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Kendo
Apr 20, 2011, 09:43 AM
To those waiting for the next MacBook Air, if the refresh includes Sandy Bridge and a backlit keyboard however has Intel HD Graphics 3000 as the GPU, will you simply pick up this generation's unit at a discount or opt for the refresh?

There are arguments that Sandy Bridge won't be noticeable in actual day to day activities like browsing the web and watching HD movies however it is argued that the graphics will take a big hit, especially when looking at the 13" MacBook Pros.



hcho3
Apr 20, 2011, 10:23 AM
No. Intel graphic card is not acceptable for me by any means.

I doubt backlit keyboard will come back on MBA. Apple is trying to differentiate the MBP and MBA. Backlit keyboard is one of their lists.

Bottom line, intel HD 3000 is a step back. I won't step back to upgrade and pay money.

I will wait for IVY Bridge Macbook air or liquid metal MBA in the future or Carbon Fiber.

That's a long time wait, but I will wait.

iTootyFrooty
Apr 20, 2011, 10:38 AM
No. Intel graphic card is not acceptable
Why are people acting like the new Intel Graphics are the return of the plague or something. They're not even that much worse than the 320m's and definitely better than the 9400m's in the generation before. Sandy bridge processors would more than make up for the slight performance decrease in the Intel GPUs.

Psilocybin
Apr 20, 2011, 10:44 AM
I'll second that, no intel 3000 will be entering my house
And I doubt that there will be a backlit keyboard again. As I said in the last thread apple took it out for a reason not for fun

Susurs
Apr 20, 2011, 11:03 AM
I third that...Intel integrated 'thing' will never be in a product I buy (If it's the only GPU in mac and nothing else is there like with MacBook Pro where you can switch between graphics 'device'). :)

fyrefly
Apr 20, 2011, 11:42 AM
I'll second that, no intel 3000 will be entering my house
And I doubt that there will be a backlit keyboard again. As I said in the last thread apple took it out for a reason not for fun

And that reason was? Thinness? Cost? Do you have any evidence to back this up?

I think it was simple economics - take out the BL keyboard to get the cost under $999 and keep the margins at 30%.

However, as tech gets more mature, and the R&D Cost is recouped for the new design, I think they can re-add the BL Keyboard w/o sacrificing the $999 Price-point or the 30% margins.

As you said, it wasn't just "for fun", but "for profit" and if they can maintain that profit, and return a marquee feature like the BL Keyboard, why not?

Psilocybin
Apr 20, 2011, 12:24 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'll second that, no intel 3000 will be entering my house
And I doubt that there will be a backlit keyboard again. As I said in the last thread apple took it out for a reason not for fun

And that reason was? Thinness? Cost? Do you have any evidence to back this up?

I think it was simple economics - take out the BL keyboard to get the cost under $999 and keep the margins at 30%.

However, as tech gets more mature, and the R&D Cost is recouped for the new design, I think they can re-add the BL Keyboard w/o sacrificing the $999 Price-point or the 30% margins.

As you said, it wasn't just "for fun", but "for profit" and if they can maintain that profit, and return a marquee feature like the BL Keyboard, why not?

you could be right or you could be wrong. No I don't have evidence to back that up. I simply said they took it out for a reason and the profit percentage is a reason is it not? If you are correct the i5 processors are obviously going to be more expensive meaning they will have te same situation with the backlit keyboard

Scottsdale
Apr 20, 2011, 12:40 PM
I have zero reason to downgrade to Sandy Bridge with its forced worthless IGP & chipset.

I do believe the backlit keyboard will make it back IF Apple continues to sell a MacBook. If Apple eliminates the MB and puts the low end MBA in its place at $999, then I suspect the backlit keyboard stays a thing of the past. If however Apple keeps the MB, I think it will conclude that at least the 13" MBA needs the upgraded feature. It is extremely low cost. I would be shocked if it costs $0.50 per MBA unit, and it seems like a big advantage. I think Apple likes to "experiment" with features so it can then add them back and act like they learned their lesson when actually they just want added sales.

I really don't believe there is any worry about a Sandy Bridge CPU making its way into the MBA. With Apple's update cycles, it could easily just wait for Ivy Bridge. Let's remember that the only Mac that uses low and ultra low voltage CPUs are the two MBAs. Apple can update the MB, Mac mini, and 21.5" iMac to Sandy Bridge standard core CPUs and not get the horrific loss in graphics performance that the MBA would receive with LV and ULV CPUs and their respective IGPs. I just think the vast majority of MBA buyers a, don't care, and b, would be better off with C2D and Nvidia 320m for another year.

I will be shocked to see a Sandy Bridge MBA unless it includes a standard voltage CPU... Ivy Bridge just makes much more sense.

pil0tflame
Apr 20, 2011, 12:47 PM
I would personally benefit more from the increase in CPU power in Sandy Bridge than I would suffer from the weaker Intel IGP. I'm not purchasing a MBA to play 3d games or do 3d content creation. I have other electronics more specialized/suited to those tasks (console & desktop, respectively). What I would see a benefit in is audio/video encoding, file archive compression speeds, Photoshop editing, Illustrator content creation, CCS3/JavaScript animation and any other CPU reliant tasks. Of course any GPU accelerated tasks are a different matter entirely and would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

That said, I may pick up a current gen MBA based simply on the fact that it's a known entity with a generally positive and proven reputation. The hypothetical Sandy Bridge MBA could end up being a great product too, but then again it could be a flawed wreck. Only time will tell.

As I see it, the non-gamer would generally benefit from a Sandy Bridge MBA over a C2D one. Gamers on the other hand are typically limited by the GPU, not CPU, so would be better to stick with a nVidia 320M based Air.

Oli3000
Apr 20, 2011, 01:02 PM
Intel HD 3000 + Backlit Keyboard = two wastes of money.


Doesn't bother me. I am always a bit bemused by the obsession with the backlit keyboard - I know plenty of people that turn it off! As long as I can find one key in the dark, I can find every other - and the space bar is hard to miss!

christophermdia
Apr 20, 2011, 01:08 PM
That said, I may pick up a current gen MBA based simply on the fact that it's a known entity with a generally positive and proven reputation. The hypothetical Sandy Bridge MBA could end up being a great product too, but then again it could be a flawed wreck. Only time will tell.



This is what I just did, was waiting to decide whether to give my wife my MBA Ultimate and get a new Sandy Bridge version when its released or just go ahead and buy her another Ultimate. I opted to get her the Ultimate, The way this thing performs it could last me 2-3 years easy, unless some crazy CPU/MEM intensive programs get released that I feel I really need to have...Everything opens in one bounce and handles Parallels with Win 7, Photoshop, Xcode, etc...without a hitch...Only thing I would want is Thunderbolt, provided there was a drive released to take advantage of the technology...

radiohead14
Apr 20, 2011, 02:06 PM
aren't the Sandy Bridge CPUs better with battery life? isn't the MBA supposed to be an ultra portable, thus making battery life the most important aspect of the notebook? at least this is what's most important for me when considering the MBA, so the boost in CPU performance and battery life will cancel out the downgrade in GPU for me.

AbyssImpact
Apr 20, 2011, 02:07 PM
Why do you guys assume Nvidia cannot make graphic cards for Sandy Bridge? Have you seen Dell's Alienware laptop line? They have the new processors and also are using Nvidia graphics card.

radiohead14
Apr 20, 2011, 02:09 PM
Why do you guys assume Nvidia cannot make graphic cards for Sandy Bridge? Have you seen Dell's Alienware laptop line? They have the new processors and also are using Nvidia graphics card.

but those are dedicated GPUs not integrated

Hellhammer
Apr 20, 2011, 02:10 PM
Why do you guys assume Nvidia cannot make graphic cards for Sandy Bridge? Have you seen Dell's Alienware laptop line? They have the new processors and also are using Nvidia graphics card.

NVidia can make graphics cards but they cannot make chipsets. The 320M is the chipset as well. There are only two chips in the logic board, the CPU and 320M. With a discrete GPU, there would have to be three chips; CPU, PCH and GPU. Since space is very limited in MBA, there is simple no space for all three chips.

Cheffy Dave
Apr 20, 2011, 02:21 PM
I have zero reason to downgrade to Sandy Bridge with its forced worthless IGP & chipset.

I do believe the backlit keyboard will make it back IF Apple continues to sell a MacBook. If Apple eliminates the MB and puts the low end MBA in its place at $999, then I suspect the backlit keyboard stays a thing of the past. If however Apple keeps the MB, I think it will conclude that at least the 13" MBA needs the upgraded feature. It is extremely low cost. I would be shocked if it costs $0.50 per MBA unit, and it seems like a big advantage. I think Apple likes to "experiment" with features so it can then add them back and act like they learned their lesson when actually they just want added sales.

I really don't believe there is any worry about a Sandy Bridge CPU making its way into the MBA. With Apple's update cycles, it could easily just wait for Ivy Bridge. Let's remember that the only Mac that uses low and ultra low voltage CPUs are the two MBAs. Apple can update the MB, Mac mini, and 21.5" iMac to Sandy Bridge standard core CPUs and not get the horrific loss in graphics performance that the MBA would receive with LV and ULV CPUs and their respective IGPs. I just think the vast majority of MBA buyers a, don't care, and b, would be better off with C2D and Nvidia 320m for another year.

I will be shocked to see a Sandy Bridge MBA unless it includes a standard voltage CPU... Ivy Bridge just makes much more sense.

I agree on the Sandy Bridge SD, I too believe they will wait until Ivy Bridge, it simply makes NO sense to screw up a perfectly spectacular machine, as well as sales and profits, just to move on from the C2D. IB will be another matter:cool:

fs454
Apr 20, 2011, 02:43 PM
Just having beat Portal 2 on my 11" MBA with a 1.6ghz core 2 duo and the 320m, playing it on max settings, native resolution at ~40fps was GREAT.


This isn't possible on the Intel graphics, it'd tip just below smoothly playable at these settings. The CPU is barely a bottleneck, seriously. What other 11" device can run a modern game maxed out?! Thank god for the Source engine, and for Apple's 320M+C2D choice.

halledise
Apr 20, 2011, 03:05 PM
i agree on the sandy bridge sd, i too believe they will wait until ivy bridge, it simply makes no sense to screw up a perfectly spectacular machine, as well as sales and profits, just to move on from the c2d. Cool:

+1

KohPhiPhi
Apr 20, 2011, 05:54 PM
My MBA Ultimate is perfect for me right now as my sole working machine. This is simply a super balanced laptop for those seeking mobility and reasonable performance. No need for me to fix what's not broken right now.

I won't be jumping in on a SB+HD3000 upgrade, so I will pass on the next update until Ivy comes out (as long as it's paired with a decent GPU and not with a lame HD3000-like).

smugDrew
Apr 20, 2011, 06:13 PM
As soon as Sandybridge based MBA's arrive, I'm buying.

Don't want an outdated C2D and Nv's video chipset, I've seen the HD3000 in action and it's very good. Does everything I want and much more.

Beanoir
Apr 21, 2011, 08:27 AM
There won't be a backlit keyboard on the MBA's current body design.

GekkePrutser
Apr 21, 2011, 08:34 AM
In regards to the original question: I'm buying one as soon as it gets Sandy Bridge (as long as the 11" gets at least the 2537M and not the Celeron ULV that intel also makes).

Backlit keyboard would also be super but it's not a dealbreaker for me. I'll only use it for programming, communication and business apps so I don't care what GPU it has, but I could use the extra CPU power for VMWare. I also want it more futureproofed than the current model, I tend to hang on to my stuff for a long time (check my sig ;) )

Built-in 3G would also be an option that I would pay a lot of money for if it were offered.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 21, 2011, 08:59 AM
Just having beat Portal 2 on my 11" MBA with a 1.6ghz core 2 duo and the 320m, playing it on max settings, native resolution at ~40fps was GREAT.


This isn't possible on the Intel graphics, it'd tip just below smoothly playable at these settings. The CPU is barely a bottleneck, seriously. What other 11" device can run a modern game maxed out?! Thank god for the Source engine, and for Apple's 320M+C2D choice.

M11x ;) Still love my R2.

Air is better in many other ways though.

Blues003
Apr 21, 2011, 09:01 AM
From what I read, the Intel HD 3000 is actually better-performing on OS X than the Nvidia 320m. People are paranoying this Intel 3000 issue like it's the plague, while in reality they are basically the same in terms of performance.

I don't have the money, but if I was to buy a MBA, I'd surely buy it once the Sandy Bridge version came out.

DeusInvictus7
Apr 21, 2011, 09:11 AM
As soon as Sandybridge based MBA's arrive, I'm buying.

Don't want an outdated C2D and Nv's video chipset, I've seen the HD3000 in action and it's very good. Does everything I want and much more.

From what I read, the Intel HD 3000 is actually better-performing on OS X than the Nvidia 320m. People are paranoying this Intel 3000 issue like it's the plague, while in reality they are basically the same in terms of performance.

I don't have the money, but if I was to buy a MBA, I'd surely buy it once the Sandy Bridge version came out.

You guys are forgetting that the LV and ULV version of the HD3000 is underclocked compared to the normal voltage version. So while the normal ones are the same as the 320M, the underclocked LV and ULV ones are definitely not going to match up to the 320M.

Oppressed
Apr 21, 2011, 09:15 AM
I doubt the next MBA will have a backlit keyboard for several reasons including the power consumption that it would take and the less battery life it would mean. Also it was stated that it is a key feature on the Pro and they need a reason for it to seem "Pro". Who would choose a thicker/heavier computer if you could get the thinner lighter computer with the same features? Minus the optical drive of course.

The argument of Sandy Bridge making up for the GPU is more or less not true and like always it depends on what the computer is used for. CPU intensive applications? Its an upgrade. Gaming? Its a downgrade. Light surfing? No change.

And if one person comments on "Gaming on MBA? lol" get over it. People like myself enjoy playing games on business trips and on the sofa. My 11 ultimate runs WoW like a Pro. (Pun intended)

Cerano
Apr 21, 2011, 09:20 AM
You guys are forgetting that the LV and ULV version of the HD3000 is underclocked compared to the normal voltage version. So while the normal ones are the same as the 320M, the underclocked LV and ULV ones are definitely not going to match up to the 320M.

even the normal ones cant match up to the 320m esp in windows so i wonder how a 6EU underclocked/volted HD3000 would be able to catch up:mad:

Hellhammer
Apr 21, 2011, 09:26 AM
even the normal ones cant match up to the 320m esp in windows so i wonder how a 6EU underclocked/volted HD3000 would be able to catch up:mad:

All mobile CPUs have Intel HD 3000 which has 12 EUs.

TrollToddington
Apr 21, 2011, 09:57 AM
My MBA Ultimate is perfect for me right now as my sole working machine. This is simply a super balanced laptop for those seeking mobility and reasonable performance. No need for me to fix what's not broken right now.

I won't be jumping in on a SB+HD3000 upgrade, so I will pass on the next update until Ivy comes out (as long as it's paired with a decent GPU and not with a lame HD3000-like).Why does everybody repeat the mantra 'Ivy Bridge'? Will it make the Intel's HD 3000 perform better in some kind of mysterious magical way? Or do you expect that by the time IB is released Intel will have developed a new, presumably better, IGP? Shall we expect the same comments "Intel IGP sucks I'm gonna skip IB and wait for whatever-bridge" again next year?

I am aware that, of all computers Apple produces, the MBA will suffer the most from advancements of technology because it is not upgradeable. So, if there are some radical improvements that IB will introduce that I might be interested in I will join the camp of people who will wait. The present 11" can't do the job I like it to, I need a faster processor but I like the form of 11" MBA.

Cerano
Apr 21, 2011, 10:08 AM
All mobile CPUs have Intel HD 3000 which has 12 EUs.

My apologies i meant 12 accidentally typed 6 :)

Cerano
Apr 21, 2011, 10:10 AM
Why does everybody repeat the mantra 'Ivy Bridge'? Will it make the Intel's HD 3000 perform better in some kind of mysterious magical way? Or do you expect that by the time IB is released Intel will have developed a new, presumably better, IGP? Shall we expect the same comments "Intel IGP sucks I'm gonna skip IB and wait for whatever-bridge" again next year?

I am aware that, of all computers Apple produces, the MBA will suffer the most from advancements of technology because it is not upgradeable. So, if there are some radical improvements that IB will introduce that I might be interested in I will join the camp of people who will wait. The present 11" can't do the job I like it to, I need a faster processor but I like the form of 11" MBA.

because yes its certain that by ivy bridge, a better igp would be available but also you can look at it from another pov wherein even a sandybridge CPU upgrade is not substantial enough

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 10:15 AM
Also it was stated that it is a key feature on the Pro and they need a reason for it to seem "Pro". Who would choose a thicker/heavier computer if you could get the thinner lighter computer with the same features? Minus the optical drive of course.


I'll repeat my analogy from another thread: If Ford all the sudden decided to remove air-conditioning on all but their high end cars, saying it is a 'luxary' feature that 'differentiates' the model line ... we'd ALL call BULL ...!!!

It is the same with the backlit keyboard on the MBA, which was for years a standard feature. To take it away now in order to 'differentiate' it from the pro models, is total bull....!!

If you want to differentiate the pro's you add even more features. You DON'T remove once-standard features on other models and all the sudden call it a 'luxary' item.

Lord Appleseed
Apr 21, 2011, 10:16 AM
I doubt backlit keyboard will come back on MBA. Apple is trying to differentiate the MBP and MBA. Backlit keyboard is one of their lists.

^THIS

Why do people think its necessary or will eventually come back?

Also SB + BL Keyboard VS Nvidia GPU makes no sense.

Hellhammer
Apr 21, 2011, 10:17 AM
Why does everybody repeat the mantra 'Ivy Bridge'? Will it make the Intel's HD 3000 perform better in some kind of mysterious magical way? Or do you expect that by the time IB is released Intel will have developed a new, presumably better, IGP? Shall we expect the same comments "Intel IGP sucks I'm gonna skip IB and wait for whatever-bridge" again next year?

Ivy Bridge's IGP will have 16 EUs (compared to 12 in SB IGP) along with DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1 support. If the clock speeds stay the same, then it would be around 50% faster than the current one, although that isn't that big of an upgrade.

I'll repeat my analogy from another thread: If Ford all the sudden decided to remove air-conditioning on all but their high end cars, saying it is a 'luxary' feature that 'differentiates' the model line ... we'd ALL call BULL ...!!!

It is the same with the backlit keyboard on the MBA, which was for years a standard feature. To take it away now in order to 'differentiate' it from the pro models, is total bull....!!

If you want to differentiate the pro's you add even more features. You DON'T remove once-standard features on other models and all the sudden call it a 'luxary' item.

Apple never said they removed the BL KB because it is a luxury feature. In fact, none of us knows why Apple removed it.

Lord Appleseed
Apr 21, 2011, 10:23 AM
Ivy Bridge's IGP will have 16 EUs (compared to 12 in SB IGP) along with DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1 support. If the clock speeds stay the same, then it would be around 50% faster than the current one, although that isn't that big of an upgrade.



Apple never said they removed the BL KB because it is a luxury feature. In fact, none of us knows why Apple removed it.

My guess is it's either to save battery, or they just needed the last bit of space

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 10:25 AM
Apple never said they removed the BL KB because it is a luxury feature. In fact, none of us knows why Apple removed it.

You right. But that's a very common theory here on these threads. I use that analogy to suggest how ridiculous that would be if Apple really did remove it to 'differentiate' the product lines.

TrollToddington
Apr 21, 2011, 10:47 AM
Hellhammer:

Ivy Bridge's IGP will have 16 EUs (compared to 12 in SB IGP) along with DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1 support. If the clock speeds stay the same, then it would be around 50% faster than the current one, although that isn't that big of an upgrade.Thanks for the clarification, you're great! So if the ULV HD3000 performs at 50% of MBP 13", and if IB speeds up the HD 3000 by 50% this will mean MBA IB HD 3000 will run @75% of the speed of 2011 MBP 13". So, I am actually quite right unless Intel develops a new IGP there is a thick chance people will bash on IB MBA, too.

because yes its certain that by ivy bridge, a better igp would be available but also you can look at it from another pov wherein even a sandybridge CPU upgrade is not substantial enough

I agree with you bump in processor speed won't be the key point to entice people to buy a SB MBA - there should be something more, either larger SSD storage for the same amount of money, or connectivity (TB) or better display, or better battery, or all of them. Providing incremental upgrade in speed is obviously not what the so called 'average user' need in an MBA - so many topics there are on the subject on MR.

Cerano
Apr 21, 2011, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the clarification, you're great! So if the ULV HD3000 performs at 50% of MBP 13", and if IB speeds up the HD 3000 by 50% this will mean MBA IB HD 3000 will run @75% of the speed of 2011 MBP 13". So, I am actually quite right unless Intel develops a new IGP there is a thick chance people will bash on IB MBA, too.



I agree with you bump in processor speed won't be the key point to entice people to buy a SB MBA - there should be something more, either larger SSD storage for the same amount of money, or connectivity (TB) or better display, or better battery, or all of them. Providing incremental upgrade in speed is obviously not what the so called 'average user' need in an MBA - so many topics there are on the subject on MR.

well very honestly even if Apple had offered a MBA back at the launch with Arrandales, they would have only provided bragging rights since an I5-520UM performs about the same as a 1.6 SU9600. Most people dont understand that so they go wow I5 Core2Duo sucks bro.

fs454
Apr 21, 2011, 10:55 AM
M11x ;) Still love my R2.

Air is better in many other ways though.

yeah, my best friend actually has an M11x R2. I love it, but still, at how compact the 11" Air is, I'm surprised it can max out Portal 2 easily.

Oppressed
Apr 21, 2011, 11:17 AM
You right. But that's a very common theory here on these threads. I use that analogy to suggest how ridiculous that would be if Apple really did remove it to 'differentiate' the product lines.

Apple is a business, and its not only a possibility but expected to withhold features from products to help sell other products.

Your analogy is not as black and white as you portray it. Air conditioning is a feature that many many cars have. To not include it would be a deal breaker for almost every customer out there. Meanwhile lets say leather interior was a feature that was standard on another model it would make you think twice when thinking which model to buy either between that of the same brand (in this case ford) or another lets say Nissan. If you wanted to use your same analogy in this situation it would be if Apple choose to withhold a trackpad on the laptop.

Same thing here. BL KB is a feature that is not too standard on ALL laptops. Its more or less a luxury feature that differentiates itself from not only other Apple laptops but other companies laptops.

robeddie
Apr 21, 2011, 11:53 AM
Apple is a business, and its not only a possibility but expected to withhold features from products to help sell other products.

Your analogy is not as black and white as you portray it. Air conditioning is a feature that many many cars have. To not include it would be a deal breaker for almost every customer out there. Meanwhile lets say leather interior was a feature that was standard on another model it would make you think twice when thinking which model to buy either between that of the same brand (in this case ford) or another lets say Nissan. If you wanted to use your same analogy in this situation it would be if Apple choose to withhold a trackpad on the laptop.

Same thing here. BL KB is a feature that is not too standard on ALL laptops. Its more or less a luxury feature that differentiates itself from not only other Apple laptops but other companies laptops.

But to take it away ... after it had long be a 'standard' feature, that's what's vexing. That's all I'm saying. It's weird to make one part of your product line go backwards (after so many years of having the feature) in order to all the sudden assert that the rest of the line is now 'luxary'.

Usually, yesterday's luxaries become tomorrows 'standard' feature. It's downright inane to go backwards in that regard.

And I'll go with your analogy. If apple suddenly took away trackpads on their lower end laptops and declared it a luxary feature... we'd all be pissed as hell. I really don't see how this is any different.

bcaslis
Apr 21, 2011, 12:10 PM
You right. But that's a very common theory here on these threads. I use that analogy to suggest how ridiculous that would be if Apple really did remove it to 'differentiate' the product lines.

I've heard that they removed it because they couldn't fit it into the current MBA (which is thinner than before). Makes sense to me. Personally, I've had numerous MBPs and the original MBA. I've found I don't really miss it.

Mr. Retrofire
Apr 21, 2011, 12:34 PM
Almost all people in this thread sound like they want to buy a Mac mini (MBA), but want at the same time the features of a Mac Pro (MBP). Silly.

Yeah, this is the MBA-forum, but it does not make this discussion thread better.


:rolleyes:

TheMacBookPro
Apr 21, 2011, 12:56 PM
yeah, my best friend actually has an M11x R2. I love it, but still, at how compact the 11" Air is, I'm surprised it can max out Portal 2 easily.

Just got Portal (1) for free (OEM Alienware Gift or something like that) and it does run well on both my AW and my Air.

If replacement SSD prices dropped, this would replace my alienware as my on-the-go machine.

This thing surprises me to no end. MW2 at 20~30fps is nothing to scoff at, especially since it only has an ULV C2D and an IGP.

Only thing I miss is the bl kb.

Almost all people in this thread sound like they want to buy a Mac mini (MBA), but want at the same time the features of a Mac Pro (MBP). Silly.

Yeah, this is the MBA-forum, but it does not make this discussion thread better.

:rolleyes:

Wanting a backlit keyboard isn't as unreasonable as you think it is... esp since the previous gen Air had it.

fyrefly
Apr 22, 2011, 08:36 PM
If you are correct the i5 processors are obviously going to be more expensive meaning they will have te same situation with the backlit keyboard

The i5 processors are the same price (or less) as the LV C2D they're using now. The SL9400 costs $284. The i5-2537 that's in the Samsung Series 9 costs $250.

The SL9600 costs $316. The comparable i7 LV SB processor costs $316.

Plus there's no 320m cost, so that component costs conceivably go down with a SB MBA making room to re-add the BL keyboard.

Speaking of:

It is the same with the backlit keyboard on the MBA, which was for years a standard feature. To take it away now in order to 'differentiate' it from the pro models, is total bull....!!

Although of course no-one but Apple knows the real reason - I maintain that the BL keyboard wasn't removed due to "luxury" or size, or battery life. I'm 99.99% sure it was to keep the cost down, to hit that $999 price-point and keep 30% margins.

Therefore, if a SB (or IB if Apple decides to leave it's new marquee portable completely stagnant for almost 2 years...) MBA saves on component costs via not being able to use the 320m - it could conceivably put the BL keyboard back in.

Besides:

Wanting a backlit keyboard isn't as unreasonable as you think it is... esp since the previous gen Air had it.

This. :)

Why does everybody repeat the mantra 'Ivy Bridge'? Will it make the Intel's HD 3000 perform better in some kind of mysterious magical way? Or do you expect that by the time IB is released Intel will have developed a new, presumably better, IGP? Shall we expect the same comments "Intel IGP sucks I'm gonna skip IB and wait for whatever-bridge" again next year?

Exactly. If I had loads of time on my hands, I know I could find loads of comments (probably from the same posters) last year saying "Ugh, Arrandale IGP sucks, I hope Apple waits till Sandy Bridge!"

There'll be just as many Intel IGP haters when Ivy Bridge is released, and only "matches" the 320m.

Get with it people - at some point we're gonna lose the 320m. If it's not with SB, then it'll be with IB and the graphics will still not get "better" than the 320m. It sucks - I agree - but it's inevitable.

Almost all people in this thread sound like they want to buy a Mac mini (MBA), but want at the same time the features of a Mac Pro (MBP). Silly.

Yeah, this is the MBA-forum, but it does not make this discussion thread better.

:rolleyes:

What are you talking about? We're all here 'cause we love the MBA. Would we all like a more powerful MBA? Of course - why not? Right now the MBP's rival the some late-model Mac Pro's. Why not desire more power in a portable (CPU, Graphics, or otherwise?).

brentsg
Apr 22, 2011, 09:50 PM
The overreaction to the Intel HD3000 by people that have never used it is hysterical.

The funniest part is watching people defend their C2D CPUs while dissing the Intel GPU.

SnowLeopard2008
Apr 22, 2011, 10:07 PM
The overreaction to the Intel HD3000 by people that have never used it is hysterical.

The funniest part is watching people defend their C2D CPUs while dissing the Intel GPU.

I agree. The Intel 3000 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. If you want to play games, don't bother with an Air. A computer is a tool. If it can't perform the function that you want it to (aka gaming), then why buy it? It's function over form. Not the other way around.

As for the backlit keyboard, it's both function and form but I usually don't rely on it to type something unless I'm hunting for a key that I don't use very often. No, I don't memorize where the keys are, I just have been typing on a keyboard for many years and now where the keys are because that's how I learned to type.

Psilocybin
Apr 22, 2011, 11:15 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)

Haha. The hd3000 actually is horrible. And I have proof to back that up if you'd like me to make a YouTube account. It's a joke

Marconelly
Apr 22, 2011, 11:16 PM
I agree. The Intel 3000 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. If you want to play games, don't bother with an Air. A computer is a tool. If it can't perform the function that you want it to (aka gaming), then why buy it? It's function over form. Not the other way around.
ULV Intel 3000, which is the one that would have to go into Air, if it goes at all, is quite a bit weaker than the regular I3000. Also, why wouldn't people bother with MBA if they want to play games? Current MBA is more than fine for playing many games. It has performance that matches or exceeds X360 and PS3 with any multiplatform game I've tried.

Icaras
Apr 23, 2011, 01:25 AM
I agree. The Intel 3000 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. If you want to play games, don't bother with an Air.

I think to dictate what people should or shouldn't do with their machines is silly. Search the forums and the internet. The Air has proven to be plenty capable as a gaming machine for it's size and has many satisfied users talking about it.

A computer is a tool. If it can't perform the function that you want it to (aka gaming), then why buy it? It's function over form. Not the other way around.

A computer is certainly a tool, but it can also be a gaming machine, a home theater pc, an entertainment hub, etc.; whatever a user may find use for it for.

Obviously, certain machines are better and worse at certain functions than others, but don't forget that this generation of MBA, there are people that actually did go out and buy the Air because one of the reasons is that it did happen to be a decent performer in games, while remaining ultra portable. In this case, I think the Air strikes an excellent balance between function and form.

IAs for the backlit keyboard, it's both function and form but I usually don't rely on it to type something unless I'm hunting for a key that I don't use very often. No, I don't memorize where the keys are, I just have been typing on a keyboard for many years and now where the keys are because that's how I learned to type.

I use my Air for live music sets and this is exactly a scenario where such a BL KB would be grand. I read similar opinions from other musicians on this forum in another thread. Creative artists like live musicians can definitely find appropriate use for a backlit kb, but even average everyday users who don't share the same skill level as you would also benefit from it. If anything, adding convenience is always a welcome.

If you don't want or need the backlit kb, then you could always turn it off. It's there for people who might need it. Win-win situation.

Twe Foju
Apr 23, 2011, 02:19 AM
I think to dictate what people should or shouldn't do with their machines is silly. Search the forums and the internet. The Air has proven to be plenty capable as a gaming machine for it's size and has many satisfied users talking about it.



A computer is certainly a tool, but it can also be a gaming machine, a home theater pc, an entertainment hub, etc.; whatever a user may find use for it for.

Obviously, certain machines are better and worse at certain functions than others, but don't forget that this generation of MBA, there are people that actually did go out and buy the Air because one of the reasons is that it did happen to be a decent performer in games, while remaining ultra portable. In this case, I think the Air strikes an excellent balance between function and form.



I use my Air for live music sets and this is exactly a scenario where such a BL KB would be grand. I read similar opinions from other musicians on this forum in another thread. Creative artists like live musicians can definitely find appropriate use for a backlit kb, but even average everyday users who don't share the same skill level as you would also benefit from it. If anything, adding convenience is always a welcome.

If you don't want or need the backlit kb, then you could always turn it off. It's there for people who might need it. Win-win situation.

You sir, just made my morning :D



And i Think this thread should be rename into:

Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt + HD3000 vs 320M

:cool:

SidBala
Apr 23, 2011, 04:33 AM
I would definitely take sandy bridge over what is essentially a 5+ year old CPU.

I don't think the new Intel graphics is horrible as some people suggest. But then again, I am only a light gamer.

If you set the settings to low, you can pretty much run anything on anything. I remember being able to run Crysis on a GMA950.

Peacemaker
Apr 23, 2011, 07:11 AM
I think most people that show hatred to sandy bridge CPU are owners of late 2010 MBA. Bias imo.

leskimo
Apr 23, 2011, 07:28 AM
Well.. I ordered the 320m Air yesterday, after reading up on the latest rumors. Maybe I will regret this but since I plan to do some basic 3D (Maya) modelling and opengl graphics development on the go, I figured the sandy bridge upgrade will actually be more of a downgrade.
We'll see.

SnowLeopard2008
Apr 23, 2011, 07:37 AM
I think to dictate what people should or shouldn't do with their machines is silly. Search the forums and the internet. The Air has proven to be plenty capable as a gaming machine for it's size and has many satisfied users talking about it.

I'm saying that's my personal opinion. I know it's capable of playing games, but many people are disappointed about something that no one knows except maybe Apple or Intel.

A computer is certainly a tool, but it can also be a gaming machine, a home theater pc, an entertainment hub, etc.; whatever a user may find use for it for.

Obviously, certain machines are better and worse at certain functions than others, but don't forget that this generation of MBA, there are people that actually did go out and buy the Air because one of the reasons is that it did happen to be a decent performer in games, while remaining ultra portable. In this case, I think the Air strikes an excellent balance between function and form.

Really? So if I buy a MBA, using your logic above, then one of the reasons I bought it was because it could play games. This is your opinion, your view of why some people buy a MBA. Just like what I said in my previous post was purely my personal opinion. Not dictation of anything. I'm sure many people agree with you and some that don't.

I use my Air for live music sets and this is exactly a scenario where such a BL KB would be grand. I read similar opinions from other musicians on this forum in another thread. Creative artists like live musicians can definitely find appropriate use for a backlit kb, but even average everyday users who don't share the same skill level as you would also benefit from it. If anything, adding convenience is always a welcome.

If you don't want or need the backlit kb, then you could always turn it off. It's there for people who might need it. Win-win situation.

That's you. I simply stated how I personally use my computer. It's different for everybody. Not everybody is like me or you. Not everyone is a musician or creative artist. Of course, the backlit keyboard is a welcome addition. I never said anything against that.

SnowLeopard2008
Apr 23, 2011, 07:45 AM
I think most people that show hatred to sandy bridge CPU are owners of late 2010 MBA. Bias imo.

+1 I agree. They tend to not accept that Apple will release something that is potentially better (at least CPU-wise) and newer than what they have. In case "Icaras" says I'm dictating whatever again, that is my perception, my personal opinion.

I would definitely take sandy bridge over what is essentially a 5+ year old CPU.

I don't think the new Intel graphics is horrible as some people suggest. But then again, I am only a light gamer.

If you set the settings to low, you can pretty much run anything on anything. I remember being able to run Crysis on a GMA950.

Yea, it's definitely not THAT bad. It's not a dedicated card of course, but it's not like as bad as it was back then in the GMA days. Heck, the 3000 is better than the current card I'm using, the 9400M.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 09:48 AM
I think most people that show hatred to sandy bridge CPU are owners of late 2010 MBA. Bias imo.

Or maybe people who simply prefer the 320 over the 3000?

I like to do some light gaming on-the-go, and while I have my M11x for that, I mostly carry around my Air now.

Before you tell me that the 3000 isn't as bad as I make it out to be, I have a 2011 13" Pro (i7-2.7/4/HD3000). CODMW2 on Medium settings on that, I can barely eke out 20fps while I can get 30 on my Air (although I did slightly OC the 320M).

cube
Apr 23, 2011, 09:57 AM
The 320M is CUDA-capable. Intel is still evaluating OpenCL.

Cerano
Apr 23, 2011, 10:00 AM
Or maybe people who simply prefer the 320 over the 3000?

I like to do some light gaming on-the-go, and while I have my M11x for that, I mostly carry around my Air now.

Before you tell me that the 3000 isn't as bad as I make it out to be, I have a 2011 13" Pro (i7-2.7/4/HD3000). CODMW2 on Medium settings on that, I can barely eke out 20fps while I can get 30 on my Air (although I did slightly OC the 320M).
nice and the new MBA version of the HD IGP will be even lower clocked and the slower processor will only make it worse

Beaverman3001
Apr 23, 2011, 10:04 AM
No way I'd buy something that expensive with Intel HD 3000. If you need the CPU of a sandy bridge processor get a MBP. The current gen of MBA is such a better mix of CPU/GPU for what the device is meant for.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 10:25 AM
The 320M is CUDA-capable. Intel is still evaluating OpenCL.

OpenCL was designed so software could use the processing power of the graphics card/chip to aid the CPU to perform calculations in a way that is not dependent on sending the results to video. In gaming, however, the CPU is enough to run the back-end of the game and the GPU is mainly used to display the image rather than help the CPU in processing the game's engine. Hence OpenCL should not make that much different (perhaps a few FPS but not so much as to make the 3000 better than the 320).

Is OpenCL akin to NVIDIA's PhysX as well as their CUDA? If so then perhaps it can help with the physics engines in some high end games (GTA IV etc comes to mind) I guess?

nice and the new MBA version of the HD IGP will be even lower clocked and the slower processor will only make it worse

True on the lower-clocked graphics, but I'm pretty sure the i-series processors will easily beat the 09-era Core 2s.

The only way which the SB i-series+HD3000 will beat the C2D+320M on the gaming front (which I can think of) is if the game in question is CPU intensive.

No way I'd buy something that expensive with Intel HD 3000. If you need the CPU of a sandy bridge processor get a MBP. The current gen of MBA is such a better mix of CPU/GPU for what the device is meant for.

Agreed. (and not just because I'm a late 2010 Air owner too :p)

cube
Apr 23, 2011, 10:28 AM
OpenCL was designed so software could use the processing power of the graphics card/chip to aid the CPU to perform calculations in a way that is not dependent on sending the results to video. In gaming, however, the CPU is enough to run the back-end of the game and the GPU is mainly used to display the image rather than help the CPU in processing the game's engine. Hence OpenCL should not make that much different (perhaps a few FPS but not so much as to make the 3000 better than the 320).

Is OpenCL akin to NVIDIA's PhysX as well as their CUDA? If so then perhaps it can help with the physics engines in some high end games (GTA IV etc comes to mind) I guess?


The 320M has OpenCL. CUDA is assembler-like, while OpenCL is C-like. They are general purpose compute engines. It's not just about games.

Intel does not have real OpenCL yet.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 10:36 AM
The 320M has OpenCL. CUDA is assembler-like, while OpenCL is C-like. They are general purpose compute engines. It's not just about games.

Intel does not have real OpenCL yet.

Not just about games, yes, but for most users, the only reason one would want to stick with the 320 is for gaming so OpenCL wouldn't make much of a difference [for FPS].

Dunno about video rendering/processing or the like though.

flipster
Apr 23, 2011, 10:49 AM
Just saw this thread, so I figured I'd share some knowledge (been gaming for 8 years).

So the reason why people are avoiding these things like the plague is because they STINK. The Intel chipsets ARE more powerful than the NVIDIA 320M, BUT, that doesn't always equal better performance.

Game developers usually design games on nvidia chipsets (Hence, "Nvidia: The way it's meant to be played) slogan.
Although the 3000HD shows better specs, it's been proven to perform worse in game. The reason being that the drivers are total rubbish. Until they can improve the drivers, it's a downgrade. But then again.............who in their right mind would try and game with a laptop!? ;)

TheMacBookPro
Apr 23, 2011, 11:28 AM
Just saw this thread, so I figured I'd share some knowledge (been gaming for 8 years).

So the reason why people are avoiding these things like the plague is because they STINK. The Intel chipsets ARE more powerful than the NVIDIA 320M, BUT, that doesn't always equal better performance.

Game developers usually design games on nvidia chipsets (Hence, "Nvidia: The way it's meant to be played) slogan.
Although the 3000HD shows better specs, it's been proven to perform worse in game. The reason being that the drivers are total rubbish. Until they can improve the drivers, it's a downgrade. But then again.............who in their right mind would try and game with a laptop!? ;)

:eek: You're joking right?

I have always gamed on laptops - M17x, M11x, MBP, VAIO Z... list goes on and on. Add the Air to that list now. The 320M is a very capable chip and it can play many modern games at medium settings smoothly.

The way you describe laptop chipsets makes you sound like you've only ever tried laptop gaming with a GMA500 :p

Psilocybin
Apr 23, 2011, 12:17 PM
:eek: You're joking right?

I have always gamed on laptops - M17x, M11x, MBP, VAIO Z... list goes on and on. Add the Air to that list now. The 320M is a very capable chip and it can play many modern games at medium settings smoothly.

The way you describe laptop chipsets makes you sound like you've only ever tried laptop gaming with a GMA500 :p

+1
i have gamed on laptops my whole life...i have no idea where you get the idea that you cannot game on laptops...what do you think the alienware line is for?

myteeth
Apr 23, 2011, 02:40 PM
see this youtube video and you will be able to determine whether CPU affects the overall speed more than GPU. This guy compared 11" MBA(with 320M graphics) and 13" sandy bridge MBP with SSD(with Intel 3000HD graphics )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp720fEnuRs

Of course sandy bridge MBA won't use full power sandy bridge. But you will know that MBA's performance is just overpraised by SSD, not by GPU. Once other notebooks get SSD, MBA's benefit is only limited to small form factor and weight.(maybe + high resolution)

I just don't understand people overpraising 320M on MBA, this made me to join here.

KylePowers
Apr 23, 2011, 03:17 PM
see this youtube video and you will be able to determine whether CPU affects the overall speed more than GPU. This guy compared 11" MBA(with 320M graphics) and 13" sandy bridge MBP with SSD(with Intel 3000HD graphics )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp720fEnuRs

Of course sandy bridge MBA won't use full power sandy bridge. But you will know that MBA's performance is just overpraised by SSD, not by GPU. Once other notebooks get SSD, MBA's benefit is only limited to small form factor and weight.(maybe + high resolution)

I just don't understand people overpraising 320M on MBA, this made me to join here.
Great comparison. Definitely makes me rethink my decision between a 2011 MBP and 2011 MBA. Looking forward to his comparison between those 2, that's for sure. But the higher resolution on the MBA is a huge factor for me (coming down from my current 1600x900 13in), and the 2011 MBP's is just too low IMO.

m3digi
Apr 24, 2011, 12:50 AM
see this youtube video and you will be able to determine whether CPU affects the overall speed more than GPU. This guy compared 11" MBA(with 320M graphics) and 13" sandy bridge MBP with SSD(with Intel 3000HD graphics )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp720fEnuRs

Of course sandy bridge MBA won't use full power sandy bridge. But you will know that MBA's performance is just overpraised by SSD, not by GPU. Once other notebooks get SSD, MBA's benefit is only limited to small form factor and weight.(maybe + high resolution)

I just don't understand people overpraising 320M on MBA, this made me to join here.

This comparison is garbage. The reviewer took a 13" MBP 2011 with a 2.3 GHz i5, 4GB and 128GB SSD and compared it to a 11" MBA with 1.4 GHz, 2GB and 64GB SSD. I would have liked to see him put a 13" MBA with 2.1Ghz and 4GB. I don't think the differences would have been so dramatic.

There is no way a decision to purchase a SB MBA should be influenced by such a lopsided comparison.

Cerano
Apr 24, 2011, 01:44 AM
This comparison is garbage. The reviewer took a 13" MBP 2011 with a 2.3 GHz i5, 4GB and 128GB SSD and compared it to a 11" MBA with 1.4 GHz, 2GB and 64GB SSD. I would have liked to see him put a 13" MBA with 2.1Ghz and 4GB, I don't think the differences would have been so dramatic.

There is no way a decision to purchase a SB MBA should be influenced by such a lopsided comparison.

agreed

he should have done so with an 11" ultimate at least. the 4GB ram makes a hella big difference when opening all the apps. Obviously with 2GB ram it runs the chance of paging to file

TheMacBookPro
Apr 24, 2011, 01:55 AM
see this youtube video and you will be able to determine whether CPU affects the overall speed more than GPU. This guy compared 11" MBA(with 320M graphics) and 13" sandy bridge MBP with SSD(with Intel 3000HD graphics )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp720fEnuRs

Of course sandy bridge MBA won't use full power sandy bridge. But you will know that MBA's performance is just overpraised by SSD, not by GPU. Once other notebooks get SSD, MBA's benefit is only limited to small form factor and weight.(maybe + high resolution)

I just don't understand people overpraising 320M on MBA, this made me to join here.

2GB RAM = Apps will probably have to use the paging file = slower.

But yes, the additional power of the i-series CPU will inevitably beat the GPU's power for most tasks. Gaming is another question altogether.

People who want to keep the 320M are mostly people who want to do light gaming on their Airs.

Icaras
Apr 24, 2011, 06:19 PM
I'm saying that's my personal opinion. I know it's capable of playing games, but many people are disappointed about something that no one knows except maybe Apple or Intel.

Really? So if I buy a MBA, using your logic above, then one of the reasons I bought it was because it could play games. This is your opinion, your view of why some people buy a MBA. Just like what I said in my previous post was purely my personal opinion. Not dictation of anything. I'm sure many people agree with you and some that don't.

That's you. I simply stated how I personally use my computer. It's different for everybody. Not everybody is like me or you. Not everyone is a musician or creative artist. Of course, the backlit keyboard is a welcome addition. I never said anything against that.

That was the point of my post. I was trying to point out that different people will have different uses of a computer and have different skill levels. I was merely pointing out examples of the uses of a backlit kb (creative artists, users not as proficient in keyboarding) and the different audiences (gamers, portable users, media) that bought into an MBA.

Yea, I didn't mean to imply that users bought it generally because of gaming, but that it was just one reason that many users (certainly not all) did happen to buy it for. I myself didn't buy the Air for gaming purposes, though I found myself pleasantly surprised when squeezing in a game or two of Left 4 Dead on it. :)

And you explicitly said, and I quote you:

if you want to play games, then don't bother with the Air.

I don't know how else to interpret that. Unless of course you demand higher performance on newer games, then yea I would be inclined to agree with you. But I seem to read all the time on this forum that many users do in fact game on the Air and enjoy it. So why shouldn't they?

Oppressed
Apr 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
If someone is going to specifically test disk read/write speeds then one needs to also look into and see if the SSD is the Toshiba or Samsung model. I for one have the Samsung model and scored higher on the disk test then his model.

+1 for at least testing a MBA with 4 gigs of ram.

IngerMan
Apr 24, 2011, 10:44 PM
If someone is going to specifically test disk read/write speeds then one needs to also look into and see if the SSD is the Toshiba or Samsung model. I for one have the Samsung model and scored higher on the disk test then his model.

+1 for at least testing a MBA with 4 gigs of ram.

I agree. I have 13 with 4gb ram. I have the slower TS128 and my Geekbench score goes from from 152 to 160. The 11" unit in test was in the 120's. I would think the 13" Ultimate would be above 160.:cool: