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

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 74
    I don't so much care about Sandy Bridge, but I do care bout thunderbolt. I really hope they integrate that into the next generation.
  • Reply 62 of 74
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    I wish they'd find a means of incorporating a kensington lock port (though I'm not holding my breath). I'd love to switch to a Macbook Air but in the environment I frequently work in they require laptops be secured via cable locks (they aren't perfect, but when you're dealing with a cookie cutter security policy there really isn't a lot of room to argue). I'm just pleased they don't mind me using my Macbook Pro in their environment.



    Sandy Bridge would be nice, but for the work I'm doing raw horsepower isn't a primary concern. The existing 13" Air would probably suit my needs fine and I'd lose no desktop space as the resolution matches that of my current Macbook Pro.
  • Reply 63 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    If the next MacBook Air gets Sandy Bridge, a thunderbolt port AND a 500gb flash drive....IM ALL OVER THAT! Lol. Seriously tho...I'd buy one asap If it got all those 3 things.



    Tic toc tic toc



    Me too. I think Mjteix has nailed the specification.



    A MacBook Air with a 2.3 Ghz i7, 4 Gb RAM, 512 Gb SSD, Thunderbolt and a price closer to $2,000 rather than $3,000 would catapult this laptop into the stratosphere of desirability. I wonder how such a machine would compare to my existing Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz 13" MacBook Pro. I have this sneaking suspicion, that Sandy Bridge Airs will make the existing MacBook Pro redundant in a heartbeat.



    While Sandy Bridge Airs are likely to rock, what about Ivy Bridge? Someone already said it, 2012 is gonna be the year of the 20s: 22 Nm die-shrink, 20/25 Nm SSD memory modules, 20 Mbs Thunderbolt connections and 20 second boot times. The other REALLY important and underrated dimension to Ivy Bridge will be Intel's second stab at an integrated GPU. They've been throwing resource at this and while the next iteration may not equal the best of Nvidia, we'll get dramatically better video rendering.



    Whatever future MacBook Airs offer, I think Apple is playing a very clever game. Slowly but surely the MacBook Air is being ramped-up so that its prerformance is on a par with that of the 13" MacBook Pro. While the Pro will ultimately be more powerful and have an onboard DVD drive, i think a lot of people will view the trade-off of lesser performance as being insignificant versus the better form factor of the Air. While we will have a choice, i t believe we'll see a wholesale migration to the Air among 13" Pro users.



    My bet is Airs at 11" and 13" and Pros at 15" and 17". We could conceivably get 15" Airs and 13" Pros, but I think the overlap would be too great to justify it.
  • Reply 64 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post


    The thing with the MBA is that it has to be absolutely *perfect* for it to be considered a primary machine



    It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be a little bit beefier. I am DYING to replace my 15" MBP with a 13" MBA, but I just NEED the following:
    • Sandy Bridge CPU

    • 512 GB Blade

    Of course in a perfect world I would have all of the following as well, but I don't need any of them to actually pull the trigger:
    • Anti-Glare Display

    • 8 GB RAM

    • Backlit Keyboard

    I don't care about graphics--I can limit my gaming to console gaming. What I want is an ultra-portable, but one that isn't going to choke on CPU-intensive work tasks and won't have me sifting through which media files to keep or toss.
  • Reply 65 of 74
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Yup, bring on those garbage Intel GPUs. Why not.
  • Reply 66 of 74
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RetroRichie View Post


    It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be a little bit beefier. I am DYING to replace my 15" MBP with a 13" MBA, but I just NEED the following:
    • Sandy Bridge CPU

    • 512 GB Blade

    Of course in a perfect world I would have all of the following as well, but I don't need any of them to actually pull the trigger:
    • Anti-Glare Display

    • 8 GB RAM

    • Backlit Keyboard

    I don't care about graphics--I can limit my gaming to console gaming. What I want is an ultra-portable, but one that isn't going to choke on CPU-intensive work tasks and won't have me sifting through which media files to keep or toss.



    Nice post. I agree 100%.
  • Reply 67 of 74
    Now I have not seen the motherboard on a MBA, but any chance there would be room for a dedicated GPU? I know the problem with adding one to the 13" MBP was because of the optical drive, but since the MBA does not have one, could the 13" MBA hypothetically have one?
  • Reply 68 of 74
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    Now I have not seen the motherboard on a MBA, but any chance there would be room for a dedicated GPU? I know the problem with adding one to the 13" MBP was because of the optical drive, but since the MBA does not have one, could the 13" MBA hypothetically have one?



    I think it all depends upon where Apple is trying to position AIR and if that positioning requires the support of OpenCL. The other component would be how important gaming is to the AIR platform.



    The flip side of this question is what of Thunderbolt support which currently requires its own bridge chip. I'm leaning towards Apple implementing Thunderbolt instead of a discrete GPU. So any free space for a GPU will likely go to the TB port. It is kind of a no brainer so my money is on Apple going in this direction.
  • Reply 69 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I think it all depends upon where Apple is trying to position AIR and if that positioning requires the support of OpenCL. The other component would be how important gaming is to the AIR platform.



    The flip side of this question is what of Thunderbolt support which currently requires its own bridge chip. I'm leaning towards Apple implementing Thunderbolt instead of a discrete GPU. So any free space for a GPU will likely go to the TB port. It is kind of a no brainer so my money is on Apple going in this direction.



    Thanks a bunch for the response wizard! That certainly makes a lot of sense with the Thunderbolt port, I can definitely see Apple going in that direction. Not to sound uninformed, but what is OpenCl and what would that have to do with the MacBook Air?



    Either way my Dell Inspiron laptop died today after 5 years. It has the blue screen of death with Windows 7 and I suspect the motherboard is fried. So I am in the market for a new laptop and I am probably going to get a MBA after the next refresh. First time Mac buyer. I have an iPhone and love it, so I think I'm going Mac!
  • Reply 70 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    First time Mac buyer. I have an iPhone and love it, so I think I'm going Mac!



    There will be things that frustrate you for a while but it will be mostly a great experience. I am going on 2.5 years as a Mac user and I am still annoyed by a few things with the OS, but it's wife-proof as far as viruses and malware are concerned so there is no substitute for that!
  • Reply 71 of 74
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akhosrof View Post


    Thanks a bunch for the response wizard! That certainly makes a lot of sense with the Thunderbolt port, I can definitely see Apple going in that direction. Not to sound uninformed, but what is OpenCl and what would that have to do with the MacBook Air?



    The point here is that the GPU built into the Sandy Bridge chip doesn't support OpenCL. Well at least according to current knowledge.



    What this means is that software can not leverage the GPU to produce better performances in cases where there is a lot of opportunity for parallel computation. What this means to you is unknown because the value of such support is somewhat dependent upon the software you choose to run. Not I say somewhat because there is always the chance that you may not know exactly which software benefits from GPU computing.

    Quote:

    Either way my Dell Inspiron laptop died today after 5 years. It has the blue screen of death with Windows 7 and I suspect the motherboard is fried. So I am in the market for a new laptop and I am probably going to get a MBA after the next refresh. First time Mac buyer. I have an iPhone and love it, so I think I'm going Mac!



    I'm no sure why you are assuming the motherboard is fried. The disks in Dell laptops are known to die very frequently. One point that I always make is to suggest picking up a Linux Live CD of some sort to try booting the machine. If the machine boots that way you neither have a disk failure or corruption. If it is a drive problem, that can be dealt with cheaply enough and on some of the Dells is a DIY task. This would keep you going until Apples refresh and make the Dell salable.



    As to the AIR I would very much wait for a refresh. However don't assume that the machine will get a Sandy Bridge processor. We all hope that is the case but it is not a given. The problem can be wrapped up in one word - HEAT. I suspect Apple will struggle to get a SB processor to actually run fast enough in an AIR to actually be worthwhile. People are already complaining about the latest MBPs running to hot and they are far easier to cool.



    I'm just trying to temper expectations here. Personally I would like to see a faster AIR with SB but I also want to see one with Thunderbolt and longer battery life. The other option for Apple might be AMDs Fusion processor assuming that a suitable model is ready.



    AMDs Fusion processors are actually very innovative and have OpenCL supporting GPUs. If they could offer up even a modest CPU improvement over the current AIR implementation the could make for very interesting AIRs. People need to realize that one element in the current AIRs success is the GPU without which some functions on the AIR would be pretty horrible. Here I'm thinking video playback but the current AIRs GPU does support OpenCL in a modest way. In any event AMDs Fusion processors support OpenCL, well when they arrive they will.
  • Reply 72 of 74
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RetroRichie View Post


    There will be things that frustrate you for a while but it will be mostly a great experience.



    For the most part a great experience! My path was a bit different as I dropped Windows NT with service pack 3 and ran Linux machines for many years. I lost very little going to the Mac, BASH and Python are still available and it is fairly easy to build or install most UNIX'y apps. Many Mac owners simply don't realize just how powerful and robust the Mac is these days.

    Quote:

    I am going on 2.5 years as a Mac user and I am still annoyed by a few things with the OS, but it's wife-proof as far as viruses and malware are concerned so there is no substitute for that!



    Almost any thing of reasonable complexity will have things that irritate you. It is just a fact of life and applies to things mechanical as well as electrical. Thankfully the Mac has far more plusses than negatives. For years I questioned Apples new OS attempts but there is little doubt that buying Next was a very smart move on their part. The transition is now done and with Snow Leopard they have a really fine modern OS.
  • Reply 73 of 74
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I think it all depends upon where Apple is trying to position AIR and if that positioning requires the support of OpenCL. The other component would be how important gaming is to the AIR platform.



    The flip side of this question is what of Thunderbolt support which currently requires its own bridge chip. I'm leaning towards Apple implementing Thunderbolt instead of a discrete GPU. So any free space for a GPU will likely go to the TB port. It is kind of a no brainer so my money is on Apple going in this direction.



    At least in the next year or two wouldn't a GPU be much more appreciated and used by the average Air buyer?



    That'd include me, I need to get one for my fiancee. I am beginning to think perhaps I'll just wait until new Airs come out and buy the last generation for a nice discount.



    Is this all because Intel screwed NVIDIA over so we can't have GPUs with new Intel chips? Or due to lack of space, e.g. perhaps to make room for TB, or both? Again, TB sounds great for the Air, especially long-term. But for the next rev...to sacrifice GPU for crappy Intel gfx...sounds bad to me..
  • Reply 74 of 74
    akhosrofakhosrof Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I'm no sure why you are assuming the motherboard is fried. The disks in Dell laptops are known to die very frequently. One point that I always make is to suggest picking up a Linux Live CD of some sort to try booting the machine. If the machine boots that way you neither have a disk failure or corruption. If it is a drive problem, that can be dealt with cheaply enough and on some of the Dells is a DIY task. This would keep you going until Apples refresh and make the Dell salable.



    Haha you were absolutely right. I assumed it was a fried motherboard because the error message I was getting for the BSOD corresponded to either a corrupted driver, motherboard, or adapter problems. The adapter was brand new and was tested, so it wasn't that. I just assumed it was the motherboard because I had to have the motherboard replaced before when the computer was under warranty. I really had no idea what to do outside of clearing the system back to its default settings. Since I didn't have my hard drive backed up, I got the files extracted and put on an external HDD.



    At that point I figured might as well clear the system, if it was a corrupted driver the laptop will work. If not, it is still a motherboard problem, or something else that wouldn't be worth fixing. Just so happens that my system was perfectly fine as setting it back to the factory defaults, I just lost most of my drivers and my activation key to Vista (so I can't upgrade to my 7 disc from XP), so this is probably a temporary solution for me now (video performance is terrible). I am still in the market to an Air when the refresh comes.



    Btw, thanks for the explanation on the OpenCL! And that would be pretty awesome if the Air got a Fusion APU pretty soon!
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