Intel Ivy Bridge chip candidates for MacBook Pro, Air to arrive in May

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge mobile processors, expected to appear in future MacBook Pro and MacBook Air updates from Apple, will hit the market in May of 2012, a leaked Intel product roadmap reveals.



Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU lineup and launch dates were revealed in the new roadmap obtained by VR-Zone. They show a tentative debut of May 2012 for the mobile platform.



The product lineup includes M-Series Processors that offer standard performance with nominal thermal design power of between 35 watts and 55 watts. The standard performance CPUs would be the most likely choice for Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro notebooks.



The roadmap reveals a number of chip options coming next year, including a 2.9GHz quad-core Core i7-3920XM featuring the new Intel HD Graphics 4000 architecture.



As for the thin-and-light MacBook Air, Intel is also gearing up to launch its U-Series Processors around the same time, under the product line name "Ultra." That low-power processor will have a TDP of just 17 watts.



The documentation reveals there will be two U-series CPUs at launch, with the Core i7-3667U clocked at 2GHz, and the Core i5-3427U running at 1.8GHz. Those chips will overclock to 3.2GHz and 2.8GHz in single-core mode, respectively, and both models feature a GPU clocked at 350MHz that can run as high as 1150MHz.







The new Ivy Bridge chips will also give Apple the opportunity to put OpenCL-capable CPUs into its hot-selling MacBook Air lineup. The addition of OpenCL support will offer performance improvements with financial applications, games and media applications by offloading non-graphics related tasks to the graphics processing unit.



On Apple's higher-end Macs, the Ivy Bridge platform could potentially also be used for a Retina Display branding, thanks to 4K display resolution support. That would give Apple the option to build a display that is 4,096 pixels across.







Another recent rumor has suggested Apple will switch back to Nvidia graphics with its new MacBook models set for release in 2012. The last MacBook Pro models to feature Nvidia graphics arrived in 2010 with a new proprietary graphics switching technology developed by Apple, but the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros that debuted earlier this year with dedicated graphics completed the switch to AMD GPUs.



Rumors have pointed toward Apple redesigning its MacBook Pro lineup next year with an all-new chassis to replace the current form factor. There have also been suggestions that Apple is planning to expand its MacBook Air lineup by adding a new 15-inch model to join the existing 11.6- and 13.3-inch ultraportable notebooks.
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Comments

  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,466member
    Well good news in that we have a better idea of when the new machine will get here. The stuff about NVidia just sucks though. I'd much rather have an AMD GPU in my portable, actually I'd prefer them anywhere a discreet GPU is required.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,033member
    All I ask is that the MacBook Air keep its stellar battery life, regardless of the specific parts.
  • alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    a 15" Macbook air would be awesome. I shall buy one.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    So we have 17W CPUs which are used in the MBAs, but no 25W, just the 35W+ used in the MBPs?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    All I ask is that the MacBook Air keep its stellar battery life, regardless of the specific parts.



    I wouldn't call the battery life steller. It's good for it's class but it notebooks in general, especially Mac notebooks are much higher.. I'd love to see some new technology applied to make the battery last longer. It's one of two reasons I didn't buy the Air.
  • backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    All I ask is that the MacBook Air keep its stellar battery life, regardless of the specific parts.



    If the leaked specs are correct, battery life should be better. IIRC, Intel claimed that IB will offer up to 50% better cpu performance or 50% battery life over SB depending upon how the cpu is optimized (either battery life or raw cpu performance).



    1.8 and 2.0 ghz cpu options in the U series suggests that those will be optimized for battery life as the clock speeds are just slightly higher than what is currently offered in the Airs.
  • ecsecs Posts: 307member
    As a late-2010 MBA owner, I'm happy with the news, and I wish to see a quadcore with air form factor in the not so distant future (call it whatever you wish, but do it with the air form factor)



    I'm also happy with the NVIDIA rumour. I hope it's true. ATI never had the same level of responsibility with OpenGL as NVIDIA had, and as an OpenGL fan I always preferred NVIDIA.
  • cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Looks like all those rumors about an early 2012 update were garbage afterall. Glad I updated to the late 2011 MBP instead of waiting for that mythical new slimmer line.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Looks like all those rumors about an early 2012 update were garbage afterall. Glad I updated to the late 2011 MBP instead of waiting for that mythical new slimmer line.



    With all the different iPad types, TV sizes, and new iPod TOuch with different size displays is there really any room for anything else.



    Oh, don't forget all the new routers running on A6 chips and iOS.
  • azazaazaza Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    It's one of two reasons I didn't buy the Air.



    OK, I'll bite. What's the other reason ? (Thinking of getting a MBA, and respect your opinion.)
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Looks like all those rumors about an early 2012 update were garbage afterall. Glad I updated to the late 2011 MBP instead of waiting for that mythical new slimmer line.



    Relax dude. This stuff changes based on Intel's results. Things can get pushed back, and it's better seeing a late release than a defective product.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Well good news in that we have a better idea of when the new machine will get here. The stuff about NVidia just sucks though. I'd much rather have an AMD GPU in my portable, actually I'd prefer them anywhere a discreet GPU is required.



    For Windows desktop and workstation machines NVidia often has better drivers. I'm not sure about laptops.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by azaza View Post


    OK, I'll bite. What's the other reason ? (Thinking of getting a MBA, and respect your opinion.)



    Not enough internal storage. I currently have a 1TB HDD for data plus an 80GB SSD for my boot drive and apps. Both are internal. Since another notebook would be a replacement for this one I would need a lot more storage. Hoping the new MBPs follow the MBA lead but leave room for the SSD card and a single or dual-platter HDD or SSD for additional storage.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,815member
    I can see the Airs and the MBP's eventually merging into one line.



    Apple likes thin, they're going to make the MBP's thinner most likely. Apple is most likely going to dump the optical drive from the MBP's. I can see Apple offering SSD's as standard in the MBP's. And the Airs are only getting more powerful as new CPU's get released. It makes sense that the two will eventually meet and a bunch of different sized models will be offered.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    I can see the Airs and the MBP's eventually merging into one line.



    Apple likes thin, they're going to make the MBP's thinner most likely. Apple is most likely going to dump the optical drive from the MBP's. I can see Apple offering SSD's as standard in the MBP's. And the Airs are only getting more powerful as new CPU's get released. It makes sense that the two will eventually meet and a bunch of different sized models will be offered.



    Apple already stated their intent there. I don't know that they'll all share the current macbook air port setup or the wedge design, but I agree that they're going to get ....... THINNER.... (if anyone gets my reference it will please me immensely).



    Currently the macbook airs go up to the most powerful cpus available in intel's ultra low voltage category. I think we'll see this when the more powerful cpus and possibly discrete graphics options get closer in tdp to where the Air is today. I still don't care for the wedge design, I'd rather have moderately thin and flat with more ports rather than rely on the options of wireless or carrying around some kind of docking solution, but I don't see myself upgrading my laptop anytime soon, as most of the time I don't use it.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,621member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Looks like all those rumors about an early 2012 update were garbage afterall. Glad I updated to the late 2011 MBP instead of waiting for that mythical new slimmer line.



    There was an article a little while ago saying they would be delayed until April/May and there was a leaked Intel roadmap.



    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2011/09...unch-delayed/1



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX


    So we have 17W CPUs which are used in the MBAs, but no 25W, just the 35W+ used in the MBPs?



    And the same 45W TDP in the 15" MBP. These will be max TDPs though and will be determined by the thermal limits of the design they are placed in. Apple could restrict the chips to fit into a slimmer design. This could risk looking worse in terms of performance than competing PC laptops but it won't be significant.



    The i7 quads can overclock all cores from 2.7GHz to 3.5GHz but if that uses an extra 15W of power, Apple can restrict it and have it fit in a 35W limit. You wouldn't even really notice the performance difference at all. They could probably do something similar with the GPU and removing the optical drive will give much more room for separating components out for cooling.



    I thought Intel would do a blanket reduction of all the TDPs but as Wizard69 said in the past, this does restrict potential performance. They seem to have done it with the desktop chips though going from 95W to 77W.



    Apparently, they've made a bigger jump with the HD 4000 GPU though going up 60% with OpenCL support. This will finally exceed the 320M.



    I expected Intel's changes would create a whole line of Air-type machines. I'm not sure this will be the case now. Apple will probably prefer this as it maintains a separation between Air and Pro machines but I think it's messy having both a 13" Air and a 13" Pro, especially if they redesign the Pro model.
  • cutykamucutykamu Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Not enough internal storage. I currently have a 1TB HDD for data plus an 80GB SSD for my boot drive and apps. Both are internal. Since another notebook would be a replacement for this one I would need a lot more storage. Hoping the new MBPs follow the MBA lead but leave room for the SSD card and a single or dual-platter HDD or SSD for additional storage.



    i was guessing that would be the reason as i've done the same thing with my macbook pro…



    and i just read the below article about 2TB SSD's… you should check it out.



    http://arst.ch/rsf
  • ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    It was bad enough figuring we were waiting till March or April, now it looks like my wife and I will be waiting till May for our Mac laptops. *sigh* Hurry the heck up Intel
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cutykamu View Post


    i was guessing that would be the reason as i've done the same thing with my macbook pro?



    and i just read the below article about 2TB SSD's? you should check it out.



    http://arst.ch/rsf



    To me, that's the most important thing that we need. Faster processors on an MBA? Meh. For the things most people do with an ultralight, faster processors aren't going to help that much. But more storage at a reasonable price? That would be fantastic. The only thing keeping me from an MBA is that I want 512 GB of storage - at a reasonable price.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post




    I thought Intel would do a blanket reduction of all the TDPs but as Wizard69 said in the past, this does restrict potential performance. They seem to have done it with the desktop chips though going from 95W to 77W.



    Apparently, they've made a bigger jump with the HD 4000 GPU though going up 60% with OpenCL support. This will finally exceed the 320M.



    I expected Intel's changes would create a whole line of Air-type machines. I'm not sure this will be the case now. Apple will probably prefer this as it maintains a separation between Air and Pro machines but I think it's messy having both a 13" Air and a 13" Pro, especially if they redesign the Pro model.



    I've mentioned for a while that only some of them were dipping 10W or so, imac cpus going from 95 to 77, etc. Articles have been out on that for a while. If they keep the 13" pro it should get a quad. It really should have discrete graphics too but that won't happen. I'll believe it on the HD 4000 when real tests come out. They've been all over the place up until now, but it may be an issue of optimal drivers.



    You could have seen the data six months ago to show that you wouldn't see Airs in the top spots by next year. Apple currently employs basically all options in the ULV category in the Air already. What would be the point in underclocking other components? At 45W they run pretty close to their thermal limits at times.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    To me, that's the most important thing that we need. Faster processors on an MBA? Meh. For the things most people do with an ultralight, faster processors aren't going to help that much. But more storage at a reasonable price? That would be fantastic. The only thing keeping me from an MBA is that I want 512 GB of storage - at a reasonable price.



    More ram would be nice too. Regarding cpus, you'd be surprised. Everyone seems to be trying to determine if the Air is fast enough for them. It's kind of the new thing. I may pick up one at some point as I don't really do any heavy work on a laptop, but I don't use a laptop enough to care about frequent upgrades.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,466member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    There was an article a little while ago saying they would be delayed until April/May and there was a leaked Intel roadmap.



    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2011/09...unch-delayed/1







    And the same 45W TDP in the 15" MBP. These will be max TDPs though and will be determined by the thermal limits of the design they are placed in. Apple could restrict the chips to fit into a slimmer design. This could risk looking worse in terms of performance than competing PC laptops but it won't be significant.



    There is a noticeable difference in performance once one gets to a 45 watt class Chip. This combined with Pro user needs has me believing that the MBP won't go away anytime soon. As strong of a seller that the AIRs are I don't believe that they will completely replace the MBPs anytime soon. Rather the Pros will retain features that attract power users.



    What are those features. 1. RAM expandability. 2. Secondary storage flexibility. 3. More I/O ports. Plus I can see the Pros getting retina like screens first.

    Quote:

    The i7 quads can overclock all cores from 2.7GHz to 3.5GHz but if that uses an extra 15W of power, Apple can restrict it and have it fit in a 35W limit. You wouldn't even really notice the performance difference at all. They could probably do something similar with the GPU and removing the optical drive will give much more room for separating components out for cooling.



    I can't find it at the moment but some of Intels marketing materials do cover the new power management tech in Ivy Bridge. It looks like they could tailor power to the conditions the chip runs in. Obviously adjusting the clock will impact performance some.



    Spreading the components out will help with machines supporting discrete GPUs, not so much with Ivy Bridge only machines. You still have that very hot point load so the cooling requirements remain the same. This is why I would not expect massive MBP changes.

    Quote:

    I thought Intel would do a blanket reduction of all the TDPs but as Wizard69 said in the past, this does restrict potential performance. They seem to have done it with the desktop chips though going from 95W to 77W.



    There are two basic limitations that have to be dealt with. One is heat which is directly related to clock rate. The other is timing closure. I would think with the new process shrink that maximum clock rates would go up, which they apparently have with speed steeping. In fact the process is looking very good indeed. I suspect that Intel has other reasons to limit the chips to 77 watts. One thing is for sure it looks like a major technological leap for intel putting them well ahead of the rest of the industry.

    Quote:

    Apparently, they've made a bigger jump with the HD 4000 GPU though going up 60% with OpenCL support. This will finally exceed the 320M.



    I've seen benchmarking that is showing some pretty huge speed ups. More than 2x in some uses. On the other hand it might not be much better than 20% for most users.



    The problem is no real released hardware and software(drivers). The only thing that counts for Mac users is what you get running Mac OS with the drivers Apple ships. So things are up in the AIR.

    Quote:

    I expected Intel's changes would create a whole line of Air-type machines. I'm not sure this will be the case now. Apple will probably prefer this as it maintains a separation between Air and Pro machines but I think it's messy having both a 13" Air and a 13" Pro, especially if they redesign the Pro model.



    What is the problem with two 13" or for that matter 15" machines? All Apple really needs to do is put a 35 watt processor in the 13" MBP, maintain RAM expand ability and storage flexibility and they will have a machine that appeals to many. There is nothing messy about choice.



    In any event everyone assumes that this mythical redesigned MBP will be another under powered AIR. From my perspective this is silly, Apple isn't going to give up the market for full performance laptops. What they might do is take design cues from the AIRs, maybe even introduce a 15" AIR but I really so no reason to dump the functionality one gets in a MBP.



    Now given all of this there is technology coming that will allow Apple to stuff even more performance into AIR like machines. To the best of my knowledge this won't be until 2013 or later. Even then heat is still an issue.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,466member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I've mentioned for a while that only some of them were dipping 10W or so, imac cpus going from 95 to 77, etc. Articles have been out on that for a while. If they keep the 13" pro it should get a quad. It really should have discrete graphics too but that won't happen. I'll believe it on the HD 4000 when real tests come out. They've been all over the place up until now, but it may be an issue of optimal drivers.



    Apple could easily put a 35 watt chip (Ivy Bridge) into the 13" Pro and I don't think anybody would complain. Yeah a discreet GPU would be nice but such a machine would still have significant capability beyond what an AIR would have.



    I constantly see this baloney about how the 13" AIR and Pro over lap. Honestly folks they aren't even in the same class.

    Quote:

    You could have seen the data six months ago to show that you wouldn't see Airs in the top spots by next year. Apple currently employs basically all options in the ULV category in the Air already. What would be the point in underclocking other components? At 45W they run pretty close to their thermal limits at times.



    Laptops manage the clock now to control power. Ivy Bridge just gives designers more control in this regard. The reality is there is no reason for Intel to market a bunch of power grades if the chip can manage its power usage dynamically.

    Quote:



    More ram would be nice too. Regarding cpus, you'd be surprised. Everyone seems to be trying to determine if the Air is fast enough for them. It's kind of the new thing. I may pick up one at some point as I don't really do any heavy work on a laptop, but I don't use a laptop enough to care about frequent upgrades.



    When it comes time to do my next upgrade I will certainly consider the AIRs, especially if they have a 15" class machine at the time. Right now two things bug me about the AIRs. One is max RAM sizes and the other is the max size of the SSD's. In my mind both of these are easily solvable in a 15" AIR if Apple wants to go that way.



    Note that the two issues above are the significant ones, I don't worry about raw performance so much because I expect that to be taken care of by the time I buy my next machine. Not that raw performance is all that bad now, but they are a long way from MBP class machines.
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