Where I see the MacBook lineup going / pipe dream?

I saw a video today of an external GPU hacked onto a 11" MBA, kludgey, but kind of awesome. And something that Thunderbolt / Light Peak have always promised.

The decision to not include a discrete GPU in the 13" MacBook Pro Retina was an interesting one. The Intel GPUs have improved dramatically, and they can now push some serious pixels, but that was one of the selling points of the MacBook Pro line. A 'proper' GPU for gaming or intense graphics / video work.

The latest round of Intel CPUs has also had a fairly hefty bump in processing power (not just power saving), with the current MacBook Airs being able to 'turbo' up to 3.3GHz (i7 model). Yes, I know comparing the clock speed between the Ultrabook class CPUs and the other mobile CPUs is slightly apples to oranges, the new Haswell CPUs are seriously fast.

Small, Medium, Large.

  • Choice of 3 laptops, 11", 13", 15" - no Pro or Air variants
  • All running the 'Ultrabook' class CPU
  • 15" to include the Iris / Iris Pro GPU
  • Only flash storage, Small / Medium / Large ( + eXtra Large option on 15")
  • Retina becomes an option on all 3, for a price (but remains a separate line for a while)
  • 16GB RAM an option on 15" - just to infuriate those wanting a 13" with 16GB of RAM.

Then what I really want out of all this, the pipe dream, a GPU to be included in the 27" Thunderbolt display. I do love that when ordering a MacBook Air it is possible to add an "accessory" that costs more than the laptop itself. It would be even cooler if it came with a graphics bump.

Have a lightweight laptop, that you can carry all day, and use all day. But dock it with the screen and give it similar graphics performance to an iMac - beyond the current MacBook Pro line anyway. With the heat and power for the GPU confined to the display it would be a 'full' GPU not a mobile variant.

So, basically, I just want Apple to make the Thunderbolt display that includes a GPU, but that train of thought led down a rabbit hole about what it could potentially mean from the rest of their lineup.