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Apple Announced 17" MacBook Pro 473

Posted by Hemos
from the coming-at-you dept.
artlu writes "According to Reuters news, Apple has announced the launch of the 17" MacBook Pro. The new MacBook will retail for $2,799, come with iLife '06, and begins shipping next week. Details are not yet on Apple's website, but hopefully these notebooks will be triple booting as well!"
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Apple Announced 17" MacBook Pro

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  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:18AM (#15189612) Homepage Journal
    Taken from http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jht ml?articleID=186100229 [eetimes.com] "The graphics processor of Apple Computer Inc.'s MacBook Pro portable has been deliberately slowed down, a Mac user reported recently, probably as part of the overall effort to lower the heat the machine generates. According to a posting on the French language site MacBidouille, a user identified as "SpacetitoX" uncovered the underclocking of the MacBook's ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 graphics chip after adding Windows XP to the computer, then running a beta version of the "ATITools" overclocking utility. By replacing the existing ATI drivers added to the MacBook Pro for dual-booting into Windows XP, SpacetitoX was able to boost one benchmark's result from 61 frames per second to 91."
  • Some notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:20AM (#15189632)
    - FireWire 800 (9-pin) is included, in addition to FireWire 400 (6-pin) (so no, FireWire, and particularly FireWire 800, is not dead, as some like to continually predict)

    - 3 USB 2.0 ports are included; 2 on the left, 1 on the right

    - The left side ports are: power, 2 USB 2.0, analog and digital optical audio in and out, ExpressCard/34 [expresscard.org]; the right side ports are: DVI (supports VGA, S-Video, composite), 10/100/1000 ethernet, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, 1 USB 2.0, security port

    - An 8x dual layer SuperDrive is included (unlike the 15" MacBook Pro)[1]

    - While this is known by many, it bears repeating that the wireless chipset in all Intel-based Macs supports 802.11a/b/g, though Apple doesn't advertise 'a'

    - The 1680 x 1050 resolution of the 17" display is the same as many desktop 20" widescreen LCDs such as the Apple 20" Cinema Display and the 20" Dell 2007WFP

    - Retail $2799, Education/government $2599 with 2.16 GHz Core Duo, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB 5400RPM Serial ATA drive, 256MB ATI Radeon x1600, and 8x dual layer SuperDrive

    - For detailed specs, see here [apple.com]

    I'd also note that for some people who might think that the 15" MacBook Pro looks like a bad deal next to this, the 17" is simply too large for many people, and many of those same people have no need for the faster dual layer SuperDrive, nor for FireWire 800.

    And the Apple we site does not have to explicitly say it for us to know that, yes, of course the 17" MacBook Pro will support "Boot Camp" (and triple booting[2]), which is simply an umbrella marketing name for a collection of technologies that support booting Windows on Intel-based Macs:

    - A Compatibility Support Module (CSM, BIOS compatibility layer) for EFI: this is already a non-beta, supported component of the recent rounds of firmware updates for Intel-based Macs, which the 17" MacBook Pro will ship with

    - The ability to live-resize partitions on a GPT formatted volumes: this is already a non-beta, supported component of "diskutil" as of 10.4.6

    - A collection of Windows drivers for the hardware in Intel-based Macs: almost all of these are non-beta, preexisting third party drivers

    - A setup assistant that brings everything together: this is the only part of the solution, from a technical standpoint, that is "beta"

    [1] Some may note that the new 17" MacBook Pro, at the same thickness of the 15" MacBook Pro (1.0"), includes an 8x dual layer SuperDrive versus the 4x single layer drive in the 15" model. It might be recalled that the reasoning for not including a faster, dual layer SuperDrive in the 15" MacBook Pro was because of the necessary space not being available inside the case; the 15" MacBook Pro could only use a 9mm tall mechanism as opposed to the 12mm mechanism currently required for dual layer capability and the greater speed. How, then, can the 17" MacBook Pro (or even the previous 17" PowerBook), at the exact same thickness, include this drive? Does this mean Apple was holding back? Is the 8x DL drive due in a 15" MacBook Pro imminently? The answer is no: the reason why the drive didn't (and still doesn't) fit in the 15" MacBook Pro is because the wider trackpad mechanism Apple chose to use encroaches internally on the space needed for a 12mm drive by about 1/8" laterally. However, this is not the case on the 17" MacBook Pro.

    [2] Who wants to dual boot, much less triple boot? I'd rather have all of my environments running side by side in virtualization [parallels.com]. And yes, I know there are some specific reasons people may want to dual boot (such as games for native 3D graphics support), and that's fine...but other than for those specific tasks, who would really prefer dual/triple booting over virtualization, especially given the excellent benefits Intel VT [intel.com] now offers for virtual machines?
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@NoSPAM.xmsnet.nl> on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:20AM (#15189633)
    What's this [apple.com] about, then?
  • From the article:
    and an all new system architecture that delivers up to five
    times the performance of the PowerBook(R) G4
    I wish Apple would stop doing this - this creates a misleading impression about the macbooks, it would be better phrased as:
    Up to 5 times faster for many operations, but substatially slower for legacy software & software that relies on altivec.
    Also from the article:
    features a MagSafe(TM) Power Adapter, invented by Apple especially for mobile users.
    What?

    Invented by Apple?

    Let have a look at available from amazon [amazon.com]
    For safer operation, the magnetic cord easily detaches from the fryer if accidentally pulled.
    These things have been standard in the food industry for years & are compulsory on some cookers in Japan.

    I think Apple meant to say
    features a MagSafe(TM) Power Adapter, adapted from others inventions by Apple especially for mobile users.
    Meh. Anyway, there a couple of pics [apple.com] at the Apple store, looks pretty nice, but nothing particularly new to see here.

    +1 Slashvertisment.
  • by MustardMan (52102) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:25AM (#15189673)
    The hardware was underclocked - you can use the ATI tools to reset the clock speed, then when you reboot in os X the new clock will remain. The setting is stored on the video card.
  • by Microsift (223381) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:30AM (#15189698)
    At $2799 the 17" MacBook Pro with a 2.16Ghz core duo costs the same as the 15.4" model with 2.16 Ghz core duo, one must assume a price drop is imminent on the 15.4" model.

     
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:30AM (#15189699)
    Lots of reports of noise and excessive heat from the first rount of MBPs. Apple's much touted fix resulted in the problem getting worse for many owners (see macintouch.com MBP reader reports). So these issues are still out there, and the heat issue is severe (MBP so hot you can't touch it in places near the keyboard).

    Here's hoping that these issues are resolved this time around.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:40AM (#15189764)
    Yes, Apple's driver supports the "a" functionality. Also, on page 62 of Apple's MacBook Pro user's guide, it confirms that it is capable of connecting to "any 802.11a-, 802.11b-, or 802.11g-compliant product."

    Apple has so far used the Broadcom BCM4311 and Atheros AR5000 Series (AR5006EX) wireless chipsets, both of which support 802.11a/b/g. Don't know what the status with regard to Linux is for any of those chipsets.

    Of course, I've used RHEL, Fedora Core, and CentOS happily with networking, in virtualization, on my MacBook Pro, so there's no need to worry about "Linux drivers".
  • Re:Some notes (Score:2, Informative)

    by SachiCALaw (856692) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:52AM (#15189861)
    You can still keep your Mac partition "pristine" with a virtual machine. Even better, if the Windows virtual machine gets infected, you can wipe it and "reinstall" a clean version in a matter of seconds as opposed to the hour or longer it would take you to wipe a "physical" copy from the hard drive and reinstall it (and your apps.)
  • Re:Some notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:53AM (#15189866)
    So as much as I want a MacBook Pro so I can utilize Windows virtualization, I won't be buying one until I see these features returned to the 15" model.

    Then you'll probably be waiting a long time.

    1.) I just explained exactly why the dual layer burner isn't present on the 15" MacBook Pro. It's a purely physical/technical reason. Until there is a 9mm 8x dual layer burner, you won't see one in the 15" MacBook Pro, period.

    2.) FireWire 800 was also left out of the 15" MacBook Pro for space reasons (adding it requires additional support chipsets that aren't a part of any of Intel's standard chipsets, which means a comparatively considerable amount of space is required to implement it. Yes, it's still small, but every ounce of space counts.

    Do you really need a dual layer DVD burner and FireWire 800 on a 15" Mac laptop so much that you'd forgo what is almost a perfect environment for virtualization of multiple operating systems, alongside Mac OS X?
  • Re:Some notes (Score:2, Informative)

    by lababidi (879163) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:58AM (#15189895) Journal
    You can purchase this Laptop as a Developer for $2239 using the ADC Discount found here. [apple.com]
  • by utexaspunk (527541) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:06AM (#15189969)
    They also released a universal binary version [apple.com] of Final Cut Studio.
  • by antientropic (447787) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:08AM (#15189983)

    It's exactly the other way around: if you want to be immune from Windows malware, then you should run Windows inside a virtual machine. Then you can restrict it to its own virtual disk (which would just be a big file on your Mac disk), restrict it from accessing the network if you want to, and so on. On the other hand, if you dual-boot into Windows, then a Windows program with sufficient privileges can destroy your Mac partition as easily as it can with the Windows partition: just run fdisk. So there is no fundamental level of extra security in dual-booting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:27AM (#15190114)
    No, resolution independence isn't available yet in OS X, but still in development (some suspect Leopard may ship with it). Once that's true, then super high density displays will make a lot more sense.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:35AM (#15190173)

    I went to the apple site to look at the new powerbook... (excuse me, macbookpro) what did I see? Gray text on a black background! I'm not an old codger by any means, but I can't read that.

    Maybe you should adjust the brightness and/or contrast of your monitor. Very light grey text on a black background is the ideal color scheme for monitors. Since the screen is emitting light, even for "black" colored items, it has a tendency to cause eyestrain. Staring at a light for extended periods is just not what our eyes were designed for. The highest contrast of colors is black and white. We're accustomed to black on white due to historical printing technologies, but while it provides the best contrast it also emits the most light and causes the most eyestrain. Reversing the color scheme to be white text on a black background keeps the contrast as high as possible but minimizes the light emission, and hence, minimizes the eyestrain. Darkening the white text to a very light grey helps to soften it a little and further reduce brightness, while only minimally affecting the contrast.

    So Apple is using the color scheme that is exactly the ideal, as recommended by numerous independent studies and researchers and as recommended by every design and usability manual I have ever read. This leads me to two conclusions. One, if you're having a problem you probably have your monitor messed up. Two, some people will complain no matter what you do.

    Was the Apple user interface group out back having a smoke when this page was being designed?

    I doubt it. You'll note the interface tends to a medium to light grey. This provides the ideal contrast compromise with both grey text on black backgrounds (ideal for viewing on monitors and variations of which are the standard for terminal windows and other text interfaces for those of us who have to use them all day) and with black text on a white background, which is the standard printed text view, used by common text editors, word processors, and when viewing anything destined for print.

    I can't find anywhere on the site where I can send them a quick email to point out their faux pas, so I have to satisfy myself with ranting here.

    Hopefully they won't follow your recommendations, but there is a "contact us" link at the bottom of the page (and all their Web pages), which provides feedback links for the Web site and all the products. The one you want is This one [apple.com].

  • Re:Some notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gulthek (12570) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:46AM (#15190261) Homepage Journal
    don't know the ins and outs of virtualization, but it seems to me that if I'm running Windows apps side-by-side with native Mac apps, I expose myself to the same spyware, viruses, and other annoyances inherent to Windows. I'd MUCH rather have Windows restricted to its own little disk partition, which I could nuke any time I need to.
    You should understand that its easier to nuke a virtual OS than it is to nuke an OS on its own partition. A virtualized OS also is protected from accessing the guts of the computer by the controlling operating system. If you run Windows directly from its own partition, you are indeed susceptible to all the viruses and network attacks that you are afraid of. But if you run Windows from within a virtual computer under Mac OS, the virtualization program can limit what Windows can access (i.e. no or extremely limited networking traffic, no hard disk writes, whatever).
  • by easter1916 (452058) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:49AM (#15190294) Homepage
    That's the IR receiver for the Front Row remote...
  • Unfortunately, just using an older video chip would not give longer battery life. Mainly because newer chips are manufactured with smaller transistors. So the newer chips can do more work with more transistors taking up about the same amount of space and power. Newer chips also have better power management features, to shut down parts of the chip when they are not in use.

    Now, if you took some of the new features of the new chips and removed them, you'd have a smaller/cheaper chip that would take less power. I think this would be a great idea. The main problem is that the manufacturers think they wouldn't make enough money on them.

    Intel makes ultra-low-power (ULV) CPUs, but they're not used all that much in mainstream laptops. I suppose people still want fast computers, even when they don't have that much need for the speed.

    And don't forget the wireless and LCD backlight. Those are other major contributors of power utilization. Hopefully OLED will help resolve the latter. I'm not sure if there's any hope in reducing power used by radio transceivers.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @12:43PM (#15190725)
    Sounds neat; just out of curiosity, what are you using for the virtualization?

    Parallels Workstation [parallels.com]. Takes full advantage of Intel VT [intel.com], too.

    And perhaps I'm revealing my ignorance here, but how does the guest OS on a virtualized system handle networking? There must be some sort of psuedo-device driver that you install so that it can talk to the virtualized 'hardware,' or else the virtualization software must emulate some kind of commonly-supported networking hardware. I guess I'm just curious what you have to do to the guest OS, if anything, to get it to work inside the sandbox.

    It can either be NATed behind the host OS, or it can have its very own IP on the same network as the host machine. The virtual machine has an emulated network interface with its own MAC address. You don't have to "do" anything in the guest OS. It's a very generic network card that has had drivers available (and in my case, always included) in every OS I've installed so far.

    Right now all my equipment (Mac stuff, anyway) is PPC based; however I find the whole virtualization concept really intriguing and I'm hoping that by my next round of upgrades, it'll be sufficiently mature to make dual-booting (or having a separate PC for Linux connected with a KVM switch, my current solution) unnecessary.

    Well, you'll likely be very happy then, because, even at this early stage, that's exactly what I'm using it for right now. All on one machine that I can carry around with me.
  • by brett720 (548849) on Monday April 24, 2006 @02:35PM (#15191593)
    Firewire 800?
            Everything is moving to USB..but if you REALLY need it..$50.00 card
    Illuminated Keyboard?
            If you REALLY REALLY need this Dell has an comparable price latop with an Illuminated keyboard..not much of a demand for this. Add $0
    Motion Sensor?
            Useless addition for 99% of users.. Add $0
    iSight?
            Similar cams/software are about $20.00 nowdays
    Movie Editing Software?
            Im sure there will be a flame that it sucks..but WinXP does provide this. Plus why bundle it when there are so many choices out there. add $0
    Music Editing Software?
            Same as above but add $25.00 to be fair.
    X11 compatibility w/o dual-boot?
            Once again 99% of users have no need. Add $0
    Mac OS X?
            I know this could start a flame of its own, but to many OS X is definitely not superior to WinXP. add $100 to upgrade the OS to professional to be fair.

    Toss all those on there, and then come talk to me about price.
          I suppose to be fair...I will add the above mentioned $195...still way cheaper for a VERY comparable laptop. Not looking to continue the long standing flame war over this...but just wanted to show you that it actually does hold some truth...so I came to talk price.
  • by shmlco (594907) on Monday April 24, 2006 @02:55PM (#15191775) Homepage
    Speaking of battery life. Apple finally put those specs on their product page.

    • 15-inch MacBook Pro 60-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 4.5 hours of battery life(1)

    • 17-inch MacBook Pro 68-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 5.5 hours of battery life(1)

    Notice that the bigger notebook gets an extra hour's worth of power. Odd they made this choice, since on the PB line both the 15 and the 17 got about the same life per charge (about 5.5 hours).

    Another artificial differentiation between it and its little brother? The 17 also has FW800 and the 8X SuperDrive, which were dropped from the 15" version.

  • Can you read? (Score:4, Informative)

    by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear&pacbell,net> on Monday April 24, 2006 @03:50PM (#15192235) Homepage
    He says in his original post:
    The answer is no: the reason why the drive didn't (and still doesn't) fit in the 15" MacBook Pro is because the wider trackpad mechanism Apple chose to use encroaches internally on the space needed for a 12mm drive by about 1/8" laterally. However, this is not the case on the 17" MacBook Pro.


    The trackpad interferes with the 12mm drive but not with the 9mm drive. I bet the edge of the trackpad, by his description, rests slightly over the 9mm drive, but the 12mm drive has no such leeway. On a 17" MBP there is no need for overlapping the devices because the 17" MBP is that much bigger than a 15" MBP

    Again, read the post. The trackpad lies on top of the space the 12mm DL DVD-RW drive would sit, so they used the 8mm DVD-RW drive instead in the 15" MBP.
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Monday April 24, 2006 @05:15PM (#15192899)
    no, it's 60% thicker, not 161%. Some additional points in Dell's favor to offset its extra size (in addition to the vastly superior display and graphics) are it's S-Video port, VGA connector, 6 USB ports, memory card reader, and real PC-Card slot. No, the Dell isn't as small as the Apple but it offers more for less money and it's more user-servicable. Try changing the hard drive in each and then say which is better. That's a real issue for me since neither offers a 160GB drive yet.

    Speaking of tired arguments, how about the one that suggests that Apple is like BMW? As an owner of a BMW I'm not sure that's a good thing, but at least BMW does have real technical differentiation from it's competitors. Apple uses PC parts and puts them in a shiny box. If Dell is like a Chevy, then Apple isn't a BMW, it's a GMC. They're just like Chevy only with a fancy grill (and you pay more).

  • by totoanihilation (782326) on Monday April 24, 2006 @11:05PM (#15194382)
    What's wrong with this? BookEndz docks [bookendzdocks.com]

    They're most likely more reliable than the crappy connectors on those other laptops. And as a bonus, they don't even go up to 400$ in price.
    Apple doesn't have to do _everything_, you know ;)

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