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iBox (the hardware)

Cloudscout's Avatar Picture Cloudscout – January 14, 2008 03:08PM Reply Quote
Box mini
Box Pro
BoxBook Pro

The more the boxes change, the more they stay the same... or don't.

(talk about the hardware here)

John Willoughby – October 27, 2016 05:10PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Several weeks ago my wife gave her 2011 MacBook Air to her sister because, I don't know, DNA.

My wife is taking my 2012, which is my office/travel computer. (By office, I mean the personal computer that sits next to me while I work on Windows on a desktop machine).

I got a 2016 MacBook, figuring that Apple's "thinner with longer battery life" paradigm actually matches my travel computer needs. I bought a great dongle that will pass through power and has 2 USB 3.0 and an Ethernet port.

It's okay. Beautiful screen, of course and it still fits in my MBA's case. Using a wired mouse with the dongle is weird, but not really a huge issue. Keyboard is no worse than the Blade's, and probably better. My biggest beef is with the adapter. Apple no longer includes the long power cord that came with adapters in the past. If you buy a separate adapter, not only does it not come with the power cord, it also doesn't come with the USB-C to USB-C cable that it needs to connect to the computer. I found that very odd, and expensive to correct.

No time for gaming, yet. (Part of its role as travel computer.) I Boot Camped it, with that in mind. Put WoW on there. Played very poorly in Windows, in the 10-20 fps range, even with minimal level of graphics. Not too surprising. I put WoW on the Mac side, though, and it actually played better! 20-25 fps. I don't know why. Maybe Blizzard optimized for the weird resolution (2304x1440) on the Mac side, and Windows just scaled for it. Or maybe the Mac just doesn't even try some of the fancier shader effects that come with the latest DirectX.

Anyway, as a glorified macOS-compatible iPad it's okay.

James DeBenedetti – October 27, 2016 06:21PM Reply Quote
I use Passmark for general cross generation / form-factor GPU comparisons.

AMD's desktop RX 460 has a rating of 4348
Nvidia's desktop GTX 1060 has a rating of 9107

The mobile 1060 is roughly 10% slower than the desktop version, and I expect the 460 to be similar, so Apple's new top end MBP should be roughly the same speed as your current Razer Blade (3950), but only half the speed of the new Razer Blade.

Notebookcheck is good for actual fps comparisons of mobile GPUs released within a year or so of each other.

Also, you should never run a game on a retina laptop at the native resolution – none of the GPUs can handle that. Try WoW again at 1280x800.

John Willoughby – October 27, 2016 07:24PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
James DeBenedetti
Also, you should never run a game on a retina laptop at the native resolution – none of the GPUs can handle that. Try WoW again at 1280x800.

I know that, James, the Blade made that quite clear to me. But since I haven't had a lot of time with it, it was the easiest head-to-head comparison that I could do.

ARL (Moderator) – October 27, 2016 07:43PM Reply Quote

so Apple's new top end MBP should be roughly the same speed as your current Razer Blade (3950), but only half the speed of the new Razer Blade.

They claim it's 130% faster than the previous model, which means it's slightly more than double the speed of "dog-shit slow and unusable."

And OMG guys! It's also 17% thinner!!!

Thank God for that, I was getting worried about its size...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2016 07:50PM by ARL.

ARL (Moderator) – October 27, 2016 07:49PM Reply Quote
Oh, and OMG guys, you can now get them in different colours - space grey and silver!

That's worked so well in the past

ARL (Moderator) – October 27, 2016 07:53PM Reply Quote

Well, fuck me sideways. The top-range MBP is now A$4250. Wow.

John Willoughby – October 27, 2016 08:19PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yeah the price, even relative to previous MacBook Pros, seems excessive.

bahamut – October 27, 2016 10:35PM Reply Quote
Yes specked the one I want and it wound up over $4200...

ARL (Moderator) – October 27, 2016 11:10PM Reply Quote
Looking at that "touchstrip" I think that unless you can hold out a straight index finger to tap & drag, it's going to be all but unusable for the non-index-finger-dextrous like myself.

Maybe with a stylus it might work, but I'm likely to then smear the screen with my fist.

Ah well, I had said #neveragain with Mac laptops...

James DeBenedetti – October 27, 2016 11:24PM Reply Quote
After the keynote, I was pretty sad I hadn't ordered the Razer Blade last weekend. Then I stopped by Best Buy on the way home and discovered they sell Alienware's 17" 1070 laptop for $1799, so that's what I bought instead (though I will probably upgrade the SSD). I just can't see spending $900 more for a Mac with roughly 1/3 the performance.

johnny k – October 28, 2016 12:02AM Reply Quote
Yeah, I'm starting to think about what's stopping me from buying a Dell(!). I use Xcode a lot, but other than that? Have to boot up Parallels for Solidworks anyway. I do like my indie Mac graphics programs and would hate to invest too much in replacing them, if there are even good comparables. Looks like Affinity is going to Windows...

So much could be avoided if there was even one Mac model with a user-replaceable video card. 2012 Mac Pro may be the most viable option there.

ARL (Moderator) – October 28, 2016 09:11AM Reply Quote
I get that there are only incremental improvements with the Intel CPUs (performance-wise, I believe power consumption is better in the latest-gen ones?) but how about some other innovations to keep us happy? User serviceable RAM slots on all iMacs, CTO MBPs with RAM up to 32GB, CTO options for both mid range (which is what I'd charitably call the new AMD one) and genuine high-end graphics for iMacs/MBPs.

And maybe, just maybe, go one product cycle without making the damn thing thinner and instead point out the better performance & coolier running temperatures (maybe energy savings) from not cramming too many components into hopelessly confined spaces.

Maybe upgrade the Mac Pro from hand crank to proper electric current? Price cuts?

porruka (Admin) – October 28, 2016 09:45AM Reply Quote
New year. Same me. Proceed accordingly.

John Willoughby – October 28, 2016 10:16AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I had read that the whole Touch ID/Secure Enclave bit needed iOS, so that might have been a driving factor in this architecture.

I will confess it: I want Touch ID on my Mac, and I felt a mild lust for the new machines. The price cured that pretty quickly. I will probably get some kind of MBP someday, when my 2012 MBP (+SSD) finally dies. Just for my finance app, and continuity with Photos and tens of thousands of legacy files that would be a pain to open on Windows. But my upgrade cycle has gone from "every two years" to "every time a computer dies." That can't be good for Apple's revenue stream.

John Willoughby – October 28, 2016 10:27AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
DPBD: As we all know, the only thing that people want from laptops is for them to be thinner, and have longer battery life.

I'm thinking that Apple is dealing with an analog of Moore's Law, called Cook's law:

"Every two years laptops halve in thickness and double in battery life until, as they asymptotically approach zero and infinity respectively, further gains become unfeasible."

What does Apple do once you can shave yourself with a MacBook Pro, and the battery charge lasts for a week? Where does the innovation happen?

johnny k – October 28, 2016 12:01PM Reply Quote
In the business model. Every time your MacBook Pro gets dull you'll buy a new one because of course that edge isn't user replaceable. that will then give Jony license to play with more exotic materials.

Yeah, I got the mild lust too. Especially when I realized that all those incremental size and weight reductions have added up to a thickness and weight that's two thirds of my own machine. I won't have a problem getting one when this one breaks finally, but now there are Windows machines that induce lust as well, and Apple is doing its best to dissuade us from investing in the Mac platform. Tim Cook himself doesn't understand why you'd buy a PC anymore. Maybe it's our fault for not listening to him.

Cloudscout – October 28, 2016 12:44PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
A friend of mine works at Google. He just posted about his commute this morning:


There's an Apple bus that leaves from the same parking lot as my Gbus at about the same time.

This morning I said to the line, "uh, if any of you guys work on the MacBook Pro, escape keys are nice."

(muted laughter)

porruka (Admin) – October 28, 2016 12:52PM Reply Quote
New year. Same me. Proceed accordingly.
An interesting take (and a fun excerpt: "But Microsoft is tackling a vanishingly small part of a historically slow growing and small market.")


John Willoughby – October 28, 2016 01:40PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I've no problem with the Touch Bar. I suspect it will have some 1.0 issues, most of which will be fixed in updates quickly. I am also not especially enamored with it, but that's fine. I don't need to love every new Apple feature, but I'd like to love one.

John Willoughby – October 28, 2016 02:54PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
BTW, found out that the Mac World of Warcraft client uses Metal, which probably accounts for its performance advantage over Windows on the same machine. I should have guessed, as Blizzard's Mac developers have always been pretty current with Apple technologies. Pretty cool.

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