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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #1
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New MacBook Pro

Apple announced their first Intel-based laptop, the MacBook Pro. Seems to be positioned between the current IBook and Powerbook in features. Dual-core Intel processor benchmarks at 2 to 6 times faster than current 1.67GHZ Powerbook, twice a G5. Screen resolution is a less than the current 17" but there is support for the 30" Cinema Display at higher resolution. There is a SINGLE firewire 400 connector, no firewire 800. Two USB 2.0 connectors, each with faster bandwidth than the firewire. Also there is an Expresscard/34 slot instead of a PCMCIA slot. This brings up some questions about how to connect to a P2 Card. FCP Will be shipping as a native Intel app in March.

Placed my order at 11:48 PST, 4 minutes after the announcement.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bill Southworth
Also there is an Expresscard/34 slot instead of a PCMCIA slot.
Doh! I guess the PowerBooks will be valued for quite some time. Of course there's always hookin' up to the HVX200 via Firewire.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #3
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"This brings up some questions about how to connect to a P2 Card."

And a bloody good question it is, Bill ....
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #4
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Adapter

Found one announced adapter for Expresscard/34 to PCMCIA. Doesn't appear to be shipping yet, but at least seems like this and more will come.

http://www.duel-systems.com/products/adapters.aspx
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #5
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Good sleuthing, Bill. Was looking around myself ...

Yeah - there'll be other alternatives. Just a little concerned that we won't have the option of running dual channel Raid configs. Like we can now with fw 800.

It''ll all shake down, I know. In the meantime I'm hanging on to my G4 pb for a while longer it looks like.

edit: I guess the massive bandwidth on the new bus will allow us to run a fw 800 raid 0 on an existing 2 port PCMCIA card /Express adapter ? Thereby negating the need for a second bus.
anyone ...

Last edited by Rob McCardle; January 10th, 2006 at 03:31 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #6
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PCMCIA is dead Expresscard/34 is the new standard, panasonic must have known that coming into the game so I'm sure there will be adapters and stuff like that.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 01:22 AM   #7
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Hmmm...this IS a little troubling. I guess we'll have to use the HVX as a "deck" into the Powerbook. No more FW 800, that also sucks. I assume you could get an adapter for the Expresscard/34 that allows a second FW bus? What to do with my G-Raid....

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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #8
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But this is just the iBook update. Hopefully the intel Powerbooks will pack more of a punch.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carl Firth
But this is just the iBook update.
MacWorld seems to think the MacBook Pro is the replacement for the PowerBook, not the iBook. You wouldn't think they would use the "pro" name for a lower performance product (think: Final Cut Pro vs. Final Cut Express)...

http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/edit...reax/index.php

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In terms of new Macs, where do we go from here? The iBook’s days are no doubt numbered, and given the announcement of the MacBook Pro, can the plain old MacBook be far behind?
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:44 AM   #10
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firewire theory

I suspect that this is firewire's last gasp at Apple. They appear to have been more committed to the connector than to the interface on the PowerMac Pro. Since Firewire 800 is both smaller and faster and can be used with an 800 to 400 cable, it looks like they preserved a single Firewire 400 connector just to remain compatible for another generation. The fact that the USB 2.0 connectors are actually faster makes me think that these may be the best way to connect to the HVX, rather than Firewire. The HVX manual only says that Firewire is not guaranteed to work with PCs and the USB is not guaranteed to work with Macs.

As for what it's replacing, the PoweMac looks alot like a Powerbook except for the missing Firewire and smaller screen. As a guess, I'd speculate that the brighter screen they are using may not be available in a 17", or they've found that the smaller size is the marketing sweet spot and they are consolidating the line prior to some other move.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #11
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I agree with Boyd, and MacWorld. The Macbook Pro IS the new Powerbook. The lack of any faster mobile Intel processors out there should be evidence of this. The only thing I can imagine coming from Apple would be a specially optimized "media center" edition of the MacBook--a 17" model with FW800, etc. Would it be possible to put the 2ghz Intel chip in a notebook like this? I can see this as being the mobile HD editing station, even though the 15" will be able to handle this as well. if Apple really is giving up on Firewire, that would be a shame.

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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bill Southworth
The fact that the USB 2.0 connectors are actually faster makes me think that these may be the best way to connect to the HVX, rather than Firewire.
Wow, not even close in my testing. Theoretically it's faster, but I just don't see it in RW use.

I doubt that Macs will ever lose FW400. Too many digital cameras out there and Apple still gives away iMovie.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #13
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USB 2 is not faster than Firewire 400

Firewire 400 kicks USB 2's ass in any test of sustained throughput. This is well documented. USB was designed for keyboards, mice, and modems, and that's where it should have stayed. Intel dragged its feet on integrating Firewire into motherboards, and has pushed crummy USB as a substitute.

As usual, Apple condemned Firewire from the start with high licensing fees (reportedly). By the time they finally wised up (I think the term "Firewire" is freely usable now, gee thanks), the public had been duped with USB.

And Sony introduced the asinine four-pin Firewire connector, which is what you'll find on most laptops today. Yes, it's good that many Windows laptops come with Firewire, but unbelievably stupid to have unpowered ports. Duh, what good is your PORTABLE hard drive on the plane when you have to lug an AC adapter around? Why did they think people bought a laptop in the first place?

And finally, Apple compounds the mistakes by introducing a totally different connector for Firewire 800. Apparently they weren't paying attention when SCSI deteriorated into a miasma of connectors that changed every year and thoroughly pissed everybody off. And to top it all, what does the public see? USB goes to USB 2 with the exact same connector, no problem.

The failure of Firewire will be a sad end to Apple's best invention.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #14
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FW800 is not part of the Intel motherboard chipset on the new MacBooks.

In addition, it appears there were no further FW800 implementation other than hard drives.

I'm not an engineer but obviously there is a difference between the protocols in FW400 and Fw800 - hence the difference plugs. Same thing happened with SCSI.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Gurney
Firewire 400 kicks USB 2's ass in any test of sustained throughput. This is well documented. USB was designed for keyboards, mice, and modems, and that's where it should have stayed. Intel dragged its feet on integrating Firewire into motherboards, and has pushed crummy USB as a substitute.
That's a bunch of bunk. It's true that many USB2 devices have lackluster performance, but it's just that - the devices. A properly implemented USB2 interface with a properly capable device can sustain a faster data stream than whatisavailable with FW400. USB2 (if properly implemented) also has lower latency and can handle multiple streams a whole lot better due to its serialized nature.

Intel has nothing to do with pushing USB over Firewire. In fact, Intel was the first PC chipset maker to implement Firewire on OEM and Intel branded mainboards and these mainboards were available *BEFORE* Apple shipped a firewire capable system. Sony had i-Link (their marketing name for firewire) capable systems on the market within 30 days of Apple's first firewire equipped systems. I don't really see any evidence of slow adoption of firewire in the PC world. Yes, it's true that it took an extra year or so for bargain PCs to catch up and offer it, but that has nothing to do with Intel not pushing it or anything other than bargain PC makers looking to save a buck anywhere they could.

FW800 has never really caught on. There are better alternatives out there and it suffers from all the same restrictions that FW400 does. Outside of multi-drive RAID boxes, there really isn't any FW800 offerings that can use bandwidth in excess of FW400. And for the same money or even just a slight bit more, an eSATA or SCSI RAID is far more capable and standard across the computing world. FW800? Why?

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As usual, Apple condemned Firewire from the start with high licensing fees (reportedly). By the time they finally wised up (I think the term "Firewire" is freely usable now, gee thanks), the public had been duped with USB.
Also not true. Firewire is the IEEE1394 standard, which is an open standard governed by the IEEE "Firewire Consortium". Apple is a key member of this group, but has no direct responsibility or blame to assign in terms of licensing fees. Firewire is dirt cheap to implement... Cheaper than USB actually.

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And Sony introduced the asinine four-pin Firewire connector, which is what you'll find on most laptops today. Yes, it's good that many Windows laptops come with Firewire, but unbelievably stupid to have unpowered ports. Duh, what good is your PORTABLE hard drive on the plane when you have to lug an AC adapter around? Why did they think people bought a laptop in the first place?
Where do you get this crap? Sony *DID NOT* *DID NOT* *DID NOT* introduce an "asinine" four-pin connector. The 4-pin connector is the standard firewire connector while the 6-pin is the extended version which also adds power. It's true that the 6-pin connector is more popular on desktops and powered hubs, but on portable systems and downstream powered devices (like our DV cameras), the 4-pin is the way to go since we don't need to draw more power out of our notebooks or other equipment to run our devices too. Powering an external HDD is more a novelty than a functional solution. And I have yet to see a portable HDD solution that wasn't served better with its own AC adapter and/or battery pack vs. being powered from a USB or Firewire bus.

Quote:
And finally, Apple compounds the mistakes by introducing a totally different connector for Firewire 800. Apparently they weren't paying attention when SCSI deteriorated into a miasma of connectors that changed every year and thoroughly pissed everybody off. And to top it all, what does the public see? USB goes to USB 2 with the exact same connector, no problem.
Wow... Apple didn't choose the connector for FW800. At least not on their own, once agin, they're a part of the standards committee, not the standards committee. Unfortunately, the way Firewire works, it can't run FW800 over a 4-pin connector --- new connector required. USB is a scaleable, serial implementation. USB2 and the currently under review USB3 standard will all use the same connector. Intelligent USB hubs can intermix USB/2/3 devices on the same root controller. Firewire does not have this ability. Connecting a FW800 device requires a connector adapter to connect to a FW400 bus and vice versa. If connecting a FW400 device to a FW800 bus with other FW800 devices, all FW800 devices on the bus must step down to FW400 operation.

SCSI connectors changed with the continued evolution of the SCSI standard. And they were all backwards compatible. If you understand how SCSI works and how to properly attach your devices, this is/was a non-issue. Sorry, but UWSCSI-3 just can't run on a 25pin SCSI-I connector.

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The failure of Firewire will be a sad end to Apple's best invention.
Sigh... You actually believe Apple invented firewire?
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