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methusela6
Mar 8, 2011, 03:59 PM
I understand that nobody know for sure, and that there might not even be an update.

However-assuming that a new Air does come out in June 2011 and it does have Sandy Bridge.

I want to know what chips does Intel offer-as in what could be the slowest chip Mac could throw on this.

As in what is the slowest sandy bridge they make?

thanks if anybody helps.



namtaB
Mar 8, 2011, 07:48 PM
Apple's probably going to keep the MBA and MBP 13 from overlapping, so I don't think you will get a processor that's exactly equivalent to the ones in the MBP 13. What's most likely going to happen is the speed will either stay the same or modestly increase (I'd be very surprised if the next update had over a 2 GHz processor) but the switch will be from Core 2 Duos to something else. The MBA strength lies in portability and speed via the SSD but Apple is not going to stuff a very powerful processor in it that cuts into battery life.

Peacemaker
Mar 8, 2011, 08:10 PM
Apple's probably going to keep the MBA and MBP 13 from overlapping, so I don't think you will get a processor that's exactly equivalent to the ones in the MBP 13. What's most likely going to happen is the speed will either stay the same or modestly increase (I'd be very surprised if the next update had over a 2 GHz processor) but the switch will be from Core 2 Duos to something else. The MBA strength lies in portability and speed via the SSD but Apple is not going to stuff a very powerful processor in it that cuts into battery life.
Based on my understanding, the sandy bridge ULV processors are not only more powerful than the core 2 duo but more efficient too. Furthermore, the HD 3000 is on par with 320M. Counterintuitively, it is supposed to increase the battery life and processing power. I think we need to stop giving excuses to apple for using core 2 duo when sandy bridge is a more viable option.

One may also argue that MBA is not meant for cpu-intensive task. However, why so reluctant to have more cpu power when nothing is sacrificed? In my opinion, it is a win-win situation.

Just my 2 cents,
Peacemaker

namtaB
Mar 8, 2011, 08:28 PM
Based on my understanding, the sandy bridge ULV processors are not only more powerful than the core 2 duo but more efficient too. Furthermore, the HD 3000 is on par with 320M. Counterintuitively, it is supposed to increase the battery life and processing power. I think we need to stop giving excuses to apple for using core 2 duo when sandy bridge is a more viable option.

One may also argue that MBA is not meant for cpu-intensive task. However, why so reluctant to have more cpu power when nothing is sacrificed? In my opinion, it is a win-win situation.

Just my 2 cents,
Peacemaker

I'm not saying Apple will hold onto the C2D, but that it'll keep processor speeds similar or just slightly better. A switch from the C2D is inevitable at the next update IMHO.

In terms of why they would be reluctant to have more CPU power? The answer is simple: to prevent MBA from cannibalizing MBP 13 sales. They won't be merging the MBP and MBA lines anytime soon and SSD has yet to be a permanent replacement for the HDD, so they need to keep both lines viable in the market. Apple seems to do this with the CPU, which makes sense since they tout the MBA for its portability and instant on capabilities both accomplished by the SSD so there's no need for them to increase CPU power to accomplish what they want with the MBA.

Peacemaker
Mar 8, 2011, 09:38 PM
I'm not saying Apple will hold onto the C2D, but that it'll keep processor speeds similar or just slightly better. A switch from the C2D is inevitable at the next update IMHO.

In terms of why they would be reluctant to have more CPU power? The answer is simple: to prevent MBA from cannibalizing MBP 13 sales. They won't be merging the MBP and MBA lines anytime soon and SSD has yet to be a permanent replacement for the HDD, so they need to keep both lines viable in the market. Apple seems to do this with the CPU, which makes sense since they tout the MBA for its portability and instant on capabilities both accomplished by the SSD so there's no need for them to increase CPU power to accomplish what they want with the MBA.

True, I just hope they implement i5 or i7 that have turbo boost technology because there are n ULV i3s I believe. With turbo boost, it will just that much better than core 2 duos.

KPOM
Mar 8, 2011, 09:55 PM
Here's a list of mobile Sandy Bridge chips.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_bridge#Mobile_processors


The 11" MacBook Airs use the SU9400 and SU9600 chips that put out 10W TDP, while the SL9400 and SL9600 Core 2 Duo chips in the current 13" MacBook Air runs at 17W. The NVIDIA 320M adds about another 10W. Based on that, I'm guessing that the 17W Sandy Bridge Core i5/i7 chips are the most likely to make it into the next 11" MacBook Air while the 25W Core i5 or i7 chips could wind up in the 13" models. That would suggest the 1.5 and 1.6GHs Core i7 in the 11" and the 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz Core i7 in the 13". Apple could also use the 1.4GHz Core i5 in the 11" MacBook Air.

All would give the next MacBook Air a nice CPU boost, but notice that the GPU in all the chips operate at much slower speeds (350-500MHz) than the 650MHz speed in the GPUs in the new MacBook Pro chips.

rekhyt
Mar 8, 2011, 10:43 PM
...
However-assuming that a new Air does come out in June 2011 and it does have Sandy Bridge.

...

It's quite likely that it'll come in September, according to the statistics in the MR Buyer's Guide.

zinka
Mar 8, 2011, 11:15 PM
It's quite likely that it'll come in September, according to the statistics in the MR Buyer's Guide.

You can't be serious. There's been two 8-month cycles and one 16-month cycle. Now that Apple has a hit on its hands, an 8-month update is much more likely than a 16-month update, especially with new SB mobile CPU availability. That would agree with the June time frame.

rekhyt
Mar 9, 2011, 05:42 AM
You can't be serious. There's been two 8-month cycles and one 16-month cycle. Now that Apple has a hit on its hands, an 8-month update is much more likely than a 16-month update, especially with new SB mobile CPU availability. That would agree with the June time frame.

Actually after thinking about it, the June-July time frame sounds just about right. It might be a little too fast though (I know someone who is planning to purchase a MBA very soon.) for the refresh, but it's very unlikely that any other laptop will be released along with Mac Lion. What better laptop to demonstrate Lion's multitouch capabilities, possible resolution independence than on a MacBook Air?

Excellent thinking, guys.

KohPhiPhi
Mar 9, 2011, 05:49 AM
Furthermore, the HD 3000 is on par with 320M.

This is inaccurate. Tests have proven that the HD3000 is only on par with 320M because it's paired with a SB processor (as opposed to the 320M being paired with a C2D). So, in fact, it's the SB's far superior processing muscle what keeps the HD3000 from falling behind the 320M+C2D combo. Therefore, we can safely state that the GPU itself is indeed inferior than the 320M.

artivideo.nl
Mar 9, 2011, 06:00 AM
To it is only important if the GPU/CPU combo is faster as what we have now in the MBA. If Graphics is the same as now but cpy power is better I am satisfied especially in the MBA 11.6 "

This is inaccurate. Tests have proven that the HD3000 is only on par with 320M because it's paired with a SB processor (as opposed to the 320M being paired with a C2D). So, in fact, it's the SB's far superior processing muscle what keeps the HD3000 from falling behind the 320M+C2D combo. Therefore, we can safely state that the GPU itself is indeed inferior than the 320M.

Peacemaker
Mar 9, 2011, 06:54 AM
This is inaccurate. Tests have proven that the HD3000 is only on par with 320M because it's paired with a SB processor (as opposed to the 320M being paired with a C2D). So, in fact, it's the SB's far superior processing muscle what keeps the HD3000 from falling behind the 320M+C2D combo. Therefore, we can safely state that the GPU itself is indeed inferior than the 320M.

I see. Thanks for pointing that out. However, I believe overall experience matters the most. On a side note, I wonder if AMD fusion will be an alternative then.

KPOM
Mar 9, 2011, 07:23 AM
You can't be serious. There's been two 8-month cycles and one 16-month cycle. Now that Apple has a hit on its hands, an 8-month update is much more likely than a 16-month update, especially with new SB mobile CPU availability. That would agree with the June time frame.

Those two 8 month-cycles came while Apple was experimenting with the concept. The Rev A, with its modified Merom processor and Intel graphics, was more of a proof of concept. The Rev B was the first major redesign (with Penryn and NVIDIA graphics). Rev C was a spec boost (faster processor, slightly faster battery, same overall design).

Now that the MacBook Air is mainstream, I'd expect that it follows a similar product cycle as Apple's other mainstream lines, such as the MacBook Pro. Only Apple knows for sure when it will release the next update. There are arguments that support June and arguments that support September.