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Apple rumored to update MacBook Air with Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU in June

post #1 of 75
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Apple plans to update its recently redesigned MacBook Air line of thin-and-light notebooks with Intel's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processor in June, according to a new report.

Citing an anonymous source, CNet reported on Friday that Apple plans to replace the Core 2 Duo chip found in the current MacBook Air, a processor that is two generations behind Intel's recently released Sandy Bridge processors. The MacBook Air was updated with a new, thinner design, flash memory drive, and an 11.6-inch model was added to the mix in an update released last fall.

In December, the same publication claimed that future MacBooks from Apple with Sandy Bridge processor would not use Nvidia graphics processors in at least some models 13 inches and under. It is rumored that the smaller models will switch to Sandy Bridge-only integrated graphics, while Apple's larger, higher-end MacBooks with screen sizes of 15 and 17 inches will allegedly rely on GPUs from AMD.

Intel began its roll-out of the Sandy Bridge next-generation processors in January, but the company quickly discovered an error in the chipset that accompanies the processor. That forced Intel to halt production of Sandy Bridge processors while it works on a fix for the 6 Series chipset code-named Cougar Point.

The error affected both desktop and mobile chips, leading to concerns that the issue could have an impact on Apple's anticipated MacBook Pro refresh. Apple last updated its MacBook Pro notebooks in April 2010, meaning an update for those products is likely to precede the alleged June refresh for the MacBook Air.

Intel announced this week that it has resumed shipment of chipsets for systems not affected by the Cougar Point design issue, which can lead to poor performance of devices connected to certain serial-ATA ports. The chipmaker also said that it will meet its deadline to begin shipping dual-core Sandy Bridge hips on their previously announced launch date of Feb. 20.
post #2 of 75
Not buying it. It’s too soon to consider a MBA refresh and if they wanted to scrape OpenCL and a decent IGP for a better processor they would have done it with the refresh. They made the right choice.
post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple plans to update its recently redesigned MacBook Air line of thin-and-light notebooks with Apple's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processor in June, according to a new report.

Intel's right?

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post #4 of 75
The Sandy Bridge chipset fiasco has really highlighted just how dependent so many HW manufacturers are on Intel now. I'm sure Apple hates this the same way they became overly-dependent on IBM/Motorola to crank out new versions of the PPC chips. It's always uncomfortable when a single component supplier can delay/derail your entire product roadmap.

I for one call monopolistic behavior on the part of Intel for muscling nVidia out of the chipset business. Someone please have the balls to file the antitrust lawsuit. Clearly this was a move to protect Intel's future plans for integrated graphics, given that nVidia's chipsets were in many ways superior to Intel's in terms of just speed and power, let alone the graphics portion. Intel still hasn't figured out graphics after all these years, now they're integrating it directly on-die to speed up communications with the GPU in order to mask its ridiculous flaws and shortcomings. How does a company with the engineering resources of Intel still treat graphics as an afterthought? Oh wait... I know, because the likes of Dell and HP, et al. will continue to use Intel graphics for their low-end budget crap, and consumers will continue buying them up in droves because they're cheap, and then buy another one when they can't play back their favorite videos or favorite games.
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

I for one call monopolistic behavior on the part of Intel for muscling nVidia out of the chipset business. Someone please have the balls to file the antitrust lawsuit.

Umm, I don't think that's how antitrust lawsuits work. It's not like 'calling dibs' or 'calling shotgun'.
post #6 of 75
I hope that

1. they bring back the ambient keyboard lighting.

2. they introduce the external battery status update from the macbook pro to the macbook air.
post #7 of 75
I'm still surprised that there is so little detail about what's going on with the supposed MBP refresh. We're already getting details on the next iPhone, iPad and now the next MBA refresh, but very little on the MBPs.

I'm really hoping there's value in the recent rumor about large delays for those who need replacement MBPs.
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

Intel still hasn't figured out graphics after all these years, now they're integrating it directly on-die to speed up communications with the GPU in order to mask its ridiculous flaws and shortcomings. How does a company with the engineering resources of Intel still treat graphics as an afterthought?

Intel discovered the flaw (which was about peripherals, not graphics--do your homework) and fixed it within a week. The company is already poised to take about $1bil in redesign and opportunity cost losses; is that not punishment enough for you? Also, would you prefer the Motorola days, when Apple had to keep pushing back launch dates because PowerPC was an afterthought?
post #9 of 75
Maybe they'll put it in the Mac mini. As it is, the Mac mini is way behind for a desktop machine at that cost.
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Maybe they'll put it in the Mac mini. As it is, the Mac mini is way behind for a desktop machine at that cost.

There is no reason at all that Apple can't replace all their desktop and laptop systems with SB chips. The new parts run faster, cooler and at lower energy costs. This year will be a round of massive computational upgrades for Apple. They won't have to bake any of the benchmarks to show a SB equipped Mini smoking the current model
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Not buying it. Its too soon to consider a MBA refresh and if they wanted to scrape OpenCL and a decent IGP for a better processor they would have done it with the refresh. They made the right choice.

I think they did as well (C2D might be old but it is definitely not 'slow'), but I'd imagine that at least for the 13" model Apple should be able to cram both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a capable GPU that can be switched on and off in the MacBook Air. On the other hand, you might be right that this is too soon for a refresh, seeing that Intel is rumored to release a Sandy Bridge update with OpenCL-enabled IGP later in 2011.

It's just too bad Intel sucks so much at graphics, because their CPU's are great.
post #12 of 75
I ordered the $1299 model with a Ram upgrade to 4GB. Cancelled this morning, gonna wait for Sandy Bridge.

Current MBA's are smokin' fast though.
post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satorical View Post

Intel discovered the flaw (which was about peripherals, not graphics--do your homework) and fixed it within a week. The company is already poised to take about $1bil in redesign and opportunity cost losses; is that not punishment enough for you? Also, would you prefer the Motorola days, when Apple had to keep pushing back launch dates because PowerPC was an afterthought?

I think you missed his point, he was talking about the IGP architecture, which is in fact based on years old technology that prevents it from being used for computational GPU tasks. Moving it on-die and optimizing the data path from the CPU to the GPU masks its shortcomings by enabling Intel to crank up the performance of there GPU part up to 'barely acceptable' levels (even the fastest Sandy Bridge IGP just barely beats a 320M, which is already low-end in Nvidia's mobile GPU lineup). Intel really needs to get their act together when it comes to graphics. Maybe they should just buy or license their graphics technology because they clearly haven't figured it out after years of crappy IGP's.
post #14 of 75
Don't believe it. My MBA is so incredibly fast, there is no need for an update. And june is not logical. Besides that, Apple will want to maintain a differende between the MBP's and the MBA.
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satorical View Post

Intel discovered the flaw (which was about peripherals, not graphics--do your homework)

Be nice... I come here to take a break from "doing homework!"

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post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

The Sandy Bridge chipset fiasco has really highlighted just how dependent so many HW manufacturers are on Intel now. I'm sure Apple hates this the same way they became overly-dependent on IBM/Motorola to crank out new versions of the PPC chips. It's always uncomfortable when a single component supplier can delay/derail your entire product roadmap.

I for one call monopolistic behavior on the part of Intel for muscling nVidia out of the chipset business. Someone please have the balls to file the antitrust lawsuit. Clearly this was a move to protect Intel's future plans for integrated graphics, given that nVidia's chipsets were in many ways superior to Intel's in terms of just speed and power, let alone the graphics portion. Intel still hasn't figured out graphics after all these years, now they're integrating it directly on-die to speed up communications with the GPU in order to mask its ridiculous flaws and shortcomings. How does a company with the engineering resources of Intel still treat graphics as an afterthought? Oh wait... I know, because the likes of Dell and HP, et al. will continue to use Intel graphics for their low-end budget crap, and consumers will continue buying them up in droves because they're cheap, and then buy another one when they can't play back their favorite videos or favorite games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think you missed his point, he was talking about the IGP architecture, which is in fact based on years old technology that prevents it from being used for computational GPU tasks. Moving it on-die and optimizing the data path from the CPU to the GPU masks its shortcomings by enabling Intel to crank up the performance of there GPU part up to 'barely acceptable' levels (even the fastest Sandy Bridge IGP just barely beats a 320M, which is already low-end in Nvidia's mobile GPU lineup). Intel really needs to get their act together when it comes to graphics. Maybe they should just buy or license their graphics technology because they clearly haven't figured it out after years of crappy IGP's.

Expecting IGP to compete with a discrete solution is unreasonable. Sandy Bridge's on-die solution is very competitive with other IGP solutions.
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think they did as well (C2D might be old but it is definitely not 'slow'), but I'd imagine that at least for the 13" model Apple should be able to cram both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a capable GPU that can be switched on and off in the MacBook Air. On the other hand, you might be right that this is too soon for a refresh, seeing that Intel is rumored to release a Sandy Bridge update with OpenCL-enabled IGP later in 2011.

It's just too bad Intel sucks so much at graphics, because their CPU's are great.

I am under the impression that the embedded GPU in the Sandy Bridge chips is much improved. Perhaps x2?

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http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/I...0K_GPU/10.html
post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think they did as well (C2D might be old but it is definitely not 'slow'), but I'd imagine that at least for the 13" model Apple should be able to cram both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a capable GPU that can be switched on and off in the MacBook Air. On the other hand, you might be right that this is too soon for a refresh, seeing that Intel is rumored to release a Sandy Bridge update with OpenCL-enabled IGP later in 2011.

Apple has gone on record as saying they couldn't fit both a cpu and discrete gpu in the 13" MBP (let alone the MBA) b/c they would have had to have room for a fan as well. Of course the GPU in SB is also still DX10. AMD's Fusion will be utilizing DX11 parts.
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by biggsjm View Post

I ordered the $1299 model with a Ram upgrade to 4GB. Cancelled this morning, gonna wait for Sandy Bridge.

Current MBA's are smokin' fast though.

What benefit will that bring? My 11"MBA is blindingly fast. If I was to think "what could I improve", speed would most definitely NOT be on the list.

Plus, you realise this is just a rumour right? And when that comes out, there will be another one coming out 12 months after that? Surprised you cancelled your order based on this information that's all.

The "waiting 'til the next best thing" philosophy is tempting, but with Apple you'll drive yourself mad thinking like that, so I'm a believer in figuring out your requirements, and choosing something that meets them. That way you won't be disappointed when the next best thing appears, as you didn't buy it because it was the newest best thing at the time.
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post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksteady View Post

What benefit will that bring? My 11"MBA is blindingly fast. If I was to think "what could I improve", speed would most definitely NOT be on the list.

Plus, you realise this is just a rumour right? And when that comes out, there will be another one coming out 12 months after that? Surprised you cancelled your order based on this information that's all.

The "waiting 'til the next best thing" philosophy is tempting, but with Apple you'll drive yourself mad thinking like that, so I'm a believer in figuring out your requirements, and choosing something that meets them. That way you won't be disappointed when the next best thing appears, as you didn't buy it because it was the newest best thing at the time.

Graphics performance. Better battery life. Cooler temperatures.

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post #21 of 75
I keep reading people say, it's too soon for a processor upgrade my "mac" is already fast enough. In the world of technology when is any processor ever "fast enough" every day your processor is one day closer to being antiquated regardless of what you have. Any possible sped improvement they can put into a new model without effecting the price by much if any if always welcome in my book.

I am waiting for a Mac Mini and the current specs on the Mac mini just does not cut it given the technology out there... The MBA is nice as it is, but can always be improved.
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post #22 of 75
i don't cancel orders based on rumors of refreshes, but i also wait to order until just after a refresh.
when i feel like the hardware in my department is getting older, i wait until just after a refresh, then spend whatever funds are allocated the best way possible. [it's always nice to drop 60 grand on mac hardware all at once]

personally, i just want the BTO cost of SSD drives across the mac line to come down - they're seriously overpriced - esp. in the Desktops.
post #23 of 75
I did a bit of research just based on TDP for the processors to see what Apple might try and slip in current form factors w/Sandy Bridge updates. Here is what I found:

Top end iMac uses a 95W desktop processor, while the low end uses a 73W. This means the i7 2600 (and anything lower) could be viable for the 27" and 2.5-3.3 i3, 2.3-2.7 i5 and 2.8 i7 could be viable for the 21.5".

Mac Mini and Macbook use a 25W laptop processor. This means the 1.4 i5 and 1.5-2.3 i7 dual cores could be viable.

The MBP use 25W c2d, 35W i5, and 35W i7 currently. All i3, i5 and i7 dual cores are 35W or lower. The lowest current i7 Sandy Bridge quad core chip is 45W, so it remains to be seen if they will fit in w/Apple's initial offerings.

The MBA uses 10 and 17W c2d processors currently. The 1.4 i5 and 1.5 or 1.6 i7 are most likely to see a place in an MBA as they are 17W.
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Apple has gone on record as saying they couldn't fit both a cpu and discrete gpu in the 13" MBP (let alone the MBA) b/c they would have had to have room for a fan as well. Of course the GPU in SB is also still DX10. AMD's Fusion will be utilizing DX11 parts.

What am I missing? The current 13" MacBook Pro and both Air's have a separate CPU and discrete GPU. As far as I'm aware, both have fans as well.
post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

What am I missing? The current 13" MacBook Pro and both Air's have a separate CPU and discrete GPU. As far as I'm aware, both have fans as well.

The GeForce 320M used in the Air as well as the Macbook and 13" Macbook Pro is an integrated GPU that uses shared memory.
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post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

Expecting IGP to compete with a discrete solution is unreasonable. Sandy Bridge's on-die solution is very competitive with other IGP solutions.

This is simply not true, the AMD Fusion APU's run circles around the Sandy Bridge IGP's, and it's also on-die solution. People are too hung up on the 'IGP vs. discrete GPU' nomenclature. There really aren't that many reasons why Intel graphics should be so much slower than AMD or NVidia mobile GPU's. Historically this has always been the case, but on the chip level a GPU is just another IC that could just as well live on-die with the CPU as on a seperate chip. Anyway, as far as end-users are concered it's totally un-interesting how the GPU integrates with the rest of the system, so if a discrete GPU has better performance, a discrete GPU would be a better choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon

I am under the impression that the embedded GPU in the Sandy Bridge chips is much improved. Perhaps x2?

Much improved compared to the Arrandale GPU's, yes, but those were an absolute joke in terms of performance. The Sandy Bridge comes in a few flavors, but the fastest one is still only barely faster than a low-end AMD or Nvidia chip, mostly useless for anything except rendering your desktop and decoding video, and worst: based on an inflexible architecture that doesn't allow general-purpose GPU computing (e.g. using OpenCL). Which is one of the things Apple is trying to push in OS X.
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

Expecting IGP to compete with a discrete solution is unreasonable. Sandy Bridge's on-die solution is very competitive with other IGP solutions.

You've missed the point though. Intel effectively killed nVidia's chipset business by preventing nVidia from making any Core iX chipsets. It doesn't take a genius to realize that this move was a calculated decision to wrest control of integrated graphics solutions out of nVidia's hands.

Ever since the desktop GeForce2 chipset, nVidia had enjoyed king-of-the-hill status in the chipset world. When Apple debuted the current unibody MacBook design, they chose nVidia's single chip solution for chipset AND IGP duty, even though previous generations had employed Intel XMA Graphics as the integrated solution. Why? Because nVidia's chipsets were simply faster for day-to-day tasks, but especially in IGP performance, CUDA/OpenCL support notwithstanding.

But Intel was working on new integrated and discrete graphics (the discrete part was later abandoned by Intel because they clearly sucked at it). If you're intel, and you're seeing nVidia chipping away at your chipset business because they offer a better single-chip solution (chipset+IGP), what do you do? You abuse your position as CPU supplier and force them out. Now Intel is the one and only supplier of chipsets for its Core iX CPUs on both desktop and laptops. Unfortunately, many companies want/need IGP, but Intel's falls way behind nVidia and AMD. So the band-aid solution was to move the IGP onto the CPU die, allowing you to run a piss-poor product at just-barely-acceptable speeds to satisfy the hardware manufacturers.

I guess the reason I'm fed up now is this recall issue. As a computer manufacturer, if you choose to use Intel CPUs, then by extension, you have also chosen to use Intel chipsets. And when every manufacturer of Intel-Inside machines is essentially at the mercy of Intel's engineering team, we end up with situations like this. Global recall, months-long delayed product launches.
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

The GeForce 320M used in the Air as well as the Macbook and 13" Macbook Pro is an integrated GPU that uses shared memory.

Yes that's correct. I'd also like to point out that the GeForce 320M is only used on Core 2 Duo machines, since nVidia was prevented by Intel from making chipsets for the newer Core iX series.

You'll find that the 15" and 17" MBPs that have Core i5/i7 all use Intel chipsets (that also happen to have Intel IGPs) + discrete nVidia GPUs.
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmrtzzz View Post

Don't believe it. My MBA is so incredibly fast, there is no need for an update. And june is not logical. Besides that, Apple will want to maintain a differende between the MBP's and the MBA.

The MBA is incredibly fast for basic computing because so much of what we do is disk bound not CPU bound.

I expect the entire consumer MacBook lineup will be covered by the Air by 2012. There will be 11, 13 and 15 inch models with processors fast enough for YouTube, iPhoto and Keynote and enough storage for people with average needs.

The MacBook Pro will be retained for power users who need or simply want more CPU power, more GPU power, more internal storage and a bigger battery. The 2011 MBP will have the same blade style SSD as the Air for the OS plus a traditional hard drive. I believe the optical drive will disappear from 13 and 15" models this year and finally vanish from the 17" model next year.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmxdmb134 View Post

I keep reading people say, it's too soon for a processor upgrade my "mac" is already fast enough. In the world of technology when is any processor ever "fast enough" every day your processor is one day closer to being antiquated regardless of what you have. Any possible sped improvement they can put into a new model without effecting the price by much if any if always welcome in my book.

I am waiting for a Mac Mini and the current specs on the Mac mini just does not cut it given the technology out there... The MBA is nice as it is, but can always be improved.

Apple's response to this, that I agree with, is that the specs are irrelevant; it is the user experience that counts.

Macs will never appeal to people who care about specs. It took an effort for me to clue myself up on the specs of my newly purchased MacBook Air - why? - because it doesn't matter! A prime example is the MacBook Ari 13" vs MBP 13" - the MBA has beaten the MBP in performance tests but is a lower spec.

In my mind, stop worrying about specs and start caring about the end user experience, because if you don't care about that, the rest is irrelevant.
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post #31 of 75
This is classic apple!!!! Everyone has reviewed the built in graphics to be garbage. I want this system to have its own graphics card. I guess scalpers will be picking the current model and charging more then double on eBay. I was holding out but i guess i will take the plunge. Why does Apple always have to ruin their products with each subsequent model? Taking stuff out is not cutting edge engineering. Basically the next macbook air will be neutered. I bought my wife an 11 incher and i love it beyond words but i wanted sandy bridge before i bought mine (was also hoping for edge to edge glass or a black bezel around the screen as the silver is distracting and would like a backlight for the keyboard). I love the fact that that your getting a full size laptop in such a small and light package, not to mention that i have dreamt of something like this for 20 years. If they use built in graphics they will be ruining this fantastic computer. I'm soooooo upset.
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post

The Sandy Bridge chipset fiasco has really highlighted just how dependent so many HW manufacturers are on Intel now.

Nope not at all, there is a company called AMD that makes perfectly good chips. On one has to do business with Intel.
Quote:
I'm sure Apple hates this the same way they became overly-dependent on IBM/Motorola to crank out new versions of the PPC chips. It's always uncomfortable when a single component supplier can delay/derail your entire product roadmap.

Well I'm sure Apple hates screw ups but they really don't need to be tied to a single supplier.
Quote:
I for one call monopolistic behavior on the part of Intel for muscling nVidia out of the chipset business. Someone please have the balls to file the antitrust lawsuit.

Go for it.
Quote:
Clearly this was a move to protect Intel's future plans for integrated graphics, given that nVidia's chipsets were in many ways superior to Intel's in terms of just speed and power, let alone the graphics portion. Intel still hasn't figured out graphics after all these years, now they're integrating it directly on-die to speed up communications with the GPU in order to mask its ridiculous flaws and shortcomings.

And AMD is going the same route because???

Intel has admittedly crappy GPUs that simply aren't worth Apples or their customers time. That is a well known fact. The advantages of integrated GPUs and closer linking with the GPU are also well known. The fact that AMD is going this route with a far better GPU only highlights the advantages of putting the GPU on die with the CPU. It is rather silky to try to link Intels terrible GPUs with positive design features.
Quote:
How does a company with the engineering resources of Intel still treat graphics as an afterthought? Oh wait... I know, because the likes of Dell and HP, et al. will continue to use Intel graphics for their low-end budget crap, and consumers will continue buying them up in droves because they're cheap, and then buy another one when they can't play back their favorite videos or favorite games.

Hey now a lit of that low end budget crap is AMD based!!!!

As to consummer ignorance you alluded to that is certainly a problem. However the next round, that is the chips that are almost here, provide the framework to build budget machines on. The reality is the new round of chips, both AMD and Intel, provide a platform that really delivers for 90% of the users out there. More importantly they do this at very low power profiles.

In the context of the AIRs power is everything. Here I'm talking watts of energy so all Apple really needs for the AIR is a processor that provides better performance while using less energy. Sandy Bridge might very well do that for many users.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksteady View Post

What benefit will that bring? My 11"MBA is blindingly fast. If I was to think "what could I improve", speed would most definitely NOT be on the list.

To put it simply if you think the AIR is fast then you are in a different class of user than many. The problem is pretty straight forward, the CPU in the AIR runs very slow and does not have any sort of "turbo boost" mechanism. If you are the type of user that needs to work with CPU bound apps the AIR can be frustrating.
Quote:
Plus, you realise this is just a rumour right? And when that comes out, there will be another one coming out 12 months after that? Surprised you cancelled your order based on this information that's all.

Well this I agree with! This update could easily be four or more months out. Plus the Intel SB fiasco could push the hardware out further. This highlights the old adage buy when you need it and don't look back.

Frankly it is hard to have a good opinion about someone that returns things on a whim.
Quote:

The "waiting 'til the next best thing" philosophy is tempting, but with Apple you'll drive yourself mad thinking like that, so I'm a believer in figuring out your requirements, and choosing something that meets them. That way you won't be disappointed when the next best thing appears, as you didn't buy it because it was the newest best thing at the time.

Buying to fit your needs is always important. Getting the best value from Apple usually happens right after a new introduction.

In any event I just wanted to point out that the CPU performance in the current AIRs is an issue. SB may or may not be able to address that. Further the lack of serious OpenCL support is a big negative with the current stepping. I'm not sure we would have an overall win here and still wonder what Apples long term low end goals are.
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I think they did as well (C2D might be old but it is definitely not 'slow'), but I'd imagine that at least for the 13" model Apple should be able to cram both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a capable GPU that can be switched on and off in the MacBook Air. On the other hand, you might be right that this is too soon for a refresh, seeing that Intel is rumored to release a Sandy Bridge update with OpenCL-enabled IGP later in 2011.

It's just too bad Intel sucks so much at graphics, because their CPU's are great.

i don't see why they don't use AMD's APU's at this point, there power consumption is lower and from what would think they should go faster than the the older C2D's.... also the 9/18 watt power consumption and real GPU... (part of the power consumption) but i am not really sure.

SO I CHECKED:
so, the AMD option would be weaker, i was wrong in my assumtion (i assumed that the 2+ years would make it faster, with less cache, and a slightly lower clock rate) i was wrong.

however, i do think that if Apple wants to make a cheaper laptop, it will use the APU's, as they crush Atom and their IGU's

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post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolbolas View Post

i don't see why they don't use AMD's APU's at this point, there power consumption is lower and from what would think they should go faster than the the older C2D's....

That question of performance simply isn't clear yet. The CPU supposedly does better than ATOM but it isn't clear that it comes close enough to core two. Personally I'd like to see if the coming Llano version will be able to go into an AIR.

In any event the performance of the 18 watt Zacate is very interesting. Reports from real users are slowly filtering in. Even so the current hardware maxes out at 1.8 GHz. No matter how you measure it that is a bit slow. A 32nm version might be able get the clock rate up there for better CPU performance.
Quote:
also the 9/18 watt power consumption and real GPU... (part of the power consumption) but i am not really sure.

I believe that is for the entire chip which is very good thermals. It will be interesting to see if the chip can be overclocked. I'm certain AMD is being extremely conservative in shipping hardware at clock rates they know the can manufacture no problem. Of course that does nothing for Apple but might indicate a potential to a bump beyound AIRs current clock.

As side note it has been said that the CPU core in Zacate reachs to 80% of a desktop processor. That is probably an AMD processor so you might need a clock boost above the setting currently used by the AIR just to maintain parity. With the advent of real production hardware we should have a better idea as to what the real performance numbers are. Probably by the end of March.

Even then I'd still would like to see Apple use this chip in shipping hardware. It might make an excellent MacBook chip if that platform was repositioned as an extreme low end platform.
Quote:
SO I CHECKED:
so, the AMD option would be weaker, i was wrong in my assumtion (i assumed that the 2+ years would make it faster, with less cache, and a slightly lower clock rate) i was wrong.

Well maybe your comparison was off. AMD is really targetting ATOM with these chips. They perform much better than ATOM so it isn't unreasonable to put them up against Core 2 even though that is what Llano is for.
Quote:
however, i do think that if Apple wants to make a cheaper laptop, it will use the APU's, as they crush Atom and their IGU's

Yep, Zacate could very well provide for that sub $500 Mac Book that doesn't suck. Well for Apple it might be a $600 notebook with a better than average screen. They might be even better in an extreme low end Mini with the idea of servicing the HTPC market and server market. It is not the chip for a modern desktop experience but there are plenty of uses where the low power usage would be preferred.
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Not buying it. It’s too soon to consider a MBA refresh and if they wanted to scrape OpenCL and a decent IGP for a better processor they would have done it with the refresh. They made the right choice.

That's a good point although the last IGP wasn't good enough as it didn't match the 9400M, it was about half the speed. The current Intel IGP almost matches the 320M besides the lack of OpenCL support and it will support GLSL for the majority of graphics applications.

What I would say is that if they planned to go Intel + dedicated then they likely would have done it with the last generation, which suggests they won't do it now either but it depends on the redesign. NVidia have stated that Apple will continue with the 320M and C2D for while yet.

The Sandy Bridge successor (Ivy Bridge) will bring enough improvements to make for a painless switch but probably won't arrive until next year. The performance jump noted now is also disappointing:

http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-brid...dge/11061.html

I don't know if they mean 20% improvement per clock speed or overall with the CPU, I was expecting 50%. The idea with Ivy Bridge is that with the die-shrink, they can put in more cores. The GPU is noted as a 25-30% improvement and this site suggests they will jump from 12 to 16 EUs, not to 24:

http://www.fudzilla.com/graphics/ite...-in-ivy-bridge

I expect the more cores, they will possibly lower the clock a bit. There is a rumour they may show them at Computex in June:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Sandy-...ews-34950.html

It's doubtful the Macbook Air could get them so early but Intel's done that to a lesser extent for Apple before.

These developments come with OpenCL 1.1 support on the GPU as well as DX11 and USB 3 support.

What I'd like to see is the 11" Air wait until Ivy Bridge. If that happens in June, so be it but doubtful.
I think they have to pick between the 13" Air or the 13" MBP, not both. They will inevitably redesign the Pro laptops like the Air so the 13" MBP is going to have SSD and a thin design with no optical drive and be $100 cheaper than the Air but with a faster CPU and the weight difference not much, especially if they have new metal to use.

I think the best option for them would be the following:

11" Air, stays as is but gets a bump in the minimum SSD size and possibly clock speed to either 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz in the entry model but mainly waits until Ivy Bridge.
13" Macbook Air discontinued.
13" MBP has optical removed, i5 CPU + 512MB Radeon 6530 GPU, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD upgradable to 512GB RAID-0 as it has two blade slots.
15" MBP also has optical removed, i5/i7 CPU options + 1GB Radeon 6570M, same SSD situation as 13".
17" same options as the 15" model.

Resolution bumps all round, although I'd prefer better quality screens. Hopefully this was what the $3b deal was for. Hardly anyone will have 1TB in their laptops as it requires 12.5mm drives so 512GB is enough for now.
post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

I did a bit of research just based on TDP for the processors to see what Apple might try and slip in current form factors w/Sandy Bridge updates. Here is what I found:

Top end iMac uses a 95W desktop processor, while the low end uses a 73W. This means the i7 2600 (and anything lower) could be viable for the 27" and 2.5-3.3 i3, 2.3-2.7 i5 and 2.8 i7 could be viable for the 21.5".

Mac Mini and Macbook use a 25W laptop processor. This means the 1.4 i5 and 1.5-2.3 i7 dual cores could be viable.

The MBP use 25W c2d, 35W i5, and 35W i7 currently. All i3, i5 and i7 dual cores are 35W or lower. The lowest current i7 Sandy Bridge quad core chip is 45W, so it remains to be seen if they will fit in w/Apple's initial offerings.

The MBA uses 10 and 17W c2d processors currently. The 1.4 i5 and 1.5 or 1.6 i7 are most likely to see a place in an MBA as they are 17W.

Your research is partly flawed because you didn't take into account the TDP of the 320M chipset, anywhere from 10W (rumored) to 20W (wikipedia). Intel's SB mobile chipset is a 3-4W part. I don't think Apple will ever use mobile Core i3 cpu, since those are missing some important features.

Now, from a power requirements perspective only:

- The Mac mini uses a 25W cpu + 10/20W chipset, it could use a 35W SB cpu + 3.9W Intel HM65/67 chipset:
Core i5-2410M\t2C/4T\t2.3 GHz\t3/6\t3 MB\tIGP 3000\t6501200 MHz\t35 W\t$xxx
Core i5-2520M\t2C/4T\t2.5 GHz\t5/7\t3 MB\tIGP 3000\t6501300 MHz\t35 W\t$225
Core i5-2540M\t2C/4T\t2.6 GHz\t5/7\t3 MB\tIGP 3000\t6501300 MHz\t35 W\t$266
Core i7-2620M\t2C/4T\t2.7 GHz\t5/7\t4 MB\tIGP 3000\t6501300 MHz\t35 W\t$346
- The MacBook, and MBPs could use any of those (with or without dedicated gpus, depending on the models).

- The MBAs use a 10/17W cpu + 10/20W chipset, they could use a 17/25W SB cpu + 3.4W Intel QS67 chipset:
Core i5-2537M\t2C/4T\t1.4 GHz\t6/9\t3 MB\tIGP 3000\t350900 MHz\t17 W\t$250
Core i7-2617M\t2C/4T\t1.5 GHz\t8/11\t4 MB\tIGP 3000\t350950 MHz\t17 W\t$289
Core i7-2657M\t2C/4T\t1.6 GHz\t8/11\t4 MB\tIGP 3000\t3501000 MHz\t17 W\t$317
Core i7-2629M\t2C/4T\t2.1 GHz\t6/9\t4 MB\tIGP 3000\t5001100 MHz\t25 W\t$317
Core i7-2649M\t2C/4T\t2.3 GHz\t6/9\t4 MB\tIGP 3000\t5001100 MHz\t25 W\t$346

Except for the MM server that could use a:
Core i5-2515E\t2C/4T\t2.5 GHz\t3/6\t3 MB\tIGP 3000\t6501100 MHz\t35 W\tOEM
that has ECC RAM support, I don't see Apple chosing SB (with Intel's igp) cpus over C2D+320M yet. But they will probably make the move next year with Ivy Bridge, depending on AMD's LLano offerings later next summer.
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLad View Post

This is classic apple!!!! Everyone has reviewed the built in graphics to be garbage. I want this system to have its own graphics card. I guess scalpers will be picking the current model and charging more then double on eBay. I was holding out but i guess i will take the plunge. Why does Apple always have to ruin their products with each subsequent model? Taking stuff out is not cutting edge engineering. Basically the next macbook air will be neutered. I bought my wife an 11 incher and i love it beyond words but i wanted sandy bridge before i bought mine (was also hoping for edge to edge glass or a black bezel around the screen as the silver is distracting and would like a backlight for the keyboard). I love the fact that that your getting a full size laptop in such a small and light package, not to mention that i have dreamt of something like this for 20 years. If they use built in graphics they will be ruining this fantastic computer. I'm soooooo upset.


Hey Chicken Little, how's that sky? The Sandy Bridge GPU is beating the 320M in benchmarks. Oh noes! A better processor! http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/i...le-landscape/5

Pounds the living shit out of it on battery life too.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/i...le-landscape/9

So, you were saying?
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There is a rumour they may show them at Computex in June...

What I'd like to see is the 11" Air wait until Ivy Bridge. If that happens in June, so be it but doubtful.
I think they have to pick between the 13" Air or the 13" MBP, not both. They will inevitably redesign the Pro laptops like the Air so the 13" MBP is going to have SSD and a thin design with no optical drive and be $100 cheaper than the Air but with a faster CPU and the weight difference not much, especially if they have new metal to use.

I think the best option for them would be the following:

11" Air, stays as is but gets a bump in the minimum SSD size and possibly clock speed to either 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz in the entry model but mainly waits until Ivy Bridge.
13" Macbook Air discontinued.
13" MBP has optical removed, i5 CPU + 512MB Radeon 6530 GPU, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD upgradable to 512GB RAID-0 as it has two blade slots.
15" MBP also has optical removed, i5/i7 CPU options + 1GB Radeon 6570M, same SSD situation as 13".
17" same options as the 15" model.

Resolution bumps all round, although I'd prefer better quality screens. Hopefully this was what the $3b deal was for. Hardly anyone will have 1TB in their laptops as it requires 12.5mm drives so 512GB is enough for now.

Ivy Bridge at Computex in June is a demonstration, not the launch of the cpus. Ivy Bridge will start being available in Q1 2012.

Well, it looks like you're killing both the 13" MBA and the 13" MB, and the integrated ODD in all Apple notebooks... I don't think that will happen in 2011, despite hoping it happens for the 13" MBP in order to get Core ix + a dedicated gpu on this particular model.

If the 11" MBA gets a C2D speedbump this year, it will be to 1.60GHz, there is no 1.86GHz 10W C2Ds.

I don't think 256GB SSD will come standard any time soon, but 128GB in both the 11" MBA and 13" MBP (if that happens) would be nice...

FWIW, later in 2011, my guess would be:
$999 11" MBA C2D 1.40GHz 2GB RAM 320M 128GB SSD (the current $1199 model)
$1199 11" MBA C2D 1.60GHz 4GB RAM 320M 128GB SSD
$1299 13" MBA C2D 2.13GHz 4GB RAM 320M 128GB SSD
$1599 13" MBA C2D 2.13GHz 4GB RAM 320M 256GB SSD
It would be like a $200 price cut or $200 worth of options for the same price. Less parts in inventory too. But a thin 512GB SSD blade option may also be available by then.

AMD's 6530M/6570M gpus seem to be slightly too hot (26/30W) for the MBPs (currently with a 23W gpu). The 6630M/6650M should be slightly more efficient, but they have also just been released, so maybe it's too late. In any case, the "old" Mobility Radeon HD 5650 (15-19W) offers twice the power of the GT 330M at a lower TDP, which is probably a good thing for a 13" model.

While I wouldn't mind if the ODD was removed from some notebook models, I don't think that people are ready yet, I would still offer some "classic" models in 2011/2012:
- MacBook "classic":
$999 13" 1280*800 2.xxGHz C2D 320M HDD+ODD (current $1199 13" MBP model, or so)
$1199 13" 1280*800 2.66GHz C2D 320M HDD+ODD (current $1499 13" MBP model, or so)
$1799 15" 1440*900 2.50GHz Core i5 dedicated gpu HDD+ODD (current pro model, speedbumped)
$2199 17" 1920*1200 2.50GHz Core i5 dedicated gpu HDD+ODD (current pro model, speedbumped)
- New MacBook Pro (new enclosure, big battery to still get 8-10 hours):
$1499 13" 1440*900 2.50GHz Core i5 dedicated gpu 128GB SSD no ODD, lightpeak (when ready)
$1999 15" 1680*1050 2.50GHz Core i5 dedicated gpu 128GB SSD no ODD, lightpeak (when ready)
BTO options: 2.60Ghz Core i5, 2.70GHz Core i7; 8GB RAM; 256GB, 512GB SSD; 2x128GB, 2x256GB, 2x512GB SSD
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Hey Chicken Little, how's that sky? The Sandy Bridge GPU is beating the 320M in benchmarks. Oh noes! A better processor! http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/i...le-landscape/5

I put little faith in those tests. We need Apple hardware and drivers before getting to convinced of anything.
Quote:

Pounds the living shit out of it on battery life too.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/i...le-landscape/9

So, you were saying?

Battery life should be very good, there is little doubt there.

Intels integrated graphics might be good enough to replace current integrated hardware. We should find out real soon what Apple thinks. If they do go Intel SB only the new machine should provide for amazing performance combined with excellent battery time. These are ideal for Mac Books and maybe even a 13" MBP.
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