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Desktops (Apple) Portables (Apple) Upgrades Apple

Apple Updates MacBooks and Mac Pro Desktop With Haswell, "Unified Thermal Core" 464

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the next-cube-on-drugs dept.
MojoKid writes with more detailed information on the new hardware Apple announced earlier today at WWDC "On the hardware side, Apple is updating its two MacBook Air devices; both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions will enjoy better battery life (up to 9 hours and 12 hours, respectively), thanks in no small part to having Intel's new Haswell processors inside. They'll also have 802.11ac WiFi on board. Both models have 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 or i7 (Haswell) processors, Intel HD Graphics 5000, 4GB of RAM, and has 128GB or 256GB of flash storage. Arguably the scene stealer on the desktop side of things is a completely redesigned Mac Pro. The 9.9-inch tall cylindrical computer boasts a new 'unified thermal core' which is designed to conduct heat away from the CPU and GPU while distributing it uniformly and using a single bottom-mounted intake fan. It rocks a 12-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro GPUs (standard), 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory (60GBps), and PCIe flash storage with up to 1.25GBps read speeds. The system promises 7 teraflops of graphics performance, supports 4k displays, and has a host of ports including four USB 3.0, two gigabit Ethernet ports, HDMI 1.4, six Thunderbolt 2 ports that offer super-fast (20Gbps) external connectivity."
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Apple Updates MacBooks and Mac Pro Desktop With Haswell, "Unified Thermal Core"

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  • and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:18PM (#43968879) Homepage

    ..PCs will still be more economical, more powerful, more easily upgraded, and uglier.

    Some things never seem to change.

  • Not Upgradeable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javakah (932230) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:20PM (#43968897)

    With so much in such a small space/size and an unusual factor as well, I have a very bad feeling about your ability to upgrade practically any parts in this thing.

  • So No then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:40PM (#43969029)

    Ram is upgradable

    Then, it has 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports running at 20gbps managed by 3 controllers.

    Get whatever external enclosure you want and run whatever you want. Raids, Video cards, etc..

    The shorter answer would be no. Its not expandable, an incompatible rare expensive *external* interface is simply not a solution. Although I do find it somewhat ironic that you could argue that a raspberry pi costing $25 is upgradable too :).

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:07PM (#43969209) Homepage Journal

    I respect and understand how you feel, but the anger should be directed at Washington. When the White House hands down mandates what do you expect these companies to do?

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:30PM (#43969349) Homepage Journal
    Actually the Pros were very upgradable, and much easier to do so than any PC. It was always pull a lever, or pull off the top. No screws, not hassle, and this was all the way back , in many cases, to Apple ][. I recall swapping my hard disk out of my Mac LC in about two minutes. Memory on my Mac G4 was about a minute. And worried about getting thing stolen from inside because it so easy? The pass through for the security cable also automatically locks the case.

    Really with mac it was a design decision. Do you limit capability with internal, at the time, IDE ports or do you provide a high speed external port that is plug and play, before most things were plug and play. I have recounted many time how difficult it was to get a ZIP drive to work on a PC, but that such things were automatic on a Mac. Or that hard drives that were too big of slow on a PC were plug and play on a Mac.

    In this case I assume that I would have networked storage through gigabyte Ethernet for archive.

  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:35PM (#43969387)

    the most upgradable mac ever

    This notice brought to you by the Ministry of Truth.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday June 10, 2013 @11:51PM (#43969463)

    ..PCs will still be more economical, more powerful, more easily upgraded, and uglier.

    ...unless you're one of the people relying on a piece of software that only runs on OS X, i.e. the main target demographic for this machine, in which case a PC isn't a valid substitute at any price. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro still have decent followings, and if you're doing Mac or iOS development and actually have a need for a real workhorse of a machine, you really don't have any better alternatives unless you want to try making a Hackintosh workstation, since you'll need a machine running Xcode.

    Regarding upgrading, the old Mac Pro was remarkably easy to upgrade compared to other towers of its day, but it's since been passed. But if the new one's upgrades really are as trivial as just plugging something into one of the six Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back, then I doubt that any PC case currently out there can provide an easier solution. Whether it works as well as Apple claims remains to be seen, however.

    As for the economics of Macs, modern Macs generally do a rather good job on their launch day of stacking up in terms of price against comparably-built PCs from other major manufacturers like HP or Dell (the last-gen Mac Pro being a notable exception, since it was a poor value, even at launch). That said, with Apple, they've made most of the decisions on what hardware to put in the machine, which is great for people who actually agree with each and every one of those choices, whereas with other vendors, you can find options or alternative models that can save you some money in areas you don't care about as much, thus providing a cheaper machine that, while not truly comparable in terms of specs, is effectively comparable for customers who don't care about the affected areas.

    And, of course, if you're building your own machine you can easily come in at a much lower initial cost than that offered by the major vendors, Apple included, but then you're also accepting a lot of personal responsibility for its upkeep. That simply isn't viable in most corporate environments, since needing to divert people to build and maintain even a few custom-built machines could easily cost the company thousands of dollars in billable hours in no time at all, which isn't an issue with most major manufacturers, with whom you can simply send the machine in and get it back in a functioning condition a few days later as part of the warranty. But for a home environment, where you aren't worrying about billable hours and the like, then sure, building your own makes great sense...but then you're also not the target demographic for this machine either.

  • Re:Mac Pro DRAM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:08AM (#43969569) Homepage

    You mean a workstation uses "not consumer" RAM? Tell me more...

  • by phalse phace (454635) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @12:31AM (#43969679)

    I'm really curious to see the benchmark comparisons between the previous MacBook Air with the 1.8GHz dual core i5-3427U (Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz) and the new MBA with a 1.3GHz dual core i5-4250U (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz).

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:06AM (#43969851) Homepage Journal
    100% that. Even recently with a bunch of xeon servers (2007 spec), it was cheaper to buy new machines (2012 spec Cisco UCS) with more RAM than it was to upgrade the RAM, as the RAM standard changed and high capacity DIMMs in the old format were super expensive.
  • by gnu-sucks (561404) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:32AM (#43969969) Journal

    Folks,

    I just read ten posts above about lack of upgradability.

    Who cares!?

    It's not a big deal. The days of upgrading your pc every few years are over. Two years after buying this machine, Apple will release a newer version. The newer version will be so much better (faster bus, etc), that the older one will be left in the dust and on ebay for $499.

    Things have been headed this way for a long while now. Why upgrade when it's only a little more to get a new machine with the best and latest/greatest hardware inside? This argument didn't hold as much weight in the past when the computer ecosystem moved slower. These days though, we move faster.

    I like upgrading because it's an interest of mine to spend/waste my time getting things as fast and cool as possible, but honestly, this is more for fun than anything. If my professional life depended on a few more GB/s, I would drop down the money and upgrade at every chance I have.

    Max out the ram and other options when you buy it, and make the most of it until there's a new model.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bemymonkey (1244086) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @03:21AM (#43970303)

    I think the word you're looking for is proprietary. Good luck adding storage when you run out of space, or upgrading to new GPUs when nVidia and AMD have a performance breakthrough one or two years down the line...

    Oh wait Thunderbolt - you can hook up an external graphics card and external hard drives... so it's a bit like a supercharged netbook minus the display and keyboard and portability.

  • by Molochi (555357) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @04:02AM (#43970455)

    I've upgraded systems often, but that's more due to some quantity of opportunity than to prescience. Every now and then some remarkable upgrade is offered on an existing platform that is worth exploiting. Usually it's just a doubling of CPU performance like A64 CPU to Athlon X2 or Core2Duo to Core2Quad.

    I never really built any system with a belief that I would be able to upgrade the CPU. I just hoped for and took advantage of the opportunity. The truth is new CPUs tend to require new motherboards which tend to require new memory and PSUs. Even when a new version of a CPU kept the same socket it would tend to use a (lower) voltage, different (higher) FSB, or a BIOS update that older motherboards wouldn't accommodate.

    People tend to look back on the good old days and forget. K6-2 didn't run at full speed on a socket7 mobo, you had to go get a Supersocket7 motherboard. You couldn't replace Celeron 300a CPU with a Coppermine on your i440BX, that required a new (and oddly, inferior) motherboard. VIA's KT133 didn't support AthlonXP. Though in these cases there were sometimes hardware (with a soldering iron or a special slotket) workarounds.

    And during this period we went to DDR memory (though intel went DRAM> RDRAM > back to DRAM and then to DDR), new AGP and PCI cards that didn't work in old slots, different PSU connectors and system power requirements that required new PSUs.

    Today's systems are moving everything onto the CPU... first memory controllers with Athlon64 and now with Haswell even voltage regulation. Any change anybody makes practically requires a new motherboard.

    i7 desktop CPUs alone have used 1366 1155 1156 and 2011 pin sockets and Haswell is being introduced with the 1150. When they come out with a triple or quad memory channel or just something that supports DDR4 it'll mean even more new motherboards.

    But there will probably be some combination of hardware that allows someone to brag about how smart they were with a "planned upgrade".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @09:15AM (#43972181)

    Except for Xsan, which Apple built for exactly that purpose:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xsan [wikipedia.org]

    http://help.apple.com/advancedserveradmin/mac/10.8/#apd77AAA155-4BEF-43E3-9F82-5E565CFBDE84 [apple.com]

    The hardware is typically Promise VTrac these days:
    http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_category.aspx?region=en-global&m=192&rsn=40&statistic=Mac [promise.com]

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday June 11, 2013 @01:16PM (#43975635)

    I assume you're referring to the rather plain-looking black towers in their gaming line? Because if you're talking about one of their towers with the excessively-bright blue LEDs and clear sides so that you can show off all of your 1337 internal components, then I don't see a point in continuing this conversation. Antec's designs for their gaming cases vacillate between being tasteful without standing out as anything special and being tastelessly overdone with no sense of restraint, with nothing really coming in between. I'd suggest that their designers are immature in their art, except that I believe that's actually untrue and that they're simply catering to people who prefer gaudiness and excess.

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