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skaertus
Nov 12, 2012, 10:26 AM
Iīve just read that Haswell processors for ultrabooks are not being released before Q3 2013. The news are here: http://ultrabooknews.com/2012/11/12/tips-on-haswell-ultrabook-availability/#more-6424

If that holds true, that means that the earliest we can expect ULV Haswell processors is July 2013. So, I guess, no new MacBook Airs until then...



MacPat333
Nov 12, 2012, 10:32 AM
If they release Haswell in Q3 (which can be anything between July - September) what makes you think that Apple will have it in the next Air right when it launches?

There might be a delay as I don't see what upgrade the MBA could get that would make it much different from the 2012 MBA.

thekev
Nov 12, 2012, 10:44 AM
This is basically in line with what I've suggested previously. I thought it was really silly when some people expected them to skip ivy imacs and minis based on the presumption of Haswell shipping earlier.

skaertus
Nov 12, 2012, 10:54 AM
If they release Haswell in Q3 (which can be anything between July - September) what makes you think that Apple will have it in the next Air right when it launches?

There might be a delay as I don't see what upgrade the MBA could get that would make it much different from the 2012 MBA.

I don't. I'm just saying that the next Air will get released no earlier than July 2013. It may get released months after Haswell, though.

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This is basically in line with what I've suggested previously. I thought it was really silly when some people expected them to skip ivy imacs and minis based on the presumption of Haswell shipping earlier.

I thought they might ship earlier due to all the pressure Intel is suffering from ARM processors. Even Microsoft, the long time Intel partner, has released Windows for ARM...

strwrsfrk
Nov 12, 2012, 01:35 PM
If they release Haswell in Q3 (which can be anything between July - September) what makes you think that Apple will have it in the next Air right when it launches?

There might be a delay as I don't see what upgrade the MBA could get that would make it much different from the 2012 MBA.

1) Apple will likely not refresh the MacBook Air line without Haswell (or - and this would be shocking - some major shift to another architecture). So while the Q3 timeframe is not suggesting when exactly new Airs may be released, it's indicative that the machines will launch no earlier.

2) The MacBook Air has retained its current design for three generations - not forever, but enough to warrant design changes if there are any available that make sense. Personally, I'd like to see a few more ports, perhaps a shift off of TN- panels, and improved resolution and/or screen size.

skaertus
Nov 12, 2012, 06:55 PM
1) Apple will likely not refresh the MacBook Air line without Haswell (or - and this would be shocking - some major shift to another architecture). So while the Q3 timeframe is not suggesting when exactly new Airs may be released, it's indicative that the machines will launch no earlier.

Agreed. But even if Apple is thinking of switching Intel processors for ARM, I guess it won't be this time. Perhaps in a few years. However, if Haswell processors are released in Q3 2013, I guess Apple will release refreshed MacBook Airs right after, as they were last refreshed in June 2012 (after more than one year without a refresh, Apple may hurry to do that).

2) The MacBook Air has retained its current design for three generations - not forever, but enough to warrant design changes if there are any available that make sense. Personally, I'd like to see a few more ports, perhaps a shift off of TN- panels, and improved resolution and/or screen size.

I think the MacBook Air will get a redesign next time. But I don't think Apple will include more ports, sorry. It's not the way Apple is heading to. I guess Apple will make it thinner and lighter, perhaps use new materials, and may put an IPS retina display on it.

southerndoc
Nov 12, 2012, 07:36 PM
Is this Q3 calendar year or fiscal year?

Q3 fiscal year is April 1. July is Q4.

calvol
Nov 12, 2012, 08:43 PM
Intel's mobile processors are generally released one quarter after the desktop versions, so nothing new here. Apple will probably have first priority and will be in production soon after the release is announced. Q3 is July-September, so the refresh should be in that window as long as Intel does not have a delay.

GrandPhrase
Nov 12, 2012, 09:46 PM
I think the MacBook Air will get a redesign next time. But I don't think Apple will include more ports, sorry. It's not the way Apple is heading to. I guess Apple will make it thinner and lighter, perhaps use new materials, and may put an IPS retina display on it.

Regardless of when the redesign may be, I think they may follow the trend with the 13" rMBP.

- A smaller footprint with smaller bezels

strwrsfrk
Nov 13, 2012, 09:48 AM
I think the MacBook Air will get a redesign next time. But I don't think Apple will include more ports, sorry. It's not the way Apple is heading to. I guess Apple will make it thinner and lighter, perhaps use new materials, and may put an IPS retina display on it.

I'm not expecting more ports, but one can dream :)

If Apple does go thinner/lighter (which, with the exception of the iPad 3/4, has been the trend), they would either have greater thermal issues on their hands or they will likely be making a shift to the 10W ultrabook-specific Haswell chips Intel has been discussing. It would be interesting, because battery life could ostensibly improve, but performance would drop. Apple's been maintaining both battery life and CPU performance either at par or slightly increased from the previous generation, so this would buck that particular trend.

Personally, thinner is the least relevant "improvement" for me. Lighter/stronger would be interesting, battery and thermal load improvements are always welcome, and CPU/GPU speed bumps are great. But sacrifice any of those on a full-fledged laptop in order to reduce the profile by a few millimeters? No, thank you.

skaertus
Nov 13, 2012, 10:07 AM
I'm not expecting more ports, but one can dream :)

If Apple does go thinner/lighter (which, with the exception of the iPad 3/4, has been the trend), they would either have greater thermal issues on their hands or they will likely be making a shift to the 10W ultrabook-specific Haswell chips Intel has been discussing. It would be interesting, because battery life could ostensibly improve, but performance would drop. Apple's been maintaining both battery life and CPU performance either at par or slightly increased from the previous generation, so this would buck that particular trend.

Apple may have to go thinner/lighter to further differentiate between MacBook Pro and Air lines. I don't know if they will put the 10W ULV Haswell processor in the MacBook Air, though. Information is very scarce on these processors. Some sources say that these 10W processors would pack as much power as the current 17W Ivy Bridge, while others say it will be slower. I haven't seen the benchmarks yet, and I am curious. If Intel delivers the same performance, it will be a great achievement.

Personally, thinner is the least relevant "improvement" for me. Lighter/stronger would be interesting, battery and thermal load improvements are always welcome, and CPU/GPU speed bumps are great. But sacrifice any of those on a full-fledged laptop in order to reduce the profile by a few millimeters? No, thank you.

I also prefer lighter/stronger than thinner, but you know Apple...

stepheneleven
Nov 13, 2012, 12:19 PM
Is this Q3 calendar year or fiscal year?

Q3 fiscal year is April 1. July is Q4.

I'm on board with fiscal. I really want a new MacBook Air by June 2013 and I don't want a 2012 model.

pedromartins
Nov 13, 2012, 01:20 PM
1) Apple will likely not refresh the MacBook Air line without Haswell (or - and this would be shocking - some major shift to another architecture). So while the Q3 timeframe is not suggesting when exactly new Airs may be released, it's indicative that the machines will launch no earlier.

2) The MacBook Air has retained its current design for three generations - not forever, but enough to warrant design changes if there are any available that make sense. Personally, I'd like to see a few more ports, perhaps a shift off of TN- panels, and improved resolution and/or screen size.

IPS panels makes sense, obviously. Maybe full HD also...

But more ports, are you crazy? Based on what? only if it's HDMI (doesn't fit.).

thekev
Nov 13, 2012, 01:39 PM
I thought they might ship earlier due to all the pressure Intel is suffering from ARM processors. Even Microsoft, the long time Intel partner, has released Windows for ARM...

Windows RT isn't quite the same thing. Anyway that battle is more of a long term one. I don't see a few months changing the choices for implementations. It's also a matter of how long they require to ensure a reasonably bug free release. Since the Sandy Bridge recall, they've been somewhat cautious.

skaertus
Nov 13, 2012, 03:01 PM
I'm on board with fiscal. I really want a new MacBook Air by June 2013 and I don't want a 2012 model.

As much as I also want Haswell to be released as soon as possible, I guess the folling graph doesn't mean fiscal quarters (especially because the fiscal year in the U.S. is different from other countries, and the source is from abroad):

http://ultrabooknews.com/files/2012/11/roadmap-2.jpg

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IPS panels makes sense, obviously. Maybe full HD also...

But more ports, are you crazy? Based on what? only if it's HDMI (doesn't fit.).

Full HD is unlikely, given the direction Apple is taking. Apple may well put retina displays on the MacBook Air.

skaertus
Nov 13, 2012, 03:17 PM
Windows RT isn't quite the same thing. Anyway that battle is more of a long term one. I don't see a few months changing the choices for implementations. It's also a matter of how long they require to ensure a reasonably bug free release. Since the Sandy Bridge recall, they've been somewhat cautious.

Yes, Windows RT is not the same thing, and ARM processors are underpowered compared to Intel. But Intel is under a serious threat here, and AMD was never as dangerous to its business as ARM is being right now.

Intel has already taken too long to move to the mobile world. ARM is gaining ground, it practically controls the processors inside smartphones and tablets. And ARM chips are becoming increasingly more powerful, and much quicker than Intel's, while consuming the very same amounf of energy. Then, Microsoft, the long time Intel partner, releases a Windows version for ARM processors. And there are rumors of Apple moving away from Intel processors and towards ARM architecture. The transition of PCs and Macs towards a different will take time, for sure, but clearly ARM is advancing on Intel ground, and Intel must stop it quickly if it wants to survive. Well, Intel's answer is called Haswell, and its capability to deliver an energy efficient processor which trounces ARM may well determine the relevance of Intel in the future. And Intel needs it right now. As underpowered as Windows RT running on ARM is, it is already out there selling to customers who hardly know the difference between Intel and ARM, and companies are probably studying the possibility of writing software that runs on Windows RT. The transition may take time, but the path to be followed will be traced very soon.

Have you seen the latest interviews of Paul Otellini, and Warren East, respectively, Intel and ARM CEOs? ARM is ready to take computers away from Intel (read here: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507116/moores-law-is-becoming-irrelevant/). It's war. And it is being fought now.

strwrsfrk
Nov 13, 2012, 03:35 PM
But more ports, are you crazy? Based on what? only if it's HDMI (doesn't fit.).

The phrase used was "Personally, I would like..." It's literally not based on anything other than my own desires, which is precisely how it was stated.

But specifically, I would like a third USB 3.0 port across all lines (MBA, MBP 13", rMBP 13"). And yes, while it would not fit on the current Airs as designed, we were discussing a potential redesign.

thekev
Nov 13, 2012, 10:15 PM
And Intel needs it right now. As underpowered as Windows RT running on ARM is, it is already out there selling to customers who hardly know the difference between Intel and ARM, and companies are probably studying the possibility of writing software that runs on Windows RT. The transition may take time, but the path to be followed will be traced very soon.



I'll check out the interviews right now. My point was rushing something out a couple months earlier is less important in such a war than what they release. It needs to be stable and in line with their projections more than it needs to be out in April rather than July.


Apparently he agrees with me. The concern is leverage and development. Intel doesn't want everything new to be developed on a different architecture that leverages an ever increasing number of tasks away from them. That's why I said that it's more important what they put out than if it comes out a month or two earlier.

You have to apply the pragmatism filter and say there is all sorts of legacy software out there thatís never going to be ported to a new architecture. Nobodyís going to rewrite Lotus Notes to run on ARM. We donít believe thereís going to be a massive switch to ARM-based PCs overnight. Itís more of a gradual process as legacy applications become replaced by newer applications that are more up to date. Microsoftís RT is a good example of that. Successive generations of Windows have been variations on a theme for the last 15-20 years, around the point-and-click-with-a-mouse form factor. They had to do a fundamental redesign if they wanted to be part of tablets. That was an opportunity for people to write new applications that are done in a different way.

AdonisSMU
Nov 13, 2012, 10:29 PM
How about thunderbolt to lightening capability...and lets just kill of usb now.

skaertus
Nov 13, 2012, 10:42 PM
I'll check out the interviews right now. My point was rushing something out a couple months earlier is less important in such a war than what they release. It needs to be stable and in line with their projections more than it needs to be out in April rather than July.

Apparently he agrees with me. The concern is leverage and development. Intel doesn't want everything new to be developed on a different architecture that leverages an ever increasing number of tasks away from them. That's why I said that it's more important what they put out than if it comes out a month or two earlier.

It is definitely important to deliver the final product, with no rush. A fault such as the one that occurred during the release of Sandy Bridge last year may be deadly at this point, in the sense that the reliability of Intel may be put at risk.

But timing is of essence too, and Intel is probably in a hurry right now because it has taken so long to realize that it needed to focus on energy efficiency and on low-power processors. The Microsoft Surface could have an Intel processor, instead of ARM, had Intel made Sandy/Ivy Bridge more power-efficient.

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How about thunderbolt to lightening capability...and lets just kill of usb now.

Are you nuts? Do you want to get rid of USB??? We're not ready for this yet...

thekev
Nov 13, 2012, 10:51 PM
How about thunderbolt to lightening capability...and lets just kill of usb now.

That is a terrible idea. The current generation of peripherals isn't set up to work seamlessly with thunderbolt, and a lot of low cost options are still sold. Thunderbolt isn't appropriate for those, even according to intel. There are a lot of things you can buy with multiple connection types. External hard drives can sometimes connect via usb, esata, or firewire. If thunderbolt displaced firewire in these kinds of devices, you could begin to see leverage. That would also require that intel push such a thing, and intel still owns the rights to every bit of it aside from the mini displayport connector. Personally I think going with mini displayport was a bad choice there, as Apple still owns it. Under normal circumstances, there is no licensing fee, yet it's not an open standard.



But timing is of essence too, and Intel is probably in a hurry right now because it has taken so long to realize that it needed to focus on energy efficiency and on low-power processors. The Microsoft Surface could have an Intel processor, instead of ARM, had Intel made Sandy/Ivy Bridge more power-efficient.

It seems like our point of disagreement is on timing. I doubt they're going to lose contracts for a number of devices on this one, as long as their release cycle is predictable and consistent. In this regard meeting their shipping date predictions would be more important. This way their customers can effectively plan their own product lines. Given the moves to smaller and smaller processes, the potential is there for others to slip up too.

AdonisSMU
Nov 13, 2012, 11:00 PM
That is a terrible idea. The current generation of peripherals isn't set up to work seamlessly with thunderbolt, and a lot of low cost options are still sold. Thunderbolt isn't appropriate for those, even according to intel. There are a lot of things you can buy with multiple connection types. External hard drives can sometimes connect via usb, esata, or firewire. If thunderbolt displaced firewire in these kinds of devices, you could begin to see leverage. That would also require that intel push such a thing, and intel still owns the rights to every bit of it aside from the mini displayport connector. Personally I think going with mini displayport was a bad choice there, as Apple still owns it. Under normal circumstances, there is no licensing fee, yet it's not an open standard.



It seems like our point of disagreement is on timing. I doubt they're going to lose contracts for a number of devices on this one, as long as their release cycle is predictable and consistent. In this regard meeting their shipping date predictions would be more important. This way their customers can effectively plan their own product lines. Given the moves to smaller and smaller processes, the potential is there for others to slip up too.

Yeah terrible idea now but in a few years? I dont know I guess I wouldve expected some improvements to thunderbolt since its been out.

thekev
Nov 13, 2012, 11:18 PM
Yeah terrible idea now but in a few years? I dont know I guess I wouldve expected some improvements to thunderbolt since its been out.

There isn't anything expected until 2014 in the way of speed bumps. I was just saying that intel hasn't pushed it as such a mass market standard, and gaining such leverage would largely depend upon being added as a port to most new machines as well as a port option for more peripheral devices. I suspect it has been cost prohibitive. USB has done so well due to backwards compatibility and price. Killing USB would at least require stronger adoption rates than it's seen so far.

AdonisSMU
Nov 13, 2012, 11:23 PM
There isn't anything expected until 2014 in the way of speed bumps. I was just saying that intel hasn't pushed it as such a mass market standard, and gaining such leverage would largely depend upon being added as a port to most new machines as well as a port option for more peripheral devices. I suspect it has been cost prohibitive. USB has done so well due to backwards compatibility and price. Killing USB would at least require stronger adoption rates than it's seen so far.

Good point! I wonder why Apple is using something intel thinks is beta hardware.

thekev
Nov 13, 2012, 11:37 PM
Good point! I wonder why Apple is using something intel thinks is beta hardware.

Well it worked for Apple's small selection of peripherals. They had the thunderbolt display and the promise pegasus raid, which can both run off a single port. It's just that outside of Apple's small range of peripheral devices, it's not that useful. In August of 2011, people were still complaining that Intel hadn't released an official SDK. I just don't see any sweeping changes in the near future.

AdonisSMU
Nov 14, 2012, 12:10 AM
Well it worked for Apple's small selection of peripherals. They had the thunderbolt display and the promise pegasus raid, which can both run off a single port. It's just that outside of Apple's small range of peripheral devices, it's not that useful. In August of 2011, people were still complaining that Intel hadn't released an official SDK. I just don't see any sweeping changes in the near future.

Intel is dropping the ball here...I dont understand what the problem is?

thekev
Nov 14, 2012, 12:23 AM
Intel is dropping the ball here...I dont understand what the problem is?

I just said that it works in the way Apple wants to use it. It's just not necessarily ready for prime time. It's not even included on most non-Macs.

AdonisSMU
Nov 14, 2012, 12:39 AM
I just said that it works in the way Apple wants to use it. It's just not necessarily ready for prime time. It's not even included on most non-Macs.

I just dont understand why Apple is using beta software on macs and making users pay higher prices just so they can be used as guinea pigs.

thekev
Nov 14, 2012, 12:45 AM
I just dont understand why Apple is using beta software on macs and making users pay higher prices just so they can be used as guinea pigs.

Again it provided functionality that Apple wanted for their own peripheral devices. They got docking station functionality and the ability to offer a consumer grade raid solution for their notebook and imac lines. It worked for them. The rest of it was kool-aid. It should only have been a selling point if you wanted one of two accessories. Otherwise it still provided displayport functionality. I should also mention that it's not necessarily beta if run the available accessories in a stable manner. It is reasonably stable. It's just not that useful. A final point would be that you didn't really give up anything for it. Without thunderbolt you'd still have a mini displayport connector there for external displays. The pricing most likely wouldn't be any different. The profit margin would just be slightly higher. 2010 machines used mini displayport. 2011 they went to thunderbolt using the same connector with additional embedded circuitry.

skaertus
Nov 14, 2012, 12:52 PM
Again it provided functionality that Apple wanted for their own peripheral devices. They got docking station functionality and the ability to offer a consumer grade raid solution for their notebook and imac lines. It worked for them. The rest of it was kool-aid. It should only have been a selling point if you wanted one of two accessories. Otherwise it still provided displayport functionality. I should also mention that it's not necessarily beta if run the available accessories in a stable manner. It is reasonably stable. It's just not that useful. A final point would be that you didn't really give up anything for it. Without thunderbolt you'd still have a mini displayport connector there for external displays. The pricing most likely wouldn't be any different. The profit margin would just be slightly higher. 2010 machines used mini displayport. 2011 they went to thunderbolt using the same connector with additional embedded circuitry.

Apple is pushing Thunderbolt because it probably has some degree of control over the developing process and/or the technology uses some of its patents. Perhaps it's not a matter of functionality.

thekev
Nov 14, 2012, 01:11 PM
Apple is pushing Thunderbolt because it probably has some degree of control over the developing process and/or the technology uses some of its patents. Perhaps it's not a matter of functionality.

Well yeah, I mentioned that it worked for what they had in mind. They got a docking station and raid out of it so far. They were able to run it over a port (mini displayport) that was already included in the design. They have one patent there, and intel isn't completely tied to its use. They could opt to go with something different.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_DisplayPort

Wiki is quite accurate on this one, so I'm using it:p.

Shortly after announcing the Mini DisplayPort, Apple announced that it would license the connector technology with no fee.[5] Apple reserves the right to void the license should the licensee "commence an action for patent infringement against Apple".

Mini displayport is actually pretty decent. It's a very small port. It doesn't support a couple things, such as 10 bit displayport. Apple doesn't care as they have no intention of supporting that anyway. It worked with one or two cards under Leopard. Since then it doesn't work at all. This kind of annoys me. It almost makes me want to run bootcamp, but not quite. I have everything basically set the way I want it in OSX, although I'm considering rolling back to SL. Even with 16GB of ram, Lion is way too hungry. The ssd helps somewhat, but certain things require real memory. Some of the things I use have the potential to be memory hogs, and I prefer to concern myself with memory management more than necessary.