Print 40 comment(s) - last by quiksilvr.. on May 21 at 11:15 AM

MacBook gets an upgrade, sticks to $999 price tag

The final piece to Apple's notebook puzzle is now in place. The company today officially unveiled a slightly revamped entry-level MacBook (the update was actually leaked over the weekend).

The latest polycarbonate white MacBook now features a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics solution, and a new 10-hour battery. The previous model came with a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics, an a 7-hour battery.

Other features like 2GB of DDR3 memory, 250GB hard drive, and 8x dual-layer SuperDrive remain unchanged.

This latest innards upgrade brings the MacBook in line with the entry-level 13" MacBook Pro. It still, however, lacks the Pro model's aluminum shell, backlit keyboard, Secure Digital slot, and Firewire 800 port.

Despite the slight feature bump, the latest MacBook is still priced at $999.

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By Pessimism on 5/18/2010 8:59:57 AM , Rating: 1
They upgraded from obsolete to... slightly less obsolete. Try a T9900 at the minimum or an i3 and I might be interested.

RE: So
By Flunk on 5/18/2010 9:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
An i3 would have integrated Intel graphics, I can't imagine how much worse Quartz would run on that. It would be a downgrade, not an upgrade.

RE: So
By chris2618 on 5/18/2010 9:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Not really just put a dedicated graphics card in

RE: So
By Mitch101 on 5/18/2010 11:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
Very good rumor that ATI/AMD graphics chips are going into some Apple notebooks soon. Seems Apple wants higher performance graphics chips with reduced heat and power. ATI has a better chip for notebooks that can deliver this so its very possible this could happen.

RE: So
By Drag0nFire on 5/18/2010 11:55:45 AM , Rating: 2
I thought the 320M was dedicated graphics chip? I'm so confused...

RE: So
By ImSpartacus on 5/20/2010 10:43:48 AM , Rating: 2
Discrete graphics cannot fit into the MBP13 chassis. Not sure about the slightly larger MB13 chassis, but the MB13 would never get an i3 upgrade before the MBP13.

Check this article out, it has comparison pictures. It's handy.

RE: So
By Kurz on 5/18/2010 10:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
Not all i3's have integrated graphics.

RE: So
By omnicronx on 5/18/2010 11:54:48 AM , Rating: 4
There is absolutely nothing forcing Apple to use the integrated IGP. The i3 is still superior to its predecessors, its not merely a c2d with an IGP slapped on. Its also a lower power chip, so I don't really see what Apple's excuse is here.

Apple could still package the same Nvidia integrated graphics with the i3 instead. From the sounds being a smaller die, the price is pretty much the same too in large quantities.. who cares if it contains an extra igp you are not using? As long as the power envelope/price remains the same/lower, I don't see the problem. (the chip size should also be smaller than the 65nm c2d.)

Seems like a struggle between Apple and Intel if you ask me. Apple does not seem to want to give up their cpu sans igp strategy. Not that I can blame them.. At least someone is stepping up against Intel. While moving the GPU to the CPU sounds great in theory, it also makes the CPU and GPU market a two man game =P. Having no X86 license would essentially put everyone but Intel and AMD out of the GPU game. I would rather stay with separate GPU's forever if it means more competition to drive innovation.

RE: So
By Highter on 5/18/2010 12:26:46 PM , Rating: 1
There is size. Both the Macbook and the 13 inches Macbook pro use Core 2 Duo because the i3 would require a discrete GPU, and it wouldn't fit inside the case. Also Nvidia doesn't have a license from Intel to produce IGPs for i3, so Apple can't package the 320M with them.

RE: So
By Johnmcl7 on 5/18/2010 12:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yet Sony managed it with a smaller and lighter machine, the Vaio Z11 packs in up to a dual core i7 with discrete graphics and quad SSD's.


RE: So
By Highter on 5/18/2010 12:48:11 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I found the notebook you are talking about at Size limitation was the reason given by Apple for not being be able to do it, but it looks like Sony engineers didn't have any problems.

RE: So
By CallmeTater on 5/18/2010 1:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty impressive laptop going by the specs over on SonyStyle, but it is very spendy. I'd guess that there is no way that Apple could bring equivalent kit to the MB line and still stay in a price range below that of the MB Pro, but I don't see any engineering reason they couldn't do it in the MB Pro line since Sony has already demonstrated the feasibility.

RE: So
By omnicronx on 5/18/2010 1:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Also Nvidia doesn't have a license from Intel to produce IGPs for i3
I'm pretty sure that was the 'license agreement does no include the use of chips with integrated memory controllers', which has nothing to do with this.. Furthermore the case has gone nowhere, Intel has just started litigation, and considering the current FTC suit against Intel, i doubt this will go anywhere.

Apple chose not to include it, they have already claimed many reasons as such, licensing between Intel and Nvidia was not one of them, and you are crazy if you don't think Apple would not have shifted the blame if this were the case.

I also don't understand your descrete graphics statement. The 320 chip being used here is pretty much the same size as the die included on descrete 330 being used on the Mac Pro, with the only difference being the use of system memory vs dedicated. i.e I don't buy the size issue, especially when the i3 is smaller in the first place..

RE: So
By Highter on 5/18/2010 3:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
Take a look at this article:

The guys at Ars can explain this better than me. It's for the MBP, but since both are roughly the same size, I believe the points are valid for the MB also.

RE: So
By Johnmcl7 on 5/18/2010 5:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think a lot of that article is incorrect simply because as above Sony were able to pack a core i7 (dual core), a discrete graphics card and even quad SSDs into a smaller and lighter chassis. The part about low cost I suspect is the only reason for the C2D processors.


RE: So
By chick0n on 5/19/2010 9:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
Does it matter?

Apple zealots will buy anything made by Apple. Even its nothing but a piece of shit.

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