Print 57 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Oct 17 at 4:23 PM

Intel says it will work hard to get the business back

Yesterday, Apple refreshed its MacBook line of notebook computers. As was widely rumored, Apple announced a new graphics provider to replace the Intel integrated graphics that was used on the previous MacBook.

NVIDIA replaced Intel as the graphics supplier with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M sporting 256MB of RAM shared with main system memory. Steve Jobs himself says that the new NVIDIA GPUs deliver five times the graphics power that the notoriously underpowered Intel X3100 integrated graphics system in previous generation MacBooks could muster.

Despite Intel being replaced in the MacBook by NVIDIA graphics, Intel maintains that it's not out of the Apple fold altogether. CNET News quotes an Intel spokesperson saying, "Intel continues to have a strong relationship with Apple. Graphics is a competitive market and we compete for all new business. Intel's technology is integrated throughout Apple's product line but we didn't win this particular design."

Intel may have been replaced by NVIDIA for graphics, but Intel still provides the processors for MacBook systems. Apple has picked the 45nm SSF Penryn processor for the MacBook Air to replace the 65nm SFF Merom used previously. The new processors will boost performance in part by adding cache memory. The 45nm Penryn CPUs have 3MB or 6MB of cache.

Among the new systems introduced yesterday was a new aluminum clad MacBook. In addition to getting the new NVIDIA GPU, the notebook also received a storage bump to 120GB and a Mini DisplayPort connector. The old MacBook is still being offered at a price reduced to $999. Apple has also provided more details on its Brick manufacturing process.

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By pauldovi on 10/15/2008 11:47:30 AM , Rating: 5
Lenovo did this and it works like a charm. Users can switch, in real time, between the integrated X4500HD and the HD3650. Vista only though (not XP).

On these new Mac Book's you have to log out and log back in.

That is pretty lame for a "just works" Mac.

By GoodBytes on 10/15/2008 11:52:21 AM , Rating: 5
Mac OSX doesn't allow this... it is like windows XP, where the drivers are too close to the OS, meaning if one crashes your computer freezes. Vista can restart the drivers, or in the case above change video card.

By CU on 10/15/2008 12:20:12 PM , Rating: 5
Ssshhh, don't tell apple users that Vista can do something better than OSX it will disrupt Job's Reality Distortion Field.

By anotherdude on 10/15/2008 12:50:20 PM , Rating: 3
I wish somebody had stood up at the iCult meeting yesterday and told jobs he ain't got no 18% market share. That would have raised his blood pressure. Yea, he had "US" in parenthesis and mumbled something about "retail" but it sounds like all you really saw and heard was 18%!

Mac share is 3.6%, 8.1% US, and yes it is growing but enough with the propaganda already. These guys are master manipulators and still are perceived as 'cool', what's up with that?

By bohhad on 10/15/2008 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 4
if they are liars, yes

By Pirks on 10/15/2008 2:42:04 PM , Rating: 3
All marketing departments are staffed by professional liars, in any company, hence this is rather weak argument.

By anotherdude on 10/15/2008 3:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
sorry but Apple is doing way too much of this and getting away with it way too often, why? because it is the darling of the valley-centric, cali representen tech press. And if you can't see that then you are blind!

They can do it all they want to and we can call them on it all we want to also, it's just time they got outed more often.

By othercents on 10/15/2008 5:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is not doing anymore gray area advertising than any other company. It is just that you are focused on them and can quickly point out every error. Most advertisement on TV is advertisement of omission which is why you have the small line of text at the end of the ad to let every know the truth.

Case in point is where both Verizon and AT&T Wireless can have advertising touting that they have the most coverage. Verizon has the most in the US and AT&T has the most world wide.


By erikejw on 10/16/2008 8:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Apple has also provided more details on its Brick manufacturing process."

I don't know what the firmware to iPhone that produces iBricks have anything to do with this new McBook, maybe he means they will produce the same kind of firmware for McBooks and produce larger iBricks and make even more money ;)

By ImSpartacus on 10/15/2008 3:03:21 PM , Rating: 4
Oh for god's sake, not again pirks, please.

By djc208 on 10/16/2008 9:33:55 AM , Rating: 3
I think it's more the Lexus thing. They are no more the end-all and be-all of Autodom than Mac is to the computer industry. In fact while they are very good, they are usually benchmarked against, and often second or third to, BMW and Mercedes.

Besides the argument is moot. A Lexus has better everything than the base vehicles it is derived from. More powerful engines, upscale interior, more advanced electronics, more refined suspension, more advanced transmission, etc.

These laptops are at best like bying the base car with options, and paying sticker price.

You get the same CPUs, GPUs, HDD, and even screens that you can get elsewhere. Only difference is you get the MAC OS instead of Windows in a unique package (for a laptop), or to continue the comparison you paid extra to get a custom steering wheel and the brushed aluminum pedals with your body kit.

By djc208 on 10/17/2008 1:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not blind, they just don't justify the unending worship you heap upon them. Apple goes on about all these little things because otherwise people might realize they're way over-paying for a rather middle-of-the-road laptop.

Besides, how much different can it be on size and weight, it has the same components as many other laptops, there's only so many ways to package them without reducing functionality (which is usually the case with Apple).

I'm all for buying quality and performance (I own a $400 pen for goodness sake), but it has to justify it's price. Apple is making a $700 laptop with $200 worth of options and adding a $500 logo on the front.

If it makes you happy buy it, it's only money, but don't act like we're all backwards because we aren't drinking the same cool-aid.

By SavagePotato on 10/16/2008 9:37:15 AM , Rating: 2
Read: never ending rants about mac products while using it as an excuse to gush about lexus. Who one can only imagine must be his own personal god the way he talks about it.

Everyone gets your position pirks, you want to point out your genetic superiority because you use a mac while driving a lexus.

I for one suggest you use more apple products while driving your lexus, like the iphone, maybe you will accidentally get in a head on collision with a bus. One can hope.

By Pirks on 10/16/2008 11:36:33 AM , Rating: 1
I don't own Lexus and I don't own a Mac either. I'm here just to get an opportunity to make a few jokes about dumb idiots like you.

By murphyslabrat on 10/16/2008 6:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm here just to get an opportunity to make a few jokes about dumb idiots like you.

That attitude, my friend, is why you only need a single-wide bed.

By Pirks on 10/16/2008 7:31:40 PM , Rating: 1
Your stupidity is forgivable, after all how could you know that my wife prefers king size beds :) Try harder next time, moron.

By SavagePotato on 10/17/2008 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
I guess that would make you a self admitted troll. Since you extol the virtues Ad nauseum of two products you do not even own, for no obvious reason beyond trolling.

Kind of ironic considering how you trash everyone that doesn't drive a lexus and use a mac even though you supposedly have neither.

Who is the real dumb idiot captain redundant.

By Pirks on 10/17/2008 4:19:26 PM , Rating: 1
You hiss and spit on Apple products you don't own, for no obvious reason beyond trolling. What's your problem with Apple, man? Did Jobs rape your in your childhood or something?

By overzealot on 10/15/2008 12:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I thought it would be more linux style.
Never had a vid-crash on my hackintosh, probably because I hardly ever use it.

By psychobriggsy on 10/15/2008 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well it doesn't require a reboot, just a log-in/out, but it is a problem at the moment that Apple will have to spend some time fixing, as this method is way too clunky right now. I can't see people starting up, getting things ready, and then remembering they forgot to change to the decent GPU... hassle++

Where's the Hybrid SLI though? Surely that would be the better option here?

By Flunk on 10/15/2008 1:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrid SLI is taking advantage of Vista video driver features. It would take some work on the OS X side to implement it on their OS. Although it would be nice if they did.

By Magnus Dredd on 10/15/2008 2:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
I do know enough about the current driver model to know that CPU vs. Video Rendering is switchable on the fly...

OpenGL rendering is also switchable on the fly:

I'm pretty sure that the OpenGL renderer supports SMP on CPUs. I don't know that it supports SMP on Video cards (which is basically what SLI is) or scaling across multiple types of hardware at the same time and I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Mixing CPU and GPU rendering would be hard. Scaling across multiple GPUs when you've already basically figured the logic out with CPUs, not as hard.

I'd wonder if there are cases where Hybrid SLI is slower (easpecially in CPU intensive games/tasks) because of memory contention.

Also in a laptop you'd have to plan on dealing with the extra heat of both video cards (more airflow, larger case), as well as the battery life would go down quite a bit.

By Magnus Dredd on 10/15/2008 2:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually this shows that you don't understand OSX's driver model.

OSX is a microkernel based OS. You can completely hang the GUI and (just like Linux/*nix) SSH in and restart it, if you know how. I would assume that generally unlike Linux in cases where the graphics driver is not loaded as a module, that it's possible to do this for a crashed video driver without rebooting or logging out unless the card itself has locked up.

From what I know of OSX's driver model, there's no reason that switching graphics hardware has to require logging out. It's probably that they were in a hurry.

They'll probably get something better working in the next major release and bill it as a feature!!!

By ioannis on 10/16/2008 8:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
OS X's kernel is a hybrid mix of monolithic and microkernel. Thus you get the performance of a monolithic approach and the modularity of a microkernel when needed. You can have drivers in user space, which means if they crash the system is not affected. In the case of the new MBP, the fact that a 'reboot' is not require means that the video drivers are re-loadable.

What is missing is support for Hybrid SLI on the drivers to allow switch or use the two chips together. What they probably do now is switch drivers, or reload the driver with different settings. Lame of course. It is a well known fact that new features appear on Windows drivers long before they find their way to OS X or Linux. Priorities...

By ioannis on 10/16/2008 1:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
unfortunately, it seems I was wrong about the Hybrid SLI. According to NVIDIA, Hybird SLI is not supported by the new MBP setup:

By ckent14 on 10/15/2008 1:03:57 PM , Rating: 4
Sure, to most of us that understand the innards of computers, implementing 2 chips that do the job of 3 is great. But to everyday users, would you want to log out and log back in every time you want to switch video cards? The spirit of this kind of implementation is to do it on the fly so the user wouldn't have to do anything to make it work...isn't that what Apple is about?

By winterspan on 10/17/2008 3:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
people are missing some import points:

1) nVidia's new 9400M GPU is faster than the X4500, but more importantly, it offers *MUCH SUPERIOR* H264/VC-1 decoding and video enhancement with lower CPU usage.

2) Perhaps most important of all, nVidia's "chipset" solution integrates the northbridge, southbridge, and GPU core ALL ON ONE DIE! That's incredible! And we all know how Apple feels about anything that lets it's notebooks get smaller, lighter, thinner..

If only. . . .
By Bateluer on 10/15/2008 11:30:45 AM , Rating: 3
If Intel had a decent integrated GPU, Apple might have stayed with them rather than risk faulty parts with Nvidia.

RE: If only. . . .
By Brandon Hill on 10/15/2008 11:40:14 AM , Rating: 5
You know it's bad when Apple would rather risk another product recall or faulty chips over Intel which is usually known for stable platforms albeit paired with subpar graphics.

RE: If only. . . .
By dcalfine on 10/15/2008 11:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has been planning to do the graphics integration for a while. Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" will feature GPGPU-like stuff and it would really suck if Apple released an OS that forced all Macs released in the past twelve months and earlier into obsolescence.

RE: If only. . . .
By UNCjigga on 10/15/2008 11:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for finally stating the obvious reason for this transition. So far very few people have ventured that Apple's decision has more to do with GPGPU, OS X 10.6 and PhotoShop CS4 than anything else. And I hardly expect the 9400m to be confined to Apple's MacBook/MBP lines only. I'd bet that the next iMac will come with that chipset as well.

RE: If only. . . .
By Doormat on 10/15/2008 12:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Rumors indicated new iMacs are set for next month, so it shouldn't be too long.

RE: If only. . . .
By quiksilvr on 10/15/2008 12:17:49 PM , Rating: 3
That is the least of their concerns.
1) They still haven't tried to fix the horrible pricing scheme throughout their notebook/desktop/iPod lineup.
2) They are still continually ripping off customers by having a base model and a "premium" model, forcing consumers to pay the extra dough when all they wanted was a processor upgrade, not a HDD upgrade.
3) They have yet to pay any attention to the underdogs (Mac Mini and Macbook 17) and too much attention on products that don't deserve it (Macbook Air...seriously either make it cheaper than the Macbook 13 or JUST STOP MAKING IT)

If this was at around year 2000 then I would say that Apple is making a transition and eventually they'll charge their products for a premium, but at a justifiable premium that will make people switch. I'm still waiting...

RE: If only. . . .
By web2dot0 on 10/15/2008 1:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
1) You keep saying the pricing scheme sucks, but the sales numbers aren't saying that. Perhaps you don't like the prices, but they are sold to the general public, not specifically to you. They command 17% of all PC sales, and 30% of all PC revenue. Pretty good from where they started off.

2) That's the beauty of their scheme! :-> Not a big fan of it, but that's part of business. They are here to make money. Don't like it ... don't upgrade. I wouldn't call it "ripping" customers off. They are limiting your upgrade choices to maximize their profit margins. Isn't what all business do anyways?

3) The "underdogs" are not getting attention because most people MAC users are not in that market segment! Mac Mini currently doesn't really make alot of money for Apple. They exists simply to get people onboard a MAC. It's just a way of migrating PC users to MACs. 17" MAC are too expense for most people's taste, but they need it to keep the premium brand image.

You are still waiting ... great ... keep waiting because no one cares. The market says otherwise. They are not waiting. Again, no one cares about you alone.

Apple is making all the right moves. They listened to their customers. Their MacBook line is going to be a hit. Better battery line, faster GPU, nice case, MBP quality at MacBook pricing. I say it's the "perfect storm". Especially in this tough economic climate.

I like their 24" LED monitor integration. plug your notebook right into the monitor and charges itself. No more looking for power cables. Noble ideal, but the price seems a bit steep for a 24" monitor. But hey, it isn't marketed it to mass base, so ....

RE: If only. . . .
By bohhad on 10/15/2008 2:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
apple does not command 17% of the pc market, they hold 17% of the retail pc market, EXCLUDING mail order sites like Dell, and only including CONSUMER sales, so no sales to businesses are counted. the 17% figure comes from a subset of a subset of sales data.

that said, i do feel apple is doing well and making progress

RE: If only. . . .
By anotherdude on 10/15/2008 3:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
according to IDC they have a whopping 3.6% of the PC market in Q2. Of course the PC market includes the whole world, and indeed Dell and HP and the other big guys are collecting pounds and euros and other spendable paper from all over, as well as dollars - something Apple would rather you not notice is sitting there outside the RDF.

Having said that they are coming and the trend looks good for them - so MS and the OEMs need to come up with some better stuf.

RE: If only. . . .
By anotherdude on 10/15/2008 3:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
1) You keep saying the pricing scheme sucks, but the sales numbers aren't saying that. Perhaps you don't like the prices, but they are sold to the general public, not specifically to you. They command 17% of all PC sales, and 30% of all PC revenue. Pretty good from where they started off

You see! The RDF is working. 17% my a$$. How's that flavor aid tasting?

RE: If only. . . .
By quiksilvr on 10/15/2008 3:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the 24" monitor is awesome but that's all I agree on. You think that I'm alone on this philosophy? Granted they are selling Macs but at a really slow rate. I guess they are doing things this way to avoid a major shift from PC to Mac in a short period of time; they wouldn't be able to cope with it both in the hardware sense and the software sense (the tiny bugs amongst 30 million is heard very different when that number shoots up to 300 million).

And by paying attention to the underdog, I mean boosting the specs and making the price more realistic. The pricing scheme lacks complete logic. If making these laptops with one piece of aluminum cuts down the amount of aluminum used AND is faster AND is easier AND is economical...WHY ARE THE PRICES THE SAME? Why wasn't the $1299 laptop $999 with an option to upgrade the processor? It would have rocked the PC market and was exactly what HP and Dell were fearing. But now that this idiotic pricing is in place, they are breathing easy.

And me still waiting is something that Apple DOES care about because its the main reason why so many people are still with PC: the ends don't justify the means. I expect them to be more expensive due to the quality, but not to the extent when I can get same spec laptops for hundreds of dollars less. Hell, even SONY'S laptops are more affordable.

I don't believe that Apple was listening to consumers. We've wanted an aluminum Macbook 13 and a better GPU for YEARS and LED screens for nearly 2 years. Apple has reached the point when they are no longer leading the PC industry; they're catching up. The only innovative thing they've done was the track pad and the PC casing and nothing else. Their onboard webcam is STILL not 1.3MP, there's no fingerprint reader and NO BD ROM (which is actually affordable to add to PCs now). I guess they're saving that for next year...

RE: If only. . . .
By hiscross on 10/16/2008 9:54:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't very seriously that Apple sell a MBP at $500 totally loaded you would buy it. Matter of fact I'm feel pretty sure you can pay for happy meal or even a dollar meal. I don't really care. But I do care when you and so many other posters on this site are always attaching people who buy and use Apple products. It shows you lack of class and you low character. Apple, like Dell, IBM, H-P, etc are in business to sell products. Capitalism maybe taking a hit right now, but it better than socialism (which BTW America will vote into office in Nov 4). I am writing this to set you straight or make you a better person. I am writing this to tell you there are people in this country that find you and your kind offensive and useless. Go ahead fame me because will prove I am right.

RE: If only. . . .
By sweetsauce on 10/15/2008 12:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Larrabee anyone? I'm pretty sure Intel got the hint years ago and is doing something about it. I just hope it really performs. Isn't competition great!!!

RE: If only. . . .
By gyranthir on 10/15/2008 12:43:09 PM , Rating: 3
I bet Apple has some sort of Iron Clad contract about GPU failure with Nvidia.

They don't seem to be ones to walk into and execute a deal blindly.

Apple admits weakness?
By jonmcc33 on 10/15/2008 6:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
...notoriously underpowered Intel X3100 integrated graphics system in previous generation MacBooks could muster.

Wait, Apple admits that their previous generation MacBooks are weak performing?

Still not sure if I'd spend $999 on a $499 laptop.

RE: Apple admits weakness?
By WillBurt on 10/15/2008 11:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, Apple admits that their previous generation MacBooks are weak performing? Still not sure if I'd spend $999 on a $499 laptop.

Why the hell not? It's the cool and hip thing to do. Plus you won't get hacked like the ghey Veesta!!!



RE: Apple admits weakness?
By kondor999 on 10/16/2008 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
9400M? And that's an upgrade? I'm writing this using a Dell XPS M1730 with Dual 8800M GTX's in SLI with an X9000 oc'ed to 3.4Ghz. The case is made from magnesium alloy, not cheap aluminum.

Apple has nothing that even begins to compare.

It amazes me that people still consider them to be leading-edge. In what? Pretty paintjobs and case design?

The only people that are excited about a low-end graphics solution like this are the idiots for whom it represents some sort of upgrade.

In other words: existing Macbook users.

RE: Apple admits weakness?
By Pirks on 10/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Apple admits weakness?
By kondor999 on 10/16/2008 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
I own all the things you mentioned and more. And while I do enjoy my PS3 and 360, they are (effectively - due to insufficent horsepower) limited to 1280x720 and are no longer leading edge. Plus, you picked a couple of rather average "B" titles. If you had a brain, you'd have mentioned MGS4, GT5 and GTA IV. Those are exclusives I wish I could play on the go. Also, comparing a portable system I can take on trips with systems which require a full-fledged home theater system is idiotic.

I can play Crysis on my laptop in 1920x1200. Can your Xbxo360 and PS3? While out of town and away from your HDTV?

I own this laptop because it truly replaces a desktop and allows me to enjoy all the things I love about computers while away from home.

That is Leading Edge to me, and worthy of far more praise than these Macbooks and their pitiful graphics - unfit for any entertainment software written in the past 3 years.

Oh, yeah -- I am rich btw. Is that suddenly a crime?

RE: Apple admits weakness?
By Pirks on 10/16/2008 12:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not a crime. If you have money to buy both PS3 and Xbox 360 in addition to that M1730 then I'm taking my words back. Sorry.

RE: Apple admits weakness?
By kondor999 on 10/17/2008 10:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it sounds like we both love Tech! Again, my problem with these Macbooks is that they just aren't at all innovative.

Their specs are, in fact, decidely boring and equivalent to just another mainstream mid-spec PC notebook. In fact, I could say that about all of Apple's hardware with the exception of the Air.

Their software, however, I find very interesting - and I enjoy the look/feel of OSX immensely. But this ooh-ahh over their mundane hardware just perplexes the Hell out of me.

I am much more fascinated with what the Dell XPS line offers, or the HP Blackbird, or Alienware has on tap. Liquid cooling, carbon-fiber internals, die-cast Magnesium, phase-change cooling, etc.

Those are real innovations that push the edge of the envelope. Not another boring notebook with integrated graphics.

I'm starting to think that Mac's are the Mazda Miata's of the computing world. They just "look sporty". Me - I'd rather drive something with balls - like my Honda S2000.

RE: Apple admits weakness?
By Pirks on 10/17/2008 4:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Your arguments are very similar to argments between proponents of comfort cars (Lexus) and sporty cars (Vette). Both has their own merits, same is true for the PC industry. I have nothing against sporty PC inductry (Alienware) but comfort PC industry (Apple) seems to appeal to much wider audience these days.

It's not a 120GB hdd...
By zshift on 10/15/2008 8:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
the new macbook is not getting upgraded to 120GB, it starts with a 160GB hdd. the old macbook has the 120gb, but im pretty sure it doesn't have the mini display port. please verify these specs before posting.

By athlonotaku on 10/16/2008 12:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
Not to be picky, but why do you use a picture of steve that looks like he's trying to pinch off a big one?

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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