Next-gen MacBook Air CPU; Apple's SoHo neighbors complain

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel's Developer Forum has revealed the processors likely to underpin the first refresh of the MacBook Air ultraportable. At the same time, residents near Apple's SoHo retail store in New York City allege that its frequent concerts are ruining the neighbourhood.



Slipping underneath the radar amidst talk of Nehalem and other next-generation technology, Intel at the San Francisco edition of its Developer Forum this week announced its first regularly available processor based on the same, very small chip packaging that made the MacBook Air possible.



Nicknamed the Core 2 Duo S, the 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz parts share the same basic architecture as chips released in July but consume about 60 percent less surface area through both a smaller main processor and smaller bridge chips used to interface with memory and peripherals.



Although they run at nearly the same clock speeds as the processors in Apple's 13.3-inch ultraportables, they should be faster through a 1.06GHz system bus (up from 800MHz) and a larger 6MB Level 2 onboard memory cache. They also consume less power at just 17W compared to the 20W of Apple's custom-ordered chip.



As the only processors that would fit into the extremely tight confines of the Air's chassis, the two Core 2 Duo S chips are a likely direct clue as to Apple's direction for its first update to the lightweight MacBook.



Apple's SoHo neighbors file complaints with NYC officials



As much as some tout Apple's flagship store in the SoHo district of Manhattan for its secondary role as a concert venue, local residents and offices are reporting a very different experience.



The neighborhood's SoHo Alliance organization has submitted a letter to the New York City borough's President, Scott Stringer, complaining that the frequent concerts are not only excessively loud and block the streets with fans but that they may violate local laws, including occupancy rules and mandates for public assembly. An August 12th performance by the Jonas Brothers is described as the event that pushed locals past the breaking point.



"This concert attracted thousands of young teenage girls who SCREAMED INCESSANTLY on the street for hours for their idols, blocking traffic, injuring one resident in the crush, and inconveniencing scores of other people and businesses," the SoHo Alliance writes. "This concert for the Jonas Brothers was like the Beatles at Shea Stadium. The screaming was that loud. However, residential Greene Street is not Shea Stadium."



Construction at inappropriate times of the night has also been one of Apple's more serious offenses, the group says. The Mac maker is further accused of lying to the Alliance and to the borough President about night work permits it didn't have.



City officials have yet to take action, and Apple hasn't commented on the matter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    Anyone have any idea when the next refresh of the Macbook Air line is due? I've heard dates thrown around, Sept. 6th, 9th, 16th...need to know for grad school!
  • Reply 2 of 49
    The Jonas Brothers!?



    You're kidding me? A little kiddo Disney band has sparked some of the rowdiest crowds around? That's rich. It does suck to imagine what they have to deal with in having that sort of attraction near their homes or businesses, but it is no different anywhere else performances are made.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    I brought this up yesterday and it was reported Wednesday- old news.

    If the iPhone farts it would have been reported instantaneously.

    They forgot the part where the Soho Alliance states that the iPhone lines outside everyday are reminiscent of the "bread lines in communist Russia".
  • Reply 4 of 49
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Nobody but Apple knows a date for new Airs (or any upcoming products). "Soon" seems likely, but details are no more than rumors.



    As for concerts, Apple certainly needs to follow local laws. If that means allowing only smaller events, then so be it.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LeeCambridge View Post


    Anyone have any idea when the next refresh of the Macbook Air line is due? I've heard dates thrown around, Sept. 6th, 9th, 16th...need to know for grad school!



    You want something that slow for grad school?

    Hopefuly they'll speed bump it up enough for high school.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    Steve Jobs will now announce that 2% of the residents of Greene Street were affected by the noise.

    Also, the SoHo Alliance organization represents 8% of the population, and that 99.8% of the residents of Greene Street responded to the poll that was conducted to arrive at these statistics.



    Kidding.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    I think Apple should consider sponsoring a major music venue. Put their name and logo on an amphitheater in a major city, and sponsor major music concerts there. Reinforce the connection between Apple and music. They could even still sell iPods and iPhones at booths at the events.



    The concerts in the stores are a great idea, but they're going to keep running into trouble if they do it in neighborhoods like SoHo. Locals are always going to complain about noise violations, and rightfully so. When they allowed Apple to put a store there, I'm sure Apple didn't mention it would be having free concerts there on a regular basis.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Comparing the "Jonas Brothers" to the Beatles?.... ha, ha, ha. I don't think so!
  • Reply 9 of 49
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I think we're going to be hearing a lot of bellyaching when the new MBA arrives.The porcessor speeds are still in the 1.6 and 1.8GHz range and I doubt there will be much comfort for some that it's Montevina/Penryn and uses less power. Plus, I think the HDD will be upgraded to 120GB on the top end but I don't think there are any 1.8" SSDs that are more than 64GB right now.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LeeCambridge View Post


    Anyone have any idea when the next refresh of the Macbook Air line is due? I've heard dates thrown around, Sept. 6th, 9th, 16th...need to know for grad school!



    No one but Apple can say. There is a rumour of a special event in September. I suspect they will be releasing the new iPods and, at the very least, announcing the new Mac notebooks. Some say it won't be until after the Back To School ends on Monday the 15th. It's makes sense that the event will be on Tuesday the 16th, but I seem to recall Apple releasing new items right before the end of the Back To School promo and simply disallowing these new items.



    I have doubts that the new notebooks will be ready for sale the same day as the event. Intel has had problems with these new chipsets. AnandTech was only able to find one company with a Centrino 2 notebook and that still had many issues. This was last month. So if Intel has sorted things out they may not have ramped up production for Apple's needs.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    You want something that slow for grad school?

    Hopefuly they'll speed bump it up enough for high school.



    Slow for what? Define your standards for "slow"? The performance of my Macbook Air is wonderful. It is my 9-to-5 laptop at work running VMWare/XP for the business apps and OSX for everything else not Microsoft related. As long as I'm not running any major graphics-intensive software, my MBA has performed beyond my expectations for an ultra-portable mobile laptop. Best laptop I've ever owned. I don't expect an ultra-portable laptop to compete on the same level as say their MacBook Pro. That is not its intent. Most buyers of the MBA know that.



    Apple did not develop the MBA to your specifications. They developed it to my specs. There are other users out there where this machine fits their requirements perfectly as it did for me. No disrespect intended... just my 2 cents for a wonderful laptop.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LeeCambridge View Post


    Anyone have any idea when the next refresh of the Macbook Air line is due? I've heard dates thrown around, Sept. 6th, 9th, 16th...need to know for grad school!



    The 16th seems most likely as many have observed it would be the day after Apple's Back to School deal ends that Monday. The Air is likely to get a processor refresh (and *crosses fingers* a storage increase, either with a 160GB HDD and/or an optional 128GB SSD) in addition to redesigned MacBook Pros (and maybe MacBooks too) and lower-priced, redesigned and/or enhanced iPods.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    You want something that slow for grad school?

    Hopefuly they'll speed bump it up enough for high school.



    If all he's doing is listening to music, writing text documents, web browsing, emailing, and using an IM client, he'd see no major benefit in going with a faster Mac. I'm a college student with a 15" PowerBook G4: 1.67GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, 80GB HDD, and it has more than enough horsepower for all those tasks and others.



    His MacBook Air would be faster than my computer and of course, people considering an Air obviously value portability over serious processing power.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    k.c.k.c. Posts: 60member
    If the first MBA used a custom chip why wouldn't the rev ?



    In other words, it may be faster.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by K.C. View Post


    If the first MBA used a custom chip why wouldn't the rev ?



    In other words, it may be faster.



    The reason the MBA was possible was because of the reduced chipset size. While I guess it could be called a custom chip Intel had already designed this chipset to work with the Merom processor before Apple asked for it. The only way that Apple could use the 2.26GHz or 2.4GHz chips in the MBA would be with at a lose to battery usage time as the TPD uses 25% more wattage more than the current chip or by using a new battery tech to account for the difference.



    But now Intel is releasing many notebook chipsets using the 22mm^2 size so we ca hopefully get some smaller notebooks all around. I hope they remove the optical drive but I'm banking it won't happen until the next case revision in a few years. Networking and attached storage is so cheap and small that an optical drive is becoming a large waste of space, but I don't think enough people are ready for it.



    PS: Interestingly, if Apple had used the 35mm^2 chipsets with the Merom chips the power usage would have actually been lower than the 20W it currently uses. It would have only been 17W that it will use on the new chips. Oh man, I foresee so many unhappy people complaining on their boards.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I hope they remove the optical drive but I'm banking it won't happen until the next case revision in a few years. Networking and attached storage is so cheap and small that an optical drive is becoming a large waste of space, but I don't think enough people are ready for it.



    I've been ready for that for a while now. I'm hoping Apple will be a little more gutsy and just do it in September when they revise their MacBook Pro line, but that's wishful thinking.



    Perhaps they're waiting for SSDs to get more affordable so from day one, they can offer a base MacBook Pro model with 256GB and lacking an internal SuperDrive right off the bat, then make a 128GB SSD standard on the Air. It's surprising how much solid-state storage can improve system and application start-up times as well as overall responsiveness compared to moving from a 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz processor.



    I may wait awhile because I'd prefer as few moving parts as possible in my next Mac.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I agree with solipsism and wobegon. It's time to drop the internal optical drive from the full notebook line. The MacBook Air has proven that internal optical disks are unneeded. I believe Steve has the vision and the guts to do it. Apple was the first computer company to drop the floppy drive. It was a good move.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I agree with solipsism and wobegon. It's time to drop the internal optical drive from the full notebook line. The MacBook Air has proven that internal optical disks are unneeded. I believe Steve has the vision and the guts to do it. Apple was the first computer company to drop the floppy drive. It was a good move.



    I disagree.



    While I agree with Apple's decision to drop the optical in the MBA, it should be kept in the MB and MBP models. These machines are more 'general' purpose and potentially desktop replacements. As such they should continue to feature optical drives.



    I think some people are being a little hasty to discard optical drives. I still find them quite useful for storing data and preferring ripping CDs to purchasing my audio content. While I don't use my optical drive daily I still use it enough to value it. The day will come when it'll be unnecessary, but that day isn't here yet IMO.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    Perhaps they're waiting for SSDs to get more affordable so from day one, they can offer a base MacBook Pro model with 256GB and lacking an internal SuperDrive right off the bat, then make a 128GB SSD standard on the Air.



    I don't foresee the SSD replacing the HDD in notebooks for at least several years, but I don't see why Apple won't offer it as an option for the MBP as you can now get 128GB 2.5" SSDs for under $600 (Apple's price: $750). I wouldn't get it, but I can see it being a fairly popular option.



    SSDs still have price and capacity working against them, but if Moore's Law working it shouldn't be long before the MBA's maximum storage option will only be had by getting the SSD. While the price will still be substantially higher than an HDD, the larger capacity—along with the other benefits of a solid state drive—will make it more appealing to many. Surprising to me, the MBA SSD option seems very popular; even when it was a $1000.



    I use the MBA in my example, because the largest capacity Apple currently sells is a 80GB HDD and an 64GB SSD. Newegg currently has a 120GB HDDs (single platter only for the Air) available. When a 128GB SSD comes out (2009?) it would be the largest capacity drive available. If it isn't, it would surely jump past HDD when the 256GB version comes out a couple years later. By that time, I think Apple will completely forego HDDs in the MBA and use the now cheap 64 or 128GB SSDs for the low end models. (speculation)



    How long before 2.5" SSD "out-capacity" 2.5" HDDs in notebooks? If we are at 128GB now and we get a doubling every two years that is only 4 years before notebooks will hold 512GB and 6 years before they hold 1TB. I don't think there is any new HDD tech on the horizon that can compete with that. Any insights?
  • Reply 18 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmon750 View Post


    Slow for what? Define your standards for "slow"? The performance of my Macbook Air is wonderful. It is my 9-to-5 laptop at work running VMWare/XP for the business apps and OSX for everything else not Microsoft related. As long as I'm not running any major graphics-intensive software, my MBA has performed beyond my expectations for an ultra-portable mobile laptop. Best laptop I've ever owned. I don't expect an ultra-portable laptop to compete on the same level as say their MacBook Pro. That is not its intent. Most buyers of the MBA know that.



    Apple did not develop the MBA to your specifications. They developed it to my specs. There are other users out there where this machine fits their requirements perfectly as it did for me. No disrespect intended... just my 2 cents for a wonderful laptop.



    MacBook Pro? It doesn't even compete up to the level of the MacBook- did you not read the reviews? See MacWorld's please.

    A friend of mine who has the Air and the Black MacBook confided to me Tuesday that the Air constantly freezes up when iChating.

    I guess your specifications are for something ultralight be it slow and travel between classes- whatever.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I agree with solipsism and wobegon. It's time to drop the internal optical drive from the full notebook line. The MacBook Air has proven that internal optical disks are unneeded. I believe Steve has the vision and the guts to do it. Apple was the first computer company to drop the floppy drive. It was a good move.



    The last thing I want to see Apple do is get rid of the optical drive on all it's portables. Some yes but definitely not all the laptops.



    The trouble is right at this moment an optical drive is the solution to several problems that currently don't have universally good and accepted solutions. So in one device you get the following.



    1. A device for reading popularly distributed content here we are talking music and videos. Yes I'm fully aware that one can rip a CD an store your media locally. The point is you need a drive to do that and you need disposable disk space.



    2. Like it or not many programs and data sets are distrbuted on CDs of some sort.



    3. Like wise if you are in the field and need to distribute data to a customer a CD can be a mutually acceptable way to make the exchange. Many a rationalization that I won't go into here.



    4. Field back ups. It is a simple shipable sane solution for saving serious data.



    There are probably a couple of others. The point is there are certainly alternatives to many of the above either coming on line or about to. Except for one issue and that is the one where you give the customer what they request. Well that and the issue of alternative backups that are very shipable.



    As to online storage that only works well when you have a public connection available. Even then my experiences with iDisk have been less than noteworthy. What it comes down to is this there are to many limitations in the alternatives to do away with optical drives right now.



    Don't get me wrong though I know what the future will be like with respect to the PC world. That will certainly be one where connectivity replaces other distro methods. But it is not here yet. Further I don't ever expect that any form of connectivity will replace the expanding need for storage on a local portable machine.



    Frankly I would look at an Apple portable with to storage bays instead of an optical disk with lustful eyes. As always the biggest limitation in making a laptop a primary machine is it's disk storage alotment. This should be very doable if one drive is a low power solid state solution. Even this dual bay approach wouldn't be enough for everybody but it would put smiles on a lot of faces. There would be even bigger smiles if those bays where user accessible.





    Dave
  • Reply 20 of 49
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    [\\quote] Any insights?[/QUOTE]



    There are a couple of things here that make the future very muddy.



    1. It is not clear how much longer traditional flash memory cells can be shrunk. This beyond a couple of years it is hard to say if flash will be a factor.



    2. This is especially an issue considering some of the tech in the labs right now that might make for a far better alternative to flash.



    3. I don't forsee a users need for storage in portables shrinking any time soon. Thus I'm not sure flash will scale fast enough. On the other hand this could be addressed as a production problem. That is stack dies in chip packages and then stack the packages. In other words produce enough chips fast enough and cheap enough so that even with todays densities you meet storage requirements.



    4. You seem to think that hard drive densities won't go up. There is still potential there. The drive makers could keep their lead for a bit longer.



    5. The non public research! There has been some media attetion on recent break through that could lead to a more economical alternative to flash. What I ask is what about the stuff not public? There is obvious opportunity for some one to deliver an alternative to flash and magnetic tech. Maybe somebody is opperating under the radar here.



    In a nut shell I would not want to wager on where flash will be in five or so years.





    Dave
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