Questionable screenshots claim to show updated 13" MacBook Air with 1.6GHz Intel Broadwell CPU

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
Screenshots that surfaced Wednesday on a Chinese web forum purport to show details of a forthcoming MacBook Air refresh that would bring Intel's latest Broadwell chips to Apple's ultraportable, though there is some question as to the shots' validity.




The screenshots, posted on Feng.com, depict the "About this Mac" and "System Report" dialogs from a 13.3-inch MacBook Air. That device is given the model identifier MacBookAir7,2 and shown with a 1.6-gigahertz Intel Core i5, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and Intel's HD Graphics 6000.

The 14C2043 build of OS X Yosemite shown would be a new variant not yet released to the public, and the serial number in the screenshots does not seem to be legitimate, though as MacRumors notes that could be down to its appearance on an unreleased product.

The alleged machine maintains the traditional 1440-pixel-by-900-pixel resolution of its 13.3-inch display. If true, it could mean either that Apple intends to keep the 13.3-inch model alive alongside the new 12-inch Retina variant -- which is thought to be targeted for release in the first half of 2015 -- or that the new Retina model is delayed.




There is at least one issue with the screenshots that suggests that they may have been doctored before posting. The "About this Mac" display does not show a corresponding model year string following the MacBook Air moniker -- the current generation, for example, is identified as "MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)."

If a refresh is imminent, Apple could unveil it at next week's "Spring Forward" event in San Francisco. AppleInsider will be on hand at that event and will bring you live coverage as it unfolds.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,293member
    Release dates will be the last string added.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member

    Looks like BS. I would assume these would launch with 10.10.3. 

  • Reply 3 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    If true, it could mean either that Apple intends to keep the 13.3-inch model alive alongside the new 12-inch Retina variant -- which is thought to be targeted for release in the first half of 2015 -- or that the new Retina model is delayed.

    I think it's more likely that a Retina model would wait for Skylake, which doesn't come out until August. That's only 5 months away so they could wait but this would be a minor update. The CPU looks like it would be this one:

    http://ark.intel.com/products/84984/Intel-Core-i5-5250U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz

    Small CPU performance improvement (~5%):

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1989890
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1832021

    Graphics look like they might have gone up 50% but there's not many tests to compare yet:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-5000.91978.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-6000.125588.0.html

    No DDR4. The Air is their most popular Mac so it makes sense to update it. Everything else can go straight on to Skylake in August.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    If this is real...than the fact that they're still shipping 4GB of RAM in these irritates me. OS X is a memory pig, it needs 8GB minimum even for Mom and Pop.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    jetlawjetlaw Posts: 156member
    "...that could be down to its appearance on an unlreased product."

    Is anyone proof reading these articles anymore?
  • Reply 6 of 22
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member

    Prepare to see a demo of the Apple Watch used to authenticate with OS X and to alert Phil Shiller that his MBA has been stolen.

  • Reply 7 of 22
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    If this is real...than the fact that they're still shipping 4GB of RAM in these irritates me. OS X is a memory pig, it needs 8GB minimum even for Mom and Pop.



    Intel dual-core mobile processors can support up to 16 GB, but not without using slower chips. Sadly Apple seems likely to continue spurning this as an option, keeping 8 GB of the faster memory as the max.

  • Reply 8 of 22
    The H in processor line is too wide.

    BS
  • Reply 9 of 22
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    If this is real...than the fact that they're still shipping 4GB of RAM in these irritates me. OS X is a memory pig, it needs 8GB minimum even for Mom and Pop.

     

    Yet somehow, I get by running my entire business using my 4GB Macbook Air, which depends on having multiple files open Photoshop, Illustrator, and a dozen other applications open, including 10-20 tabs in BOTH Safari and Chrome. So sorry, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. Would 8GB be better? Sure. But if I'm fine on 4GB doing more intensive tasks than 95% of Mac users, then it's safe to categorize your post as complete sensationalism. 

     

    Mom and Pop? Right. 

  • Reply 10 of 22
    scotia73scotia73 Posts: 14member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Yet somehow, I get by running my entire business using my 4GB Macbook Air, which depends on having multiple files open Photoshop, Illustrator, and a dozen other applications open, including 10-20 tabs in BOTH Safari and Chrome. So sorry, I'm going to have to strongly disagree. Would 8GB be better? Sure. But if I'm fine on 4GB doing more intensive tasks than 95% of Mac users, then it's safe to categorize your post as complete sensationalism. 

    Mom and Pop? Right. 
    Couldn't agree more. I've got a 2009 MBP which only has 4GB ram and it still works a treat.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    If this is real...than the fact that they're still shipping 4GB of RAM in these irritates me. OS X is a memory pig, it needs 8GB minimum even for Mom and Pop.

    If the GPU is actually using up to 1.5GB like in the screenshot then it only leaves 2.5GB for everything else (older machines allocated much less for the GPU or used dedicated video memory), which can cause pageouts although memory compression helps out a bit and 4GB should really behave like 6GB. They haven't moved to DDR4 with Broadwell, which doubles the density. If it comes at the same price or close then they can probably jump to 8GB. They could even put in 6GB, they aren't using DIMM slots any more. The Air doesn't have room for 16GB yet but it will with Skylake as that supports DDR4 and the MBP would support up to 32GB but a 24GB option would be enough in the higher MBP model and allow up to 4GB of video memory or fully shared if they can.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    likkielikkie Posts: 42member

    Interestingly the "Overview" panel on my MBA doesn't have the "Startup Disk" line item whereas on my Mini it does.

     

    I call fake!

  • Reply 13 of 22
    Changzeyan's MacBook Air. Find my Mac. Located. Leak neutralized.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 399member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Likkie View Post

     

    Interestingly the "Overview" panel on my MBA doesn't have the "Startup Disk" line item whereas on my Mini it does.

     

    I call fake!


    My Macbook Pro Retina has it...the plot thickens.

  • Reply 15 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Anyone can edit the About This Mac screen. This is evidence of nothing.

  • Reply 16 of 22
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    I think it's more likely that a Retina model would wait for Skylake, which doesn't come out until August. That's only 5 months away so they could wait but this would be a minor update. The CPU looks like it would be this one:

     

     

    I'm skeptical as to whether they'll actually hit that target, but apart from that Apple is usually around 60 days after intel's official launch. This may be due in part to shipping numbers right at launch. I wouldn't personally anticipate skylake preceding even the next iphone update, especially with intel's track record over the past couple years. It's probably quite difficult to maintain these continued process shrinks.

  • Reply 17 of 22
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member



    Still using Intel HD Graphics instead of updating to Iris?

  • Reply 18 of 22
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

     



    Still using Intel HD Graphics instead of updating to Iris?




    They typically maintain some amount of differentiation between the lines. Graphics would be one point. For a lot of things the difference between the two won't make any difference. Things aimed at a broad range of users tend to balance for lowest common denominator scenarios.

  • Reply 19 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,787member
    Marvin wrote: »
    I think it's more likely that a Retina model would wait for Skylake, which doesn't come out until August. That's only 5 months away so they could wait but this would be a minor update. The CPU looks like it would be this one:

    http://ark.intel.com/products/84984/Intel-Core-i5-5250U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz

    Small CPU performance improvement (~5%):

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1989890
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/1832021
    The only way you will see a significant performance increase with Broadwell is if the clock rate is bumped up. Obviously Intel is going after other performance areas.
    Graphics look like they might have gone up 50% but there's not many tests to compare yet:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-5000.91978.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-6000.125588.0.html
    Yep a good portion of the thermal advantage of 14 nm is going into GPU performance. A 50% increase should look really nice if they stick to the same resolution screens and may drive externals well. Personally for the targeted user base of the IPad Air this should be seen as a major update.
    No DDR4. The Air is their most popular Mac so it makes sense to update it. Everything else can go straight on to Skylake in August.

    No DDR4 sucks but what can you say. You are right that it makes sense to update the Air now. Like I said above this is a bump that gets right at what Air users need which is better GPU performwnce.

    What will be interesting though is to see if the 13" MBP gets an update as there are some 28 watt parts out now.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,787member
    Everybody has different expectations, but in general 4GB of RAM these days is a bad buy. Especially in a machine expected to be held for any length of time.
    slurpy wrote: »
    Yet somehow, I get by running my entire business using my 4GB Macbook Air, which depends on having multiple files open Photoshop, Illustrator, and a dozen other applications open, including 10-20 tabs in BOTH Safari and Chrome. So sorry, I'm going to have to strongly disagree.
    You can disagree of course but doing so strongly is a mistake in my mind. The point is if you are buying a machine in 2015, with the expectation of keeping it for any length of time, you need have more than 4GB of RAM in the machine. This especially because of the inability to update that RAM.
    Would 8GB be better? Sure. But if I'm fine on 4GB doing more intensive tasks than 95% of Mac users, then it's safe to categorize your post as complete sensationalism. 
    Honestly if you think you are doing more than 95% of the Mac users out there and doing fine in 4Gb of RAM then you simply don't have the workload you think you do.
    Mom and Pop? Right. 
    Depends upon Mom and Pop.
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