View Full Version : New Hardware today!

10-14-2008, 02:02 PM
Need to change the name of this forum to X86 Mac, now that they are on to Nvida chipsets.

End of an era, say goodbye to white. Black USB keyboards and mice should be along in a few weeks.....

The new MacBooks look great so far, though I wonder if more expensive is the right move with consumer confidence being in the dumper. Glad to see they are keeping the white base model MB on as a lower cost alternative.

No firewire.....WTF?

10-14-2008, 04:19 PM
Huge video bump, and a 5 hour max battery life looks great. Like the idea of the glass as scratched LCDs drive me insane. Some folks will hate 'em I bet.

So.........how long 'til the iMacs and Minis see a similar chipset change? Most of the benefit seems to be laptop oriented with better power management.....but smaller, cooler, and better video is always a good thing. Would not be surprised to see the Mini not bumped at all, or at least with crippled video. I hate that Apple does that, but not surprised. Would be a nice surprise to see the Mini get the MB specs, and the iMac get an even better video bump like the MBP got. May not see an iMac bump 'til they can go LED LCD, which could be a ways off?

10-14-2008, 06:24 PM
No firewire.....WTF?

Yeah Apple is getting a big fat F from the audio boards I frequent. A lot of mid-level recordists are heavily invested in FW, and to eliminate it from the MB without the option of an expansion slot is a pretty stupid move IMHO.

Not everyone who does audio/video work can afford a MBP.

10-14-2008, 07:01 PM
They always have to make something to make it less than perfect. MB should have at least FW 400...........MBP could have dual channel FW 800 and eSATA if they want to still seperate "Pro" from "Consumer". I think that is a dated model, and was never really accurate. At $1299, that is pretty much a pro price. Not even middle of the road price by todays standards.

Still a very cool notebook though.:)

10-14-2008, 08:10 PM
Now I am getting closer for that iMac bump? :D Looks like awhile still. :(

10-14-2008, 08:15 PM
It seems as though they are trying to push mid-level users to the pro models. With the current economic situation I'm not sure that is such a smart move, but then they have a history of doing this sort of thing.

Apple seems to have a two-tier mindset: pro users, and Joe consumer. No middle ground.:(

10-14-2008, 08:34 PM
I gots to agree with you guys. When Apple released the MacBook Air with no Firewire I considered it a toy. This takes the MacBook out of serious consideration for anything by a kids machine.


10-15-2008, 01:43 AM
End of an era, say goodbye to white.Actually, no. The white MacBook lives on as the inexpensive base model Macbook, price at USD 999. It's mentioned in the press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/10/14macbook.html):

An updated 13-inch white MacBook featuring 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors, a 120GB 5400 rpm hard drive and a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® is now available for $999 (US). I found it the darn page. You won't see it in the image browser at the top of the Mac section/tab. It's listed at the very bottom with all the other products "Macbook White".


I'm looking at that page, and it's old school previous-gen Macbook from what I can tell with probably just a CPU bump. It still has FW400 as well as Intel integrated graphics from the Tech Spec page.

I guess this is the low price notebook that all the bloggers and tech writers were clamoring for, at the are-you-out-of-your-mind price of $800. I say out of your mind because my gut told me there was no way in heck Apple would touch that price point now. They did manage to squeak in under a grand, which seemed to me about right. :D

I agree with you guys about FW. How the freak are you supposed to hook up a camcorder with FW to say do iMovie or FCE? I know that there are a host of new camcorders compressing and recording straight to disc so you dump the pre-compressed via USB2. But still lots of videocameras out there old and new that require FW for capturing the video before you can do any work.

I was thinking I would go MBP anyway when I upgraded for the Express slot (needed for my Vodafone connect card). But the FW800 seals the deal in its favor. Uggh!

10-15-2008, 10:57 AM
I hate to see them moving away from FW, but they are. We might as well get used to it. For a consumer with a newer Vid camera, USB only is fine. Let's face it, that is what most PC users use, without issue.

The real issue is for users like Brane was refering to, who have special FW needs and solutions. Why orphan them? To keep Apple marketshare growing, especially in this economy, they should be adding every potential customer they can, and not cutting anybody out of the loop. Overall they have been adding functionality recently, especially with the X86 switch allowing folks to nearly any OS on the planet that can run on X86. They charge a premium price for nice hardware that is flexible.....why shoot themselves in the foot? Space? Cost? "Consumer" market? I don't buy any of those.

With the MBAir, I can understand......lightest possible road warrior machine. Fine. But the MB has turned into the mid level work horse jack of all trades. Leaving out FW hurts. For the price, it should have included FW and eSATA.

Yeah, I am actually relived that they are selling the old MB for $999. I have a hunch they will sell well. Wish they still had black though. If they offered both colors at $999, I would be sure they would sell well.

10-15-2008, 01:46 PM
It might be time. Then a CPU and graphics bump would be nice also. I really don't need a tower. ;)

Mac Buyers Guide (http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/)

10-17-2008, 01:30 PM
Pretty good summary (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/10/17/inside_the_new_macbooks_firewire_usb_and_the_nvidi a_controller.html) of new MacBooks.

10-18-2008, 07:01 AM
They always have to make something to make it less than perfect. MB should have at least FW 400...
I'd rather have only FW800 ports because I can always use conversion cables like these. (http://www.cablestogo.com/product_list.asp?cat%5Fid=606)

With Apple using Intel products (does Intel still design the motherboards?) does this mean Firewire will be replaced by USB 3.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_3.0#USB_3.0)? This protocol has nice data transfer rates and looks like it competes with FW 1S600 & S3200. Actual data transfer rates of USB 3.0 may be more like 3 Gbps (http://www.tmworld.com/article/CA6599791.html?industryid=47184), not the theoretical 5 Gbps.

10-18-2008, 08:02 AM
Could be wrong but I don't think Intel ever designed a motherboard for Apple. Weren't they always Apple designed just using Intel chips?

10-18-2008, 10:52 AM
Yes, the Mac X86 logicboards have been Intel up til now. Apple has spec'd or required a few tweaks, but still Intel goods. Apple has worked with Intel to pick through their line, and even get pre-release stuff before it went out to other PC makers on both CPUs and chipsets, as well has have some fairly speciallized stuff fabbed for them, as with the MacBook Air.

Don't forget that Intel is a huge company that does lots of R&D, and creation, and that they have a heck of a time gettng generic, lowest cost PC makers to embrace their newest and best stuff. USB and EFI are two examples of Intel tech that PC market snubbed until Apple included them.........and EFI is still largely snubbed.

As for USB 3, it will be there if Apple wants it, which is likely a no brainer if it is anything like USB 1 and 2. As for FW 800, yes, I would much prefer that with the adapter cables. Heck, they could retire FW 400. And most importantly what about FW3200?


I understand Apple chasing consumers, who are mostly switchers, and who don't know what firewwire is, and are happy with USB 2. Its cheap, and it works. Switchers largely won't care, unless they have an older video camera.

The part I don't understand (or don't agree with) is that by including firewire, Apple gives us all options. We don't have to use it, but we can. On OS 10, on Windows, and on Linux and Solaris. We pay a premium price for a premium machine, so limiting choice makes it less premium.

It would be one thing if they were offering a low end MacBook, minus features..........like the previous plastic model without firewire, with less video, for say $899. There's your SwitcherBook. Sell that in white and black, and you are gaining market share. Fast. The new AlMacBook is a mid level mid-to-high level product is every way but port options.

Apple has too small a product line at this point to remove FW from the MB, IMHO. They need to make each and every model cover as much as the market needs and wants as possible, since there are so few choices.

But the MacBook has moved upscale in price and design, in every way excecpt flexibilty of ports. The real fix here would be to put—at least—an expresscard 34 (http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/cons_about.jsp) in it, thereby allowing the users to plug in whatever they want, including:EVDO, eSATA, FW400, FW00, and even a dedicated hadware RAID. Plus it opens the door form more cards and future options.

Options (http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/cons_wtb.jsp). We need options.

Apple: Please reverse directions and keep firewire. Your customers, allies and competitors (http://www.1394ta.org/products/ComputerProducts.html) are vested!

10-18-2008, 11:50 AM
But the MacBook has moved upscale in price and design, in every way excecpt flexibilty of ports. The real fix here would be to put—at least—an expresscard 34 (http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/cons_about.jsp) in it...
According to the specs posted here (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro/), there is an ExpressCard 34 slot on the Macbook Pro.

10-18-2008, 04:00 PM
Yup, and there has been since the first MBP. Would love to see that on the MB. But not holding my breath.

So, if lack of FW makes the new MB consumer grade, what about the iMac and Mini? Will they lack FW too in their next revision? If so, that means only on the MBP and the MacPro?

That doesn't make any sense to me. Might as well kill it altogether, and move on to the next thing. Hope they don't though, as there is no "next thing", better, more flexible and feature rich than FW. Yet.

10-18-2008, 07:12 PM
Yup, and there has been since the first MBP. Would love to see that on the MB.
Ah, I understand what you meant now.

I wonder how Apple, Dell and others evaluate the market for connectivity ports. My wife and kids use USB for photos and iPods all the time. My Canon cameras used FW400 in the first iterations of the camera, but now use USB 2.0 :mad: My video camera uses FW400 or Express 34 slots. Designing which ports to use has gotta be a difficult choice to make for a 'puter designer. I just hope they don't use only computer registration info (when the owner indicates their business and/or computer use) and not some other, more exact way, of knowing what ports to use.

Apple did make a very firm statement about their choice and use of DisplayPort (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort) vs. HDMI. I'd think they'd do the same with FW and USB.

10-18-2008, 09:15 PM
I gotta tell you guys, the lacking in FW has thrown me a loop. I have always preferred Firewire over USB for high speed data transfers. And MacGurus has never once sold pure USB storage. Some of our Firewire enclosures have USB, but we never even bother testing in USB.

And now, just in the last few weeks, we have Firewire 800 bus powered enclosures for 2.5 inch drives that saturate the Firewire! We are talking over 80MB/sec with the 2.5 inch Momentus SATA drives in a bus powered enclosure over FW800. Awesome. And halfway useless by the appearance of where Apple is going. Damn.

Earlier this week, as a result of this thread, I ordered up a bunch of sample USB2 enclosures to test. It feels wrong somehow. But it has to be done.


10-18-2008, 09:44 PM
I would bet that the average MB user doesn't understand the advantages of FW over USB, and likely doesn't own many if any FW peripherals so Apple decides it's not worth the expense of including it.

Meanwhile those of us in the niche market i.e. low budget A/V get the short end of the stick.

I guess that's called progress.:rolleyes:

10-19-2008, 07:03 AM
I copied the following info from this site: (http://www.1394ta.org/consumers/FAQ.html)

480 Mbits per second is the raw bus rate for USB2 and NOT the rate at which data transfer can be achieved. There is a much higher overhead involved in USB2 data transfer and typical actual data rates for an external HDD from a Win XP platform are:

Headline Actual Read Actual Write Efficiency(Average)
USB 2.0
480 264 208 49%
400 332 264 75%
800 712* 496* 76%

Data Rates using Oxford Semiconductor’s OXUF924
All data rates in Mbits/sec
* Striped RAID solution

Many current USB2 devices will only run at ‘Full speed’, which is a very slow 12 Mbps.

FireWire is available now at 800 Mbps. The actual data throughput for FireWire 800 based RAID systems is limited by the disk performance and not by the FireWire bus. FireWire 1600 and FireWire 3200 are in development.
I don't understand the market's resistance to FW and can only assume that either USB 3.0 blows FW away, or the jerks in Redmond refuse to write the necessary code. (boy that didn't format very well :rolleyes: )

10-19-2008, 08:46 AM
It's not just the raw throughput.

FW also leaves management of devices on the bus to the devices themselves. That means more CPU available for other tasks. With a host-based DAW or a video rendering app that's a good thing.

10-19-2008, 10:32 AM
It has been over a year since the specs and developmental chipsets were done for FW1600. And the spec for FW3200 are also approved and finished. Are they going to get out of the starter box? Doesn't look like it.

'Fraid to say that Firewire is on its way out. It was a us against them marketing death. Only took 9 years from birth to apparent death (the B&W was released in 1999) Firewire was initially designed in the late '80s. Been around a while without being implemented. Might still have a few surprises left, but not if Apple drops it from first one, then another set of product.

10-19-2008, 02:12 PM
It'll be interesting to see what happens with all the mid-level A/V hardware. Pretty much all of it is FW based right now especially audio. Current USB is incapable of handling the same amount of I/O.

10-19-2008, 03:53 PM
It'll be interesting to see what happens with all the mid-level A/V hardware.
The way I see it, everything will be going HD by the end of 2009 because only HD TVs will be available. I don't see USB keeping up with that.

10-19-2008, 07:56 PM
The way I see it, everything will be going HD by the end of 2009 because only HD TVs will be available. I don't see USB keeping up with that.

Well I was thinking more along the lines of the production end of things. It doesn't take FW throughput to watch HDTV, but it sure takes something like it to produce it.;)

10-20-2008, 11:19 AM
The firewire debate aside, the new MBs are a nice design, and the video performance should be great, if not awesome all things consdiered.

So what happens next? I was thinking iMacs would be a likely choice considering they are mostly laptop tech anyway.....others seem to agree (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/10/17/due_next_from_apple_refreshed_20__and_24_inch_imac s.html).


Oh, and as for the firewire is dead notion.......I don't agree. :D

All of our PC laptops at work have FW400 (even though it is the mini port), including Dells, HPs, and Lenovos. Most are mid level machines, not cheapy consumer, but not top of the line either. My wife has a newish Dell Inspiron 15" that cost all of 600 bucks and it has FW too. Dead? No, finally catching on. And if the PC industry moves as slow now as they have in the past, we will see FW for at least a few more years.

The real test is to to see if Apple cut it out of iMacs and Minis. Looking at the tear down of the AlumMB, the logic board is silly small, and there isn't any room left for more ports. Did the leave FW out so that they could cram in nealy twice as much battery? That would make some sense, as a long battery life is a juicy selling point.

10-20-2008, 11:21 AM
See.......no room left:


My tankless water heater has a larger board in it than this. Maybe it has FW too.....:)

10-20-2008, 12:38 PM
The real test is to to see if Apple cut it out of iMacs and Minis.

Yup! That will be the real indicator of where Apple is going. We do need to notice that the only external storage device ever sold and made by Apple is USB.

All our whining won't mean a thing is Apple keeps on with FW. Nor will it stop them from dropping it. MacGurus needs to be prepared with product lines now for both FW and USB. This thread is invaluable for that, if nothing else.


10-20-2008, 01:32 PM
Sign the petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/MB1394/petition.html) asking Apple to keep FW, or more specifically to put it back into the MBs.

I signed it.

26 times. :p .......Just kidding. Just once.

10-20-2008, 02:07 PM
In the category of kludge, undoubtedly this means were in for the treat of a USB-to-1394 adapter market opening up. People will keep these adapters with our SCSI-to-1394, PS2-to-USB, ADB-to-USB, parallel-to-USB, and Serial-to-USB adapters in the back of the closet, because of that that ONE time in a hunnerd that we just HAD to use one. meh.

I can hardly wait for the slew of "which USB goes with what 1394 speed?" discussions this will engender.

"Plus la change, c'est la méme chose." or what ever.

What ever happened to the Universal part of Universal Serial Bus? The world may never know.

01-21-2009, 08:55 AM


Check the specs on the old style white plastic Macbook that still has firewire. Apple updated the graphics chipset to the NVidia GeForce 9400M which is also in the new unibody aluminums that don't have firewire.

The white one is however clocked slower and has slower memory DDR2 v DDR3.

Still, with the updated graphics this little white Macbook is much more a contender. What with firewire, it may become the only option for some -- even those with the cash to get beefier models.

If I were buying a portable today, I'd buy the white one no doubt about it.

01-21-2009, 01:20 PM
Interesting. I wonder if they got an earfull from budget A/V users, an decided there was still money to be made?

01-21-2009, 02:05 PM
Also no LED LCD, but a good value all things considered.

Regardless of why, this is a good thing! I was wondering if they were selling the previous model because they had:

- too much stock
- mfg. contract
- good profit (it was a mature design, with all design and fab cost long since paid for)
- good demand as the lowest cost MB
- education market needs
- good demand as the only low cost FW option
- all the above

The fact that they had to retool a fab faciltiy for a different logic board (will be interesting to see if it is the same shape, or if the entire layout has been tweaked) surely means they intend to build these for quite a while.

Long live FW! Would have really been impressed it it was FW 800.

Mini next please. :D

10-29-2009, 12:41 PM
The new 27" 8 core iMac's must be :kickass: I should of made my iMac a x-mas gift rather than a spring fling. :rolleyes:
The new iMac video (http://www.apple.com/imac/features.html?cid=CDM-US-DM-P0008685-154550&Email_PageName=P0008685-154550&Email_OID=187203d4ad3af7e3c821b8e0c8335be4&cp=em-P0008685-154550&sr=em) from Apple.

10-29-2009, 01:33 PM
27 inch - what a monster! Woof.

New mouse looks pretty cool too.

You can see already the next step in the mouse - a full touchscreen like the iPhone has. Full motion range and multifinger sensing. Getting interesting.