Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pros sport new AMD GPUs, can drive dual 5K displays

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Date: Tuesday, November 15th, 2016, 05:27
Category: Hardware, Intel, MacBook Pro, News, Processors, Thunderbolt

lg-ultrafine-5k-macbook-pro

Apple apparently dropped a killer GPU into the 2016 Touch Bar-equipped 15-inch MacBook Pro and it shows.

The company, which switched from Intel’s integrated Iris Pro graphics in favor of dedicated AMD graphics, has opted for AMD’s Polaris-based Radeon Pro 450, Radeon Pro 455, and build-to-order Radeon Pro 460 GPUs in the new 15-inch notebooks. The GPUs support up to six displays, whereas Intel’s integrated GPUs affixed to the logic board can drive a total of three displays.

The expanded support enables the new MacBook Pro to drive two of Apple and LG’s new UltraFine 5K displays at 60Hz simultaneously. Intel’s GPUs can’t because, due to bandwidth limitations of the DisplayPort 1.2 spec, the two 5K displays technically function as four displays. This method is known as Multi-Stream Transport (MST).

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Touch Bar MacBook Pros strip out most legacy ports, opt for Thunderbolt 3/USB-C and 3.5 mm headphone jack

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Date: Friday, October 28th, 2016, 05:32
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Thunderbolt, Touch ID, USB-C

no-usb

If you’re wondering what ports you’ll find on the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro, here’s a hint: lots of Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack and not much else.

Apple has removed the MagSafe 2 charging port, HDMI port, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 2 port and standard USB ports. These ports have been replaced by four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and the aforementioned headphone jack.

The company seems to be focusing on the new ports for their more compact design and faster data transfer speeds.

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String in macOS Sierra beta code points to possible USB 3.1 Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3 support in future Mac hardware

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Date: Thursday, August 25th, 2016, 05:29
Category: Hardware, iMac, MacBook Pro, macOS, News, Sierra, Software, Thunderbolt

sierraequipment

It’s the beta code that sometimes points out nifty Mac hardware to come.

Next-gen Macs may support USB 3.1 Gen 2, enabling peripheral speeds up to a maximum 10 gigabits per second according to code strings found in the latest macOS Sierra beta build.

A string in the Sierra beta mentions SuperSpeed+, a term reserved for Gen 2 ports. In fact it also specifically cites the 10-gigabit speed cap, twice as fast as Gen 1.

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Apple officially terminates current-gen Thunderbolt Display, highlights third-party displays for time being

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2016, 08:26
Category: Hardware, News, Thunderbolt, USB-C

thunderboltdisplay

Well, Apple’s current-gem Thunderbolt Display if officially off the menu.

In a statement, an Apple spokesperson explained that the Thunderbolt Display will be available from Apple’s Online Store and in retail locations while supplies last, but once stock has run out, it will not be replenished. Apple also noted that a variety of third-party options are available for Mac users:

Per Apple:

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users,” said an Apple spokesperson.

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Rumor: Next-gen Thunderbolt display could feature 5K resolution, integrated GPU

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Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 10:39
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Thunderbolt, USB-C

thunderboltdisplay

Apple’s current Thunderbolt Display, as impressive as it is, is on its way out.

Following up on previous rumors, Apple looks to be running out of stock for the unit with no signs of replenishing inventory. A new set of rumors has it that Apple’s next-gen Thunderbolt Display will offer a 5K resolution display of 5120 x 2880 pixels. Sources have also indicated that Apple will take the display in a surprising direction, specifically suggesting that Apple plans to integrate a dedicated external GPU into the display itself.

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Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C ports becoming more prevalent on high-end PCs

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Date: Monday, January 11th, 2016, 08:22
Category: Hardware, MacBook, MacBook Pro, News, Thunderbolt, USB-C

thunderbolt3

Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C look like they’re making their way from the Mac to high-end PCs.

Where Thunderbolt 3 is concerned, the port is suddenly beginning to show up in high-end offerings from just about every major PC OEM, starting with some Lenovo workstation laptops and Dell’s new XPS lineup and continuing in laptops and convertibles from HP, Acer, Intel, and others.

Over at CES, both Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C seem to be getting noticed, driving displays and charging notebooks on assorted display units throughout the convention.

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Security researcher demonstrates Thunderbolt firmware hack proof of concept at Chaos Computer Congress

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Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015, 10:15
Category: Hack, Hardware, News, security, Thunderbolt

thunderstrike

As great as Thunderbolt is, there are vulnerabilities to consider.

Per 9to5Mac, a security researcher speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg demonstrated a hack that rewrites an Intel Mac’s firmware using a Thunderbolt device with attack code in an option ROM. Known as Thunderstrike, the proof of concept presented by Trammel Hudson infects the Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) in a way he claims cannot be detected, nor removed by reinstalling OS X.

Since the boot ROM is independent of the operating system, reinstallation of OS X will not remove it. Nor does it depend on anything stored on the disk, so replacing the hard drive has no effect. A hardware in-system-programming device is the only way to restore the stock firmware.

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iFixit posts their Mac Pro teardown

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Date: Friday, January 3rd, 2014, 09:54
Category: Apple, Hardware, Mac Pro, Take Apart, Thunderbolt

RtFlKRIVD1AnbWMo.mediumGadget teardown specialists, iFixit, have completed their full disassembly of the new Mac Pro and have given it an 8 out of 10 on the repairability scale. So what else did they find out? Best to head on over there for the full details (24 steps for the full take-apart), but here are a few of the juicy details (cherry-picked from the iFixit run-down);

  • it has taken some design pointers from the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule bodies: a thin, vertical design with individual boards on separate sides.
  • simply sliding the lock switch allows us to remove the outer casing of the Mac Pro. No stubborn pentalobe screws here!
  • The RAM in the Mac Pro Late 2013 is easily accessible and replaceable.
  • it is vented by a single fan, which pulls air from under the case, through the core, and out the top of the case.
  • it utilizes a giant triangular heat sink (“Thermal Core”), shared by the dual graphics cards and CPU.
  • the new graphics cards may be the key to Apple finally undercutting homebrew systems on a pure power basis.
  •  a CPU upgrade appears entirely possible.
  • The power supply has no dedicated cooling, and relies on the main system fan to keep cool—allowing the Mac Pro to idle at a whisper-quiet 12 dBA.
  • Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently.

In spite of the lack of internal, user-upgradeable disk space, the new Mac Pro is a far cry from the iMac which has gotten more and more difficult to do at-home repairs or upgrades upon. Here’s hoping that Apple plans to offer some internal component upgrade paths.

New Mac Pro has socketed Intel CPU

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013, 09:57
Category: Features, Intel, Mac Pro, Processors, Take Apart, Thunderbolt

mac_pro_2013_internals-250x340Now that people have started to get their hands on the new Mac Pro, naturally the first thing they do is to tear it apart to see what makes it tick. Since the announcement of the Mac Pros specs and hardware, potential buyers have been lamenting the lack of user-upgradeable components in the sleek, black cylinder. It may be one of the reasons Apple was able to make it so small, but that is little consolation to pro users who are used to having more flexibility with their hardware. So far it was believed that the only internal part that could be upgraded was the memory. Apple expects all other expansion to be done through the Mac Pro’s six, high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports.

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