW on Wed 14th Apr 2010 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Apple and MySQL"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, but I don't think it has anything to do with build quality, at the high end at least. I've got a Vaio P, which has issues of its own but none are to do with build quality (I dropped it five feet onto hardwood. Twice.) Prior to that I had one of the old Picturebooks, a C1XD, which I bought second hand from a guy who'd had it for a year, used for five, then sold off to someone else on eBay; when I checked with that guy two years later, it was still trucking along quite happily. I know others who've had higher-end Sonys and no-one's had a build issue.

I think it's more that Sony doesn't tend to be particularly competitive with (especially) Lenovo and Dell from a corporate price/feature viewpoint. Sony models tend to come in higher or lower than necessary; they have high-end things like the Z which are really a bit more than a typical road warrior needs, and lower-end things which are typically a bit cheaper and nastier than a business road warrior needs. They don't tend to have much that hits that $1200-$1600, mid-range features, high reliability sweet spot which Thinkpads and so on play in.

The x201s certainly look pretty nice.

Reply Score: 2

Some questions...
by FunkyELF on Tue 13th Apr 2010 18:57 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Can you run multiple apps on them?

Can you get apps other than from iTunes?

Does it cost $0.99 to change your wallpaper?

Are you allowed to run cross-platform applications on it?

Is scripting allowed?

And most importantly.... is it shiny?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some questions...
by kristoph on Wed 14th Apr 2010 20:41 UTC in reply to "Some questions..."
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Can you run multiple apps on them?

Can you get apps other than from iTunes?

Does it cost $0.99 to change your wallpaper?

Are you allowed to run cross-platform applications on it?

Is scripting allowed?

And most importantly.... is it shiny?


Channeling Glenn Beck are we?

Reply Score: 1

About time with 1680x1050
by FunkyELF on Tue 13th Apr 2010 19:05 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

My 15" Dell is almost 3 years old and is 1920x1200.
It took at least 3 updates to these Macs since then to get past 1440x900.

They were talking up resolution independence built into OSX... lets get on with the denser displays please.

Reply Score: 2

RE: About time with 1680x1050
by sultanqasim on Tue 13th Apr 2010 20:35 UTC in reply to "About time with 1680x1050"
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

They've been offering higher resolutions as BTO options since the PowerBook days. What the heck are you talking about?

Reply Score: 2

RE: About time with 1680x1050
by bousozoku on Tue 13th Apr 2010 21:13 UTC in reply to "About time with 1680x1050"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

My 15" Dell is almost 3 years old and is 1920x1200.
It took at least 3 updates to these Macs since then to get past 1440x900.

They were talking up resolution independence built into OSX... lets get on with the denser displays please.


Considering how many years Apple were offering 15.2 inch PowerBooks with a standard resolution of 1280x854 while the rest of the industry was offering 1024x768, I think they deserve a little slack.

Even recently, they were offering as standard 1440x900 in a 15.4 inch package as standard while it was an upgrade elsewhere (1280x800 standard), if it was available at all.

Optional resolutions are expensive and they tend to wait until prices drop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: About time with 1680x1050
by miles on Thu 15th Apr 2010 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: About time with 1680x1050"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

I still have an 8 years old Dell 15' Inspiron that's 1600x1200.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: About time with 1680x1050
by bousozoku on Sat 17th Apr 2010 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: About time with 1680x1050"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

I still have an 8 years old Dell 15' Inspiron that's 1600x1200.


It must be tough to tote a computer with a 15 foot display. I don't even think that my car is that long.

Reply Score: 2

RE: About time with 1680x1050
by tyrione on Wed 14th Apr 2010 07:24 UTC in reply to "About time with 1680x1050"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

My 15" Dell is almost 3 years old and is 1920x1200.
It took at least 3 updates to these Macs since then to get past 1440x900.

They were talking up resolution independence built into OSX... lets get on with the denser displays please.


Wake us all up when Hardware panels support RI and are 16bit/24bit per channel.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 14th Apr 2010 04:51 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny thing is that Apple has just released a software update for these MacBook Pro's already:

http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/25278/apple-macbook-macbook-pro-so...

I guess this must have been in the works for atleast a month - anyway, its good to see that Apple has pushed the updates out in a timely manner.

Reply Score: 2