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FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 06:55 PM
According to CNET, the new Air will be released around June with a Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5 2537M chip 1.4 GHz that can turbo to 2.3 GHz.

So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?



Beaverman3001
Apr 17, 2011, 06:58 PM
According to CNET, the new Air will be released around June with a Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5 2537M chip 1.4 GHz that can turbo to 2.3 GHz.

So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?

The CPU would be considerably faster, but the graphics ughh lol. The only way I can see myself grabbing a new one this year is if it comes with some type of integrated 3G plan similar to the iPad, then I'd consider downgrading the GPU.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 07:04 PM
The CPU would be considerably faster, but the graphics ughh lol. The only way I can see myself grabbing a new one this year is if it comes with some type of integrated 3G plan similar to the iPad, then I'd consider downgrading the GPU.

Idk how the CPU would be considerably faster than a 2.13 GHz core2duo.
The only bright side to this upgrade is the fact that battery might last extra :30 -1:00 hour.

Does this mean we might see thunderbolt in the new MBA? (which i dont even care)
If the CPU processing is really that faster than the 2.13 I would like to know since I ordered an MBA yesterday :P

Beaverman3001
Apr 17, 2011, 07:07 PM
Idk how the CPU would be considerably faster than a 2.13 GHz core2duo.
The only bright side to this upgrade is the fact that battery might last extra :30 -1:00 hour.

Does this mean we might see thunderbolt in the new MBA? (which i dont even care)
If the CPU processing is really that faster than the 2.13 I would like to know since I ordered an MBA yesterday :P

Clock speed isn't everything. The sandy bridge i5 should be considerably faster. With that said, buying a MBA to do intensive things with is questionable to begin with.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 07:18 PM
Yeah, the framework of the i5 is just better but. Idk, I guess ill just keep my MBA. I rather have a 320m over a ULV i5 SB Intel HD graphics.

BlackMax
Apr 17, 2011, 07:21 PM
The main reason I bought the current MBA in January was for the C2D/Nvidia combo and I love it. It handles everything I throw at it including gaming on the LAN with my son. My fear is that the next MBAs will be graphically crippled compared to the current models. But time will tell. :)

Also, my current MBA runs silent and cool. Seeing all the current heat issues with MBs and MBPs running Sandy Bridge it will be interesting to see how cool or silent the SB MBAs run.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 07:30 PM
Yeah, to be honest the only reason why I didnt wait is because GPU is so bad in the ULVs.
I rather sacrifice 10% when I have an overkill processor rather than a 30% in the GPU which is not really that good.

firestarter
Apr 17, 2011, 07:36 PM
Thunderbolt would be a killer feature for this machine - and would open up a whole load of expansion options.

Sonnet are marketing a load of interesting accessories, from Gigabit ethernet and FW800 adapters, to RAID arrays, to full-size PCIe expansion card housings, all of which can connect via Thunderbolt.

Those CPUs are pretty fast. For everyone except gamers it should be a nice machine.

KPOM
Apr 17, 2011, 07:49 PM
Clock speed isn't everything. The sandy bridge i5 should be considerably faster. With that said, buying a MBA to do intensive things with is questionable to begin with.

x2. Considering that Apple is the company who first talked about "megahertz myth" back in the days of the PowerPC, it's amazing how much ignorance there is about the Sandy Bridge Core i5. The CPU will be significantly faster. Look at the 13" MacBook Pro for some indication. The Core i5 in the 13" Pro is nearly as fast as the Core i7 was in the 2010 MacBook Pro.

That said, we will see about a 30-40% drop in GPU performance. Gamers may want to stay away from the next MacBook Air. That said, those who don't game ought to be able to do "intensive things" with the Sandy Bridge CPU. MP3 encoding, photo editing, complex spreadsheets, etc. ought to be nice on the Sandy Bridge MacBook Air.

To me, the decision on whether to upgrade will depend on what else is in the mix. If it comes with Thunderbolt and a backlit keyboard, I may pull the trigger. If it's the same computer but just with the Core 2 Duo/NVIDIA 320m swapped out for the Core i5/Intel HD3000 I might wait it out.

Beaverman3001
Apr 17, 2011, 07:49 PM
Thunderbolt would be a killer feature for this machine - and would open up a whole load of expansion options.

Sonnet are marketing a load of interesting accessories, from Gigabit ethernet and FW800 adapters, to RAID arrays, to full-size PCIe expansion card housings, all of which can connect via Thunderbolt.

Those CPUs are pretty fast. For everyone except gamers it should be a nice machine.

Those PCIe housings could make for external graphics that don't suck. Whether that is practical at all is another story.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 07:50 PM
Thunderbolt would be a killer feature for this machine - and would open up a whole load of expansion options.

Sonnet are marketing a load of interesting accessories, from Gigabit ethernet and FW800 adapters, to RAID arrays, to full-size PCIe expansion card housings, all of which can connect via Thunderbolt.

Those CPUs are pretty fast. For everyone except gamers it should be a nice machine.

To be honest, if you carry a TB to FW, RAID, PCIe expansions, whats the point of carrying an Air?
Also, will they have to sacrifice a 2.0 USB port in order to intergrate a TB port?

Idk why people say that the update affects only gamers. It affects almost everyone. OpenGLs, 3D, movies, etc.

Although I do believe the CPU will have an amazing boost, I think the GPU sacrifice will be a very huge one. But only time will tell.

firestarter
Apr 17, 2011, 07:59 PM
To be honest, if you carry a TB to FW, RAID, PCIe expansions, whats the point of carrying an Air?

Are you really going to carry all those? If you want to travel with the thing, just take what you need. I can see an Air + external 2.5inch RAID being a nice minimalist setup for video editing.

Also, will they have to sacrifice a 2.0 USB port in order to intergrate a TB port?

Sounds like a good trade.

Idk why people say that the update affects only gamers. It affects almost everyone. OpenGLs, 3D, movies, etc.

How does it effect movies? This new GPU is easily powerful enough to decode video. Do you watch all your movies on fast forward or something?
And what are you using OpenGL for that needs that power? Most apps run fine without much acceleration.

Although I do believe the CPU will have an amazing boost, I think the GPU sacrifice will be a very huge one. But only time will tell.

Is it huge, or is it only 30%?
These are all just rumours anyway.

KPOM
Apr 17, 2011, 08:03 PM
Is it huge, or is it only 30%?
These are all just rumours anyway.


Well the Samsung Series 9 already uses the chip that CNET is speculating will be in the MacBook Air, so we can compare its graphics performance.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 08:12 PM
Are you really going to carry all those? If you want to travel with the thing, just take what you need. I can see an Air + external 2.5inch RAID being a nice minimalist setup for video editing.

This is a personal opinion but here: If i had to carry a 1.5 pound weighing 2.5 inch RAID, I rather buy a MBP 13. But again, this my personal opinion, and you are entitled to yours.

Sounds like a good trade.

1 USB port in a laptop? you must be kidding. a USB port for a TB port that is useless until perhaps 6-12 months?

How does it effect movies? This new GPU is easily powerful enough to decode video. Do you watch all your movies on fast forward or something?
And what are you using OpenGL for that needs that power? Most apps run fine without much acceleration.

When we say "enough" and "runs fine" we are thinking of apps that require minimal standards. Man, when we are talking about at least quality games such as WoW, SC2, and MMO's, the difference between 320m and the Intel GPU is the difference between "playable and not playable"

Is it huge, or is it only 30%?
These are all just rumours anyway.

50% in samsung 9 series. they use exactly the same processor.

firestarter
Apr 17, 2011, 08:31 PM
Idk why people say that the update affects only gamers. It affects almost everyone. OpenGLs, 3D, movies, etc.

I get you... it's not just about games!

When we say "enough" and "runs fine" we are thinking of apps that require minimal standards. Man, when we are talking about at least quality games such as WoW, SC2, and MMO's, the difference between 320m and the Intel GPU is the difference between "playable and not playable"


...except all your examples ARE games!

Like millions of other Mac owners, I don't play any games on my Mac and haven't for years. With iOS devices and consoles being so much cheaper, it just doesn't make any sense to me to pimp-up my Mac for gaming.

Beaverman3001
Apr 17, 2011, 08:34 PM
Like millions of other Mac owners, I don't play any games on my Mac and haven't for years. With iOS devices and consoles being so much cheaper, it just doesn't make any sense to me to pimp-up my Mac for gaming.

You aren't the only person Apple sells computers to either. To a lot of people being able to at least play some games on the go is a selling point that must be met for a travel device.

s.hasan546
Apr 17, 2011, 08:35 PM
When we say "enough" and "runs fine" we are thinking of apps that require minimal standards. Man, when we are talking about at least quality games such as WoW, SC2, and MMO's, the difference between 320m and the Intel GPU is the difference between "playable and not playable"


my mbp 13" i5 plays those games just fine.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 08:37 PM
I get you... it's not just about games!



...except all your examples ARE games!

Like millions of other Mac owners, I don't play any games on my Mac and haven't for years. With iOS devices and consoles being so much cheaper, it just doesn't make any sense to me to pimp-up my Mac for gaming.

Dont let my lack of knowledge be the "hole" of the argument, considering that you might know more than me, we all know GPU tasks are not only gaming, but also many other applications involve this. Again, because of my lack of knowledge this might not be 100% backed up, but I can guess that games will not be the sole purpose of a GPU.

I bet that Mac gamers are a majority rather than a minority.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 08:41 PM
my mbp 13" i5 plays those games just fine.

yea, a MBP 13 i5 uses a different voltage than the one I stated above.

the Intel GPU largely depends on the processor power, and thus, will have a range of 30-120 FPS difference according to each processor.

Ridley
Apr 17, 2011, 08:42 PM
According to CNET, the new Air will be released around June with a Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5 2537M chip 1.4 GHz that can turbo to 2.3 GHz.

So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?

Are you talking about this article (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20031434-64.html?tag=posts;msg5118115) from back in February that has been discussed ad infinitum on here?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1126201&highlight=

Are you referring to a newer cnet story? Do you have a link? Thanks, I am personally holding off and really hoping its true... we'll see!

Also clock rate is not the only factor for determining chip speed... in fact it is a very small factor. The new processor is not just .17 hz faster, its a whole new architecture. Its why the 2.0 Ghz i7 in the 2011 MBPs are faster than the a 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 Prescott from 2004.

FX4568
Apr 17, 2011, 08:49 PM
Are you talking about this article (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20031434-64.html?tag=posts;msg5118115) from back in February that has been discussed ad infinitum on here?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1126201&highlight=

Are you referring to a newer cnet story? Do you have a link? Thanks, I am personally holding off and really hoping its true... we'll see!

Also clock rate is not the only factor for determining chip speed... in fact it is a very small factor. The new processor is not just .17 hz faster, its a whole new architecture. Its why the 2.0 Ghz i7 in the 2011 MBPs are faster than the a 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 Prescott from 2004.

It was a video released on 4/8/2011.
I cant link it since CNET doesnt actually show URL for videos.
Go to Cnet, Videos, Apple Byte, and it will be the second video on the list.

Yea, I have been corrected in that, but the argument on GPU still stands.

Psilocybin
Apr 17, 2011, 09:12 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

I will definitely not be moving to any laptop with intel 3000 gpu ever. Sticking with my MBA

Ridley
Apr 17, 2011, 10:25 PM
It was a video released on 4/8/2011.
I cant link it since CNET doesnt actually show URL for videos.
Go to Cnet, Videos, Apple Byte, and it will be the second video on the list.

Yea, I have been corrected in that, but the argument on GPU still stands.

Awesome, thanks! Again, really hoping for the June release. I posted before that in my biased opinion, I think it makes a lot of sense to get a new Air in time for the college discount program (i reckon the college demographic is aware of Intel's core duo vs i5 / i7 marketing) especially since i'd imagine the the Air has much higher margins than MBPs.

Regarding the graphics capabilities, you can't use the Samsung as a benchmark because of how differently OSX and Windows behave. I'd be really surprised if Apple didn't have some sort of trick, either hardware, or drivers to beat the current graphics capability at least on paper or some obscure benchmark. Even if they didn't, the amount of time you'd benefit from a better GPU over better CPU would be miniscule in almost all tasks like iLife programs, 99% of applications and even Photoshop (despite being gpu accelerated). If you are playing games... i might be able to see the argument.

Though personally if I were really into games or encoding stuff with badda boom or cuda or something I wouldn't be interested in an Air. I know a lot of people still are it seems from these boards, that's fine, i'm just weighing my personal opinion on the matter and would MUCH prefer better CPU.

gri
Apr 17, 2011, 10:48 PM
The real question is - will the back lit keyboard be reintroduced? I sure hope so. Couldn't care less about gaming but I want to see what I type in a meeting room (and don't get started with the whole "learn to type" BS)...:rolleyes:

BENJMNS
Apr 17, 2011, 11:28 PM
some of you guys make little sense.

-you love apple computers thus the reason why you're here. you defend its price point v. PCs, flaunt the virtues of its beautiful, well thought out OS

yet you guys have so little faith to pretty much say that apple is going to screw the pooch by releasing the next mba with inferior graphics performance? what are you, insecure?

your mba right now is the top dog, but as they say the king is dead, long live the king. i'm looking forward to the update and i'm a 13 ultimate owner. i of all people should wanna put down the next version since i paid $2K out the door for this thing brand spanking new. hahahah we don't even know if it's june or nov or what yet you guys are totally dogging on vaporware. ahahaa

but i won't. never will. innovate, mega corporation, innovate!

rubberwheels
Apr 17, 2011, 11:32 PM
I love the Macbook Air but I would hate it if they released a new one. Especially since this was only out in 10/2010.

zap2
Apr 17, 2011, 11:35 PM
To the poster above me, Apple has been know to downgrade some specs for an "upgrade" and in this case, Intel is forcing there hand. If they want to move onto the i5 chips, they can't used nVidia's GPU which is rated better then Intel built in solution. And since there aren't any other integrated solutions and the Air doesn't have room for a dedicated card, it will likely end up like the 13'' MBP, losing some graphic performance.

Users will need to decided if GPU power or CPU power is more important after this new upgrade, alone with price, as the current MBA will likely drop.

As a current MPA owner, I'm glad Apple is finally moving away from the Core 2 Duo's they have been on for so long. Heck I could upgrade my Mac Mini which was my first Mac from 2006 and I'd have a Core 2 Duo, not quite as new of a C2D and the GPU would be greatly lacking, but I can still upgrade if I want.

But once Apple jumps to Sandy Bridge, even if for a generation of Macs we lose graphic performance, we'll make it up with Ivy Bridge and our CPUs will be more powerful. Plus PC specs won't seem so far ahead.

Although I was shopping for a PC for a department at the University I work for and finding a GPU in a PC that worked with their rendering software was rather hard. PC makers just don't care about GPUs as much as they used to.

mac jones
Apr 17, 2011, 11:40 PM
I'm a little confused. People want to play games on this?

Would not be my first choice for gaming (not that I play games, but I did do flight sims once)

Is there anything else I should be concerned about? Maybe external monitor resolution? Movies?....I don't think so.

Big problem for intensive video stuff perhaps? but then again; an Air?

:confused:

thisday
Apr 18, 2011, 12:10 AM
What about the heat? MBP are too hot and not in a nice way.

m3digi
Apr 18, 2011, 12:17 AM
I'm a little confused. People want to play games on this?

Would not be my first choice for gaming (not that I play games, but I did do flight sims once)

Is there anything else I should be concerned about? Maybe external monitor resolution? Movies?....I don't think so.

Big problem for intensive video stuff perhaps? but then again; an Air?

:confused:

Some of the things I've seen people propose for the MacBook Air are completely ridiculous. There are Pro offerings currently available that meet these requirements. Yet, somehow people have this idea that the MBA should have Pro capabilities, a multitude of connectivity options, and ultra efficiency in an ultraportable form factor.

Doesn't that seem to defeat the point of the system being named MacBook 'Air'?

firewood
Apr 18, 2011, 12:29 AM
So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?

The i5 can retire more instructions per clock cycle, and so could actually run real software faster at even a lower GHz clock speed than a C2D.

Gemütlichkeit
Apr 18, 2011, 12:47 AM
I love the Macbook Air but I would hate it if they released a new one. Especially since this was only out in 10/2010.

it's going to be a spec upgrade. this happens every year with hardware

animatedude
Apr 18, 2011, 02:55 AM
According to CNET, the new Air will be released around June with a Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5 2537M chip 1.4 GHz that can turbo to 2.3 GHz.

So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?

is this a new news or is it the same thing they posted early this month?

GekkePrutser
Apr 18, 2011, 04:06 AM
Why are you guys expecting Apple to drop a USB port for the Thunderbolt?

If Apple includes Thunderbolt it will be shared with the Mini DisplayPort. Just like on the MBP's. Which was already present on the MBA so I don't see the need to drop a USB port.

I'm not sure if it will get one though due to the footprint of the new chip on the motherboard.

blipmusic
Apr 18, 2011, 04:06 AM
Any have a guess guess what this might mean for the 11"? Will that have to be even more of a compromise? I'm worried the C2D/320M might be a better option for me if Apple go for Sandy Bridge and have to cut even more corners on the 11" due to even harsher space/energy drain constraints.

If the CPU option for an 11" bump is only a marginal performance increase (*if* Apple choose to bump this summer), the nVidia GPU seems too good to lose.

I can't/don't need to buy right now but it seems I might be good off planning it a bit.

As for the gaming comments, give it up already. Personally, I want *one* (1) computer and I want to to be as portable as possible. That means both work and entertainment, some of that being the occasional game. And I realize it'll be a compromise. I won't buy it for the sake of gaming but why should that stop me from trying a few of them out?

There are a lot of games out there, some being more playable than others on an MBA. Don't expect everyone to "need"/want max detail at native resolution @60fps. I'm fine with fps dips and low/med details. If it plays it plays. It's as if the MBA could only ever do monochrome text games. Can we stop seeing the world in an "either it'll be the best ***** ever, or it'll blow chunks" kind of way? Things are bit more nuanced than that.

I'm wondering if we are underestimating hardware nowadays. To me it looks pretty nice, *especially* at the "low" end.

GekkePrutser
Apr 18, 2011, 04:32 AM
Any have a guess guess what this might mean for the 11"? Will that have to be even more of a compromise? I'm worried the C2D/320M might be a better option for me if Apple go for Sandy Bridge and have to cut even more corners on the 11" due to even harsher space/energy drain constraints.

If the CPU option for an 11" bump is only a marginal performance increase (*if* Apple choose to bump this summer), the nVidia GPU seems too good to lose.

It's not a marginal increase. The Sandy Bridge 1.4Ghz ULV (expected to be in the new 11") is 40% faster than the C2D LV 1.86Ghz chip that's currently in the base 13" in some benchmarks.

blipmusic
Apr 18, 2011, 04:39 AM
It's not a marginal increase. The Sandy Bridge 1.4Ghz ULV (expected to be in the new 11") is 40% faster than the C2D LV 1.86Ghz chip that's currently in the base 13" in some benchmarks.

Good to hear, thanks for the heads up. I'll live with the Intel IGP if that's the case.

andothfc
Apr 18, 2011, 05:01 AM
While these Sandy Bridge processors are considerably faster in lab benchmarks, they offer no discernible real-world improvement for most users. Having used a MacBook Pro with a C2D and then one of the new Sandy Bridge, I couldn't tell the difference.

As MacBook Air owners know, it's all about the SSD speed for improving the experience for everyday users.

Abstract
Apr 18, 2011, 06:12 AM
I don't play games, and even I don't want integrated graphics. :confused: You can say that an MBA isn't really purpose-built for games (obviously), but I don't know how some people can fervently defend a graphics downgrade.

I owned a rev B white MacBook, and it had some sort of crappy integrated graphics (the first type Apple used). It could easily play videos.......until HD movies and larger format videos became more common. After a year, it couldn't keep up with Youtube. I don't know what changed, but the fans ran like crazy, especially when watching movie trailers at any size above "SMALL". I realize that laptops are never going to be able to keep up with the future, but with the Intel IG being rumoured, you'd be at the cusp of being obsolete. It's already at the bottom-rung of the ladder, so there's no leeway when graphics demands move half a step forward.

Buckeyes1995
Apr 18, 2011, 06:57 AM
You aren't the only person Apple sells computers to either. To a lot of people being able to at least play some games on the go is a selling point that must be met for a travel device.]

I am exactly one of those people. I wanted a light laptop that I could game on occasionally while on travel. There is ZERO chance I would have bought an apple if it wasn't for the Air's portability and gaming potential. Hopefully I'll get many years use out of my 13" Ultimate.. but if Apple cripples the Air from a GPU perspective, I'll go back to Windows in a heartbeat on my next laptop purchase.

Don't get me wrong, I love my air and am enjoying OSX.. but not enough to sacrifice my ability to game on it.

stockscalper
Apr 18, 2011, 07:37 AM
While these Sandy Bridge processors are considerably faster in lab benchmarks, they offer no discernible real-world improvement for most users. Having used a MacBook Pro with a C2D and then one of the new Sandy Bridge, I couldn't tell the difference.

As MacBook Air owners know, it's all about the SSD speed for improving the experience for everyday users.

Very true. Plus, turbo mode is mostly marketing hype. It should be called turbo fraud. It doesn't work the way it's advertised, ie, most of the time when you need it to. So, what you're really getting is a 1.4 GHZ computer that's advertised as a 2.3 GHZ one. That's taking marketing hype to the extreme. The only way I would buy a computer with one of Intel's turbo hyped CPU's is if the bottom score met my needs. I would never rely on the hyped theoretical upper score in making my decision and in this case 1.4 GHZ doesn't cut it for me.

ReallyBigFeet
Apr 18, 2011, 09:30 AM
This one goes out to all the tinfoil hat wearers....you know who you are (secret code inserted here.-..-11..-312).

I think Apple intentionally borked our current 320M graphic power in the 10.6.7 release fiasco. This was intentional. That way when they release the new MBA's with the inferior integrated graphics chipset, they can actually show an IMPROVEMENT in graphic speed.

Seriously. Its true. I read it on the intrawebs.

Psilocybin
Apr 18, 2011, 09:44 AM
This one goes out to all the tinfoil hat wearers....you know who you are (secret code inserted here.-..-11..-312).

I think Apple intentionally borked our current 320M graphic power in the 10.6.7 release fiasco. This was intentional. That way when they release the new MBA's with the inferior integrated graphics chipset, they can actually show an IMPROVEMENT in graphic speed.

Seriously. Its true. I read it on the intrawebs.

why would that not surprise me

vader_slri
Apr 18, 2011, 09:53 AM
Very true. Plus, turbo mode is mostly marketing hype. It should be called turbo fraud. It doesn't work the way it's advertised, ie, most of the time when you need it to. So, what you're really getting is a 1.4 GHZ computer that's advertised as a 2.3 GHZ one. That's taking marketing hype to the extreme. The only way I would buy a computer with one of Intel's turbo hyped CPU's is if the bottom score met my needs. I would never rely on the hyped theoretical upper score in making my decision and in this case 1.4 GHZ doesn't cut it for me.

Intel's marketing only specifies the base processor speed, not the turbo speed. For example, the i5-2537M under discussion here is advertised as a 1.4GHz chip. Guess what? Its base clock speed is 1.4GHz. It can turbo up to 2.3GHz but it is in no way advertised as being a 2.3GHz chip. Here is the product sheet directly from Intel:

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=54619&processor=i5-2537M&spec-codes=SR03W

vader_slri
Apr 18, 2011, 10:00 AM
I don't play games, and even I don't want integrated graphics. :confused:

Then I guess the 320m is no good either since it is integrated.

You can say that an MBA isn't really purpose-built for games (obviously), but I don't know how some people can fervently defend a graphics downgrade.

I don't know how some people can fervently rail against the potential of a 2-generation CPU upgrade.

Psilocybin
Apr 18, 2011, 10:03 AM
This one goes out to all the tinfoil hat wearers....you know who you are (secret code inserted here.-..-11..-312).

I think Apple intentionally borked our current 320M graphic power in the 10.6.7 release fiasco. This was intentional. That way when they release the new MBA's with the inferior integrated graphics chipset, they can actually show an IMPROVEMENT in graphic speed.

Seriously. Its true. I read it on the intrawebs.

anyone test 320m in lion?

Andras5soul
Apr 18, 2011, 10:16 AM
I'm definitely going to wait for this. So I can get a last-gen ultimate on the cheap!

fyrefly
Apr 18, 2011, 01:19 PM
The real question is - will the back lit keyboard be reintroduced? I sure hope so. Couldn't care less about gaming but I want to see what I type in a meeting room (and don't get started with the whole "learn to type" BS)...:rolleyes:

+1 - If the next Rev puts the BL Keyboard back in, I'll be first in line.

While these Sandy Bridge processors are considerably faster in lab benchmarks, they offer no discernible real-world improvement for most users. Having used a MacBook Pro with a C2D and then one of the new Sandy Bridge, I couldn't tell the difference.

Depends on what you were doing. If you're just surfing and Youtube and Facebook, then of course the Core2Duo won't matter vs. the i5.

But if you do anything CPU intensive... convert a FLV to an MP4 to use on your iPad, etc... the i6 will smoke the C2D.


I am exactly one of those people. I wanted a light laptop that I could game on occasionally while on travel. There is ZERO chance I would have bought an apple if it wasn't for the Air's portability and gaming potential. Hopefully I'll get many years use out of my 13" Ultimate.. but if Apple cripples the Air from a GPU perspective, I'll go back to Windows in a heartbeat on my next laptop purchase.

These are the comments I least understand.

Apple has basically two choices:

1. Update the MBA sometime in 2010 with SB LV/ULV chips. The CPU will boost, but the Graphics will take a hit.

2. Leave the MBA as a C2D/320M machine for a total of ~18 months till the right Ivy Bridge chips come out. That IGP should be almost equal to the 320M, but I there'll be much better chips than the 320M in early 2012, so I bet all the people whining about the SB IGP will be saying the same stuff about the Ivy IGP.

But let me get this straight: You own a MBA right now. It's got a 320m chip in it that gives you jollies and plays your games. So if Apple was to leave the MBA stagnant for a year and a half, and then update to Ivy Bridge, you'd be happy, etc... but if Apple updated to SB in the middle of that cycle, you'd be pissed, throw you current laptop in the garbage and get a Windows Lappy?

I'm not super-keen on a SB MBA either (unless it has the aforementioned BL Keyboard), but here's a message to all the SB Haters: Apple releasing a SB update to spur Back to School or Holiday Sales in no way invalidates your current MBA. It's not like all the 2010-era MBAs will suddenly explode into a puff of smoke forcing you to use the SB IGP you seemingly hate so much. You can keep using the 320m until the Ivy Bridge MBA comes out in 2012.

What about the heat? MBP are too hot and not in a nice way.

The 2011 MBPs all added 10W to their TDP while keeping the same form factor. That's why there's heat issues across the board. The chips we're talking about in this thread are 17W chips - that's the same or less than the current TDP on the LV9400/9600+320M which should keep the heat issues at bay.

BlackMax
Apr 18, 2011, 04:37 PM
I'm a little confused. People want to play games on this?

Would not be my first choice for gaming (not that I play games, but I did do flight sims once)

Is there anything else I should be concerned about? Maybe external monitor resolution? Movies?....I don't think so.

Big problem for intensive video stuff perhaps? but then again; an Air?

:confused:

I have a 11" MBA. I did not buy it to play games, but for work and ease of travel. BUT... I enjoy having the *option* to play the occasional game if the mood strikes me. :)

With my Black MacBook gaming was never an option because of the integrated Intel graphics.

I believe many MBA owners are like me and want a MBA that provides them with as many options as possible. Thus it is just a tad disconcerting when there is a good possibility the next generation MBA might reduce the number of options it provides to its owners. Then it again, it might not. Only time will tell. That is part of the fun of speculating on MacRumors.

yly3
Apr 18, 2011, 05:31 PM
Some people are lying themselves. Of course every high-end laptop will be like the MBA in few-several years. That is the point, getting slimmer, portable and more and more powerful. That's the ideal laptop.

So a MBA with better GPU/CPU is always welcomed.

KPOM
Apr 18, 2011, 05:58 PM
Some people are lying themselves. Of course every high-end laptop will be like the MBA in few-several years. That is the point, getting slimmer, portable and more and more powerful. That's the ideal laptop.

So a MBA with better GPU/CPU is always welcomed.

The point, though, is that the Sandy Bridge MacBook Air will have a much better CPU, but a worse GPU unless Apple does something surprising.

FX4568
Apr 18, 2011, 06:22 PM
Okay, I am trying to play a theoretical "game," if we start bringing in factors such as "Apple will work it out," obviously, my whole argument is useless.
We must try to PREDICT what the next MBA will be in terms of WHAT WE HAVE currently.
You are saying that MBA are not meant for gaming and other stuff. I KNOW, i am not saying I will play crysis 2 on max settings, you are placing my argument on the extreme side.
Understand that what im saying is that nearly all of us are casual gamers. we want to play a game here or two, and as High Schooler, I will play more games.
But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.

For example, lets say you have 100/100 in a test. Having a theoretical 40% boost will give you a 140/100. I mean, thats cool. Overkill. That is currently the CPU we have. We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100. At lower levels, difference between a 80/100 and 42.5/100 is the difference between a pass and a fail.

Of course, having a better CPU might be fulfilling to you and might give you the sense that you are the "latest in tech," but seriously, it is not about the CPU any more, it is about SSDs, ergonomics, GPU, and ultimately, Software.

thunng8
Apr 18, 2011, 08:30 PM
Okay, I am trying to play a theoretical "game," if we start bringing in factors such as "Apple will work it out," obviously, my whole argument is useless.
We must try to PREDICT what the next MBA will be in terms of WHAT WE HAVE currently.
You are saying that MBA are not meant for gaming and other stuff. I KNOW, i am not saying I will play crysis 2 on max settings, you are placing my argument on the extreme side.
Understand that what im saying is that nearly all of us are casual gamers. we want to play a game here or two, and as High Schooler, I will play more games.


If the new AIR is using the same Sandy Bridge processor as the Samsung series 9, you'll be sorely disappointed with its graphics performance.

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/samsung-series-9.aspx?page=3

3DMark is less than half of the Air (2188 vs 4611)

WOW ran at a miserable 14fps at 1366x768 res compared to the Air that runs at 53fps at 1440x900. Battery life is worse as well.

Psilocybin
Apr 18, 2011, 08:38 PM
If the new AIR is using the same Sandy Bridge processor as the Samsung series 9, you'll be sorely disappointed with its graphics performance.

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/samsung-series-9.aspx?page=3

3DMark is less than half of the Air (2188 vs 4611)

WOW ran at a miserable 14fps at 1366x768 res compared to the Air that runs at 53fps at 1440x900. Battery life is worse as well.

Ouch. I'm glad I have c2d air

TrollToddington
Apr 19, 2011, 12:14 AM
But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.Well, let's stay with 80286 because every new generation since then has provided no more than 40% boost in CPU.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100.Wrong math. 30% of 80/100 is 24/100 so you end up with 56/100, not 42.5/100.

I see the current MBA owners make every effort to praise their machine and brand the next one useless. For the casual user the c2d MBA and SB MBA will be absolutely identical. Neither the faster CPU нор the slower GPU will make your web browsing any faster/slower, document editing will be the same. Still the MBA will be your travel companion. Picking a MBA to be the one and only computer in a home environment is kinda ridiculous - for less amount of money one can get an iMac which is far more convenient with its larger screen - for gaming, videos or whatever. Besides, it is very portable, too, i move mine in my home all the time.

SnowLeopard2008
Apr 19, 2011, 12:41 AM
I think (most) of us are prejudiced about Intel graphics. When I saw the Intel HD 3000 graphics in the new 13" MBPs, I first thought of the X3100 in my first Late 2007 white MacBook and how much it sucked. Intel's track record with integrated graphics isn't great, but it's improving over time. A lot has changed since those X3100 times.

However, both the NVIDIA 320M and SB Intel graphics are an upgrade to my current 15" MBP's NVIDIA 9400M. I seldom switch to the discrete and I plan on buying a MBA this summer. So for me, either graphics will be an upgrade over the one I currently use.

As long as it's better/faster than my current, the new Core iX CPUs are worth waiting for. Intel IGP isn't better than the NVIDIA 320M but the processor is a lot faster/better. So the slight tradeoff in graphics performance isn't too bad. The Intel HD 3000 is on par with the current graphics. I've looked at Anandtech, Macworld and a whole bunch of other benchmarks. Intel IGP either performs slightly worse or slightly better than the NVIDIA 320M.

fyrefly
Apr 19, 2011, 01:20 AM
If the new AIR is using the same Sandy Bridge processor as the Samsung series 9, you'll be sorely disappointed with its graphics performance.

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/samsung-series-9.aspx?page=3

3DMark is less than half of the Air (2188 vs 4611)

WOW ran at a miserable 14fps at 1366x768 res compared to the Air that runs at 53fps at 1440x900. Battery life is worse as well.

We knew all this Graphics stuff already like a month ago from the Engadget review.

They said the Series 9 gets 25 mins less battery life (http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/28/samsung-series-9-900x-laptop-review/).

PCMag says the Series 9 gets almost an hour MORE battery life (http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1740,iid=291739,00.asp). These reviews are all over the place, and only tell part of the story.

Yes, the graphics (aka Gaming) performance will be less. But it seems on par or better than the 9400m, which people use just fine every day in the 2008/2009 MBA/MB/MBP's.

And regarding Battery life - we have no idea what Voodoo Apple puts into the power optimization of it's laptops.

All we can empirically say at this point is that the (U)LV i5/i7 chips with IGP consume about 21W TDP, which is less than the SL9400/9600+320m combo which some have pegged at over 30W TDP. The laws of physics seem to dictate that since it draws up to 10W less power and would (presumably) have the same battery, a SB MBA would have more battery life than a C2D MBA.

Penn Jennings
Apr 19, 2011, 02:03 AM
Is it huge, or is it only 30%?
These are all just rumours anyway.

30% is huge. 30% is statistically "significant".

blipmusic
Apr 19, 2011, 02:18 AM
But it seems on par or better than the 9400m, which people use just fine every day in the 2008/2009 MBA/MB/MBP's.

Honest question: Why are there so many comparisons to a GPU (9400M) the Air no longer has? The Intel IGP is still worse than the 320M, which to me is the only relevant point if all we are comparing is the GPU.

Removing options is removing options. At this point it would've made sense to release the new MBA with SB a few months later, than doing what seems like a downgrade on the graphics side. Easy for me to say of course. I don't have a finished design in my shed, ready for release and the choice is to either make money (release with C2D) and possibly losing some (no release, wait for SB).

Luckily, the MBA, especially, doesn't depend on its GPU alone.

The laws of physics seem to dictate that since it draws up to 10W less power and would (presumably) have the same battery, a SB MBA would have more battery life than a C2D MBA.

It seems that the only way Apple could rationalize bumping to SB is by bringing something new, meaningful, to the table. An hour extra battery life, perhaps. Or new hardware, such as a built in wireless modem (pretty please, make that fit in the 11"). I guess it all depends on how long they can use the C2D versus what they can offer "in return" for going SB.

On the other hand most buyers won't care/notice anyway, which Apple is probably more than aware of. :(

thunng8
Apr 19, 2011, 04:56 AM
We knew all this Graphics stuff already like a month ago from the Engadget review.

We now have some actual game results now and it seems even worse than the 50% drop seen in the original review.

Instead of 50% of the performance of the 320M, we now have:
26% at a lower resolution in Wow
34% for Lost planet

Those numbers seem to suggest the ULV SAndy Bridge has even worse graphics performance than the previous generation Nvidia 9400M

They said the Series 9 gets 25 mins less battery life (http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/28/samsung-series-9-900x-laptop-review/).

PCMag says the Series 9 gets almost an hour MORE battery life (http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1740,iid=291739,00.asp). These reviews are all over the place, and only tell part of the story.

it is only 29min. Not sure where you get almost 1 hour from. And it was measured in Windows, so I think this is the most comparable number. Mac OS is known to be better at using less power than Windows. From this, I'd say there would be a marginal increase in battery life by switching to Sandy Bridge - nothing major.



Yes, the graphics (aka Gaming) performance will be less. But it seems on par or better than the 9400m, which people use just fine every day in the 2008/2009 MBA/MB/MBP's.

Seems worse actually



And regarding Battery life - we have no idea what Voodoo Apple puts into the power optimization of it's laptops.

All we can empirically say at this point is that the (U)LV i5/i7 chips with IGP consume about 21W TDP, which is less than the SL9400/9600+320m combo which some have pegged at over 30W TDP. The laws of physics seem to dictate that since it draws up to 10W less power and would (presumably) have the same battery, a SB MBA would have more battery life than a C2D MBA.

TDP is not the whole story .. for example the 2011 i7 2.3Ghz Sandy Bridge Quad Core is supposed to have a TDP of 45W, which is 10W more than the i7
2.66Ghz 2010 model. However, Anandtech measured the 2011 machine using almost 40W more running a CPU intensive task. Something is very weird about the Sandy Bridge TDP numbers.

thunng8
Apr 19, 2011, 05:01 AM
I've looked at Anandtech, Macworld and a whole bunch of other benchmarks. Intel IGP either performs slightly worse or slightly better than the NVIDIA 320M.

Those comparisons showing the HD3000 being almost as good as the 320M does not relate to the Macbook Air. The next Macbook Air is likely to use the ULV Sandy Bridge which is hugely underclocked compared to the HD3000 used in the MBP.

robeddie
Apr 19, 2011, 08:03 AM
But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.

For example, lets say you have 100/100 in a test. Having a theoretical 40% boost will give you a 140/100. I mean, thats cool. Overkill. That is currently the CPU we have. We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100. At lower levels, difference between a 80/100 and 42.5/100 is the difference between a pass and a fail.

Of course, having a better CPU might be fulfilling to you and might give you the sense that you are the "latest in tech," but seriously, it is not about the CPU any more, it is about SSDs, ergonomics, GPU, and ultimately, Software.

+1

I agree. I think the 'gain' in processor speed will be hard to notice. But for many of us, the 'drop' in gpu performance (which is already marginal with the 320m) will be deadly.

vader_slri
Apr 19, 2011, 10:25 AM
Okay, I am trying to play a theoretical "game," if we start bringing in factors such as "Apple will work it out," obviously, my whole argument is useless.
We must try to PREDICT what the next MBA will be in terms of WHAT WE HAVE currently.
You are saying that MBA are not meant for gaming and other stuff. I KNOW, i am not saying I will play crysis 2 on max settings, you are placing my argument on the extreme side.
Understand that what im saying is that nearly all of us are casual gamers. we want to play a game here or two, and as High Schooler, I will play more games.
But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.

For example, lets say you have 100/100 in a test. Having a theoretical 40% boost will give you a 140/100. I mean, thats cool. Overkill. That is currently the CPU we have. We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100. At lower levels, difference between a 80/100 and 42.5/100 is the difference between a pass and a fail.

Of course, having a better CPU might be fulfilling to you and might give you the sense that you are the "latest in tech," but seriously, it is not about the CPU any more, it is about SSDs, ergonomics, GPU, and ultimately, Software.

If you feel so strongly against a SB update, buy the current MBA and live happily! Nobody can take that away from you. It will continue to function exactly as you expect it to, even if a SB update is released!

Chopstick217
Apr 19, 2011, 11:11 AM
+1

I agree. I think the 'gain' in processor speed will be hard to notice. But for many of us, the 'drop' in gpu performance (which is already marginal with the 320m) will be deadly.

Agreed, even though I mainly game on my desktop. I still occasionally play wow and starcraft on my air. The drop in GPU performance would most definitely affect me more than the marginal CPU increase.

txmatt
Apr 19, 2011, 02:04 PM
But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.

For example, lets say you have 100/100 in a test. Having a theoretical 40% boost will give you a 140/100. I mean, thats cool. Overkill. That is currently the CPU we have. We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100. At lower levels, difference between a 80/100 and 42.5/100 is the difference between a pass and a fail.

Of course, having a better CPU might be fulfilling to you and might give you the sense that you are the "latest in tech," but seriously, it is not about the CPU any more, it is about SSDs, ergonomics, GPU, and ultimately, Software.

I had to finally register to comment on the hypocrisy in this and many other threads like it. Because some people want frame rates for gaming on an MBA, then your needs for GPU performance are valid, and others who don't game but could use CPU performance have invalid needs? Rubbish.

A perfect example is the above. So the C2D rates as a 100/100 for CPU performance and thus any improvement is useless? Really?! Nice to see that you framed the argument such that any improvement you don't see as needed is useless.

On Sunday I combined 6 or 8 short 720p video clips into a 7 minute video for YouTube with a simple title screen and transitions. It took the C2D ~40 minutes to process the video and save in a new format. So you're really going to argue that there is nothing to be gained from a significant bump in processor speed?

For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

Psilocybin
Apr 19, 2011, 03:26 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

But my point is that even if we get a 40% boost in our CPU, it is near useless.

For example, lets say you have 100/100 in a test. Having a theoretical 40% boost will give you a 140/100. I mean, thats cool. Overkill. That is currently the CPU we have. We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.

On the other hand, on the GPU side, you have a 80/100 (which is what the NVIDIA 320m is) and we see a 30% performance drop, that will result to a 42.5/100. At lower levels, difference between a 80/100 and 42.5/100 is the difference between a pass and a fail.

Of course, having a better CPU might be fulfilling to you and might give you the sense that you are the "latest in tech," but seriously, it is not about the CPU any more, it is about SSDs, ergonomics, GPU, and ultimately, Software.

I had to finally register to comment on the hypocrisy in this and many other threads like it. Because some people want frame rates for gaming on an MBA, then your needs for GPU performance are valid, and others who don't game but could use CPU performance have invalid needs? Rubbish.

A perfect example is the above. So the C2D rates as a 100/100 for CPU performance and thus any improvement is useless? Really?! Nice to see that you framed the argument such that any improvement you don't see as needed is useless.

On Sunday I combined 6 or 8 short 720p video clips into a 7 minute video for YouTube with a simple title screen and transitions. It took the C2D ~40 minutes to process the video and save in a new format. So you're really going to argue that there is nothing to be gained from a significant bump in processor speed?

For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

Uhm. Your Point is? Everyone has different wants and needs Also nobody said the processor upgrade is useless or "unwelcome". Some people want more fps when doing moderate gaming including myself and I definately won't be welcoming the intel hd into my house. I will be waiting for ivy bridge

TrollToddington
Apr 19, 2011, 03:27 PM
For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

+1, besides, the 13" MBP + 128GB SSD provide far better value-for-money than any present 13" MBA.

The cheaper solution, the 11", tells another story but even then anything past the base model comes so close to the price of a 13" MBP+SSD that it's impractical to get a 11" from a performance point of view, especially when it's equipped with the slow 1.4 C2D. The 1.4 i5 will provide far better performance (certainly far more than 40% of speed boost). We will still be able to watch FullHD movies despite the less capable IGP. Games. Don't tell me you want to play WoW on a 11" monitor.

Also nobody said the processor upgrade is useless or "unwelcome". FX4568 said "We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.". Overkill means the increased processor speed will not be of any use, or, in other words, useless.

FX4568
Apr 19, 2011, 04:27 PM
I had to finally register to comment on the hypocrisy in this and many other threads like it. Because some people want frame rates for gaming on an MBA, then your needs for GPU performance are valid, and others who don't game but could use CPU performance have invalid needs? Rubbish.

A perfect example is the above. So the C2D rates as a 100/100 for CPU performance and thus any improvement is useless? Really?! Nice to see that you framed the argument such that any improvement you don't see as needed is useless.

On Sunday I combined 6 or 8 short 720p video clips into a 7 minute video for YouTube with a simple title screen and transitions. It took the C2D ~40 minutes to process the video and save in a new format. So you're really going to argue that there is nothing to be gained from a significant bump in processor speed?

For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

Well, I shall say first of all, welcome to the MacRumors forum :) I believe CPU is important to the computer as the GPU is. As current computers are, CPU have set a milestone where most users are not even able to use 100% of the capabilities hidden in such a powerful processor.

Now, you were complaining I used 100/100 in the CPU analogy? fine, I will change it. CPU will be 90/100 and GPU is 80/100 as the 30% increase in cpu and 30% decrease in gpu, we will see a difference of 117/100 and 56/100. Am I arguing that there will be nothing to be gained from a bump in processor speed? Definitely not! Who doesnt love the little extra power when we need it? Who doesnt want the latest in tech? What im saying is that the downgrading of the GPU outweights the upgrading of the CPU in terms of OVERALL performance.

Futhermore HT and Turbo dont work 100% of the times.
For you and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump will be indeed welcomed. But as of me and the I believe majority of MBA owners and will be owners, the difference of processor speed is negligible to a certain extent, but the performance lack of GPU will be noticed the moment we start using the Macbook Air.

+1, besides, the 13" MBP + 128GB SSD provide far better value-for-money than any present 13" MBA.

The cheaper solution, the 11", tells another story but even then anything past the base model comes so close to the price of a 13" MBP+SSD that it's impractical to get a 11" from a performance point of view, especially when it's equipped with the slow 1.4 C2D. The 1.4 i5 will provide far better performance (certainly far more than 40% of speed boost). We will still be able to watch FullHD movies despite the less capable IGP. Games. Don't tell me you want to play WoW on a 11" monitor.

FX4568 said "We have enough to accomplish our tasks, and any more would be an overkill in the things we need our computer to process.". Overkill means the increased processor speed will not be of any use, or, in other words, useless.

You are comparing a cheaper price point by bringing a 128 SSD into the game. You must understand that even though many people have to choose between the 13 MBA and 13 MBP, both of them are made for a different purpose. You can play WoW on a 11" monitor. Why do you chain your MBA to tasks that you only think it will be able to accomplish.

Okay, sorry about my lack of further explanation, but I dont want this to sound personal, but what you are doing is taking my statement to a whole different level. I would like to infer that your intelligence would be above the mark where I dont have to expand on every single statement that I say. When I say that the C2D is enough to accomplish tasks, I am saying that it is good enough for the higher than average person. Handbrakers of course will face a time difference on the processor speed, but as many of us know, not everyone uses Handbrake, and if we do, it is not something we do daily. Processor speed is always welcome, but at the sacrifice of GPU from 320m to the Intel GPU is the difference between the ability to play Crysis on 19.3 FPS at Medium settings and not be able to playing it at all while the performance increase in CPU is the difference between 10-30 minutes in Handbrake.

blipmusic
Apr 19, 2011, 04:33 PM
Games. Don't tell me you want to play WoW on a 11" monitor.

I want to. Stop projecting. The 11" MBA will become my only computer when I get it in a few months and that includes playing the odd game, possibly including WoW.

Heck, the *iPad* could probably be my only computer with a keyboard dock if it did untethered OS updates and could compile LaTeX documents natively. But you're probably about to burst now so I'll stop.

firestarter
Apr 19, 2011, 04:38 PM
Now, you were complaining I used 100/100 in the CPU analogy? fine, I will change it. CPU will be 90/100 and GPU is 80/100 as the 30% increase in cpu and 30% decrease in gpu, we will see a difference of 117/100 and 56/100. Am I arguing that there will be nothing to be gained from a bump in processor speed? Definitely not! Who doesnt love the little extra power when we need it? Who doesnt want the latest in tech?

These are all random/nonsensical figures you've made up FX4568. Outside of gaming, there are prescious few apps that will be affected by a 30% decrease in GPU. Your '100 baseline' beneath which a GPU becomes unusable bears no relation to reality.

This will be even more true as Apple becomes better at optimising for Grand Central dispatch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Central_Dispatch). As an example the new Final Cut Pro X is said to optimise and scale well across all sizes of systems. I'd expect a much faster processor to 'soak up' the GPU drop in this instance.

What im saying is that the downgrading of the GPU outweights the upgrading of the CPU in terms of OVERALL performance.


No. Outside of gaming, a larger proportion of processing is done in the CPU than the GPU, and improving the CPU will yield greater benefits.

But as of me and the I believe majority of MBA owners

You can only really talk for yourself and others in this thread that subscribe to that opinion. What evidence to you have that the majority would notice?

I would expect that most MBA owners aren't hardcore gamers - it's just not that sort of machine. Medium power graphic uses, like productivity apps or watching movies wouldn't be noticeably impacted.

Of course, I don't have any figures to back up that belief either. ;)

FX4568
Apr 19, 2011, 04:54 PM
These are all random/nonsensical figures you've made up FX4568. Outside of gaming, there are prescious few apps that will be affected by a 30% decrease in GPU.

This will be even more true as Apple becomes better at optimising for Grand Central dispatch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Central_Dispatch). As an example the new Final Cut Pro X is said to optimise and scale well across all sizes of systems. I'd expect a much faster processor to 'soak up' the GPU drop in this instance.

No. Outside of gaming, a larger proportion of processing is done in the CPU than the GPU, and improving the CPU will yield greater benefits.

You can only really talk for yourself and others in this thread that subscribe to that opinion. What evidence to you have that the majority would notice?

I would expect that most MBA owners aren't hardcore gamers - it's just not that sort of machine. Medium power graphic uses, like productivity apps or watching movies wouldn't be noticeably impacted.

Of course, I don't have any figures to back up that belief either. ;)

Well, I wish I had a program to back up such GPU CPU usage, but I do not, so whether you believe my point is up to you.

I have NO idea as of how GCD affects GPU. The only thing that my mind connected the GDP to a GPU is when the GPU has an Open CL, Open CL is like GDP but not quite. GDP can be summarized as "GCD lifts the programmer from the burden of dealing with shared memory, threads, locks and semaphores which usually results in a great amount of pain." GCD does not direct GPU burden into the CPU. If it did, why doesnt Apple further continue on this technology? Wouldn't it be more efficient to Apple to develop this technology so far that GPUs are obsolete and instead of placing GPUs in a system, they could use extra battery? or extra RAM? GDP only takes advantage of multi core systems, but it certainly does not take the burden of GPU.
If it does, I would honestly like to know, as knowledge is always good.

Yea, I see the point where you are coming from. Neither of us know whether or not MBA owners have bought it for mild gaming or not, but hardcore gamers are certainly not in the radar of MBA buyers. But do not confuse hardcore gamers with games that tend to fall in the "hardcores." Almost all games could be run in MBA, of course few of them wont. But as of 90% of games, the 320M will. Again, do I have numbers to back it up? I certainly dont, but there was a chart somewhere that compared over 30 games with 320m and Intel 3000HD used in MBP 13", and the 13" could play less than the 320m ones. Why do I keep up bringing games as GPU comparisons? Because as my lack of knowledge shows, games are the ones that stress the most out of GPUs in my usage.

Exana
Apr 19, 2011, 05:20 PM
The point, though, is that the Sandy Bridge MacBook Air will have a much better CPU, but a worse GPU unless Apple does something surprising.

Yeah ! Going with some brand new AMD's Llano APU. :D

Penn Jennings
Apr 19, 2011, 05:53 PM
I had to finally register to comment on the hypocrisy in this and many other threads like it. Because some people want frame rates for gaming on an MBA, then your needs for GPU performance are valid, and others who don't game but could use CPU performance have invalid needs? Rubbish.

A perfect example is the above. So the C2D rates as a 100/100 for CPU performance and thus any improvement is useless? Really?! Nice to see that you framed the argument such that any improvement you don't see as needed is useless.

On Sunday I combined 6 or 8 short 720p video clips into a 7 minute video for YouTube with a simple title screen and transitions. It took the C2D ~40 minutes to process the video and save in a new format. So you're really going to argue that there is nothing to be gained from a significant bump in processor speed?

For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

Welcome!

CPU and GPU are both important. There is one critical difference between CPU and GPU though and thats this:

A user can usually wait on on the CPU with no impact other than the fact that they had to wait. Using your example. You waited 40 minutes. A CPU that that was twice as fast might have reduced your wait to 25 minutes. A CPU that was half a fast would have increased your wait time to maybe 75 minutes. The only consequence of CPU speed is time in general. There is rarely a difference in the final product.

GPU is different, GPU is often used to perform realtime calculations (Game or movie frames). Because the frames are related to a specific point in time, a difference is GPU performance can make the difference between usable and unusable. For that reason, people that like, want or need GPU performance tend to be focal.

In my experience, poor GPU performance bugs me more than poor CPU performance. You can't just wait for the GPU to get done, like you can with a CPU. There does have to be a balance though.

robeddie
Apr 19, 2011, 06:33 PM
^
thank you.
Well said.
A faster cpu is a luxary, but not crucial. But a slower gpu can be deadly.

Psilocybin
Apr 19, 2011, 07:47 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

I had to finally register to comment on the hypocrisy in this and many other threads like it. Because some people want frame rates for gaming on an MBA, then your needs for GPU performance are valid, and others who don't game but could use CPU performance have invalid needs? Rubbish.

A perfect example is the above. So the C2D rates as a 100/100 for CPU performance and thus any improvement is useless? Really?! Nice to see that you framed the argument such that any improvement you don't see as needed is useless.

On Sunday I combined 6 or 8 short 720p video clips into a 7 minute video for YouTube with a simple title screen and transitions. It took the C2D ~40 minutes to process the video and save in a new format. So you're really going to argue that there is nothing to be gained from a significant bump in processor speed?

For me and many other potential MBA purchasers, a CPU bump from the media processing abilities of the Core i processors would be welcome, and GPU performance over and above the ability to play real-time HD video is useless. We shouldn't be saddled with an out-of-date processor or forced to subsidize "unnecessary" frame rate performance just to appease game-players. And that perspective is as valid as yours.

Welcome!

CPU and GPU are both important. There is one critical difference between CPU and GPU though and thats this:

A user can usually wait on on the CPU with no impact other than the fact that they had to wait. Using your example. You waited 40 minutes. A CPU that that was twice as fast might have reduced your wait to 25 minutes. A CPU that was half a fast would have increased your wait time to maybe 75 minutes. The only consequence of CPU speed is time in general. There is rarely a difference in the final product.

GPU is different, GPU is often used to perform realtime calculations (Game or movie frames). Because the frames are related to a specific point in time, a difference is GPU performance can make the difference between usable and unusable. For that reason, people that like, want or need GPU performance tend to be focal.

In my experience, poor GPU performance bugs me more than poor CPU performance. You can't just wait for the GPU to get done, like you can with a CPU. There does have to be a balance though.

Well said

Twe Foju
Apr 20, 2011, 01:11 AM
Sorry if i may have missed some info here

but does Apple say that they would not put an integrated GPU for the remaining of their Sandy Bridge line?

which means, as long as they use SB processor, it will be using the HD3000?

because if you guys hate the graphics downgrade, i am sure this is just a marketing strategy, and you can hope to see the next gen after this one to include integrated GPU, hopefully

i am also having a dilemma here on whether to pull my trigger on the current ultimate 13 or the SB, even if i dont play games on laptop anymore ( well the only game i still play on my MBP is EvE ), but i am a greedy bastard after all :p

==== edit ====

sorry just done some research, looks like you cant put any dedicated into SB after all.. what a shame

fyrefly
Apr 20, 2011, 01:32 AM
We now have some actual game results now and it seems even worse than the 50% drop seen in the original review.

Instead of 50% of the performance of the 320M, we now have:
26% at a lower resolution in Wow
34% for Lost planet

Those numbers seem to suggest the ULV SAndy Bridge has even worse graphics performance than the previous generation Nvidia 9400M

Gaming performance. Not graphics performance. Don't confuse the two.

Engadget's review said the Intel IGP made short work of 1080p HD clips, so regarding pushing pixels (that aren't games) the HD 3000 seems on par at doing that as the 320m.

Also, I'd venture to day the HD 3000 graphics drivers are more advanced in OSX than they are in Windows.

The same mysterious drop in Gaming performance was seen in Windows vs. OSX in the Anandtech review of the 13" 2011 MBP (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4205/the-macbook-pro-review-13-and-15-inch-2011-brings-sandy-bridge/7):

"Under OS X, the new HD Graphics 3000 GPU is actually about the same performance or even faster than the 2010 13-inch's GeForce 320M. Remember that Apple does a lot of its own driver writing under OS X and the SNB GPU received some TLC from Apple in the form of very well optimized drivers."

And yes, I know the MBP uses a fully clocked IGP and the MBA probably won't.

But if even a fully clocked IGP sucks in Windows and works almost on par with the 320m in OSX, then I'd like to at least see the LV HD3000 benchmarks in OSX before making a final judgement.

it is only 29min. Not sure where you get almost 1 hour from. And it was measured in Windows, so I think this is the most comparable number. Mac OS is known to be better at using less power than Windows. From this, I'd say there would be a marginal increase in battery life by switching to Sandy Bridge - nothing major.

Hah. My bad. I was adding like adding, and not like time adding.

I'd take even a marginal increase in battery life, though, who wouldn't?

And I'd also venture to say that Apple's doing better at battery life than most other manufacturers. The 13" 2011 MBP added 10W to it's TDP and (like you say below) Sandy Bridge seems like it's sneaky with it's turbo boosting - and still the 2011 MBP gets better battery life than it's C2D+320m sibling from last year.

TDP is not the whole story .. for example the 2011 i7 2.3Ghz Sandy Bridge Quad Core is supposed to have a TDP of 45W, which is 10W more than the i7
2.66Ghz 2010 model. However, Anandtech measured the 2011 machine using almost 40W more running a CPU intensive task. Something is very weird about the Sandy Bridge TDP numbers.

Hmm, interesting, I hadn't seen that comparison yet (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4205/the-macbook-pro-review-13-and-15-inch-2011-brings-sandy-bridge/14).

The GPU must come into play in both those test, however... so 45W + 25W = 70W out of the 93W used are accounted for in TDP.

And the 13" MBP pulls 48W instead of it's 35W TDP. It's interesting.

I wish we had seen comparable numbers for the current MBA. Does it pull more than advertised under load? How much? If not, why not? Is turbo boost to blame?

My point was based purely on TDP and not high-end scenarios, the battery life should be longer. Wireless web surfing is how Apple measures it now - and I couldn't see the SL9400/9600+320m combo posting better battery numbers in a wireless web test than the i5/HD3000 combo? That leads me to say unless one was doing high-end Rendering with their MBA - the general web-surfing, itunes playing, facebook-checking Mac user will not see anymore than the ~20W TDP come into play, giving that user longer battery life, no?

Psilocybin
Apr 20, 2011, 09:17 AM
Hd3000 is integrated and there is no room on the board to put a discreet gpu nor does the MBA need the heat and also would require more power to be consumed

Your also missing the point of the MBA. It's not meant to be a power house

Sorry if i may have missed some info here

but does Apple say that they would not put an integrated GPU for the remaining of their Sandy Bridge line?

which means, as long as they use SB processor, it will be using the HD3000?

because if you guys hate the graphics downgrade, i am sure this is just a marketing strategy, and you can hope to see the next gen after this one to include integrated GPU, hopefully

i am also having a dilemma here on whether to pull my trigger on the current ultimate 13 or the SB, even if i dont play games on laptop anymore ( well the only game i still play on my MBP is EvE ), but i am a greedy bastard after all :p

==== edit ====

sorry just done some research, looks like you cant put any dedicated into SB after all.. what a shame

htcbug
Apr 20, 2011, 09:34 AM
For me, nothing can be compared to a BACKLIT keyboard. If new mba owns one, I'll buy a 13-inch one immediately and set it as my primary computer. If not, I'll turn to a 13-inch mbp...

Psilocybin
Apr 20, 2011, 09:37 AM
For me, nothing can be compared to a BACKLIT keyboard. If new mba owns one, I'll buy a 13-inch one immediately and set it as my primary computer. If not, I'll turn to a 13-inch mbp...

I'm baffled about how a few LEDs can determine your choice between two totally different notebooks

GekkePrutser
Apr 20, 2011, 10:16 AM
[
And the 13" MBP pulls 48W instead of it's 35W TDP. It's interesting.

I wish we had seen comparable numbers for the current MBA. Does it pull more than advertised under load? How much? If not, why not? Is turbo boost to blame?

The 35W is only the TDP of the processor. It doesn't include the harddrive, screen, chipset, battery charger, etc. So that's perfectly normal.

Also, TDP is not a perfectly accurate figure for power draw. It's the maximum a computer designer should budget for, both in terms of power supply, cooling, etc. So it means that in any case the sustained power draw of the processor alone won't exceed this.

It is, however, perfectly possible that the CPU draws much less power, even in a high-load situation. That could possibly be true for the current C2D's in the MBA, because they are a bit older and therefore intel might have got the process developed a bit more efficiently. So it could well be that the C2D's are working at powers below their TDP budget, while the Sandy Bridge ones are reaching the top of their budget.

htcbug
Apr 20, 2011, 10:34 AM
I'm baffled about how a few LEDs can determine your choice between two totally different notebooks

that's easy, macbook without backlit keyboard is too ugly to me.

Psilocybin
Apr 20, 2011, 10:39 AM
that's easy, macbook without backlit keyboard is too ugly to me.

Lol ok buddy. Hope your not waiting for there to be a backlit keyboard in the air because I doubt there will be. Apple took it out of the MBA for a reason not for the heck of it

charpi
Apr 20, 2011, 10:40 AM
I believe that I have posted it on some other thread but I'll post it here just for fun.

Not sure if it is too feasible, just throwing possibilities.

MBA + Backlit(Or not, I don't really mind) + Thunderbolt + Sandy Bridge

And an external GPU connected by Thunderbolt if people needs it.

htcbug
Apr 20, 2011, 10:57 AM
Lol ok buddy. Hope your not waiting for there to be a backlit keyboard in the air because I doubt there will be. Apple took it out of the MBA for a reason not for the heck of it

lol, hope not so. Here are some other reasons: a 2 kg mbp 13 is a little bit too heavy for me as i need to travel around with a notebook to process my photos. 2 years ago i sold my t61 and replaced it with a x61 because t61 is too heavy and the cdrom is really useless to me. so when i got that the 2011 new mbp is equipped with a superdrive, i was really disappointed.

fyrefly
Apr 20, 2011, 11:46 AM
The 35W is only the TDP of the processor. It doesn't include the harddrive, screen, chipset, battery charger, etc. So that's perfectly normal.

Also, TDP is not a perfectly accurate figure for power draw. It's the maximum a computer designer should budget for, both in terms of power supply, cooling, etc. So it means that in any case the sustained power draw of the processor alone won't exceed this.

It is, however, perfectly possible that the CPU draws much less power, even in a high-load situation. That could possibly be true for the current C2D's in the MBA, because they are a bit older and therefore intel might have got the process developed a bit more efficiently. So it could well be that the C2D's are working at powers below their TDP budget, while the Sandy Bridge ones are reaching the top of their budget.

Ah, that clears things up a bit.

But as stated, I'd like to see the power draw for the C2D+320M. Certainly then, in taking out the other power-suckers in the machine, that C2D+320M combo would draw more power than the LV i5 processor alone, would it not?

FX4568
Apr 20, 2011, 04:22 PM
Ah, that clears things up a bit.

But as stated, I'd like to see the power draw for the C2D+320M. Certainly then, in taking out the other power-suckers in the machine, that C2D+320M combo would draw more power than the LV i5 processor alone, would it not?

Its a difference of 5-10W. Dont remember exactly. might be a little less since its not a full clocked C2D.

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 10:04 AM
Lol ok buddy. Hope your not waiting for there to be a backlit keyboard in the air because I doubt there will be. Apple took it out of the MBA for a reason not for the heck of it

If you're alluding to the theory that Apple took it out to 'differentiate' it from the macbook pro's, I still don't get that concept.

I mean, if you want to differentiate your higher end products from the lower end ones, you ADD features to the higher end one. You DON'T remove features that were once standard for years on the lower end machine.

***It's like if Ford all the sudden removed air conditioning on all but their high end cars - saying that's a 'luxary' feature for their high end vehicles. We'd ALL cry BULL.....!!! Same thing has happened with the MBA.

Beaverman3001
Apr 21, 2011, 10:12 AM
If you're alluding to the theory that Apple took it out to 'differentiate' it from the macbook pro's, I still don't get that concept.

I mean, if you want to differentiate your higher end products from the lower end ones, you ADD features to the higher end one. You DON'T remove features that were once standard for years on the lower end machine.

***It's like if Ford all the sudden removed air conditioning on all but their high end cars - saying that's a 'luxary' feature for their high end vehicles. We'd ALL cry BULL.....!!! Same thing has happened with the MBA.

Or Apple realized most people don't need a backlit keyboard? I honestly don't see a need for one, and I'm guessing most users don't need it. So it was probably a easy option to axe for either space or battery life. Don't expect it to return.

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 10:22 AM
Or Apple realized most people don't need a backlit keyboard? I honestly don't see a need for one, and I'm guessing most users don't need it. So it was probably a easy option to axe for either space or battery life. Don't expect it to return.

I don't know, it's been on all aluminum models since 2003. After all these years Apple decided no one really wanted it? (A lot of people on these forums obviously wouldn't agree with that).

To save battery life? You can turn it off if you want. Problem solved.

GekkePrutser
Apr 21, 2011, 12:11 PM
Also, the first MBA didn't have it, and they introduced it in the B revision. So they have been able to squeeze it in before where they weren't initially.

It would be a nice selling point for the upgraded model (as opposed to the base model), same as they did with the PowerBook for a while.

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 12:26 PM
Also, the first MBA didn't have it, and they introduced it in the B revision. So they have been able to squeeze it in before where they weren't initially.

It would be a nice selling point for the upgraded model (as opposed to the base model), same as they did with the PowerBook for a while.

Not True. The first MBA DID have it.

This ... from ZDNet:

"The worst part about the backlight’s omission is that the original MacBook Air (circa 2008) had a keyboard backlight. Obviously, there’s no technical reason that it couldn’t be done, so why did Apple drop it from the 2010 MBA?

It can’t be a price issue. How much does a keyboard backlight LED cost in Apple quantities? A dollar? You can’t make the case for battery life either, because it’s easily turned off in System Preferences.

So why did Apple really drop the keyboard backlight in the new MBA? Planned obsolescence, my friend. How much do you want to bet that the 2011 model has a keyboard backlight?"

Link: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-macbook-airs-biggest-omission-keyboard-backlight/8945

bcaslis
Apr 21, 2011, 12:53 PM
I've been told the keyboard backlighting was a size issue. Doesn't anyone remember that they made it thinner and increased the battery size? It probably doesn't fit. I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape on this. I've had both backlight and non-backlight.

Beaverman3001
Apr 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
I don't know, it's been on all aluminum models since 2003. After all these years Apple decided no one really wanted it? (A lot of people on these forums obviously wouldn't agree with that).

To save battery life? You can turn it off if you want. Problem solved.

The other models most obviously have more room for it. The Macbook Air doesn't, and Apple probably decided it wasn't worth bothering with for this model. For the other models with a lot more space, no reason not to if the space is there. But once you run into space constraints it is pretty easy to peg as one of the first things to be cut out.

Sounds Good
Apr 21, 2011, 01:44 PM
According to CNET, the new Air will be released around June with a Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5 2537M chip 1.4 GHz that can turbo to 2.3 GHz. So for .17 GHz upgrade we are sacrificing around 30% graphic power?
Which would be better for video editing -- the current MBA or the upcoming Sandy Bridge MBA? (just family videos, nothing hardcore)

TrollToddington
Apr 21, 2011, 01:49 PM
I mean, if you want to differentiate your higher end products from the lower end ones, you ADD features to the higher end one. You DON'T remove features that were once standard for years on the lower end machine.
I've seen this in Yamaha keyboards - once upon a time all keyboards had MIDI IN/OUT/THROU, later (ca 2004 onwards) Yamaha removed this pretty basic feature from their low and mid-end keyboards so that they could not be used as controllers. The customers had to end up buying pretty expensive equipment in order to use MIDI connections.

KPOM
Apr 21, 2011, 02:06 PM
Which would be better for video editing -- the current MBA or the upcoming Sandy Bridge MBA? (just family videos, nothing hardcore)

Likely the Sandy Bridge. Editing uses CPU power.

Consider that the Sandy Bridge chip has several advantages over the Core 2 Duo:

It is two generations ahead in microarchitecture (it processes more information per clock cycle)
Although it is dual-core, it operates as if it has 4 cores (each core can process 2 instructions at a time)
It can "turbo boost" (i.e. overclock itself) when running programs not written to take advantage of multiple cores.

Sounds Good
Apr 21, 2011, 02:27 PM
Likely the Sandy Bridge. Editing uses CPU power.
Thanks.

retrorichie
Apr 21, 2011, 03:28 PM
Personally I could care less about the graphics downgrade if the MBA gets sandy bridge. It is slightly disappointing at face value to downgrade anywhere with a new generation of machine, but I can live with not being able to do any gaming on this thing if it is excellent at everything else. i5 or i7 CPU combined with 512 GB of storage would be frickin' amazing. Throw in an anti-glare display and a backlit keyboard and I would just about roll over and die.

gwsat
Apr 21, 2011, 03:46 PM
I am not a gamer but still will not buy an MBA with an i series chip if it means I have to suffer Intel's woefully weak integrated graphics processor. I bought an early 13 inch Ultimate in October and plan to keep it for at least three years. It handles everything I throw at it easily so until and unless it won't do that anymore I don't plan to replace it.

EspressoLove
Apr 21, 2011, 04:13 PM
I'm happy with my 2.13 Ghz 13" MBA right now.
I have and enjoy it now - that's what counts!

So, it's only my lust for 11" might push me to "upgrade" this year .... and only if they add SD reader and keyboard backlight :p

But a year from now, I certainly will be happy to switch to Intel GPU
I hear it'll be much upgraded in Ivy Bridge - twice as fast and stuff

Sounds Good
Apr 21, 2011, 06:28 PM
i5 or i7 CPU combined with 512 GB of storage would be frickin' amazing. Throw in an anti-glare display and a backlit keyboard and I would just about roll over and die.
If they made a Macbook Air with i5 plus 512 GB of storage and a backlit keyboard... even I might buy it! :)

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 06:28 PM
The other models most obviously have more room for it. The Macbook Air doesn't, and Apple probably decided it wasn't worth bothering with for this model. For the other models with a lot more space, no reason not to if the space is there. But once you run into space constraints it is pretty easy to peg as one of the first things to be cut out.

I don't buy it.

Again, the link:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-macbook-airs-biggest-omission-keyboard-backlight/8945

bcaslis
Apr 21, 2011, 07:06 PM
I don't buy it.

Again, the link:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-macbook-airs-biggest-omission-keyboard-backlight/8945

So your link is to an article where the writer has no clue why it wasn't done? Not very useful. Again, I don't get why people don't get this. A backlight keyboard takes more room. Not a lot but some. The new MBAs are thinner with larger batteries than the first. Seems pretty reasonable it wouldn't fit. Note this is Apple, which do you think they would chose, thinner or a backlight keyboard?

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 07:14 PM
So your link is to an article where the writer has no clue why it wasn't done? Not very useful. Again, I don't get why people don't get this. A backlight keyboard takes more room. Not a lot but some. The new MBAs are thinner with larger batteries than the first. Seems pretty reasonable it wouldn't fit. Note this is Apple, which do you think they would chose, thinner or a backlight keyboard?

Cool. Then in a couple months, when the new macbook air is released and its as thin, or thinner than the current model AND includes a backlit keyboard, you'll come back here and admit you were ignorant, right?

Edmoil12
Apr 21, 2011, 08:29 PM
If you're alluding to the theory that Apple took it out to 'differentiate' it from the macbook pro's, I still don't get that concept.

I mean, if you want to differentiate your higher end products from the lower end ones, you ADD features to the higher end one. You DON'T remove features that were once standard for years on the lower end machine.

***It's like if Ford all the sudden removed air conditioning on all but their high end cars - saying that's a 'luxary' feature for their high end vehicles. We'd ALL cry BULL.....!!! Same thing has happened with the MBA.

I definitely disagree with you there. Many companies will remove features to differentiate their product lineups, and provide an incentive to buy high end products. Think Intel, could add hyperthreading and turbo boost to every processor they make for a relatively small cost, but they don't and disable features so they can market you an i7 or i5 instead of a 'lowly' i3. Think auto makers, many will offer a bigger engine along with many low cost trim upgrades as a 'sport' package. They could include all of those minor upgrades in the lower models, but they don't because it creates a stronger incentive to pay for an upgrade.

With Apple, the biggest reason the macbook air doesn't have a backlit keyboard or 4GB of ram is to save costs to keep their margins up. Also it creates an incentive for people to buy a more expensive macbook pro, or pay $100 extra for the 4GB of ram. Plus, it gives them another selling feature if they decide to bring it back later. Remember when apple removed the buttons from the iPod shuffle, only to promote how great they are when they brought them back?

If apple thinks that the savings they get by removing the backlit keyboard are greater than the lost customers/profits from removing it, then they are better off.

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 09:24 PM
I definitely disagree with you there. Many companies will remove features to differentiate their product lineups, and provide an incentive to buy high end products. Think Intel, could add hyperthreading and turbo boost to every processor they make for a relatively small cost, but they don't and disable features so they can market you an i7 or i5 instead of a 'lowly' i3. Think auto makers, many will offer a bigger engine along with many low cost trim upgrades as a 'sport' package. They could include all of those minor upgrades in the lower models, but they don't because it creates a stronger incentive to pay for an upgrade.

With Apple, the biggest reason the macbook air doesn't have a backlit keyboard or 4GB of ram is to save costs to keep their margins up. Also it creates an incentive for people to buy a more expensive macbook pro, or pay $100 extra for the 4GB of ram. Plus, it gives them another selling feature if they decide to bring it back later. Remember when apple removed the buttons from the iPod shuffle, only to promote how great they are when they brought them back?

If apple thinks that the savings they get by removing the backlit keyboard are greater than the lost customers/profits from removing it, then they are better off.

All I'm saying is that if, in the event Apple, or ANY other company REMOVES once-standard features ... to later then call them 'luxary' features ... those companies deserve a big round of boos from us - the consumers. That's a pathetic and cynical way to try to goose sales for your higher end products.

HelloPanda
Apr 21, 2011, 09:52 PM
What if Apple puts regular Sandy Bridge Processors instead of ULVs. Then, would anyone here consider getting one? Toshiba did it, and they're getting 8+ hours of battery life on their Portege line. CNET has been gushing over Toshiba's Portege Line. That's who Apple should be looking at, not Samsung Series 9.

Edmoil12
Apr 21, 2011, 10:56 PM
All I'm saying is that if, in the event Apple, or ANY other company REMOVES once-standard features ... to later then call them 'luxary' features ... those companies deserve a big round of boos from us - the consumers. That's a pathetic and cynical way to try to goose sales for your higher end products.

Fair enough, but it seems all we can do as consumers is vote with our dollars if we don't like it.

bcaslis
Apr 22, 2011, 01:22 AM
Cool. Then in a couple months, when the new macbook air is released and its as thin, or thinner than the current model AND includes a backlit keyboard, you'll come back here and admit you were ignorant, right?

Wow, are you this much of a jerk in person?

Buckeyes1995
Apr 22, 2011, 05:43 AM
I am not a gamer but still will not buy an MBA with an i series chip if it means I have to suffer Intel's woefully weak integrated graphics processor. I bought an early 13 inch Ultimate in October and plan to keep it for at least three years. It handles everything I throw at it easily so until and unless it won't do that anymore I don't plan to replace it.

I'm the same boat.. at first I was pretty P.O.ed that Apple would be downgrading the GPU.. but then realized 'hey dummy, you just bought your MBA 13 Ultimate.. you won't be replacing it for 2-3 years anyways".. by that time hopefully Intel will have a better chipset.. or perhaps Apple will figure out how to put a true graphics board in the MBA :)

The ONLY thing that concerns me.. if two years from now my MBA fails and has to be replaced and not repaired.. I assume Apple would give me a new one under Apple Care.. which would be a downgrade for me, as I do some gaming.

robeddie
Apr 22, 2011, 07:00 AM
Wow, are you this much of a jerk in person?

Absolutely! But only when it's warranted.

Legion93
Apr 22, 2011, 07:05 AM
Wow, are you this much of a jerk in person?

Abrupt, abusive or insulting comments are not permitted on macrumors.

iRun26.2
Apr 22, 2011, 07:37 AM
Cool. Then in a couple months, when the new macbook air is released and its as thin, or thinner than the current model AND includes a backlit keyboard, you'll come back here and admit you were ignorant, right?

Thank you for writing exactly what I was thinking!

(Because I think space has nothing to do with it...they fit in the 'caps lock' led in the current model!)

GekkePrutser
Apr 22, 2011, 08:12 AM
Yeah I'm sure it can be done, but it could have needed a redesign of the keyboard backlight, so they could have left it to the next generation.

For example, the old-style backlight such as present on the MBP's, seems to have a whole load of visible 'dots', either separate LEDs or glass fibres or something. Either way there's a bunch of bright dots around the keys. I noticed this all the time because on my old MBP the backspace key was tilted forward a bit so the bright dots came into view at the edge and it was actually fairly annoying. This way of building a keyboard backlight is probably relatively thick.

They could replace this setup with a simple layer of Electroluminescent foil, or a lightspreader such as used behind an LCD screen. That requires only the thickness of the foil, and a slightly thicker edge at one end where the light goes into it, but that can be placed at the thickest part of the device. Apple manages to put a backlight in the extremely slim screen of the MBA so this should be possible as well. It probably won't be as light as direct LEDs underneath each key but it should be sufficient in situations where you really need it. I always ran my key backlight at the very lowest setting anyway.

So I won't be surprised if it makes its way back. I guess the more people will complain, the more incentive Apple will have to design something that will fit.

striker33
Apr 22, 2011, 09:18 AM
The main reason I bought the current MBA in January was for the C2D/Nvidia combo and I love it. It handles everything I throw at it including gaming on the LAN with my son. My fear is that the next MBAs will be graphically crippled compared to the current models. But time will tell. :)

Also, my current MBA runs silent and cool. Seeing all the current heat issues with MBs and MBPs running Sandy Bridge it will be interesting to see how cool or silent the SB MBAs run.

Thats probably because the new MBPs completely obliterate the MBA in terms of specs. Run a photoshop render, any render you like, on both machines, you'll see a HUGE difference. The are quiet up till around 70c, which only happens when gaming or doing anything CPU intensive, the same as the MBA.

FX4568
Apr 22, 2011, 09:51 AM
Thats probably because the new MBPs completely obliterate the MBA in terms of specs. Run a photoshop render, any render you like, on both machines, you'll see a HUGE difference. The are quiet up till around 70c, which only happens when gaming or doing anything CPU intensive, the same as the MBA.

Oh really? Man, I didnt know.
You are comparing a 2011 chip vs few years ago. Also, from your signature, you are comparing a 15 inch laptop with a 13 ULTRAPORTABLE.
Furthermore, this thread is talking about the GPU sacrifice for the CPU gain... We arent talking about how the CPU in the MBA is better or worse, of course Sandy Bridge will blow the C2D out of the water.
The difference is not in the processors, unless you are doing something such as handbrake, but instead, for the average user, is the GPU, SSD, and software.