or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Will Sandy Bridge update make MacBook Air viable as primary computer?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Will Sandy Bridge update make MacBook Air viable as primary computer?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've been impressed by Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor family. it really ramps up the available power in the MacBook Pro. When comparing my mid-2009 13" MacBook Pro (with an Intel 2.53 Ghz C2D chip) to the latest i7 SB in the same enclosure, the step-up in performance is amazing.

I travel a lot for business and I find that the 13" MBP is quite heavy, so I've been considering getting an 13" Air instead. Up until now, the Air had two big issues: memory size and processor performance. When the next refresh occurs, it looks like Sandy Bridge chips will banish any doubts about inadequate performance. The most logical processors for the next 13" Air seem to be the low power SB mobile processors, i7-2629M and i7-2649M, at 2.1 and 2.3GHz each with 2C/4T and TDP of 25W, 4W less than currently required.

Will these processors make the Air sufficient for most people, most of the time. I primarily use my MBP for Office, iPhoto, Mail, and watching movies. Only very occasionally do I edit video or play Call of Duty. So could I use the 13" as my primary machine?

One caveat is that the Air's current 256 Gb SSD is not big enough. I need 500 Gb or 1 TB. Is it likely that Apple will offer a 500 Gb drive in the Air in time for the June refresh?

All comments gratefully received.
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I've been impressed by Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor family. it really ramps up the available power in the MacBook Pro. When comparing my mid-2009 13" MacBook Pro (with an Intel 2.53 Ghz C2D chip) to the latest i7 SB in the same enclosure, the step-up in performance is amazing.

Yes very nice indeed. I have to work hard to resist.
Quote:
I travel a lot for business and I find that the 13" MBP is quite heavy, so I've been considering getting an 13" Air instead.

Maybe a trip to the gym is in order? Seriously the 13"MBP isn't that heavy ad you could always pull the optical drive out to run lighter.
Quote:
Up until now, the Air had two big issues: memory size and processor performance. When the next refresh occurs, it looks like Sandy Bridge chips will banish any doubts about inadequate performance. The most logical processors for the next 13" Air seem to be the low power SB mobile processors, i7-2629M and i7-2649M, at 2.1 and 2.3GHz each with 2C/4T and TDP of 25W, 4W less than currently required.

You have to be careful with power measurements. The problem is that 25 watts is a point load, that is the power is concentrated into a small area. On an ultra thin device removing that heat is an issue.
Quote:
Will these processors make the Air sufficient for most people, most of the time. I primarily use my MBP for Office, iPhoto, Mail, and watching movies. Only very occasionally do I edit video or play Call of Duty. So could I use the 13" as my primary machine?

I'd say no. The problem is internal storage. Once you start talking games, video and other demanding uses of storage the AIR becomes a non starter.
Quote:
One caveat is that the Air's current 256 Gb SSD is not big enough. I need 500 Gb or 1 TB. Is it likely that Apple will offer a 500 Gb drive in the Air in time for the June refresh?

Exactly, 256GB these days is nothing. As to the likely hood of a 500GB model I'd have to say the question is still up in the air. We really don't know how fast the supply lines will mend.
Quote:
All comments gratefully received.

I think you have already answered you question, the current AIR isn't the machine for you. The question is what about the next rev. Here there is great potential but I'm not going to say any one feature will be in the machine.
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Will these processors make the Air sufficient for most people, most of the time...?

I think they're already sufficient for MOST people, MOST of the time.

There's nothing on the web or in email that the C2D can't handle... MOST people don't render video projects and will never utilize it's max potential anyway.
I would dare to say that even the 256 GB drive is adequate for MOST folks.

The problem is, that for the same $1600, you get so much MORE computer with a MBP. Simple economics causes people to forego the Air in favor of the Pro unless they REALLY NEED the ultra portability of the Air.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Will Sandy Bridge update make MacBook Air viable as primary computer?