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Top Apple Rumors, Bricks, Low Price, NVIDIA 283

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-macbook-is-broken dept.
Vigile writes "With the news that Apple will be releasing new MacBook products on October 14th, speculation has begun on what exactly those new products will be. Tips of a manufacturing process involving lasers and a single 'brick' of aluminum are catching on, as is the idea of a sub-$1000 netbook-type device. More interesting might be the persistent rumors of an NVIDIA chipset adoption that would drastically increase gaming ability, allow MacBooks to improve their support for OpenCL and take advantage of the new Adobe CS4 software with GPU acceleration. Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?"
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Top Apple Rumors, Bricks, Low Price, NVIDIA

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  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:14PM (#25329573)
    God knows that gaming graphics is the only reason left why I'm still hanging on to the PC platform...
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:19PM (#25329675) Homepage Journal

      God knows that gaming graphics is the only reason left why I'm still hanging on to the PC platform...

      Are first-person shooters and indie games the only reason left why you haven't already moved to the Xbox 360 or PS3 platform?

      • by BlowHole666 (1152399) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:29PM (#25329789)
        Well not too many MMOs are played on an Xbox 360 or PS3. Probably the only semi-big name game that is on a console is the Final Fantasy one. Age of Conan "Claims" they will make a game for the Xbox 360. So if you are an MMO fan and you play games like DAoC, WOW, Warhammer, EVE you are stuck with a PC/mac rather then a console.
      • by Synn (6288) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:33PM (#25329839)

        I own a PS3 and I still prefer PCs for shooters and gaming. I just like the interface better.

        Though maybe that would change if I just forced myself to play them on consoles more.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I dunno. If you are going to play "shooters", then why
          not use a platform where you can actually hold a gun,
          point it at things and shoot?

          ???

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            same reason I don't go to a gun range... I'm a crappy shot.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by PitaBred (632671)

            Because you lose the ability to control your movements accurately, and you end up with a rail shooter. Aiming and shooting is all well and good, but putting the movement controls on the same gun would is a pain in the ass. The only solution would be something like the Wii nunchuk combined with a one-handed gun adapter. Which would actually be kinda cool, but it hasn't been pulled off quite right yet, and either way it limits you to Wii graphics, which are nowhere near what PS3/360/PC capabilities are rig

        • by hendrix2k (1099161) on Friday October 10, 2008 @02:15PM (#25330425)
          One need only follow this simple chart. [wordpress.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FrozenFOXX (1048276)
          Since you mentioned you have a PS3, why not just use a mouse and keyboard with it, the interface you prefer? Several games already support this such as UT3.

          As a side note on the topic of control interfaces (though not to the parent specifically), I personally "prefer" the gamepad. It's comfy and in some titles like RTSes (!) I actually do VERY well with it (shockingly, I might add). However, both the 360 AND the PS3 support keyboards and mice, it's the games that don't. The onus is on a game company
          • by Sancho (17056) *

            Semantics. Almost every single game for the PC (and I dare say every shooter) in the past 8 years has used the mouse/keyboard for controls. And relatively few console games (even shooters) support that scheme. The poster wasn't bitching about the consoles not supporting mouse/keyboard; the stated preference is perfectly inline with the PC/Games vs. Console/Games control mechanisms.

            Hell, the SNES had a mouse.

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            Well for one reason, I like to get customized models for my games. You can't really do that on a console.

            Moreover, most of the games I play are mods on the Source engine. Fortress Forever [fortress-forever.com], Eternal Silence [eternal-silence.net], Zombie Panic [zombiepanic.org], etc. They're free, I can make maps for them, and I can download other players' maps and customizations.

            So far the only console game that has even made an attempt at this is Unreal Tournament 3 [wikipedia.org], but I'm no fan of UT and I don't own the PS3.

      • by Machtyn (759119)
        My wife "owns" the tv, I "own" the computers. We all have our own computer, there are one or two TVs in the house. Consoles are good party gaming machines. PCs are serious gaming machines, or the one that you can use without bugging someone else to "stop and let me play".

        So, no, that's not the reason I haven't even considered purchasing a console. Though, the wife broke me down and I allowed her to get a Nintendo Wii... which is now collecting dust :^/
        • by tepples (727027)

          Consoles are good party gaming machines. PCs are serious gaming machines

          Then which are good indie party gaming machines? Or ought "indie party gaming" not exist?

          • by danaris (525051)

            Consoles are good party gaming machines. PCs are serious gaming machines

            Then which are good indie party gaming machines? Or ought "indie party gaming" not exist?

            There's a big difference between what ought to be and what is.

            Most people aren't going to have a computer set up in such a way that it's a good fit for party gaming. In general, the screen is small and the location is set up for 1 person to sit at it comfortably.

            I would say that console gaming ought to be opened up much more to independent developers (as WiiWare is starting to, and, I think, XBLA, though I know much less about it), but with things as they (largely still) are, "indie party gaming" isn't a b

            • There's a big difference between what ought to be and what is.

              I'm familiar with the is-ought problem [wikipedia.org]. So how do I work to change "ought" to "is"?

              Most people aren't going to have a computer set up in such a way that it's a good fit for party gaming. In general, the screen is small and the location is set up for 1 person to sit at it comfortably.

              One of my co-workers uses an HP Pavilion Slimline [hp.com] at work. It isn't much bigger or much more expensive than an Xbox 360. (Mac mini is even smaller, roughly the size of a Wii console.) And like an Xbox 360 or a PS3, a PC can be hooked up to an HDTV through the VGA port or (using a $40 scan converter) even an SDTV. So why don't more HDTVs have a Windows PC or a Mac mini by them?

              but with things as they (largely still) are, "indie party gaming" isn't a big genre.

              So if I develop and sell copies of a party game fo

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by danaris (525051)

                So if I develop and sell copies of a party game for Windows and Mac OS X, will I find a large market of HTPC (home theater personal computing) enthusiasts and few competitors?

                Few competitors? Probably. Large market? Not from what I've seen.

                So far as I can tell, HTPCs are largely of interest to us geeks—and only accessible to geeks of greater-than-average income (or debt, depending on the level of financial good sense). I think they're gaining some traction, but by and large, if your average person is going to have something connected to their television besides a DVD/VCR, cable/satellite box, or Big 3 game console, it's going to be a cable/satellite-company provided DV

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          If by serious you mean "never-ending money pit," then yes, gaming PC's are serious.
  • by conner_bw (120497) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:14PM (#25329575) Homepage Journal

    ...when leopard freezes over!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:15PM (#25329595)

    Apple will announce that due to the financial crisis, they've been able to purcase Iceland. However, it will be rebranded as iCeland. Steve Jobs was apparently very fond of their homogeneous population.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As part of the deal they're also getting England which will of course be re branded to iNgland.
    • by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:41PM (#25329949)

      I don't think I've ever heard Bjork described as "homogenous" before.

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      Apple will announce that due to the financial crisis, they've been able to purcase Iceland.

      Great! perhaps that means that Gordon Brown will use anti-terror legislation to seize control of all the Apple Stores in the UK and hand out free MacBooks to disgruntled savers.

      (Apparently my money is safe, but its now in Holland - hope they don't put it all into tulip futures)

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:18PM (#25329665)

    Apple will soon be selling pre-bricked laptops.

    • by Sentry21 (8183)

      "Your Macbook portable computer comes from the factory pre-bricked. To unbrick your computer, or wake it from brick mode after inactivity, simply press the power button above the keyboard."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Apple will soon be selling pre-bricked laptops.

      Ha! Dell's been doing that for years!

  • If they sell a laptop for $800, as rumored, then who's going to buy a Mac mini for $600+?

    Of course, they could probably sell the mini for $400 and still make 40% profit. It's basically a laptop with the most expensive part of a laptop (the screen) left out.

    • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:27PM (#25329763) Homepage Journal

      All I want for Christmas is a Mini with a Blu-ray drive. An integrated screen is a detriment to an HTPC.

      -Peter

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:37PM (#25329897)

      There have been rumours of the mini getting cancelled for years. It might finally happen. The notebook market seems to be leaving the desktop market behind anyway.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:54PM (#25330087) Journal
        Apple's laptop sales passed their desktop sales over two years ago. They cater for the 'you can't squeeze as much power as I need into a laptop' market with the Mac Pro. The Mac Mini is for the 'I can't afford a laptop' market, and this is growing steadily smaller. I wouldn't be surprised to see the AppleTV and Mac Mini product lines converge - a small box running OS X under the hood, but only exposing Safari, iPhoto and iTunes at the UI, with the ability to rip CDs, and maybe DVDs too. The only question is whether it would run x86 or ARM. The newer OMAP chips can decode H.264 in realtime, and are a lot cheaper than anything Intel has on offer.
        • by argent (18001)

          The Mac Mini is for the 'I can't afford a laptop' market, and this is growing steadily smaller.

          And there's nothing for the 'I want a regular desktop' market. Which is most of the market, in the part of the market where there's actual competition. Nobody buys all-in-one PC, which is why the so-called "iMac killers" don't sell... the only reason the iMac sells as well as it does is because if you want OS X and reasonable performance for a reasonable price... well, there's no alternative.

          • machines (Score:2, Interesting)

            by zogger (617870)

            A 500 buck cheap laptop today IS a cheap "all in one" from just a couple of years ago or so, which means it is perfectly fine except for most uses except extreme high end new games (mostly). You can still run a full size monitor and keyboard and a real mouse from them. Bonus extra screen and built in UPS that lasts for hours, not minutes!

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Apple doesn't WANT to play in the cutthroat competitive part of the market. They're quite happy taking the premium customers and leaving the "I want it as cheap as dirt no matter what" market to Dell et al. Which is smart: Apple is not a supply-chain-efficiency-trumps-all company like Dell / Walmart.

      • by argent (18001)

        The Mac desktop market has been left behind because Apple hasn't had a decent desktop since, oh, 1997 or so. The Mac mini is at best a quarter-hearted bone tossed to the market to avoid being completely left out.

    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:52PM (#25330075)

      I'll still buy mini's. I love the things. I've got 8, mostly still 1.25 and 1.42Ghz G4's that I've picked up off ebay. I have one hooked up to my 32" LCD TV as a media center (basically an Apple TV before there were apple TV's) and then use the others as a cheap rendering grid for Final Cut and Blender. Best part is they take up a shelf on my book case and don't drive up the powerbill that much nor heat the den as bad as the quadcore. (used to heat a bloody 1 bedroom apt with the thing.)

      At work we've bought mini's to replace all the point of sale and desktop units. Worked out well since they already had monitors/touchscreens and keyboards and mice that were all USB.

    • Someone who doesn't want a built-in screen and keyboard?

      • by argent (18001)

        Someone who doesn't want a built-in screen and keyboard?

        If someone like me, who doesn't want a built-in screen, and who was still upgrading his old G3 (Originally G3/233, finally G4/533 with 768MB and a Radeon 9200/128K) right up to the month before the mini came out because he didn't want an iMac, is asking "who's going to buy it for that price"... maybe that's not such a good answer any more?

        • Perhaps not a good answer for you? A lot of people are using them as servers. I still plan to get two of them.

          • by argent (18001)

            A lot of people are using them as servers.

            I suspect that's what mine's going to end up as, eventually.

            But it cost more than my mini-ITX box, and it's not as good a server.

            And that's sure as hell not the desktop market.

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Yup. That's what my Mini is used for. Makes the perfect personal server. They don't take up much space, can easily connect into your existing KVM, are inexpensive, and still provide enough horsepower for most moderate-use server purposes.

  • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArcherB (796902) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:19PM (#25329677) Journal

    OpenCL is NOT a typo.

    See HERE [wikipedia.org]:

    OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a language for programming heterogeneous data and task parallel computing across GPUs and CPUs. It was created by Apple in cooperation with others, and is based on C99.

    The purpose is to recall OpenGL and OpenAL, which are open industry standards for 3D graphics and computer audio respectively, to extend the power of the GPU beyond graphics (GPGPU).

    Apple has proposed OpenCL for Khronos Group where on June 16th 2008 Compute Working Group was formed for the standardization work.

    OpenCL is scheduled to be introduced in Mac OS 10.6 ('Snow Leopard').According to the press release:

    Snow Leopard further extends support for modern hardware with Open Computing Language (OpenCL), which lets any application tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications. OpenCL is based on the C programming language and has been proposed as an open standard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArhcAngel (247594)

      Thank you. I did a double take myself until I goggled it. It's frustrating when posters assume new technology is automatically known by everyone. Don't they know the tinfoil impedes our clairvoyance abilities?

    • by Gat0r30y (957941)
      Anecdotal Evidence (my one iMac) indicates that it is awesome by the way.
    • Re:FYI (Score:4, Informative)

      by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday October 10, 2008 @02:10PM (#25330325)

      OpenCL is NOT a typo.

      See HERE [wikipedia.org]

      Please update the fine summary to include the above informative link.

  • Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?

    I got my tetanus booster shot yesterday, with my usual side-effects (kind of like having the flu.) I can tell you, a "shot in the arm" for NVIDIA doesn't sound too good right now. :-)

  • The "Brick" is probably just a FUD campaign to scare off customers trying to unlock their phones >_>
  • Apple will either release a cheap macbook ($799) with discrete nvidia graphics, aluminum casing made with water-jets and lasers, netbook-sized, featuring an LED backlit screen -with good panel- OR thousands of people on the internet will start writing about how disappointed they are.
  • Shot in the arm? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:33PM (#25329853)

    " Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?"

    They'll need it since they just got a swift kick in the a@@ [apple.com]

  • Plausibility? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:34PM (#25329863) Journal
    While they do make for fun fanboy wank material, does anybody actually take the OMG PWERBOOKS WILL be carved by LASER ROBOTS!!! thing seriously? Material fabrication and shaping is an area that is steadily improving; but nothing points to Apple as having made any revolutionary advances in the area recently. And, barring such revolutionary advances, machining big chunks of material isn't exactly cheap. Cheaper than it used to be, sure, and definitely cheap enough to be cost effective for some applications; but hardly cost competitive with present techniques.

    The other rumors seem markedly more plausible. 800 would be about the expected pricepoint for Apple's answer to the netbook(whether it will actually use atom and SSD or just be a low end macbook, I have no idea).
    • by mangu (126918)

      Material fabrication and shaping is an area that is steadily improving; but nothing points to Apple as having made any revolutionary advances in the area recently. And, barring such revolutionary advances, machining big chunks of material isn't exactly cheap.

      Most probably, if the rumor is true, is that some die-cast part will have a small detail cut by a CO2 laser. That's standard industry practice and not so expensive, at least not for a notebook computer.

    • by Animats (122034) on Friday October 10, 2008 @02:26PM (#25330571) Homepage

      Right. Nobody makes mass-produced items by machining them out of solid metal. It's too slow, and you waste too much metal. That's what die-casting, drawing, and stamping are for. Laptop cases are thin enough that die-casting is probably overkill. Drawing or stamping is more likely, followed by a punching step. There might be a role for a laser if very small holes have to be made or some surface engraving is desired.

      The NextCube case was a magnesium casting, which was sort of silly for a desktop device.

      A cute idea for the case modding crowd would be industrial origami [industrialorigami.com]. This little-known technology works much better than you'd expect. It's a fun experience to take a flat, prepunched plate and hand-fold it into an electrical outlet box.

      • That is pretty sweet. The basic "well, we fold boxes out of cardboard, why not metal" intuition is easy; but the technique they use to make foldable edges is quite clever.

        Your comment suggests that you've seen this stuff in the flesh. Do you work with/for them, or have things made this way become generally available?
  • The best thing the computer gaming industry can do is not actually "give" people a reason to buy a console...they've already got their computer. Theres no doubt there are problems in the computer gaming world, but this move can only be a good thing for computer gamers. If PC's, laptop or desktop (and I mean "personal computers" in general) come standard with decent graphics solutions it will only increase the platforms attractiveness to average joe who cant install a graphics card himself or does not know
    • They like they fact that with a console you plug it in, turn it on and play.

      It will be a while before the PC gaming industry can offer that.

  • A netbook with a dual core Atom for only $399. Software available through Itunes and will have the option to use the iPhone as a modem via bluetooth or WiFi.

    The mini will be gone. Apple will introduce the Apple Brick. It is a bit bigger than a mini but will have a PCI-E slot to allow you to upgrade your video.

    Of course I am totally making this up so if you don't agree who cares.

    But if I am right, all bow before the all knowing LWATCDR.

  • How about an iPhone that's remounted inside a 9x12" notebook case, only a few millimeters thin with a bigger battery and a 1600x1200 pixel multitouch screen? Not a "Mac", but an actual iPhone (including phone), with iPhone UI and OS, but configured to feature the apps and data network, and the same iPhone telephony SW just left "off to the sides".

    Price it at $500, and it won't compete with either iPhones (or iPods) or the low-end Mac notebooks. But it will give a desktop audience for the iPhone platform, wi

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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