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Sources: Apple to unveil revamped 11.6-inch MacBook Air next week - Page 5

post #161 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Apple is making a netbook. Let that sink in, everyone. Or not, if 11.6" doesn't eventuate.

Which brings up the question of why they would even think about an i series processor on the platform. A netbook, sub compact laptop or whatever you want to call it needs a processor solution suitable for the niche. They do need to address the issue of performance but there are now products on the market that address that very well (Fusion) so why not?
Quote:
I get your points though... clouded, the future, is. This one will go down to the wire.

I know I'm a promoter right now of the AMD Zacate Fusion processor in this product, but of course I have no idea what Apple is up to. So as you say down to the wire. Whatever they offer up will be interesting to say the least. While we have been focused on the computing part of the platform it will also be interesting to see how the product develops outside of the CPU.
post #162 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

ASUS i5-540+GT335M Optimus vs MacBook13 (pages 4 and 5 of the article)

Futuremark and Cinebench scores of 2/3-3/4 of the i5
Video encoding slightly better than half
Futuremark 3D tests at about 60%
Game performance was typically 55-60% with a couple of games it pulled 75%

Seriously those are mostly GPU related benchmarks. Especially if the video encoding software is GPU accelerated. EVen if video encoding isn't GPU accelerated the i series has seen considerable improvements in that specific area.

Even if the Mac was running the same video hardware you still have the issue of Mac drivers being generally slower.
Quote:
The battery in that system (page 6) even ends up being more efficient (min/WHr based on capacity) This still turns into longer actual charge times for the Mac of course.


Given all of the above and the fact that that ASUS system was typically the #1 or 2 system on pages 4 and 5, I dont' know how you can say that his final analysis was based entirely on the age of the cpu. Yes everything he praised is true and it is a good value for the money paid to Intel, but the performance is well behind comparable systems.

I'd have to say he is suckering people in. The stuff you reference isn't really a CPU benchmark. Especially games which have been GPU bound for ages now. The data is a good basis to argue for better GPUs and drivers in the Mac though.
post #163 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Seriously those are mostly GPU related benchmarks. Especially if the video encoding software is GPU accelerated. EVen if video encoding isn't GPU accelerated the i series has seen considerable improvements in that specific area.

I'd have to say he is suckering people in. The stuff you reference isn't really a CPU benchmark. Especially games which have been GPU bound for ages now.

I don't think anyone is being suckered here. To break down the things I was talking about, here you go:

futuremark pcmark vantage - non-gaming benchmark
pcmark05 - non-gaming benchmark
http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarking/

cinebench r10 - Mix of CPU and GPU
http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cineb...formation.html

video encoding x264 - CPU driven

futuremark 3dmark advantage - GPU
36mark06 - GPU
3dmark05 - GPU
3dmark03 - GPU
http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarking/

Games - GPU

PCMark is a full system benchmark for general application usage, so I wouldn't expect much of an impact from any graphics card. Cinebench is being used for a single and multi cpu test. Rendering is typically very CPU intensive, so again, you're looking at mostly CPU here. The only things things that are heavy GPU based are the games and the 3DMark tests. Kind of like I originally said. I still stand by what I said previously in my comments about solipsism's conclusion.
post #164 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple next Wednesday will unveil its latest bid to cater to consumers in the market for a true sub-notebook with the introduction of a smaller, 11.6-inch MacBook Air redesigned from the ground up, AppleInsider has been able to confirm from several independent sources.

The first models, which are certain to take the form of an 11.6-inch notebook, have been rolling off Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing lines for at least a week now, placing their availability on or shortly after their introduction next Wednesday at the company's "Back to the Mac" special event, according to a person with a proven track record of pinpoint accuracy.

Though further details from that source were not reported, a second person believed to be familiar with the product says the most significant change outside of the smaller form factor -- the current MacBook Air is based around a 13.3-inch display -- will come in the form of enhanced disk storage components.

According to this person, the new models will do away with existing options for a*conventional hard-disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) in favor something described as an "SSD Card" that lacks a traditional drive enclosure and more closely resembles a stick of RAM, yet is not easily user-replaceable.

If accurate, AppleInsider believes the component may be a proprietary SSD drive alternative designed by Apple to be integrated in Macs in a similar manner to the way flash memory is embedded in iPods, iPhones and iPads. This approach would be less expensive than a standard package intended to fit the shape of conventional HD devices, allowing the company to drive down costs and pass the savings on to the consumer.

Standardizing the new Air around flash storage could also see the notebook sport incredibly fast boot times and "instant-on" capabilities when waking up from sleep, similar to iPhones and iPads. Although the existing Air is offered with a SSD drive, the base model includes a HDD, impeding Apple's ability to offer such technology across its inaugural design of the notebook.

Externally, all indications point to the new Air sporting an enclosure that largely resembles that of the existing 13.3-inch model, but scaled down to fit the new 11.6-inch screen. However, a third person who claims to have caught a glimpse of one of the prototypes says the edges appear more defined than curved and that the side profile of the unit is slightly more wedge-shaped.



Introduced as the "world's thinnest notebook" back in January of 2008 -- a project AppleInsider was first to report on a full year in advance (1, 2, 3) -- the 13.3-inch MacBook Air drew "Oohs and Ahhs" out of the gate. Almost immediately, however, it struggled to gain traction in the market and sell in high volumes to its target audience of business travelers and students, who found its 13.3-inch footprint and $1800 price point somewhat prohibitive.

With the advent of an 11.6-inch MacBook Air, it would appear that Apple plans to address both those concerns while blurring the lines between its Mac and iOS devices -- essentially delivering its most responsive notebook ever in a form factor similar to the brisk selling iPad, yet with a full keyboard and more attractive entry-level price point.

Earlier this month, AppleInsider reported that supplies of the two existing 13.3-inch MacBook Airs had dried up throughout the company's indirect sales channels, suggesting that a complete overhaul to the line was imminent.

It was the first time that AppleInsider has witnessed this abnormal trend in regards to the Air since it began tracking availability of Apple's Mac line on a daily basis over two years ago.

You know what would be great if Apple made their products in the U.S.A. not dam China give our people back their jobs!
post #165 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

You know what would be great if Apple made their products in the U.S.A. not dam China give our people back their jobs!

Having absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand and coming from an American (suppositionally) working in the Philippines. Your statement doesn't hold much weight.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #166 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Having absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand and coming from an American (suppositionally) working in the Philippines. Your statement doesn't hold much weight.

But he quoted the entire article to write a single, unrelated line. That must mean something.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #167 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But he quoted the entire article to write a single, unrelated line. That must mean something.

Poor English and spelling, aiming a comment at Apple that can just as easily be applied to basically every tech company out there...yeah, just chock full of something
post #168 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is virtually useless as most people will not be doing video processing on an 11" computer.

The i series chips only have a very modest (less than 10%) improvement over the Core 2 chips integer wise. That is clock for clock if you are lucky. i Series has seen improvements to the floating point unit and vast improvement to vector or SIMD capabilities. The question you have to ask your self is so? Really when looking at an ultra thing small laptop is this sort of performance what is important to most users? How many AIR users use the device for this sort of work and how many are inclined to use an even smaller machine for this sort of work.

I would be extremely surprised to see any i series chip in such an AIR. To many compromises and to much power. Most importantly where is the OpenCL support. That one little feature is key to the future of Mac OS/X, without support for OpenCL Apple would be forced to run everything through the i86 cpus.

This one little issue, OpenCL, is why I think AMD's Zacate Fusion product has a chance on this platform. Yeah the CPU performance isn't outstanding but the big concern is over all capability and long battery life.

True but then they have to live with crappy Intel video!

I doubt Apple pays those prices. When buying by the hundreds of thousands you do get discounts.

Interesting? Come on man we already know the answer to that one.

Depends upon your software. Besides Apples goal was to make that switching transparent so you have to go out of your way to know. In any event you don't want Mac OS/X to be held back by Intel Integrated GPU technology when alternatives are available.

Also consider this, what does the performance look like with that i7 18 watt CPU when running single threaded or modestly threaded software that doesn't afford itself GPU acceleration? In a way they are suckering you in with references to Cinebench which matches up well with the i series architecture. Instead look for benchmarks that cover more common software on such a platform.

Good points.

I've swung over to thinking at this stage, Core 2 Duo 17W with Nvidia 320M on the 11.6" and 13.3" ... The only thing is ... after Steve's "bashing" of 7" being to small... Maybe the 11.6" may not even materialise at all!
post #169 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Good points.

I've swung over to thinking at this stage, Core 2 Duo 17W with Nvidia 320M on the 11.6" and 13.3" ... The only thing is ... after Steve's "bashing" of 7" being to small... Maybe the 11.6" may not even materialise at all!

SJ saying 7" was small was in relation to the iPad screen being scaled down and being too small for fingers. A Macbook screen isn't touch screen so no problem.
post #170 of 177
Umm. Yeah.

The A4 is so far limiting available software choice.

That is its principal downside as a heart of fully functional laptop computer.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #171 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Good points.

I've swung over to thinking at this stage, Core 2 Duo 17W with Nvidia 320M on the 11.6" and 13.3" ... The only thing is ... after Steve's "bashing" of 7" being to small... Maybe the 11.6" may not even materialise at all!

I actually think a 11 inch class macine is a go. What that machine will have powering it is another issue altogether. The first realization is that it won't be a high performance machine as that is why we have Mac Book Pros. This means a thin chance when it comes to a processor with a lot of cores and a high clock rate. More so in an 11" inch machine where power management is even more of a problem.

I guess it is time to stop guessing and plan on waking up to a new laptop line up.


Dave
post #172 of 177
The 13" AIR is pretty much what I expected and I honestly believe it will sell well. On the other hand I was a little disappointed with the 11" model because it appears that the sacrificed battery life to put a Core 2 in the unit. As you know I was really hoping for a Bobcat based AMD chip in the box, the goal being reasonable performance with long battery life.

In any event how many here consider these machines as meeting their expectations? They where discussed at length so opinions must be wide spread.

Dave
post #173 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The 13" AIR is pretty much what I expected and I honestly believe it will sell well. On the other hand I was a little disappointed with the 11" model because it appears that the sacrificed battery life to put a Core 2 in the unit. As you know I was really hoping for a Bobcat based AMD chip in the box, the goal being reasonable performance with long battery life.

In any event how many here consider these machines as meeting their expectations? They where discussed at length so opinions must be wide spread.

Bobcat isn't available yet and the MBA needed a refresh. They can use an AMD part next year. I still don't think Bobcat is right for the Air though. Although the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo will be a bit sluggish, the 320M GPU is very fast.

I was quite impressed with the 11" design choice. They didn't compromise on width yet made it significantly smaller while keeping a very respectable 5 hour battery life.

+ cheaper
+ SSD as standard
+ lighter
+ no port flap
+ two USB ports
+ 320M GPU
+ 4GB RAM option
+ instant-on

- 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo
- no 25nm SSD so low capacity
post #174 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Bobcat isn't available yet and the MBA needed a refresh. They can use an AMD part next year. I still don't think Bobcat is right for the Air though. Although the 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo will be a bit sluggish, the 320M GPU is very fast.

Will Bobcat come in the LV and ULV ranges that are needed for these MBAs and will they be performance comparable at these 17W and 10W TDP ranges?

Quote:
I was quite impressed with the 11" design choice. They didn't compromise on width yet made it significantly smaller while keeping a very respectable 5 hour battery life.

Im not excited about the 16:9 display on the 11, but Im glad the 13 kept 16:10. I did the math and a 11 16:10 display would still be slightly wider than the 12 4:3 display of the old PowerBook, thus allowing for a full sized keyboard to be used.
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post #175 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Will Bobcat come in the LV and ULV ranges that are needed for these MBAs and will they be performance comparable at these 17W and 10W TDP ranges

"Bobcat" will come in two varieties probably in Q1 next year: Ontario at 9W and Zacate at 18W. Both will have two Bobcat cores and an integrated (on-die) GPU rumored to have around 80 SPs (Radeon 5400-class).

We don't know much about performance or clock speeds, but AMD wants to compete directly against Intel CULV processors like the ones Apple is using. There isn't really any more information out there.
post #176 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

"Bobcat" will come in two varieties probably in Q1 next year: Ontario at 9W and Zacate at 18W. Both will have two Bobcat cores and an integrated (on-die) GPU rumored to have around 80 SPs (Radeon 5400-class).

We don't know much about performance or clock speeds, but AMD wants to compete directly against Intel CULV processors like the ones Apple is using. There isn't really any more information out there.

That sounds pretty temping already. Even the 18W Zacate might work for the 11 MBA if Apple can drop the 320M (12W-19W TDP from what I read previously) and go with only one chip that is faster than the current CPU with a decent GPU, for a net of better battery performance.
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post #177 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That sounds pretty temping already. Even the 18W Zacate might work for the 11 MBA if Apple can drop the 320M (12W-19W TDP from what I read previously) and go with only one chip that is faster than the current CPU with a decent GPU, for a net of better battery performance.

I was left with the impression that AMD and its partners wanted to get the Bobcat based products out to market this quarter. I could be wrong there but the devices are very intriquing for the 11" AIR class machine.

You see Zacate is a 17 watt solution running at 1.6 GHz. That includes the GPU which is also on the die. Now there are considerations such as the core being brand new and highly optimized for low power. Some reports have it running at 90% of the speed of a desk top processor clock for clock. If so the 1.6 GHz unit would likely run at about the same performance level as the 1.4 GHz Intel chip in the AIR now. Of course none of this is official information so who really knows.

What is interesting is the video hardware which should offer reasonable good performance and is OpenCL compliant. Again information is scarce but AMD has some interesting video showing a demo platform running a game well. Of course games are a minor culture on the Mac but OpenCL isn't. There is the hope that the tightly coupled nature of the GPU and the CPU will result in good OpenCL behavior. On top of that the platform gets an all new video encode/decode unit. Obviously AMD is hoping the GPU is a draw for implementers.

I don't know what the power profile of the NVidia chip is in the 11" AIR but lets say it is 12 watts, that almost cuts in half the power usage of the AIR. The exact numbers are complicated as Zacate still needs a bridge chip of sorts. The goal here is respectable performance with very long battery life. Frankly that is the only reason I would buy one of these AIRs, that is a light travel machine with long run times on battery.

As noted above AMD is going after a couple of Intel markets here. Both Zacate and Ontario blow away ATOM both in performance and power profile. This is especially so when the GPU is considered. AMD is also going after Intels ULV chips with this platform, supposedly the performance is good enough for that.

In any event it looks like sales of AIR are off to a good start. We should soon hear usage reports that will give us an idea about how well these guys perform with these chips. I just have this feeling the machines might be sluggish, but there are to many factors to say one way or the other.
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