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fyrefly
Jan 3, 2011, 12:48 PM
As Part of the official announcement, Intel has announced 29 new Sandy Bridge processors - including 3 17W ULV parts that would work in the MBA!

Full Engadget Story here:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/03/intels-2nd-generation-core-processor-family-announced-includes/

The Processors for the MBA would be these two i7 and one i5 models:
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2011/01/intelcore201129.jpg

The i7-2617M runs at 1.5Ghz, but turbo boosts 2 cores to 2.3Ghz or 1 core to 2.6Ghz.

The i7-2657M runs at 1.6Ghz but turbo boosts 2 cores to 2.4Ghz or 1 core to 2.7Ghz.

Imagine a MBA at 2.7Ghz!

The chips are also priced along the same lines as the SL9600 that's currently in the 2.13Ghz MBA ($314/$317 per chip).

All-in-All, very exciting. These chips should all be available in Feb/March, according to the Roadmap... so a MBA update could happen by WWDC. (hopefully with Backlit keyboard back as well!)



jamesryanbell
Jan 3, 2011, 01:14 PM
I like what I'm seeing.

gglockner
Jan 3, 2011, 01:36 PM
IIRC, MacBook Airs (currently) use a different processor package so that the CPU is mounted permanently on the circuit board. I'm sure that the MacBook Air will eventually move to Sandy Bridge, but I doubt it's coming in the first half of 2011.

KnightWRX
Jan 3, 2011, 01:50 PM
And with the faster processor comes slower graphics. :rolleyes:

lucashungaro
Jan 3, 2011, 01:54 PM
Unless they solve their issues with nVidia, I'm staying with my 2.13 Ghz C2D and nVidia 320M over crap Intel graphics (unless they solve that issue before). :)

Beanoir
Jan 3, 2011, 01:55 PM
There won't be a backlit keyboard, i'll put my house on it!

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 01:58 PM
And with the faster processor comes slower graphics. :rolleyes:

It's likely a wash. According to AnandTech, on low-detail tasks, the new processors outperform the Core 2 Duo/320m combo. On medium-detail tasks, the 320m slightly outperforms the new chips. The big disadvantage is that OpenCL code will be processed by the CPU, not the GPU.

That said, if a MacBook Air can get the i5 and the Pro the i7, then this would help answer the criticism that Apple is relying on the aging Core 2 Duo. I'd expect to see this chip make it into the MacBook Pro by February. The MacBook Air will likely get one this summer when the ULV versions come out. I'm guessing the 11" and 13" models will be updated at the same time.

Hellhammer
Jan 3, 2011, 02:00 PM
Unless they solve their issues with nVidia, I'm staying with my 2.13 Ghz C2D and nVidia 320M over crap Intel graphics (unless they solve that issue before). :)

AnandTech's review (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i5-2600k-i5-2500k-and-core-i3-2100-tested/10) shows that the IGP is pretty equal to 320M. Of course, LV and ULV chips have lower clock speed but I'm pretty sure the 320M is MBA is underclocked just like the 9400M was.

11" will likely get 17W parts and 13" will get 25W parts. Yes, that is more than current C2Ds but remember that the IGP is included in that.

lucashungaro
Jan 3, 2011, 02:24 PM
AnandTech's review (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i5-2600k-i5-2500k-and-core-i3-2100-tested/10) shows that the IGP is pretty equal to 320M. Of course, LV and ULV chips have lower clock speed but I'm pretty sure the 320M is MBA is underclocked just like the 9400M was.

11" will likely get 17W parts and 13" will get 25W parts. Yes, that is more than current C2Ds but remember that the IGP is included in that.

Solved I guess. ;)

KnightWRX
Jan 3, 2011, 02:27 PM
It's likely a wash. According to AnandTech, on low-detail tasks, the new processors outperform the Core 2 Duo/320m combo. On medium-detail tasks, the 320m slightly outperforms the new chips.

That's not a wash. On low settings, your 5 out of 6 games were probably facing a scenario in which the CPU was not feeding the GPU fast enough. Thus you ended up being CPU bound and the faster CPU in the Sandy Bridge architecture is what made it pull ahead.

The fact that in medium settings, where the CPU is waiting on the GPU, the 320M beat the SB IGP means that the graphics are slower.

Color me unimpressed. Intel should just hire nVidia to make their graphics part instead of shipping these sub-par offerings.

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 02:40 PM
That's not a wash. On low settings, your 5 out of 6 games were probably facing a scenario in which the CPU was not feeding the GPU fast enough. Thus you ended up being CPU bound and the faster CPU in the Sandy Bridge architecture is what made it pull ahead.

The fact that in medium settings, where the CPU is waiting on the GPU, the 320M beat the SB IGP means that the graphics are slower.

Color me unimpressed. Intel should just hire nVidia to make their graphics part instead of shipping these sub-par offerings.


If the Core 2 Duo is the bottleneck, then the bottom line is that on low-detail tasks, a Sandy Bridge-equipped notebook will outperform the C2D/320m combo, and on medium-detail tasks they will perform similarly. True, the IGP itself appears to be slower, but the key will be total system performance. The Core 2 Duo/320m combo delivers better total system performance on most tasks than the current Core i3/i5 with Intel IGP. That appears to no longer be the case. MacBook Air isn't intended for heavy gamers, so I would not be surprised if Apple has concluded that the Sandy Bridge CPUs will be "good enough" for the MacBook Air line. Whether it is good enough for the 13" Pro without a discrete GPU is a different debate. Also, whether Intel should just hire NVIDIA is another debate (though I agree with you there).

The thing to keep in mind is that, right now, we are missing out on hyperthreading, TurboBoost, and the elimination of the front side bus. For CPU-intensive tasks like encoding we would benefit from any Core i-series chip. The 1.5GHz Core i7 ought to compare favorably against any of the Core 2 Duos in the current MacBook Air lineup. If the graphics are adequate (not the same as equal to the 320m), then many users will conclude the Sandy Bridge chip is an upgrade.

KnightWRX
Jan 3, 2011, 02:44 PM
If the Core 2 Duo is the bottleneck, then the bottom line is that on low-detail tasks, a Sandy Bridge-equipped notebook will outperform the C2D/320m combo, and on medium-detail tasks they will perform similarly. True, the IGP itself appears to be slower, but the key will be total system performance. The Core 2 Duo/320m combo delivers better total system performance on most tasks than the current Core i3/i5 with Intel IGP. That appears to no longer be the case. MacBook Air isn't intended for heavy gamers, so I would not be surprised if Apple has concluded that the Sandy Bridge CPUs will be "good enough" for the MacBook Air line. Whether it is good enough for the 13" Pro without a discrete GPU is a different debate. Also, whether Intel should just hire NVIDIA is another debate (though I agree with you there).

You can see it as a combination, I see it as Intel's greed holding back the graphics performance. An nVidia IGP/Sandy Bridge CPU would be that much better, even a 320M level nVidia IGP with the Sandy Bridge CPU. The fact is, Intel has again failed at making a GPU that is level with its competition. In fact, Intel resorted to lawsuits and licensing to prevent its competition from shipping their products, instead of killing them through shipping a better one. That is greed and jealousy no matter how you look at it.

If you want to buy slower/mediocre tech that's brand spanking new, that's your perogative. I like my new technology purchases to be upgrades, not perceived sidegrades that are in fact downgrades of some aspects.

Eidorian
Jan 3, 2011, 02:48 PM
KnightWRX, we're tired of Core 2. That is all.

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 02:48 PM
You can see it as a combination, I see it as Intel's greed holding back the graphics performance. An nVidia IGP/Sandy Bridge CPU would be that much better, even a 320M level nVidia IGP with the Sandy Bridge CPU.

If you want to buy slower/mediocre tech that's brand spanking new, that's your perogative. I like my new technology purchases to be upgrades, not perceived sidegrades that are in fact downgrades of some aspects.

NVIDIA apparently has exited the chipset business in order to concentrate on SoCs for mobile devices and discrete GPUs. Even if Intel had licensed the Core i-series line to NVIDIA it is possible that the market would have shrunk.

Since Apple has yet to announce any devices based on the new chips, I can't say whether or not I will purchase them. I'm inclined to skip the Rev E MacBook Air unless there is something else compelling, like Light Peak or USB 3.0, which would make my external hard drive much quicker. My "ultimate 13" should be sufficient for a while.

KnightWRX
Jan 3, 2011, 02:50 PM
KnightWRX, we're tired of Core 2. That is all.

So ? You're telling me that since you're "tired of Core 2", you're ready to just accept Intel's ******** ? What if they repackaged a 486 dx2 66 mhz and called it Core i9, you'd be happy because it's not Core 2 anymore ? :rolleyes:

If Intel wants to lawyer their way to the top of the industry, then they should at least ship proper parts.

NVIDIA apparently has exited the chipset business in order to concentrate on SoCs for mobile devices and discrete GPUs. Even if Intel had licensed the Core i-series line to NVIDIA it is possible that the market would have shrunk.

And you think that the Intel lawsuit and settlement has nothing to do with this ? Get real. For all we know, getting out of the chipset business was the settlement.

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 02:56 PM
And you think that the Intel lawsuit and settlement has nothing to do with this ? Get real. For all we know, getting out of the chipset business was the settlement.

I'm sure it had something to do with it. Whether it was everything is a different story. Besides Apple, who else was using NVIDIA chipsets to the same degree? Dell used integrated Intel graphics in the Adamo line, even the current one equipped with the 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo. So did Toshiba with the Portege. It's entirely possible that NVIDIA saw the market shrinking no matter what Intel did, and accepted a cash settlement.

Anyway, NVIDIA is continuing to license technology to Intel. For all we know, Ivy Bridge will incorporate further NVIDIA technology to provide a bigger boost.


So ? You're telling me that since you're "tired of Core 2", you're ready to just accept Intel's ******** ? What if they repackaged a 486 dx2 66 mhz and called it Core i9, you'd be happy because it's not Core 2 anymore ? :rolleyes:

The Core i5/i7 is a significant boost over the Core 2 Duo. As I noted before, it gets hyperthreading and TurboBoost. Sandy Bridge also gets a new out-of-order execution architecture to provide more processor power per GHz.

Eidorian
Jan 3, 2011, 02:58 PM
So ? You're telling me that since you're "tired of Core 2", you're ready to just accept Intel's ******** ? What if they repackaged a 486 dx2 66 mhz and called it Core i9, you'd be happy because it's not Core 2 anymore ? :rolleyes:

If Intel wants to lawyer their way to the top of the industry, then they should at least ship proper parts.I've accepted enough of Apple's (insert hardware vendor here) **** over the years. Spend your money elsewhere or get over the sour grapes when the MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge ships. Apple is just going to spin the OMG CPU performance and you can "still play games too"!

Nothing will be lost to the rest of us besides our money, again. Quad Cores with better battery life than Core 2 Medium voltage is what this is about.

KnightWRX
Jan 3, 2011, 02:59 PM
I'm sure it had something to do with it. Whether it was everything is a different story. Besides Apple, who else was using NVIDIA chipsets to the same degree? Dell used integrated Intel graphics in the Adamo line, even the current one equipped with the 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo. So did Toshiba with the Portege. It's entirely possible that NVIDIA saw the market shrinking no matter what Intel did, and accepted a cash settlement.

All my Dell laptops prior to the MacBook purchase in 2008 had nVidia IGPs. Back then, they also had a lot of Intel IGPs in their line-up, you just had to know what to look for.

I doubt the market was shrinking. It did shrink a lot when Intel refused to license the Core iX tech and then sued them however. What good was nVidia if it couldn't even make chipsets aside for some older chips that were getting phased out ?

Intel lawyered nVidia out of the business. They didn't beat them with performance. And now they ship a sub-par IGP offering that is a downgrade to what nVidia shipped last year. I don't see how I'm supposed to be happy about that.

I've accepted enough of Apple's (insert hardware vendor here) **** over the years. Spend your money elsewhere or get over the sour grapes when the MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge ships. Apple is just going to spin the OMG CPU performance and you can "still play games too"!

Nothing will be lost to the rest of us besides our money, again. Quad Cores with better battery life than Core 2 Medium voltage is what this is about.

When Apple does, then you won't see me hang around this forum for months crying over it like others have done for Core 2 Duo. I'll be plain gone once the MBA reaches the end of its life for me and I'll just switch back to Linux or whatever. I don't have tons of "data stuck in spotlight" holding me back.

newdeal
Jan 3, 2011, 03:05 PM
I seriously doubt apple will update the airs again until after the free ipod touch offer is over so possibly they will get these by october of next year. That is if apple doesn't switch to AMD and drop this intel BS all together. I can't honestly imagine how intel gets away with forcing nvidia out of the chipset business and creating itself a monopoly on integrated graphics chips

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 03:09 PM
Intel lawyered nVidia out of the business. They didn't beat them with performance. And now they ship a sub-par IGP offering that is a downgrade to what nVidia shipped last year. I don't see how I'm supposed to be happy about that.


No one is saying you need to be happy about it. However, it's impossible to turn back time. If you think Intel is acting anti-competitively, take it up with the FTC or EU competition authorities. In the meantime, Apple's choices are to stay with the Core 2 Duo, which is in dwindling supply, find a way to cram a discrete GPU into the MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro lines, or use Intel Integrated Graphics. We don't know their future plans. All we can point out is that the last option is looking better than it did before, since Intel is at least starting to deliver acceptable performance, albeit less than what we can get using current NVIDIA solutions.

Apple has more leverage than other manufacturers because they are so profitable and have an increasing market share. However, even they can only hold out for so long.

Eidorian
Jan 3, 2011, 03:13 PM
When Apple does, then you won't see me hang around this forum for months crying over it like others have done for Core 2 Duo. I'll be plain gone once the MBA reaches the end of its life for me and I'll just switch back to Linux or whatever. I don't have tons of "data stuck in spotlight" holding me back.It works wonders over self-delusion and masochism. You should join me.

At least you're not attempting to divine some solution for my hostage data. It's tiresome and that's where apathy comes in.

Neolithium
Jan 3, 2011, 03:30 PM
2011 Processing Power with 2008 Graphics. WOO!

size100
Jan 3, 2011, 03:37 PM
2011 Processing Power with 2008 Graphics. WOO!

And the MBP13 and MBA use....... from..........

Eidorian
Jan 3, 2011, 03:43 PM
And the MBP13 and MBA use....... from..........A 2008 processor and 2009 graphics which in turn are based off of 2006 and 2008 releases respectively.

fswmacguy
Jan 3, 2011, 05:24 PM
And with the faster processor comes slower graphics. :rolleyes:

Came here to post this. While the new processors are noticably quicker, what we gain in CPU we lose in GPU. There isn't enough room on the logic board to stick both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a mobile GPU package.

If Apple does decide to start manufacturing the MacBook /Pro/Air line with these CPUs, expect to be taking a step backwards with Intel's integrated graphics.

size100
Jan 3, 2011, 05:33 PM
I'll take 2 generations of CPU upgrade for a gpu hit.

Hellhammer
Jan 3, 2011, 05:35 PM
Came here to post this. While the new processors are noticably quicker, what we gain in CPU we lose in GPU. There isn't enough room on the logic board to stick both a Sandy Bridge CPU and a mobile GPU package.

If Apple does decide to start manufacturing the MacBook /Pro/Air line with these CPUs, expect to be taking a step backwards with Intel's integrated graphics.

See the article I linked. Intel IGP ain't that bad this time but it will likely be worse than 320M in MBA since LV and ULV parts feature a lower clock speed than the CPU used in those tests. However, the CPU upgrade will be fairly big since Nehalem provided 15% clock for clock upgrade over C2D and now SB provides another 15% clock for clock over Nehalem. HT and Turbo might make it even bigger. Thus the CPU gain should be a lot bigger than the loss in GPU

fswmacguy
Jan 3, 2011, 05:42 PM
Thus the CPU gain should be a lot bigger than the loss in GPU

On a day-to-day basis, I use more of the GPU than the CPU. (By that, I mean I rarely stress the CPU, however the GPU is usually my main bottleneck)

That's not to say the Sandy Bridge processors aren't fantastic- I'm considering building a desktop with the new CPUs in due course- I'm just implying that Intel's integrated GPU isn't anywhere near as good as a dedicated GPU.

Intel has figured out that they can manufacture a processor/GPU combo for cheaper and are taking advantage of it. They know that the mobile business-type will never worry about benchmarks: thus their consumer target audience.

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 05:43 PM
See the article I linked. Intel IGP ain't that bad this time but it will likely be worse than 320M in MBA since LV and ULV parts feature a lower clock speed than the CPU used in those tests. However, the CPU upgrade will be fairly big since Nehalem provided 15% clock for clock upgrade over C2D and now SB provides another 15% clock for clock over Nehalem. HT and Turbo might make it even bigger. Thus the CPU gain should be a lot bigger than the loss in GPU

Effectively, that would put the 1.5GHz Core i7 roughly on par with the 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo before Turbo Boost. Plus we'd get hyperthreading, which would help applications optimized for multiple cores.

ditosou
Jan 3, 2011, 05:47 PM
I love my MBA 11".

size100
Jan 3, 2011, 05:49 PM
On a day-to-day basis, I use more of the GPU than the CPU.

Doing what?

Hellhammer
Jan 3, 2011, 05:50 PM
On a day-to-day basis, I use more of the GPU than the CPU.

May I ask what apps do you use then?

Intel has figured out that they can manufacture a processor/GPU combo for cheaper and are taking advantage of it. They know that the mobile business-type will never worry about benchmarks: thus their consumer target audience.

That is true. The IGP is just fine for the people it is targeted at. People who need better GPU will likely fork out some extra money for a computer with discrete GPU anyway (talking about PCs here, Apple is a different story).

Effectively, that would put the 1.5GHz Core i7 roughly on par with the 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo before Turbo Boost. Plus we'd get hyperthreading, which would help applications optimized for multiple cores.

Yeah, but like I said earlier, Apple would likely use 25W parts in 13", thus the base clock would be 2.1GHz or 2.3GHz with +3GHz Turbo. I think that starts to be pretty nice bump in CPU speed.

lucashungaro
Jan 3, 2011, 06:34 PM
See the article I linked. Intel IGP ain't that bad this time but it will likely be worse than 320M in MBA since LV and ULV parts feature a lower clock speed than the CPU used in those tests. However, the CPU upgrade will be fairly big since Nehalem provided 15% clock for clock upgrade over C2D and now SB provides another 15% clock for clock over Nehalem. HT and Turbo might make it even bigger. Thus the CPU gain should be a lot bigger than the loss in GPU

But even with a higher CPU performance, isn't the GPU going to be a bottleneck in some applications and games despite that?

Earlier this year we had some rumors about Apple going with AMD. The fact that the MBA uses and "old" Intel processor can be a sign of that change. AMD processors currently delivers less performance than Intel ones, but the company owns ATI, so… ;)

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 08:42 PM
But even with a higher CPU performance, isn't the GPU going to be a bottleneck in some applications and games despite that?



In some applications, yes, and also in OS X itself. However, the question is whether the Sandy Bridge CPU/IGP will deliver, on the whole, similar or even better performance than the current Core 2 Duo/320m combo. My guess is that the MacBook Air is not aimed at hard core gamers, and thus Apple may be willing to trade a few FPS on WoW or Starcraft in order to boost CPU performance for those of us using Office 2011, or encoding on iTunes, or anything else that would benefit from the faster CPU.

The issue with the Arrandale (previous Core i-series) chips is that the IGP was so bad that it would have run OS X and graphics-intensive applications unacceptably slow. If the Sandy Bridge IGP is at least acceptable, and it appears to be so, then Apple may be tempted to run with it as the sole solution for the MacBook Air.

nick9191
Jan 3, 2011, 09:23 PM
Yeah just as the X4500 was supposed to rival Nvidia's IGP. I'll believe it when I see it.

These Airs are fast, thanks to a combination of an excellent IGP and an SSD drive. Having a, for the most part, unnecessarily faster CPU baring in mind the target audience of this product, and trading off for a bunch of stupid ass graphical glitches and loss of basic functionality such as not being able to watch Youtube in HD, is not in Apple's main interest. Not to mention the ever increasing importance of GPGPU.

Let's recap the main target audience of this machine:
Someone who travels a lot and needs an extraordinarily lightweight machine.
Someone who needs to perform every day tasks with their machine.

Someone who does anything other than basic usage should not be looking at a MacBook Air, it is simply not a suitable computer.

Far too many people seem to overestimate their requirements. If you genuinely feel you're not overestimating your requirements then the odds are, an Air is not for you. At the end of the day a 1.4ghz Core 2 Duo is more than enough for 95% of the population.. hell, a 1Ghz G4 is more than enough for 95% of the population (inb4 2/3 of all statistics are made up on the spot).

Still I suppose that's 21st century capitalism, people buying a bunch of stupid crap they don't need with money they don't have. And that's why in a few months, we'll receive a new Air that has a processor most of it's users wont need and an IGP that I'm willing to bet, sucks ass and will, just like it's predecessor lack the ability to perform basic graphical functionality. Glad I bought the current one.

KPOM
Jan 3, 2011, 09:47 PM
Yeah just as the X4500 was supposed to rival Nvidia's IGP. I'll believe it when I see it.


Let's recap the main target audience of this machine:
Someone who travels a lot and needs an extraordinarily lightweight machine.
Someone who needs to perform every day tasks with their machine.


To be fair, Anandtech has some specs that seem to bear out that the Sandy Bridge IGP is at least acceptable. Whether it truly "beats" the 320M is subject to interpretation.

I've been using a MacBook Air since the original version with X3100 (later the 1.86GHz with the NVIDIA 9400m and Samsung SSD, and now the "ultimate 13"). I skipped the Rev C and am likely to skip the Rev E. Arguably I didn't "need" the Rev B, and having purchased the Rev B, probably could have held out for the Rev E, but I do have the luxury of being able to afford nice technology.

Attempting to look at this from Apple's perspective, I can see why the Sandy Bridge chips would be attractive. A lot of people, rightly or wrongly, have a hard time seeing beyond the CPU since that's what people have been programmed to look at first for the last 30 years. Sandy Bridge allows Apple the ability to adopt the Core i-series, apparently while retaining an acceptable level of GPU performance. It provides some level of compatibility with OpenCL, albeit in a less-than-ideal way, which lets it continue to build OpenCL compatibility into OS X. And it appears to fit within Apple's power/battery requirements. It seems like a no-brainer for the next 13" MacBook Pro and the Rev E MacBook Air.

Stingray454
Jan 3, 2011, 11:18 PM
From what I've read, it seems the IGP performance of the new processors will be somewhere between the 310M and 320M - ie almost as good as the current ones in the Air, but not quite.

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this. I got the fully loaded 11" because of the fantastic portability when traveling or staying with friends / in my summer house. The C2D can handle and of the normal tasks with ease, the only area where I notice a slight lack of power is when playing games. I know it's not a gaming computer, but I do enjoy to casually play WoW, Starcraft or similar sometimes.

Purchasing the next revision of computer that will give me LESS performance than my current sure feels wrong, and I guess many others would feel the same. If that's the case, it'll damn better have backlit keyboard! :)

fyrefly
Jan 4, 2011, 12:24 AM
In some applications, yes, and also in OS X itself. However, the question is whether the Sandy Bridge CPU/IGP will deliver, on the whole, similar or even better performance than the current Core 2 Duo/320m combo. My guess is that the MacBook Air is not aimed at hard core gamers, and thus Apple may be willing to trade a few FPS on WoW or Starcraft in order to boost CPU performance for those of us using Office 2011, or encoding on iTunes, or anything else that would benefit from the faster CPU.

You're right. And Apple will make the decision based on the fact that the Sandy Bridge CPU will "feel" faster to 90% of users, even with the IGP that performs the same as the 320M.

The issue with the Arrandale (previous Core i-series) chips is that the IGP was so bad that it would have run OS X and graphics-intensive applications unacceptably slow. If the Sandy Bridge IGP is at least acceptable, and it appears to be so, then Apple may be tempted to run with it as the sole solution for the MacBook Air.

I have to disagree here. The Arrandale IGP runs OSX just fine, and I bet at least 50% of the current Core i5/i7 MBP owners never feel the 330M coming to life, and are just fine with the Arrandale IGP.

That's not to say that it's a good GPU, but still, it's fine at running OSX (tho not OpenCL).

trading off for a bunch of stupid ass graphical glitches and loss of basic functionality such as not being able to watch Youtube in HD, is not in Apple's main interest. Not to mention the ever increasing importance of GPGPU.

Really? The Current 11" MBAs have trouble playing 1080p YouTube from what I've read... so not sure that would be such a trade off.

You also seem to contradict yourself... saying:

Someone who does anything other than basic usage should not be looking at a MacBook Air, it is simply not a suitable computer...At the end of the day a 1.4ghz Core 2 Duo is more than enough for 95% of the population.. hell, a 1Ghz G4 is more than enough for 95% of the population (inb4 2/3 of all statistics are made up on the spot).

1) Have you used a 1Ghz G4 lately? My dad and Brother both have G4 1.25Ghz Mac Minis and they are not snappy computers at all. More than 1 or two tabs in Safari and you get beachball heaven. :D God forbid you want to want *anything* on YouTube.

2) If 95% of people could easily use a G4 (which is IMHO debatable), then why can't those same 95% of people easily get away with an Intel IGP that's bound to be more powerful than any GPU that was bundled with the G4.

3) I will agree with you that most people over-estimate their needs. The 1.4Ghz Core2 MBA has shown that most people don't need more than that. But when every computer at BestBuy is a "Core iX" (even i3's that are not that much faster - if at all - than a core2) and the MBA is at Core2, I'm sure that loses Apple business.

that's why in a few months, we'll receive a new Air that has a processor most of it's users wont need and an IGP that I'm willing to bet, sucks ass and will, just like it's predecessor lack the ability to perform basic graphical functionality. Glad I bought the current one.

I highly doubt the Sandy Bridge IGP will be as terrible as you say. What about those that still have MBA's that are "perfectly good" with the 9400m. The Sandy Bridge IGP will be better than that, given the benchmarks so far. So what would you say to them?

toxic
Jan 4, 2011, 02:54 AM
the GPU issue is overblown. it can play HD content without glitches, and that's all it really needs to do.

OpenCL arguments at this point don't stand at all. it's been almost a year and a half since SL came out, and how many applications support it? I bet zero. even Aperture 3, Apple's own software that came out 6 months later, doesn't support it.

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 03:18 AM
Earlier this year we had some rumors about Apple going with AMD. The fact that the MBA uses and "old" Intel processor can be a sign of that change. AMD processors currently delivers less performance than Intel ones, but the company owns ATI, so… ;)

Currently AMD has nothing similar in terms of CPU power. Llano's release was pushed to Q3 as its production won't start until July. Even then, there will be only few desktop CPUs, no mobile variants, yet.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20101105174003_AMD_s_Llano_Production_to_Initiate_in_July_2011.html

If that piece of news is right, my bet is that Intel will be out with Ivy Bridge before we see a good mobile Llano from AMD. It's sad but true

trondah
Jan 4, 2011, 05:20 AM
I don't see why people are so upset about the GPU, OpenGL performance in OSX is pretty ****** anyways.

emotion
Jan 4, 2011, 05:20 AM
At least AMD APUs support Direct Compute and OpenCL. ;)

Can't see Intel being able to avoid doing that with Ivy Bridge at least.

KnightWRX
Jan 4, 2011, 05:24 AM
To be fair, Anandtech has some specs that seem to bear out that the Sandy Bridge IGP is at least acceptable. Whether it truly "beats" the 320M is subject to interpretation.


*sigh*, no it's not. It doesn't. End of story. Intel lawyered out the competition so they are free to be the only ones providing an IGP, and Anand in typical ignorant fashion provided them with a CPU bound benchmark that showed more the power of a quad core i7 than the IGP. It still barely managed to beat out a 320M + Core 2 Duo, which is sad really.

The IGP by itself, in GPU bound settings as shown by other tests Anand did and that others ran, sits below a the 320M we currently have. If nVidia had been allowed to make the IGP for SB, the graphics would have been much better than this.

There is no subject to interpretation. Intel screwed us all again on graphics performance.

As others have pointed out, and what has been the scenario in the computer industry for the last 15 years (well, since the 3Dfx days really!) is that people do not stress the CPU much. Most people have a need for a fast GPU and a moderately fast CPU. That's because the biggest stress test most computers get these days are 3D games. The GPU is what matters. That's what you stress the most. If it is the bottleneck, then having a Quad Core i7 in a MBA doesn't matter, especially if the new Quad Core i7 MBA with Intel HD 3000! doesn't outperform a 320M and Core 2 Duo.


I don't see why people are so upset about the GPU, OpenGL performance in OSX is pretty ****** anyways.

Yeah, so let's just make it worse by tossing in a crap GPU. Good call there buddy!

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 05:54 AM
and Anand in typical ignorant fashion provided them with a CPU bound benchmark that showed more the power of a quad core i7 than the IGP.

The IGP by itself, in GPU bound settings as shown by other tests Anand did and that others ran, sits below a the 320M we currently have.

Why do you call him ignorant when he did provide some other tests too? It's completely normal to provide low and medium graphics performance. Would you prefer that he only provided us with medium benchmarks where most games ran below 30FPS which for most gamers is unacceptable?

Even in medium benchmarks, the difference isn't more than 1-2FPS

If nVidia had been allowed to make the IGP for SB, the graphics would have been much better than this.

Well, cows would fly if they had wings. We can continue this "if" game forever but what does it help? Nothing. All we got now is the Intel IGP unless Apple can add a discrete GPU. Whether it's nice or not, that is a whole new question but we have heard your opinion. A better IGP or Nvidia IGP would have been nice but again, all we got is the Intel thingy.

That's because the biggest stress test most computers get these days are 3D games.

I would say photo editing is catching up unless it has overtaken gaming already. Okay, it may not be as intensive as gaming but a faster CPU definitely speeds it up.

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph4083/35024.png

The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

Maybe it's time to point a finger at Apple as well and ask why can't they give us a discrete GPU. Other manufacturers can do it fine so why can't Apple? Okay, maybe not in MBA but it's a different story, Intel IGP is fine for that but in 13" MBP at least. It can't be too hard to stick in a low-end discrete chip.

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 06:21 AM
End of story. Intel lawyered out the competition so they are free to be the only ones providing an IGP, and Anand in typical ignorant fashion provided them with a CPU bound benchmark that showed more the power of a quad core i7 than the IGP. It still barely managed to beat out a 320M + Core 2 Duo, which is sad really.

Yeah, so let's just make it worse by tossing in a crap GPU. Good call there buddy!

There is nothing stopping NVIDIA or anyone else from producing a discrete GPU for a notebook computer running a Core iX chip. What Intel did was assert that its previous chipset license to NVIDIA was valid only for its Core 2 Duo chip. Their argument is that they want to place more features directly onto the CPU, and that it would not be feasible to continue licensing chipset design IP to third parties. To use a car analogy, they are saying it's a bit like refusing to license carburetor design in order to switch to fuel injection. Whether it's true or not is debatable, but NVIDIA, which has IP of its own that it licenses to Intel, concluded not to take it up with anti-trust authorities and to settle out of court.

IOW, it's over. Get over it. I know we'd all like to speculate on how well a Core iX might perform with an NVIDIA IGP, but we won't find out. Intel has shown us the new chips, and they appear to deliver a decent degree of total system performance. It's now up to Apple to decide the route they want to take. They can't stick with Core 2 Duo forever, so the question is whether they go with Sandy Bridge stock, redesign the MacBook/MacBook Air/MacBook Pro 13 to accommodate a discrete GPU, hold out for Ivy Bridge, which promises further IGP improvements, or consider AMD, which still allows third party IGP (and has better IGP of its own than Intel) but which is behind on the CPU side.

KnightWRX
Jan 4, 2011, 06:50 AM
Well, cows would fly if they had wings. We can continue this "if" game forever but what does it help? Nothing. All we got now is the Intel IGP unless Apple can add a discrete GPU.

Doesn't mean we have to be impressed nor praise Intel for a "job well done on the graphics!" though.


I would say photo editing is catching up unless it has overtaken gaming already. Okay, it may not be as intensive as gaming but a faster CPU definitely speeds it up.

Photo editing is as much a niche as Unix shell scripting. For what most folks do (remove red eyes, crop and resize pictures), the CPU capacity has been top notch for about 10 years now. 3D games always push the envelope. Things like StarCraft II, Diablo 3 from Blizzard are always big hits and some of the big titles we do see on the Mac and they require GPUs, not CPUs to run.

There is nothing stopping NVIDIA or anyone else from producing a discrete GPU for a notebook computer running a Core iX chip. What Intel did was assert that its previous chipset license to NVIDIA was valid only for its Core 2 Duo chip. Their argument is that they want to place more features directly onto the CPU, and that it would not be feasible to continue licensing chipset design IP to third parties.

nVidia has always and still produces dedicated GPUs for notebooks. I don't see why this is even in the equation. The problem is with smaller form factor notebooks that require more integrated solutions for both cooling and space reasons. What Intel did was a dick move* and now we're stuck with sub-par performance. I will get over it, but if Apple moves forward to Intel's stuff, I will move my money elsewhere.

Again, it's not because we're stuck with Intel's crap that we have to be happy about it or sing songs of praise to Intel for even allowing us mere mortals to bask in the glory of their sub-par graphics offering.

fswmacguy
Jan 4, 2011, 08:34 AM
nVidia has always and still produces dedicated GPUs for notebooks. I don't see why this is even in the equation.

Nvidia has already said that the Sandy Bridge's bundled IGP is "basic graphics". I don't think they're pleased by Intel's attempt to push Nvidia's GPU off of the logic board.

http://hothardware.com/News/Nvidia-Fears-Not-Sandy-Bridges-Basic-Graphics/

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 08:51 AM
nVidia has always and still produces dedicated GPUs for notebooks. I don't see why this is even in the equation.

You missed my point entirely (big surprise). My point is that Intel isn't eliminating all graphics solutions from Sandy Bridge notebooks. All they are doing is not allowing other integrated graphics processors.


The problem is with smaller form factor notebooks that require more integrated solutions for both cooling and space reasons.

Those are design decisions that manufacturers need to make. Had Intel not moved away from Prescott/Pentium 4, we'd be running 10GHz monsters that need large, advanced cooling systems just to turn on. I'm skeptical that Apple can't fit a discrete GPU into the next MacBook Pro 13, particularly if they eliminate the optical drive or switch to a blade SSD. The MacBook Air has always been about compromise for space, and the first model had Intel Integrated Graphics only, so a return isn't out of the question.


What Intel did was a dick move* and now we're stuck with sub-par performance. I will get over it, but if Apple moves forward to Intel's stuff, I will move my money elsewhere.


Like where? AMD has better graphics performance but slower CPU performance. Perhaps some of this is a matter of Apple optimizing OS X, as well. Flash content runs better on Windows than it does on OS X. Part of that is Adobe, but part of that is Apple.

KnightWRX
Jan 4, 2011, 09:04 AM
You missed my point entirely (big surprise). My point is that Intel isn't eliminating all graphics solutions from Sandy Bridge notebooks. All they are doing is not allowing other integrated graphics processors.

And you keep ignoring mine, which is the big picture. Before OEMs had 3 choices :

- Intel IGP
- nVidia IGP
- nVidia/ATI dedicated

Now they are left with 2 :

- Intel IGP
- nVidia/ATI dedicated

Thank you Intel for eliminating the middle ground : The good performing yet space saving nVidia IGP!

Those are design decisions that manufacturers need to make.

That's not a design decision, it's an anti-competitive move.

Like where?

A vendor that doesn't think the size of a laptop should dictate if it is high end or low end. I like the portability that 13" offers, yet I want good graphics/high resolution nowadays. Apple is notorious for only giving you those in a 15" or 17" package. Other vendors see otherwise and if Apple decides to move back to Intel graphics, other vendors will see my money for next purchase. I have no qualms with going back to Linux for my software needs.

You seem to have a need to defend Intel in all of this. This discussion is going nowhere. You will never admit that Intel did something bad here and that they failed to compete on a product level. Nothing you say will make me impressed about Sandy Bridge's GPU. I think at this point, I have no choice but not to respond to you anymore.

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 09:15 AM
And you keep ignoring mine, which is the big picture. Before OEMs had 3 choices :

- Intel IGP
- nVidia IGP
- nVidia/ATI dedicated

Now they are left with 2 :

- Intel IGP
- nVidia/ATI dedicated

Thank you Intel for eliminating the middle ground : The good performing yet space saving nVidia IGP!

But before the Intel IGP was not integrated into the CPU. Now you would have it anyway, with or without 3rd party IGP.

That's not a design decision, it's an anti-competitive move.

That is true, nothing is stopping Intel from letting Nvidia to do chipsets. However, sooner than later 3rd party IGPs will be unnecessary. With Nehalem, Intel moved the memory controller into the CPU. With Westmere, they moved the GPU in there. I would expect that within couple of years, Intel will move the PCH into the CPU. Okay, now that they got what they wanted, i.e. Nvidia gave up, it may not happen that soon but if Nvidia would still be in the chipset business, I bet it would have just boosted Intel's will to move everything into the CPU to make 3rd party stuff useless.

It's just business for Intel. All they care about is the profit.

Yayy 15 000th post :p

KnightWRX
Jan 4, 2011, 09:21 AM
But before the Intel IGP was not integrated into the CPU. Now you would have it anyway, with or without 3rd party IGP.

And that matters because ? At least OEMs would still have the option since a chipset is still required for now. They could at least offer better graphics than the Intel dud, while still saving space on VRAM and a 3rd chip. Of course, if what you want is a SoC, that doesn't exactly lend itself to that goal very well, but I doubt laptops would ever be what they are today as SoCs, at least in the short term.

That is true, nothing is stopping Intel from letting Nvidia to do chipsets. However, sooner than later 3rd party IGPs will be unnecessary. With Nehalem, Intel moved the memory controller into the CPU. With Westmere, they moved the GPU in there. I would expect that within couple of years, Intel will move the PCH into the CPU. Okay, now that they got what they wanted, i.e. Nvidia gave up, it may not happen that soon but if Nvidia would still be in the chipset business, I bet it would have just boosted Intel's will to move everything into the CPU to make 3rd party stuff useless.

And it wouldn't be a problem if Intel offered a competitive offering that was up to date. We wouldn't be having this conversation of the SB GPU was up to par, wasn't half emulated in software by the CPU and wasn't barely fast enough to compete with last year's offering on low detail CPU bound scenarios only, backed up by 2 more cores than the competition.

Maybe at the end of the day, after all their failures since the i740 saw the light of day as "The AGP Reference!", Intel should just learn that they can't do it, cave in and use their huge capital to purchase someone who can.

rnauman821
Jan 4, 2011, 09:31 AM
KnightWRX, we're tired of Core 2. That is all.

No offense but that is a cop out. Just because intel comes out with some new shiny toy doesn't mean the product from last year is somehow a fossil.

Intel still can't make a graphics chipset to save themselves. I hope they don't jump to the iX series processors until Intel stops shipping total ****.

emotion
Jan 4, 2011, 09:33 AM
Intel's driver is not just profit. There's a genuine need to get rid of the bottleneck between CPU and GPU. That is their driver. It just so happens this is also a very competitive market. It's dog eat cat!

btw. Intel own 16% of the graphics company that powers the iOS devices. As it happens Apple own 10%. Make of that what you will but if the future is low powered and mainly ARM based these threads will look silly in 12-18 months :)

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 09:40 AM
And that matters because ?

Most OEMs would likely stick with the Intel IGP or go with discrete GPU. Sure, some might go with the nVidia one in small laptops to save space but I doubt it would be that many. If 320M is so superior, why is Apple the only one who uses it? If C2D + 320M is better than iX + Intel IGP, why doesn't other OEMs use it? That is something that makes no sense IMO, or at least requires a good explanation. I don't think 9400M was very popular among other OEMs either.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have the option for nVidia IGP but it looks like Apple is the only one who is really interested about it.

KnightWRX
Jan 4, 2011, 09:48 AM
Most OEMs would likely stick with the Intel IGP or go with discrete GPU. Sure, some might go with the nVidia one in small laptops to save space but I doubt it would be that many. If 320M is so superior, why is Apple the only one who uses it?

The 2 Dell laptops I had before my 2008 UB MB had nVidia IGPs.

Eidorian
Jan 4, 2011, 09:53 AM
No offense but that is a cop out. Just because intel comes out with some new shiny toy doesn't mean the product from last year is somehow a fossil.Never read another benchmark or product review again.

blackburn
Jan 4, 2011, 09:56 AM
Anyway looks like we can't buy and intel cpu without bringing its sucktastic graphics either desktop either notebook. And looks like crappy drm made it's way to the cpu too. Why the hell technology sucks so much these days:mad:

edit: unless you pull the big bucks, looks like my next desktop will be either an old i7 or an amd

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 10:01 AM
Anyway looks like we can't buy and intel cpu without bringing its sucktastic graphics either desktop either notebook. And looks like crappy drm made it's way to the cpu too. Why the hell technology sucks so much these days:mad:

edit: unless you pull the big bucks, looks like my next desktop will be either an old i7 or an amd

You can always use discrete graphics and the Intel IGP will be turned off. If you're building a desktop, especially i7, then it shouldn't be a problem at all since you shouldn't even consider an IGP as your main GPU.

blackburn
Jan 4, 2011, 10:03 AM
Yep, but I'm still paying for it. And I will never use intel graphics, their drivers crash like hell on my eee pc. And the drm thingy, just another thing for the big media.

Eidorian
Jan 4, 2011, 10:06 AM
You can always use discrete graphics and the Intel IGP will be turned off. If you're building a desktop, especially i7, then it shouldn't be a problem at all since you shouldn't even consider an IGP as your main GPU.It's strange to see the GT2 (12 EU) Intel HD IGP on the 2500K and 2600K processors. They're going to be on performance/enthusiast machines that are going to have dedicated graphics.

Z68 is in the cards as well to support overclocking and FDI to allow usage of the Intel HD 2000/3000. H67 is limited to memory overclocking while P67 adds CPU multiplier adjustments but no video output for the IGP.

Maybe we'll figure out what SSD Caching is too on Z68.

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 10:07 AM
Yep, but I'm still paying for it. And I will never use intel graphics, their drivers crash like hell on my eee pc. And the drm thingy, just another thing for the big media.

You can wait for LGA 2011 parts to arrive in Q4, they will have no IGP. However, their prices start where the LGA 1055 parts top out (~300$). IMO it's pointless to buy old i7 system since it's performance is worse and prices are pretty equal. Even though the SB has IGP, the performance of the CPU is great.

It's strange to see the GT2 (12 EU) Intel HD IGP on the 2500K and 2600K processors. They're going to be on performance/enthusiast machines that are going to have dedicated graphics.

It indeed is. Why would someone buy K-series CPU and H67 chipset? Makes no sense because the idea of unlocked CPU is wasted as you can't OC it with H67 but on the other hand, P67 doesn't support Intel IGP.

Maybe we'll figure out what SSD Caching is too on Z68.

That sounded very interesting

blackburn
Jan 4, 2011, 10:09 AM
You can wait for LGA 2011 parts to arrive in Q4, they will have no IGP. However, their prices start where the LGA 1055 parts top out (~300$). IMO it's pointless to buy old i7 system since it's performance is worse and prices are pretty equal. Even though the SB has IGP, the performance of the CPU is great.

Time is a thing that I don't really have, my desktop failed:mad:

Eidorian
Jan 4, 2011, 10:10 AM
You can wait for LGA 2011 parts to arrive in Q4, they will have no IGP. However, their prices start where the LGA 1055 parts top out (~300$). IMO it's pointless to buy old i7 system since it's performance is worse and prices are pretty equal. Even though the SB has IGP, the performance of the CPU is great.Even Gulftown has very limited purpose now with the Core i7 2600K ready to be released. The only major benefit is the 36 PCIe 2.0 lanes that the X58 platform offers.

gdeputy
Jan 4, 2011, 10:29 AM
our c2d in mba has double the l3 cache of the sandy bridge 17w chips.

darkplanets
Jan 4, 2011, 10:59 AM
Personally, what I find amusing is that everyone is trying to use a laptop for more than what it is-- a mobile computer. In the case of the MBA, an ultraportable.

You're not supposed to be able to play Crysis on it, or rather, you shouldn't aim to. Call it a different paradigm, but I'd much rather take a CPU bump to help out in day to day tasks than a GPU change; aside from plugging in an external monitor your GPU shouldn't be getting much use from a product like the MBA.

If you want gaming, get a desktop. If you really want gaming, build your own and go Windows. That's the way it's been, and that's the way its going to continue to be. For the rest of us, we'll take a CPU bump anyday.

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 11:54 AM
Most OEMs would likely stick with the Intel IGP or go with discrete GPU. Sure, some might go with the nVidia one in small laptops to save space but I doubt it would be that many. If 320M is so superior, why is Apple the only one who uses it? If C2D + 320M is better than iX + Intel IGP, why doesn't other OEMs use it? That is something that makes no sense IMO, or at least requires a good explanation. I don't think 9400M was very popular among other OEMs either.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have the option for nVidia IGP but it looks like Apple is the only one who is really interested about it.

My guess is that the overhead of OS X is what makes the 320m attractive to Apple. When you look more closely at the Windows market, you'll see that most mainstream notebooks use Intel integrated graphics. Notebooks aimed at gamers use discrete GPUs, and usually GPUs more powerful than what Apple puts in its Pro lines. It seems that Apple wants the 320m to deliver "mainstream" performance given that it is in its MacBook Air, MacBook, and 13" MacBook Pro lines (its 3 mass-market notebooks).

Aero is off by default in Windows 7, and when it is on, it isn't as slick as the graphics in OS X. Perhaps Windows just doesn't need the graphics horsepower for average users.

This may be why NVIDIA chose not to fight and just settle. They could have played the nuclear option of withdrawing their licenses from Intel (which uses NVIDIA technology in their IGPs), but didn't. Perhaps they just saw the third party IGP market shrinking even if Intel relented. Apple is a big player, but likely not big enough to keep an entire chipset division around.

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 11:55 AM
The 2 Dell laptops I had before my 2008 UB MB had nVidia IGPs.

That was in 2008 (or before). It's 2011 now. Dell still uses the Core 2 Duo in the Adamo, but does not use an NVIDIA IGP. Perhaps they don't see the need for it with their target audience.

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 12:07 PM
This may be why NVIDIA chose not to fight and just settle. They could have played the nuclear option of withdrawing their licenses from Intel (which uses NVIDIA technology in their IGPs), but didn't. Perhaps they just saw the third party IGP market shrinking even if Intel relented. Apple is a big player, but likely not big enough to keep an entire chipset division around.

Remember that IGPs aren't the only thing nVidia made. Before, SLI only worked with nVidia chipsets (AFAIK, at least without hacks), meaning that gamers who wanted the best gaming performance with nVidia cards needed to get nVidia chipset, but since Intel didn't allow 3rd party chipsets, nVidia had to provide NF200 chip for mobo manufacturers to enable SLI.

emotion
Jan 4, 2011, 12:13 PM
My guess is that the overhead of OS X is what makes the 320m attractive to Apple.

I'll say this again. Aside from the graphics use, it's the OpenCL support that makes this an attractive option for Apple.

You don't see this, overtly, right now but we've hit the point where this is becoming mainstream.

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 12:45 PM
I'll say this again. Aside from the graphics use, it's the OpenCL support that makes this an attractive option for Apple.

You don't see this, overtly, right now but we've hit the point where this is becoming mainstream.

I know Apple's trying to promote this, but so far they haven't had much success. Sandy Bridge apparently is compatible with OpenCL, but it uses the CPU rather than the GPU, thus negating a lot of the benefit. Hopefully Lion will make better use of it internally.

Hellhammer
Jan 4, 2011, 12:53 PM
I know Apple's trying to promote this, but so far they haven't had much success. Sandy Bridge apparently is compatible with OpenCL, but it uses the CPU rather than the GPU, thus negating a lot of the benefit. Hopefully Lion will make better use of it internally.

I don't think the main issue is the OS X, more like the lack of support for OpenCL by 3rd party software. Most tasks in OS X don't require much CPU power, thus OpenCL doesn't help there but it would certainly help with apps like HandBrake, Final Cut, Logic, Adobe Suite etc (no idea do some of them support it already)

emotion
Jan 4, 2011, 12:53 PM
I know Apple's trying to promote this, but so far they haven't had much success. Sandy Bridge apparently is compatible with OpenCL, but it uses the CPU rather than the GPU, thus negating a lot of the benefit. Hopefully Lion will make better use of it internally.

I expect Lion will, yes.

AMD and Intel are promoting this much much more than Apple. Interest is high in the scientific community right now. Whilst CUDA has the lead, OpenCL - being an open standard, will likely prevail once we see optimisations and further tool support. The support for OpenCL on CPUs was developed by AMD.

Frameworks like this take time to take hold. This is no flash in the pan, the future of high end (and subsequently consumer) computing is in software that harnesses Vector/GPU units as well as CPU.

KPOM
Jan 4, 2011, 01:06 PM
I expect Lion will, yes.

AMD and Intel are promoting this much much more than Apple. Interest is high in the scientific community right now. Whilst CUDA has the lead, OpenCL - being an open standard, will likely prevail once we see optimisations and further tool support. The support for OpenCL on CPUs was developed by AMD.


When you say interest is high in the scientific community, are you implying that OpenCL is more of a benefit to those writing highly specialized applications? Can ordinary programs (e.g. video editors, games, web browsers, office applications) benefit from OpenCL by offloading tasks to the GPU, or is there more benefit in just making better use of multiple threads, x64 code, etc.?

I guess my point is if the benefits are limited and far off, then did we get much benefit in the here and now by Apple choosing to go with the Core 2 Duo/320m combo in the current MacBook Air vs. the Arrandale Core i3/i5? Is it just gamers who benefit right now?

Maven1975
Jan 4, 2011, 03:12 PM
Some of the need for expensive GPU's can be cured by developers witting tighter, more efficient code.

No excuse for the lack of discrete GPU's, but the Mac App store will bring several interesting things/changes to how we use our computers today. Lower powered computers are truly the way to go. However, Apple cant just turn a blind eye to the market asking for raw power either.

emotion
Jan 4, 2011, 03:45 PM
When you say interest is high in the scientific community, are you implying that OpenCL is more of a benefit to those writing highly specialized applications? Can ordinary programs (e.g. video editors, games, web browsers, office applications) benefit from OpenCL by offloading tasks to the GPU, or is there more benefit in just making better use of multiple threads, x64 code, etc.?

What I'm saying is this is the community that seek performance first. Moore's law is delivering more cores, not GHz now. The techniques this community are pursuing will now be necessary in the the commodity many-core era.


I guess my point is if the benefits are limited and far off, then did we get much benefit in the here and now by Apple choosing to go with the Core 2 Duo/320m combo in the current MacBook Air vs. the Arrandale Core i3/i5? Is it just gamers who benefit right now?

I can't quantify how much benefit the mainstream is seeing right now but because of the pressures I point out above software developers will have to go this route.

iRun26.2
Jan 4, 2011, 09:12 PM
Why has he not posted on this thread? I kind of miss hearing what he would have to say on this discussion...

rnauman821
Jan 5, 2011, 09:43 AM
Never read another benchmark or product review again.

... Awesome, the thing can preform in basic computing. The 320m smashes it in anything of medium usage on up.. And its well over a year old.