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MacBook is Speedy, but no FireWire 800, Modem Ports 199

Posted by Hemos
from the change-in-it dept.
Lam1969 writes "Yuval Kossovsky has a hands-on review of the new 15" MacBook Pro. Besides the speed improvement with the dual-core 1.83-GHz Intel processor, he likes the built-in iSight camera, "MagSafe" power connector, and better WiFi antenna placement, among other features. But he laments the loss of the modem port and FireWire 800 connectors: '[Apple] has taken away by getting rid of the FireWire 800 connector slot and the modem. FireWire 800 was left off the motherboard of the new laptop largely because it has not achieved much a following among users. ... The loss of the modem jack may be a sign of things to come. I was told that Apple had found that 90% of PowerBook owners used the 802.11g AirPort wireless card, gigabit ethernet or a Bluetooth connection to a cell modem to get network access. So for cost and package size reasons, the modem was left out.'" Update: 01/26 17:25 GMT by P : Story and headline updated to clarify that only FireWire 800 was not included on the machine; FireWire 400 is present.
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MacBook is Speedy, but no FireWire 800, Modem Ports

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  • For that matter, I've also never used the slot for PC cards in my PowerBook. Is the use of these slots common with other owners?
    • by rjstanford (69735) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:17AM (#14567491) Homepage Journal
      For that matter, I've also never used the slot for PC cards in my PowerBook. Is the use of these slots common with other owners?

      No - and that's why its gone too, replaced with an ExpressCard/34 slot that can theoretically take in a wider variety of expansion opportunities, as they get developed.

      The main use for an addon card in this or the previous generation of laptops would have been for one of the permanent mobile phone network cards. I'm sure that ExpressCard versions will be forthcoming, as will ExpressCard FireWire 800 ports for those few people who need them.

      Moving the modem external to the main system, and making it optional, just makes sense. Most people I know who travel with their laptops never use them, preferring to drive to a Starbucks (or local equiv.) rather than try to send massive emails over a dialup network.
      • people are lamenting the loss of the PC card slot, but they are forgetting that the MacBook is not yet shipping. at the same MacWorld where the MacBook was announced there were plenty of vendors saying they will have ExpressCard versions of stuff ready when the MacBook is. offhand Verizon was there talking about an Expresscard EVDO, and claimed it would ship by the time the MacBook does.
        i am sure there will be plenty of Expresscard adapters for camera flash memory as well. i don't know if there is a need fo
    • If it answers your question, the iBooks don't have a PCMCIA slot. I haven't missed it a bit. In fact, I'm amazingly happy at not having to worry about damaging whatever dongle is always hanging out of the stupid ports. (I lost an ungodly number of Xircom cards to bent pins. Of course, they weren't very well designed to begin with, but...) If it's important enough, it can connect via USB.
      • I find that 90% of the PC laptop owners who use the PCMCIA slot use it for one of the following:

        1. A modem
        2. An Ethernet port
        3. WiFi
        4. Bluetooth

        Since the iBook can use internal cards for both WiFi & Bluetooth, and already has a modem & Ethernet port built in, it's no surprise that most iBook owners never miss the extra slot.

        (Note: Dell and others eventually caught on to the advantages of internal wireless, and it's now fairly standard equipment these days, but Kudos to the iBook for being one of th
        • Correct me if I'm wrong...

          I _think_ you're wrong. Well, at least about the slot in Powerbooks, since it's 'PCCard' (PCI bus based), not PCMCIA (isa based?). PC-Card slots have plenty of bandwidth to drive dual external monitors (see 'vtbook')
    • I have an iBook without a PC card slot. I wish I had one primarily so I can stick a multi memory card reader in it like I did on my Vaio.
      • What's wrong with hooking up a reader via USB?
        • It wouldn't be as aerodynamic with a USB reader.

          Or maybe not.
          I don't like carrying a cable and it's easier to show of photos by sticking a CF card into a small laptop and then giving the laptop to your friends to look at rather than using a cable to the camera or a cable to the usb connector. It's just a personal preference. I am quite good at losing cables and destroying them.
          • That's kind of funny. I always have the exact opposite problem. i.e. I always manage to shear off whatever is hanging out of the PC Card port. At least with a USB device, the cable yanks cleanly out if it gets caught on something. :-)
            • I never had a problem with the CF reader I have, it actually remains flush against the slot. The Cardbus Wifi card on the other hand. It wasn't so pretty. Good things those things became so cheap so fast.
          • So get one without cables. My card reader is slightly larger than a usb thumb drive. I can slide a card in plug it use show stuff around and eject easily. Plus I get the added bonus that I can travel with my camera and reader.

            I used the above when i went on a two week vacation. my sister and I each took hundreds of photos. When it was over but before we went our seperate ways I took all the memory cards and went to an internet cafe. I copied all the files to the computer and burned a couple of CD's of
    • One potential use for the MacBook's PC card slot is to add a FireWire 800 port, or a modem port. I've personally never had the use for either on my laptop. The MacBook does have a FireWire 400 port, contrary to the title of the Slashdot article.

      Doug Moen
      • Apple makes a USB modem dongle. Which is probably a better idea than a pc card as you are likely to also have to carry a phone cord as well as. For people that like to work on their video or audio on the road, I can see them using them to attach to high speed raid for video work, or installing a high end sound card.
    • Risking my karma, whoever modded what happened to be the first post redundant needs to be shot. So I'll rephrase the post.

      Because (especially at the time integrated Airport came out) most everything that I could've thought of is built into the MacBook/PowerBook, including wireless internet, firewire ports, and 2-3 USB ports, what do people use PC Cards for on Macs?

      • what do people use PC Cards for on Macs

        My 12" G4 lacks one and I've missed it because Verizon won't sell their broadband wireless net access except by using a PC Card.

        What pisses me off was, through a hack, I got my e815 bluetooth Verizon phone to connect in to their broadband network just fine, but they apparently can't add the $60 unlimited package price to my account because accessing their broadband EV-DO network through my phone like that is unsupported and I hence have to buy the card and have the

      • If you're one of the small handful of people who actually used a FireWire 800 drive, you might want a card for the MacBook with a FW800 port. Or, if you're more forward-looking, you might want a card that implements the 4x faster eSATA interface. The new slot is extremely fast, and is virtually the equivalent of putting another chip on the motherboard bus anyway.
    • A PC slot (with appropriate adaptor) is a fast way to download data off memory cards from digital cameras. Such a system is both faster and more convenient for people that take large numbers of photos (photos on multiple cards) or who want to give the memory card to a coworker for processing (one person takes the photos while a second person uploads/processes them for the public).

      I know I'll miss the PC card slot until card makers will come up with adapter cards for the new ExpressCard/34 slot.
    • I have.

      I have an old 486DX4-100 laptop, and using a PCMCIA flash memory card is the easiest method to transfer DOS files to or from this laptop. My Powerbook's PC Card slot is very useful for this. Otherwise, I would have to rig up a serial cable which would be very slow. (This old laptop doesn't have LAN or I would just plug it into the home network.)

      I also use this same method to transfer files to or from my HP 200LX palmtop.
  • by ianscot (591483) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:11AM (#14567389)
    A couple of days back we were speculating that maybe the MacBook at Jobs's keynote was more of a prototype, a little more rough around the edges than it should have been. No battery life numbers, and so on.

    Now we get this "hands-on" review, but I'm not convinced anything has changed. He subjectively says the performance "cooks" -- but that's likely just the intel-happy finder. All he has is Apple's oddly vague words to go on about battery performance. The rest of it could have come from the press release about the keynote announcement.

    Book's still out?

    • If you want benchmarks go talk to the people that bought the new iMac. The MacBook is basically a portable iMac. The only unknown left is battery life.
    • Well "prototype," like "beta," can refer to a wide range of things, from barely functional to "we're being careful."

      The MacWorld demonstrators didn't use the word prototype to me, they called it prerelease hardware. The amount of room for adjusting things with shipping less than a month away is clearly limited. Optimizing battery life is a software effort that could make quite a bit of progress within a couple weeks of final testing, but it's pretty obvious that they aren't going to make any changes to the
  • Missing Tidbit (Score:5, Informative)

    by creepynut (933825) * <teddy(slashdot)&teddybrown,ca> on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:15AM (#14567446) Homepage
    What the article summary fails to mention is that there is still a Firewire 400 port on the Macbook. They just removed what they feel people aren't using, and that has been Apple's way for as long as I can remember.

    The modem can be taken care of by an optional dongle for the system, and Firewire 800 can be added with an Express Card. If anyone needs either, they're still available.
    • Indeed (Score:5, Informative)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:11PM (#14568258)
      And FireWire is going to be around for quite some time [appleintelfaq.com].

      As long as all DV and HDV cameras and decks use FireWire for DV transport, FireWire isn't going anywhere on Macs, including "consumer" Macs, since half of iLife (iMovie, iDVD), and the continuing major selling point for the SuperDrive, rest on the ability to get DV into the machine.

      And no, USB isn't a substitute on DV cameras. USB is only included to transfer things from the internal memory card, usually still images and crappy digital-still-camera-like video. To transfer DV, you must use FireWire. (Now, could the industry eventually agree upon a collective standard mechanism for DV video transfer via USB? Will something eventually replace FireWire? Sure. But that's not going to happen for a long time.)

      And indeed, ExpressCard/34 FireWire 800 cards are on the way [macfixit.com], for people who really need FireWire 800:

      MacBook Pro #4: FireWire 800 cards for ExpressCard/34 slot on the way

      We previously reported that Apple has opted to omit the FireWire 800 port from its new MacBook Pro line. We also noted that various firms already offer ExpressCard FireWire 800 adapters, but there's a catch -- so far the cards are only available in the 54 mm ExpressCard standard, not the 34 mm standard Apple uses.

      We've now received anonymous word from a major peripheral manufacturer indicating that FireWire 800 cards for the ExpressCard/34 slot are on the way.

      The firm told MacFixIt:

      "We do not have an estimated release date, but we are currently working on a couple of ExpressCard solutions (1394b being one of them). We, like other companies have an ExpressCard/54 cards and all we need to do is down-size them into the ExpressCard/34 form factor

      "We expect to begin testing our cards within the next 2-3 weeks, and if all goes well, we could see production not long afterwards."
      • USB is only included to transfer things from the internal memory card, usually still images and crappy digital-still-camera-like video.

        This is not entirely accurate. The Sony Handycam models support streaming DV through iLink (Firewire) or USB 2.0. The quality is the same (to my eyes) for both methods. In fact, newer models of the low-end Handycams have moved the Firewire connection to a docking station, but left USB on the main unit. The docking station interferes with streaming DV capture because it b
        • That may be true, but transferring video via USB is proprietary, and must be used in conjunction with software that knows how to receive video over USB. Of course, anything can be sent over USB within its bandwidth. But DV is a standard, and "DV"-proper travels over FireWire [wikipedia.org]. That some low-end camcorders use USB for video transfer is only a response to the fact that almost all low-end PCs won't have FireWire. Perhaps this trend will continue. My only point was that FireWire is essentially the primary transp
    • I have never actually used the FW800 port on my PowerBook. Mostly because disk enclosures with FW800 are not as common as FW400 enclosures.

      So, I have mixed feelings on the lack of FW800. It was something I had planned to use, when I found supporting devices. But, it's something I can live without pretty easily.

      I think the omission on the "MacBook" had more to do with the Intel chipsets available, and its capabilities, rather than a choice to eliminate them.

      The modem is a similar situation.. 95% of th
  • Not such a big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:15AM (#14567449) Homepage Journal
    The loss of the modem jack may be a sign of things to come. I was told that Apple had found that 90% of PowerBook owners used the 802.11g Airport wireless card, Gigabit Ethernet or a Bluetooth connection to a cell modem to get network access. So for cost and package size reasons, the modem was left out.

    The loss of the modem isn't such a big deal. I've only ever used mine once (when I was moving) and it wasn't a pleasant experience. If I'd had a Wifi card, I probably would have gone to a local hotspot instead of bothering with the modem.

    The nice part about the modem being left out, however, is that the Wifi card is included in the base system rather than as an add-on card. IMHO, that's a fair trade. If you really want a modem, Apple has a USB modem as an available option when you order your unit. So I'd say it's a win/win for all involved.

    Unfortunately, I can't speak to the Firewire as I've never used it. Of course, that may be saying more than enough...
    • I use my modem all the time, I am using it right now. But a USB modem would be ok.

      Instant Poll
      Subject: Your main connection to the Internet
      ( ) DSL
      ( ) Cable Modem
      ( ) OC3
      ( ) Local Hotspot
      ( ) Open Wifi
      ( ) Dial Up
      ( ) Smoke Signals or Carrier Pigeon
    • We had both WiFi and a modem included for about six-odd months. I think if you consider what must be a very low incremental cost to keep the modem in, it seems like it really should still be included. Some people still go to places where WiFi is not yet present, and the external USB modem would be horribly easy to lose.

      On the other hand, it sure would be sweet to have the dual core processor. I could even accept a slowdown to get it, since it means that when my computer's doing heavy processing, I can st
      • We had both WiFi and a modem included for about six-odd months. I think if you consider what must be a very low incremental cost to keep the modem in, it seems like it really should still be included. Some people still go to places where WiFi is not yet present, and the external USB modem would be horribly easy to lose.

        The incremental financial cost is miniscule. The design and space costs are considerably greater. Besides, you could make the same argument for a whole stack of ports (VGA, S-VHS, FW800, et
        • So why then don't they include a USB modem dongle with the package? You know, like the DVI-VGA dongle included with all powerbooks.
          • I'd guess one or more of two reasons:

            1) USB modems are available in many more places than DVI-VGA dongles
            2) An order of magnitude more people use VGA monitors than use modems

            When VGA monitors start coming with DVI adapters, instead of the other way 'round, they'll probably stop.
      • Who's we? My old TiBook had an airport card and a modem and it must be three or four years old.

        I haven't used the modem in ages. It's much easier to find someone with unsecured wifi or grab a coffee at a shop with free access than figure out the local access #, which don't even exist outside the country.
    • i think modem and wireless should be base. if you only go as far as local coffee shops, it won't matter to you. but a lot of travelers end up in places where modem is the only option. being a laptop, it should be designed for travelers. having to add it on is a hassle (wifi dongle anyone?) especially when it doesn't cost much to build it in. i would even go so far as to say more people use the modem than bluetooth (most still don't know what bt is). then again, some say it's a prototype so it might end up w
    • The loss of the modem isn't such a big deal.

      well, the finder has native fax sending/receiving, and for someone on the go, that can be a real loss.

      Although faxing is kinda a thing of the past, it's still the only option for sending hardcopies of contracts/ getting them back signed, and similar.

      and about the firewire800... It wasn't adopted as quickly as the fw400, but it still had pretty wide usage. Many harddrives were shipping as either usb2/fw400 or fw400/fw800, and some even had an 800 only option. I was
      • Although faxing is kinda a thing of the past, it's still the only option for sending hardcopies of contracts/ getting them back signed, and similar.

        If you want to send a hardcopy of a document, then you need a scanner. Not too many people carry around flat-beds, methinks. :)

        Kinkos is still best if you need to send a fax. EFax can handle the recieving end much better. (Especially since you don't have to ensure that your laptop is hooked up to the phone line.)
      • I was toying with the idea of getting a new enclosure that was 800 only (since I was going to attach it to my G5), but if apple is going to phase it out, I may just go with the usb2/fw400 version and spare myself from getting stuck with hardware I can't use (like what happened with all my external LaCie SCSI drives).

        It's not like FireWire 800 drive is suddenly going to stop working. Unless you're planning on trading in your G5 soon, get the 800 enclosure. Enjoy the extra speed. You can always slap the drive
        • Even still, with an FW800 to FW400 cable, that FW800 enclosure will work just fine with the MacBook Pro.

          Please, this is a complete non-issue. Very few devices have FW800 ports anyway; it's pretty pointless.
        • It's not like FireWire 800 drive is suddenly going to stop working.

          If I get the 800 enclosure, it's kinda a waste of money if my next machine doesn't support it. or if I can't swap it to a new powerbook (which I've been eyeing up for the last year), then I don't see the point. I should just pick up an SATA and pop it inside my tower.

          I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone lament the lack of a floppy drive on the new Macs as well.

          everyone I know who was using a mac at the time that happened was already done usin
  • MacBook pro review (Score:4, Interesting)

    by weg (196564) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:16AM (#14567460)
    Everyone - including those people who didn't get hold of a MacBook so far - could have written such a review :( He really doesn't come up with anything the informed Mac fan doesn't know already. And I really wonder what it means that the new MacBook is "exponentially faster" than the last G4 version.. having only two measurements, how did this guy manage to interpolate a non-linear function??
  • by richdun (672214) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:17AM (#14567477)
    I've never actually used FW 800, but then again, my camera syncs via USB, and I'm not a pro photo or video guy, so the only time I even used FW 400 was for my 3G iPod. As for a modem, I haven't used one of these in like 5 or 6 years - for most people it'll be okay, though those few travelers who go into areas without broadband wired or wireless (there are still places like this, somewhere, I think), they could find a USB modem, or maybe someone will come up with an Express Card modem, though that seems unlikely.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:17AM (#14567488) Homepage Journal
    The headline is wrong. The MacBook Pro has Firewire, it just doesn't have FW800.

    It's clear Apple is downplaying Firewire, quite possibly planning to drop it as a standard feature some time in the next few years, but they haven't gone the whole way yet.

    • by Fahrvergnuugen (700293) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:06PM (#14568178) Homepage

      I doubt apple is planning on dropping Firewire. 99% of video cameras use Firewire and Firewire only. Very few devices have adopted Firewire 800 though, so very few people use it. Not only that, but Firewire trumps USB 2.0 in every single benchmark that I've ever seen.

      I'm still disappointed that they dropped it though.

  • So for the single digit percentage of folks that need support for a modem they could go with an external USB modem [google.com], like Firewire 800 there's just not the demand for either of these, so it makes sense to drop them. In this vein the reviewer could bemoan the lack of a 100Meg Zip drive, a BNC connector or an AT keyboard plug ;)

    Ok, sorry, just kidding. Really though, I'd like to have a laptop where even the cdrom is option; so there would not be a cdrom slot on the system, you'd have to install via a externa
    • Really though, I'd like to have a laptop where even the cdrom is option; so there would not be a cdrom slot on the system, you'd have to install via a external USB/firewire cdrom, and then not have to worry about the xtra weight that *I* never use.

      The CDRom adds only a few ounces. Given how many programs, movies, games, and music albums still come on CD/DVD, I have a hard time believing that it's something you'd "never use". (I use mine all the time.) More likely, if you got your wish you'd find yourself wi
      • by damsa (840364) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:07PM (#14568196)
        I had a Sony Vaio SRX without floppy nor a built in DVD drive. It was 2.6 pounds. The newest Sony with a built in Dvd drive weighs in at 3.1 pounds. The lightest Sony full function laptop ever made was 1.8 pounds. So the built drive does make quite a big difference percentage wise in the weight of the laptop. Most computers nowadays come with an image of the software on the hard drive rather than on a disk, so for most people who never buy any software other than ones installed for them, like people who buy iBooks, I can see one day where optical drives would be optional, and you would use a dock connected to a laptop to access this optical drive. Since this would be a dual use, I propose a new name for this Apple laptop without any drives. I propose the name, MacBook Duo.
      • I do miss the option that I had on my Pismo: a removable optical drive that could be replaced with a blank spacesaver insert, floppy drive, ZIP or second battery.
    • It's the same motivation that dropped floppy drives... I'd be pretty pissed if space was wasted with one.

      I'd agree with your comment regarding cd-rom/DVD drive being optional except that they have it down to such a low weight that is bears no resemblence to the heavy drives of yesteryear. Plus, by having it built-in, it "just works" as it is 100% supported.

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:30AM (#14567677) Homepage
    ... Intel's standard chip set doesn't support it.

    It's that simple, Apple had no part to play in that decision.
    • They could've added their own chip, driving up costs, weight and heat, while decreasing battery lifetime.

      It probably would have also increased the time to market.

      So, they had a part to play, and in this case, they might've made the right decision -- the older laptops w/ FW800 are still on the market, and I would assume that Apple's going to push for support in the future.

      Personally, I don't like FW800, as it uses a completely different connection and cable than FW400, unlike the various USB specs, and the v
    • by ImaNihilist (889325) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @01:33PM (#14569487)
      It's not quite that simple. They could have thrown in a third party TI chipset, which is what Intel uses for their FW400 solution IIRC.

      The problem is that, currently, all FireWire controllers are on the PCI bus, even the FW800 controllers. Why is that a problem? Because the FW800 controller can almost completely saturate the entire PCI bus by itself.

      It makes more sense to put it on the PCIe bus, but since no chipset currently exists, why not just leave it out so you can get an ExpressCard 34 that will have FW800 and be on the PCIe bus.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:31AM (#14567693)
    I haven't used dialup in more than 4 years, and I'm yet to see a Firewire 800 device in the wild. Fw800 is for all intents and purposes, dead as fried chicken. Starting with the retarded, backwards-incompatible connector.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:46AM (#14567875) Homepage Journal
    First the modem should be there as it adds very little to the cost and is present in many chipsets. Laptops are about NOT having to carry accessories. While FW800 may be excused as FW400 is there I can't give them a pass on the modem.

    Many times I find the following situation, no wireless and no lan. This means modems. Yeah some hotels have internet I can connect to via lan but that still isn't widespread, or should I say widespread in hotels some business will pay for. Same goes for wireless.

    If I am taking a laptop on business all I should need is the laptop, the power cord, and the case to carry it. I don't want to have a section for "exceptions". If I have one of those then I bought the wrong laptop.

    This is a "PRO" model, by name it implies it will provide me everything I could use that is reasonable. That modem is far more valuable than a gimmick of a camera. Hell I already carry a digital camera around and I am sure I can use it in place of iSight (which seems more suitable to teens playing with IM and IV)

    • I have two external hard drives which are both FireWire 800. I used the modem once, but I get more speed using Bluetooth via my mobile 'phone than I do with the modem.

      My point, assuming I have one, is that the modem has been superseded by 802.11 and Bluetooth + mobile 'phone, while they include nothing that is an adequate replacement for FireWire 800.

    • If I am taking a laptop on business all I should need is the laptop, the power cord, and the case to carry it. I don't want to have a section for "exceptions". If I have one of those then I bought the wrong laptop.

      Do you carry a phone cord with you? Because, as I'm sure you know, not all hotels provide nicely detachable cables with their phones. If you don't, well, I'm surprised. If you do, simply superglue an RJ11USB adapter onto the end of it. Problem solved.
    • This is a "PRO" model, by name it implies it will provide me everything I could use that is reasonable.

      Well, PRO is debatable. A big market for PowerBooks has always been those stereotypical beret-wearing coffeshop Mac guys, especially among the early adopters that would be willing to purchase an early Intel model. I suspect Apple knows their customer base very well, and they're sure that doodad features like a webcam and a remote will be more popular than FW800 and a modem.
    • Tiny USB modem (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kherr (602366)
      Apple's USB modem [apple.com] is tiny, smaller than an iPod shuffle. I'm sure you'll also be able to get an ExpressCard modem (so it can be "in" the machine and not an extra part to carry). Sure people still need modems, but the number of those using them is shrinking. And since there's a reasonable external solution why continue to build it into the machine?

      While many modem users may be shocked by the lack of a built-in modem, this move is probably less radical than it seems, just like ditching the floppy drive. Every
    • Yeah, I'm a bit iffy on the lack of modem.. I have actually used the modem on my current PowerBook a few times. Although, the last time I used it was well over a year ago.

      If I were making the call, I would have left the modem in for another generation of the product. Maybe Internet access via cell network + bluetooth will be easy and cheap by then (probably not), and WiFi will certainly be even more common - maybe even ubiquitous with WiMax.

      But, given my infrequent use of the modem, this won't play
  • It is my understanding that the reason the FireWire 800 port is absent on the new MacBook Pro is that the Intel chipset they're using doesn't support it. To have FireWire 800 support, Apple would have to provide a custom chipset capable of supporting it. Since Apple doesn't exactly have fab capabilities, it's not on the MacBook. Also, it's been suggested by others -- and quite rightly, I think -- that most customers weren't using the FireWire 800 port on the PowerBook. For the benefit it would provide,
    • To have FireWire 800 support, Apple would have to provide a custom chipset capable of supporting it. Since Apple doesn't exactly have fab capabilities, it's not on the MacBook.

      Of course, Apple could've always just contracted out the fabrication like they have for the chipsets on every previous Mac since the first. Seriously, did you think that the PowerMac G5 used an off-the-shelf chipset? Apple has long been in the business of custom-designing chips for their motherboards, not the least of which would be
      • Not at all, but the point I was trying to make is that for the expense that it would incur, the benefit would be minimal. I guess I meant to imply that the only way they would be able to do it economically is if they didn't have to contract them out.
  • How fast is it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @01:36PM (#14569532) Homepage
    I wonder: can I see this MacBook Pro as a notebook version of the iMac, or are there significant differences in speed?
  • by vitaflo (20507) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @03:09PM (#14570841) Homepage
    Apple does sell a USB modem. [apple.com] If you need one, you can always buy it with your MacBook.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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