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Intel launches new low-voltage Ivy Bridge CPUs suited for MacBook Air

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Intel on Thursday announced 14 new Ivy Bridge processors, four of which are ultra-low voltage chips that could find their way into Apple's updated MacBook Air lineup.

All of the ultra-low voltage lineup has two cores and four threads running at 17 watts thermal power design, along with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Leading off the new batch of Intel's third-generation processors is the i7-3667U, with a CPU base frequency of 2 gigahertz running as fast as 3.2 gigahertz with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 Max Frequency, and 4 megabytes of L3 cache. Next down the lists the i7-3517U, which has a base speed of 1.9 gigahertz that ramps up to 3 gigahertz, along with 4 megabytes of L3 cache.

The lower-end Core i5 ultra-low voltage Ivy Bridge CPUs are led by the i5-3427U, which has a base frequency of 1.8 gigahertz that runs as fast as 2.8 gigahertz with Intel Turbo Boost, with 3 megabytes of L3 cache. And the lowest ultra-low voltage CPU announced Thursday is the i5-3317U, with a base frequency of 1.7 gigahertz, max frequency of 2.6 gigahertz, and 3 megabytes of L3 cache.

All of Intel's Ivy Bridge "Ultra Processors" have support for PCIe Generation 3, as well as Intel's Secure Key, OS Guard, AES/TXT/vPro and Virtualization technology.

Ivy Bridge 1


The MacBook Air lineup was last updated nearly a year ago, in July of 2011. The notebooks were equipped with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, and gained backlit keyboards and Thunderbolt ports.

Also announced by Intel on Thursday were a handful of dual-core traditional mobile chips that could find their way into other products in Apple's Mac lineup, specifically the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the Mac mini. The Core i5 and Core i7 mobile processors run at 35W TDP, feature four threads, include Intel HD Graphics 4000, and range in speed from 3.1 gigahertz to 3.6 gigahertz with Intel Turbo Boost.

Ivy Bridge 2


Intel launched its first batch of Ivy Bridge processors in late April, declaring them the "world's first 22-nanometer product." A total of 13 high-end quad-core chips were released in the first round, and it's believed some of them could make their way into Apple's updated MacBook Pro lineup.

Rumors have suggested that Apple plans to launch new Macs at its forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, which will kick off on June 11. Some reports have indicated that Apple will unveil new MacBook Pros and iMacs at the event, but little has been said of an impending MacBook Air refresh.
post #2 of 32

Good enough for me. Silent MacBook family refresh at WWDC, Air and Pro renamed "MacBook", anyone?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #3 of 32

Are these the same processors that Intel is talking about for the Ultrabooks from Dell, HP, etc.?  

post #4 of 32

Thunderbolt's already been out a year, but there still seems to be barely anything for it out there. On the Future Shop website, there are a bunch of cables and 4 hard drives, starting at $450 for 120GB of solid state space. I wonder if Apple will push it harder through one of the hardware updates a lot of us hope will come around WWDC. Maybe using it for the iOS devices? But that didn't work out well for Firewire, did it?

 

On a side note, is Firewire still being developed? I'd heard there were speeds beyond 800, but I didn't know if it was just theoretical. How would the fastest Firewire stack up against USB 3 or Thunderbolt?

post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good enough for me. Silent MacBook family refresh at WWDC, Air and Pro renamed "MacBook", anyone?

 

Possible but my money is on separate Air and MacBook Pro lines.

 

The Air won't change a heck of a lot, but the Pros will loose their optical drive, will come standard with an mechanical HD with an option to add an SSD (or vice versa). Optical drive is history. Outside chance that Apple would adopt a SSD caching scheme so if you get the SSD and mechanical HD it would appear as a single volume.

 

It is my belief that too many people use the MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement so having more storage than a SSD only can economically provide is a necessity. I do believe it will get a new design, coming closer to the Air in looks and loosing a little weight.

 

Of course, I could/probably am wrong. lol.gif  Dare to dream!

 

-kpluck

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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Thunderbolt's already been out a year, but there still seems to be barely anything for it out there....

 

It is my understanding that at this year's NAB show there was a fare number of Thunderbolt products being shown.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/thunderbolt-momentum-at-nab-2012/1664

 

-kpluck

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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good enough for me. Silent MacBook family refresh at WWDC, Air and Pro renamed "MacBook", anyone?

It makes perfect logical sense but I suspect the marketing team will have a thing or two to say about it. Pro's use Airs as Non-pro's use Pros - one doesn't define the other, but 'Air' is a catchy name for a light and sleek machine. It's the original of its kind and the fact that everyone is trying to copy it means hanging on to the name makes sense (its also one of the most Mac like names in the mac line imo). The Pro moniker for a more powerful machine is a great aspirational marketing name, if a little tired by now. My money says the names will stick around.

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post
I wonder if Apple will push it harder through one of the hardware updates… But that didn't work out well for Firewire, did it?

 

First, how would any further hardware updates from Apple push Thunderbolt? The only thing that still needs it is the Mac Pro.

 

Second, it didn't work for FireWire because Intel didn't add it to their boards. FireWire was an Apple venture exclusively.

 

Intel is putting Thunderbolt on (I think) all of their PC boards. 

 

The last time Intel and Apple got together behind a port, USB happened. Thunderbolt is going to explode. Remember USB adoption was pathetic from 1997-1999, too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post
Possible but my money is on separate Air and MacBook Pro lines.

 

The Air won't change a heck of a lot, but the Pros will loose their optical drive… 

 

Which is why I personally don't see the point. The MacBook Pro will look like a larger-screened Air. What's the point in keeping the 13" Pro around, since it will be identical to the MacBook Air's 13" model? And when you drop the 13" Pro, the lineup falls together nicely.

 

Drop the entry price of the 13" Air (now just 13" MacBook), and you have some nice steps all the way up the four sizes.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Which is why I personally don't see the point. The MacBook Pro will look like a larger-screened Air. What's the point in keeping the 13" Pro around, since it will be identical to the MacBook Air's 13" model? And when you drop the 13" Pro, the lineup falls together nicely.

 

There's some incongruity in the current lineup: the 13" Macbook Air has a higher resolution screen than the faster 13" Macbook Pro.

 

Even if Apple were to omit the Optical Disk drive from the next 13" Macbook Pro, the Firewire 800, faster processor, ability to upgrade RAM and to take 2.5" hard disks should distinguish it from the Macbook Air.  Maybe Apple can use the refresh to upgrade the 13" Macbook Pro to the same or better screen resolution as the 13" Air.

post #10 of 32
Where are the ULV quad-core? Intel should move to 4 nm and even nanotechnology now and wipe away ARM. The key point it TDP.
post #11 of 32

Thunderbolt will not be built into the chipset until Haswell according to everything I have seen.  I assume that means we will have the current add on TB port that is being utilized by anyone who is using TB at the moment.  Haswell will be where TB goes truly universal.

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post
There's some incongruity in the current lineup: the 13" Macbook Air has a higher resolution screen than the faster 13" Macbook Pro.

 

Yet another reason to drop the 13" Pro.

 

Quote:

…the Firewire 800, faster processor, ability to upgrade RAM and to take 2.5" hard disks should distinguish it from the Macbook Air.

 

Let's talk seriously now. Do you expect Apple to keep FireWire 800 on the next MacBook Pro line? 

 

I dunno, maybe they could go the other way. Discontinue the 13" Air instead of the Pro and have a thinner, smaller, upgradable machine… 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Yet another reason to drop the 13" Pro.

 

 

Let's talk seriously now. Do you expect Apple to keep FireWire 800 on the next MacBook Pro line? 

 

I dunno, maybe they could go the other way. Discontinue the 13" Air instead of the Pro and have a thinner, smaller, upgradable machine… 

 

If the Pro line has HiDPI screens and the Air does not, you have plenty of reason to have 13" devices in both lineups.  I'm not positive if FW will live one more round or not.  I could see it going either way.

post #14 of 32

drop FW800?? i doubt that. FW800 is still a very powerful interface for external storage systems.

post #15 of 32

FW was (past tense) good for fast external storage. 

 

USB 3 will be take over for fast, cheap external storage. TB will have a niche for ultimate fast but expensive external storage, as well as other uses..

 

I don't see much of a future for FW.

 

Edited for clarity


Edited by backtomac - 5/31/12 at 3:18pm
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Thunderbolt's already been out a year, but there still seems to be barely anything for it out there. On the Future Shop website, there are a bunch of cables and 4 hard drives, starting at $450 for 120GB of solid state space. I wonder if Apple will push it harder through one of the hardware updates a lot of us hope will come around WWDC. Maybe using it for the iOS devices? But that didn't work out well for Firewire, did it?

1) I'm not sure why people are expecting Thunderbolt to be adopted faster than it already has. Remember that we knew NOTHING about its existence before it was RELEASED in an Apple product. Oh, we heard about LightPeak for years and later heard rumours that Intel might develop a copper version that could support power but Thunderbolt was announced the same day as the shipping Macs that had them. That was a year ago, and Apple had an exclusivity. Since then we've seen a major interest from many vendors, including PC vendors and we've seen plenty of upcoming products at CES despite it still be Apple exclusive for their PCs and not even having been unleashed on the world for a year. How many products have been adopted faster for such high-end capabilities?

2) This comparison to FireWire has got to stop! FireWire was an Apple product while Thunderbolt is an Intel product. Intel never added FireWire to their chipsets. The last time Intel created a port interface standard and added it to their chipsets was with USB. I think that caught on fairly well¡

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post #17 of 32

It would be shame to see firewire dropped since there are many tens of thousands of drives out there still in use every day.  USB 3 is pretty good and is definitely an improvement over FW800, but I guess there just isn't room for TB, FW and USB3 on one laptop.  I would agree that it could go either way - to drop FW or not.

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post
USB 3 is pretty good and is definitely an improvement over FW800… 

 

FireWire 800 is still faster than USB 3 in real-world cases.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

FireWire 800 is still faster than USB 3 in real-world cases.

Not quite. There are a few types of reading and writing that FW800 has been better at but that's not unlike how HDDs have some reading and writing advantages over SSDs. it's such a small advantage and such an insignificant use case for each that USB 3.0 and SSDs are the clear winners from every test I've seen.

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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Thunderbolt's already been out a year, but there still seems to be barely anything for it out there. On the Future Shop website, there are a bunch of cables and 4 hard drives, starting at $450 for 120GB of solid state space. I wonder if Apple will push it harder through one of the hardware updates a lot of us hope will come around WWDC. Maybe using it for the iOS devices? But that didn't work out well for Firewire, did it?

 

On a side note, is Firewire still being developed? I'd heard there were speeds beyond 800, but I didn't know if it was just theoretical. How would the fastest Firewire stack up against USB 3 or Thunderbolt?

The # of macs with thunderbolt wasn't enough to justify a lot of companies to invest in it. MSI and ASUS just launched motherboards with thunderbolt but they are not cheap either. Computex is next week so its possible to see more products with thunderbolt. But I suspect might be 6 months to a year before there are more accessories on par with say USB3 products since at least with USB3 they(makers) know it can still be used by those with older system that only have USB2 which is huge.

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Good enough for me. Silent MacBook family refresh at WWDC, Air and Pro renamed "MacBook", anyone?

Not a chance. Apple will continue to have two lines of laptop computers well into the future. There is simply no way to put the power that Pros need into a AIR type chassis. Besides one of Apples best selling laptops is the 13" MBP.

If anything the Pros will all end up quad core & descrete GPUs with the AIRs stuck with dual cores and intel graphics.

As to WWDC, I'm thinking some hardware might get revved next Tuesday. Maybe the AIRs and Mini. The big update and keynote surprise will come to the MBPs at WWDC.

I still believe that HiDPI screens will come to the MBPs first as they will be better able to handle the screens. Thus the AIRs will basically be a processor bump.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

First, how would any further hardware updates from Apple push Thunderbolt? The only thing that still needs it is the Mac Pro.

Second, it didn't work for FireWire because Intel didn't add it to their boards. FireWire was an Apple venture exclusively.

Intel is putting Thunderbolt on (I think) all of their PC boards. 

The last time Intel and Apple got together behind a port, USB happened. Thunderbolt is going to explode. Remember USB adoption was pathetic from 1997-1999, too.
The above I can support.
Quote:

Which is why I personally don't see the point. The MacBook Pro will look like a larger-screened Air. What's the point in keeping the 13" Pro around, since it will be identical to the MacBook Air's 13" model? And when you drop the 13" Pro, the lineup falls together nicely.

Drop the entry price of the 13" Air (now just 13" MacBook), and you have some nice steps all the way up the four sizes.

This however is still non sense in my mind. It repeats the fallacy that the 13" AIR and the 13" MBP are the same class of machine. They aren't and frankly never have been. The 13"MBP can support a far more powerful processor and even a GPU if Apple wants too. Given that sales of the 13" machine are real strong Apple is about to abandon ship here.

Beyond that there was a reference to Steve once drawing a square decided into quarters with consummer hardware in one column and Pro the other. I don't see Apple getting away from this formula.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufwa View Post

The # of macs with thunderbolt wasn't enough to justify a lot of companies to invest in it.
That really has nothing to do with it. Perception is the problem here, people see TB as a USB replacement but it isn't and never was intended to be a replacement.
Quote:
MSI and ASUS just launched motherboards with thunderbolt but they are not cheap either. Computex is next week so its possible to see more products with thunderbolt. But I suspect might be 6 months to a year before there are more accessories on par with say USB3
I don't see TB ever being on a par with USB. They are two different interfaces with different intentions.
Quote:
products since at least with USB3 they(makers) know it can still be used by those with older system that only have USB2 which is huge.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
There is simply no way to put the power that Pros need into a AIR type chassis. Besides one of Apples best selling laptops is the 13" MBP.

 

And you know this how? Their best-selling iPod was the mini… until they discontinued it.

 

Quote:
If anything the Pros will all end up quad core & descrete GPUs with the AIRs stuck with dual cores and intel graphics.

 

Every rumor we have seen says the opposite.

 

Quote:
I still believe that HiDPI screens will come to the MBPs first as they will be better able to handle the screens. Thus the AIRs will basically be a processor bump.

 

The Intel 4000 can handle them. The real question then becomes why you think such displays are actually ready/in existence.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And you know this how?

There has been data for awhile about the average selling price of Apple laptops.  It floats around the $1300 mark, which would mean there is a healthy chunk of 13" MBP and low end 13" MBA to balance out the lower end MBA and higher end MBP.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

There has been data for awhile about the average selling price of Apple laptops.  It floats around the $1300 mark, which would mean there is a healthy chunk of 13" MBP and low end 13" MBA to balance out the lower end MBA and higher end MBP.

Sorry, but your logic fails.

Let's say they sell 1,000,000 laptops at an average price of $1,300.

That could be 1,000,000 laptops at $1,300.
Or 500,000 laptops at $1,000 and 500,000 at $1,600.
Or 800,000 laptops at $1,000 and 200,000 at $2,500

There's no way to infer the distribution when all you know is the average selling price.
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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post
There has been data for awhile about the average selling price of Apple laptops.  It floats around the $1300 mark, which would mean there is a healthy chunk of 13" MBP and low end 13" MBA to balance out the lower end MBA and higher end MBP.

 

No, sorry, I mean not being able to put power needed inside a smaller case. I knew I should have split those two sentences up.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Are these the same processors that Intel is talking about for the Ultrabooks from Dell, HP, etc.?  

 

Yes. 

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, sorry, I mean not being able to put power needed inside a smaller case. I knew I should have split those two sentences up.

Unless you of are the mind that computers are as fast as they need to be, it is easy to configure an 13" MBP that significantly out performs the AIR. It is simply a matter of implementing a higher wattage processor, providing room for more RAM and a GPU. Even today the two machines are dramatically different computers performance and capability wise.

So yes Ivy Bridge means that AIRs with it will be more powerful. Frankly I see them as being one hell of an update! However the same technology now means that the 13" MBP can get an even more impressive update as the machine has additional cooling and battery capacity.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

 

There's some incongruity in the current lineup: the 13" Macbook Air has a higher resolution screen than the faster 13" Macbook Pro.

 

Even if Apple were to omit the Optical Disk drive from the next 13" Macbook Pro, the Firewire 800, faster processor, ability to upgrade RAM and to take 2.5" hard disks should distinguish it from the Macbook Air.  Maybe Apple can use the refresh to upgrade the 13" Macbook Pro to the same or better screen resolution as the 13" Air.

That is assuming Apple does not do the same thing to the Pro's that they did to the Air, make the the ram soldered on to the board and the hard drive a weird blade SSD and as such not something you can upgrade easily.

 

Not something i am hoping for (who wants to pay Apple 600$ for 16GB's of ram really?) but something i unfortunately expect, if not for the HD at least for the ram.

post #31 of 32

Why on earth would you expect that for the Pro systems?  If there is any SSD style RAM soldered to the board, it will be a 16 or 32GB amount where the OS installs, then you will have regular SSD and/or HDD drives for apps and storage.  That would be good.  Make OS X smart enough to install all apps to the SSD drive and store all other files on the HDD.  As you run out of space on the SSD, it would intelligently shift your least used apps to the HDD. 

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounou View Post

That is assuming Apple does not do the same thing to the Pro's that they did to the Air, make the the ram soldered on to the board and the hard drive a weird blade SSD and as such not something you can upgrade easily.

 

Not something i am hoping for (who wants to pay Apple 600$ for 16GB's of ram really?) but something i unfortunately expect, if not for the HD at least for the ram.

This is another silly assumption. There's a fairly good chance that this wouldn't even benefit Apple. You can say that they could potentially charge more for upgrades. It will dissuade a portion of users, so it matters how many they can sell on this. I don't see them doing many variations on boards with soldered ram unless they can move them in very large numbers. The low end 11" might be an exception here as it's basically reverse engineered to that price point.

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