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View Full Version : New Macbook Air this year? Arrandale to be released Q4




Jobsian
Aug 10, 2009, 04:28 AM
According to the latest page of the "Arrandale" thread on the MBP forum, here - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=668803&page=29

it looks like Intel's Arrandale processors are released later this year. As I posted there, I do have a few questions eg:

Anyone able to surmise as to whether any of those Arrandales would be compatible with a next iteration of the Macbook Air? (iirc, the current MBA processors are just modified (ultra-engineered miniaturised) vanilla cores, not ulv ones)

This could mean it might be worth holding off for an MBA with 2.whatever GHz processor, 256Gig SSD, 4 Gig RAM and Snow Leopard preinstalled!

What do you guys think?



Mrmacfreek
Aug 10, 2009, 05:19 AM
I think that is awesome but I think there would be an option for SATA 160GB or 250GB Hard Drives, since SSD even though price has dropped it still isn't as cheap as RAM has become. Overall yes this seems like a worthy upgrade but mabye they will include the new glass LED screen featured on the new lineup of MBPs from WWDC '09 :apple:

nigameash
Aug 10, 2009, 09:51 AM
dont forget the glass touchpad :)

leomac08
Aug 10, 2009, 01:02 PM
the macbook air will run on "anti-matter" with its built in 700YB hard drive. and have 4D (NOT 3D holographs) and will probably have as i said


-more memory and more power (4.5GHz)
-it will be 2 microcentimeters shorter due to apple's "smaller, thinner, cheaper" sloagan
:D

jdechko
Aug 10, 2009, 01:38 PM
What do you guys think?

If you need a computer now (for work or school), then buy one now. If you can get by with what you already have then feel free to wait. If you buy one now, you'll have the satisfaction of using the new computer for a few months more than you would have otherwise. If you wait, you will have a faster (cheaper ?) computer.

:D

If you keep waiting, though, you'll never be happy. Something new is always just a few more months away.

Scottsdale
Aug 10, 2009, 04:11 PM
I read somewhere that Arrandale processors will run up to 8% faster than Penryn processors. That means that both operating at the same clock speed, Arrandale will be approximately 8% faster. The MBA uses a Low Voltage CPU. The Arrandale replacement to the SL9x00 CPUs/25 W are said to be 35 W chips that have integrated graphics. Overall, that's a drastic drop in power consumption compared to current MBAs CPU/GPU combination.

Honestly, the Intel vs Nvidia feud is a terrible thing for Mac buyers. The Nvidia Chipsets/GPUs are superior to Intel's integrated graphics. So, I ask you all now, would you really want to trade an 8% CPU boost in exchange for a 55-65% drop in graphics performance? I will gladly take Core 2 Duo with an Nvidia GPU over Arrandale with Intel integrated graphics!

I don't think most people understand that the MBA is super incredible because of the Nvidia GPU! Without the Nvidia GPU, the MBA becomes another boring incapable ultra-portable. I, for one, hope Intel and Nvidia work out their differences, as the MBA form factor really depends on it...

leomac08
Aug 10, 2009, 04:18 PM
"Honestly, the Intel vs Nvidia feud is a terrible thing for Mac buyers" ^^^^^^

WAIT nvidia is a microprocessor???????? like the intel core 2 duo processors!???

idk, please don't be harsh on me, idk, i just love apple products, but i don't really look to much into the tech specs, i only care about brand, memory, screen resolution, etc... lol

MacModMachine
Aug 10, 2009, 04:23 PM
"Honestly, the Intel vs Nvidia feud is a terrible thing for Mac buyers" ^^^^^^

WAIT nvidia is a microprocessor???????? like the intel core 2 duo processors!???

idk, please don't be harsh on me, idk, i just love apple products, but i don't really look to much into the tech specs, i only care about brand, memory, screen resolution, etc... lol

no...its a gpu integrated with the chipset.

the cpu is a core 2 duo he is stating that the arrandale will have an intel chipset that will be significantly worse then the 9400.

Scottsdale
Aug 10, 2009, 05:59 PM
As crazy as this sounds, I wonder if the MBA might really be updated AGAIN before Arrandale just to keep Nvidia GPU running with Core 2 Duo. I really think that we could see a new high-end MBA with 256 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM. Heck, it could even be redesigned and thinner yet still have the Intel C2D SL9600 Low Voltage CPU and Nvidia GPU.

I just have to think that Apple will want to capitalize on Nvidia's GPU with the next MBA before switching it to Arrandale. The MBPs will surely have to have a dedicated graphics card in all sizes along with the integrated graphics paired with Arrandale.

leomac08
Aug 10, 2009, 07:44 PM
no...its a gpu integrated with the chipset.

the cpu is a core 2 duo he is stating that the arrandale will have an intel chipset that will be significantly worse then the 9400.

ohh thanks!:)

Jobsian
Aug 10, 2009, 08:17 PM
I read somewhere that Arrandale processors will run up to 8% faster than Penryn processors. That means that both operating at the same clock speed, Arrandale will be approximately 8% faster. The MBA uses a Low Voltage CPU. The Arrandale replacement to the SL9x00 CPUs/25 W are said to be 35 W chips that have integrated graphics. Overall, that's a drastic drop in power consumption compared to current MBAs CPU/GPU combination.

Honestly, the Intel vs Nvidia feud is a terrible thing for Mac buyers. The Nvidia Chipsets/GPUs are superior to Intel's integrated graphics. So, I ask you all now, would you really want to trade an 8% CPU boost in exchange for a 55-65% drop in graphics performance? I will gladly take Core 2 Duo with an Nvidia GPU over Arrandale with Intel integrated graphics!

I don't think most people understand that the MBA is super incredible because of the Nvidia GPU! Without the Nvidia GPU, the MBA becomes another boring incapable ultra-portable. I, for one, hope Intel and Nvidia work out their differences, as the MBA form factor really depends on it...
Honestly speaking, this post has concerned me and is the greatest incentive I've seen to just buying the Air now.

Scottsdale/others - has the lack of a follow-up Nvidia integrated GPU been confirmed for future Macs - is the rift that irrevocable? I've heard of it but am not aware of the details.

Also I have vague memories of reading that Intel's next integrated GPU offerings are going to be a lot better than their past ones - though not sure if they'll stand up to the Nvidia's.

If the next MB Air is likely not to have an Nvidia graphics chip, and the Intel ones don't stand up to at least the current 9400, I don't care about 256SSD nor 4 GB RAM, I'll have to get the current Rev C.

Scottsdale et al, what do you think?

aaquib
Aug 10, 2009, 10:10 PM
To be honest, do you guys truly believe that Apple is going to ditch nVidia for Intel graphics? They have just entered the partnership with Intel less than a year ago. Apple, most definitely, knew about Arrandale's architecture, so why would they adopt nVidia chips when they'd just have to go back to Intel a few months later? It doesn't make much sense to me.

Scottsdale
Aug 10, 2009, 11:38 PM
Honestly speaking, this post has concerned me and is the greatest incentive I've seen to just buying the Air now.

Scottsdale/others - has the lack of a follow-up Nvidia integrated GPU been confirmed for future Macs - is the rift that irrevocable? I've heard of it but am not aware of the details.

Also I have vague memories of reading that Intel's next integrated GPU offerings are going to be a lot better than their past ones - though not sure if they'll stand up to the Nvidia's.

If the next MB Air is likely not to have an Nvidia graphics chip, and the Intel ones don't stand up to at least the current 9400, I don't care about 256SSD nor 4 GB RAM, I'll have to get the current Rev C.

Scottsdale et al, what do you think?


I have read way too much about the rift. First, I think that since Nehalem was released, and Nvidia was prepared to keep offering chipsets/GPUs, Intel has asserted that the agreement between Intel and Nvidia is no longer applicable. According to Intel, once the architecture of the CPU changed, Nvidia's agreement was no longer in affect. According to Intel, Nvidia is no longer authorized to make compatible chipsets to future CPU designs, and it only applied to prior generations. I think it's very possible that Nvidia didn't disclose this to Apple when trying to tell Apple why it should go with Nvidia chipsets/GPUs. Surely Nvidia knew of such a possible dispute, but possibly not? Who knows if Intel licensed the deal and regretted it or Intel had the foresight to put this roadblock in the agreement in a discrete manner???

According to Intel, we're all screwed! Because Intel has probably lost way too much business to Nvidia, and Nvidia will not want to pay hefty licensing to "renew" that agreement and provide for future CPUs... Intel will surely want far more than the royalty would even be worth in profits to Nvidia just for lost business. That's what companies at the top do, try to define their own levels of competition... try to eliminate competition that's truly competitive at its CORE business.

We all should hope that Intel and Nvidia work this out, because the Nvidia 9400m is what made the MBA really amazing. Without Nvidia, the rev B/C MBAs would be JUNK just like the original... sorry to all of those who may now be offended or have anal soreness (all those that decry, "my original MBA was perfect" - was meaning moved on to better)... LMAO, sorta. No really the differences between the original MBA and later revisions were night and day for many reasons, but the most critical reason was the Nvidia 9400m.

Could Intel and Nvidia work this out? Sure. More plausible is legal action, and it's in consumers best interest for competition of supply. The competition is what lead us all out of the worthless Intel integrated graphics structure! Competition is surely making Intel better, and that's why we all get a better class of criminal company when JUST/TRUE competition prevails.

Finally, I have read that even with Intel's advancements, we are looking at AT LEAST 50% loss of video capabilities in comparison to what Nvidia already has in the marketplace. Now, Nvidia's GPUs are only getting better, and the next generation to the 9400m is supposed to be furthering the capabilities of the prior generation GPUs...

It's even possible that Apple already has its own agreement to use the two future components together??? Apple may be willing to pay some licensing royalties to keep a nice GPU in its products??? Would seem possible with all of Apple's willingness to buy Intel CPUs... Maybe. More likely/NOT.

I think that the MBA buyer is the precise consumer that WILL SUFFER if this doesn't get worked out in time... As Apple surely will just go with the Intel offering in a non-dedicated integrated graphics solution for a NON-PROFESSIONAL Mac like the MBA. The MBPs will obviously get a dedicated solution along with the option of the integrated graphics of the Intel Arrandale CPUs. For all the Pro line Macs, they will have a choice, but for us Air buyers, the Nvidia GPU is a MUST!

I really believe that Apple could release the next MBA sooner than other/Arrandale updates just to pair up the Nvidia GPU/Intel Core 2 Duo CPU one last time before having to go elsewhere. The pair is really the perfect combination for the MacBook Air.

Jobsian
Aug 11, 2009, 04:19 AM
Thanks for the replies, as always it's a pleasure to read your insights Scottsdale.

Interesting thoughts - it doesn't bode too well for future MBAs. I do however find it almost inconceivable that Apple will release a future Air with such a downgrade in one of the specifications. Can you imagine Jobs at the WWDC:

"We now have a 2.6Ghz processor that Intel have produced, and it's a SCREAMER!"

"Two hundred and fifty six (applauds and cheers start) gigabytes SSD!"

"Our best Glass Trackpad EVER - look at that, isn't it a beauty?"

"And the one you've all been waiting for - four gigabytes of remarkable RAM!"

"Finally, PHENOMENAL integrated Intel graphics - no less that FIFTY percent reduction in graphics capability - isn't that amazing?" (applauds and cheers)


It's difficult to imagine it happening, unless......they plan to discontinue the Air - a day I never want to see :(

nigameash
Aug 11, 2009, 06:20 AM
you should just wait a few months and then buy if you aren't dying to get one now (of course you're dying, its the MBA!!!) but seriously if you can hold off for a few months, it ll be worth the wait ;) + apple wont release a crappy MBA. the new one should be better than ever! :)

Sol
Aug 11, 2009, 06:20 AM
"Finally, PHENOMENAL integrated Intel graphics - no less that FIFTY percent reduction in graphics capability - isn't that amazing?" (applauds and cheers)


It's difficult to imagine it happening, unless......they plan to discontinue the Air - a day I never want to see :(

The MacBook Air had an air of Cube about it from the start; both were and are great products, ahead of their time and deemed "too expensive" by the majority of people. Cube was the silent alternative to noisy tower PCs, like MacBook Air is the thin and light alternative to clunky laptops as we know them.

Scottsdale
Aug 11, 2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the replies, as always it's a pleasure to read your insights Scottsdale.

Interesting thoughts - it doesn't bode too well for future MBAs. I do however find it almost inconceivable that Apple will release a future Air with such a downgrade in one of the specifications. Can you imagine Jobs at the WWDC:

"We now have a 2.6Ghz processor that Intel have produced, and it's a SCREAMER!"

"Two hundred and fifty six (applauds and cheers start) gigabytes SSD!"

"Our best Glass Trackpad EVER - look at that, isn't it a beauty?"

"And the one you've all been waiting for - four gigabytes of remarkable RAM!"

"Finally, PHENOMENAL integrated Intel graphics - no less that FIFTY percent reduction in graphics capability - isn't that amazing?" (applauds and cheers)


It's difficult to imagine it happening, unless......they plan to discontinue the Air - a day I never want to see :(

LMAO, okay slightly concerned too.

Unfortunately, I can see Apple doing this, but I can just as easily see a new MBA before Arrandale just for this reason. All of the other Macs can accept a dedicated card to work as a choice to graphics chip used... the MBP will have a setup similar to current one with Intel integrated and a dedicated solution like an ATI dedicated solution. The iMac would definitely get the better graphics even on its lowest priced systems that currently have the Nvidia 9400m. The Mac mini would surely get dedicated too. The only Mac that would DEFINITELY suffer would be the MacBook Air. And that is a reason for another update to the MBA before Arrandale.

We could see a completely redesigned MBA, or we could see just the options of bigger SSD and more RAM. Either way will make me happy as long as we get the Nvidia GPU. I will be monumentally disappointed in both Apple and the MBA if its only graphics is the integrated Intel solution. That would be outright disaster!

Piplodocus
Aug 11, 2009, 07:55 AM
Can someone in the know explain to me how it works/where I'm right and where I'm wrong...

The current ones have an Intel Processor, then this connects to the Nvidia chip which is a Northbridge, Southbridge, and integrated graphics.

The Arrandale has an Intel Processor with integrated graphics, which doesn't need a northbridge because of QPI on the Nehalem processors(?), then it talks to a southbridge?

So could nvidia make a southbridge and combined graphics? Or is that still outside the licensing too, as both the north- AND south-bridge must be fully intel-licensed?

So is the problem it basically it still needs an intel processor, and intel southbridge, then nvidia graphics (3 chips). Could they be more likely to squeeze them all in if the intel-made southbridge is smaller (since it doesn't have a northbridge too, and the northbridge must be the hotter and more power hungry of the two, since it run's faster)?

Basically is there anything to be gained in heat and size in the remaining parts because the Arrandale "does more" than previous gen chips...

Tallest Skil
Aug 11, 2009, 07:58 AM
dont forget the glass touchpad :)

Nope. Too heavy.

It's difficult to imagine it happening, unless......they plan to discontinue the Air - a day I never want to see :(

It's difficult to see any new computers happening until nVidia and Intel stop being infants and get over this.

Mactagonist
Aug 11, 2009, 08:13 AM
Nope. Too heavy.



It's difficult to see any new computers happening until nVidia and Intel stop being infants and get over this.

How much heavier is it exactly? I can understand that argument when speaking of the glass screen, but the trackpad is just a tiny piece of glass overall.

nigameash
Aug 11, 2009, 10:55 AM
yepp, why should the glass touchpad make it any heavier? it ll just make it a better :apple:

zedsdead
Aug 11, 2009, 10:58 AM
How much heavier is it exactly? I can understand that argument when speaking of the glass screen, but the trackpad is just a tiny piece of glass overall.

From what I gather it has nothing to do with weight, but with the depth of the trackpad. Apparently the pad and parts are too thick for the Air.

The glass screen however does have to do with weight.

iMacmatician
Aug 11, 2009, 11:41 AM
I read somewhere that Arrandale processors will run up to 8% faster than Penryn processors. That means that both operating at the same clock speed, Arrandale will be approximately 8% faster. Turbo Boost and HyperThreading will give greater performance boosts in tasks that use those features.

Penryn Arrandale Diff. Turbo diff.
2.13 GHz 2.13 (2.93) GHz 1.08x 1.49x
1.87 GHz 2.00 (2.80) GHz 1.16x 1.62x

The Arrandale replacement to the SL9x00 CPUs/25 W are said to be 35 W chips that have integrated graphics. They are 25 W with the integrated graphics. 35 W is for the regular line.

Ping Guo
Aug 12, 2009, 03:35 AM
Guys don't rip me a new one here... A high-end MBA with 256GB SSD and Arrandale sounds great, but I'd love to see a low-end Air option with Nvidia Ion or CULV chipset. Since a lot of us use the MBA as a second computer for travel, battery life is paramount. And with Ion they can drop the price and still keep those juicy Apple margins. This would be a great business laptop and maybe even light photo editing as the Ion has the same 9400M as the current models.

The SSD they're using has to be way less costly now than when they started using them. I don't know if a low cost MBA is ready to replace the old Polycarb Macbook yet, but I'd say we're getting close.

The big hurdle is still the price... with a raft of ~3lb CULV Windows laptops on the horizon, let's hope Apple is planning on offering something remotely competitive.

macboy4
Aug 12, 2009, 07:54 AM
We all should hope that Intel and Nvidia work this out, because the Nvidia 9400m is what made the MBA really amazing. Without Nvidia, the rev B/C MBAs would be JUNK just like the original... sorry to all of those who may now be offended or have anal soreness (all those that decry, "my original MBA was perfect" - was meaning moved on to better)... LMAO, sorta. No really the differences between the original MBA and later revisions were night and day for many reasons, but the most critical reason was the Nvidia 9400m.


From a former Rev A and B owner you'll get no arguments from me. I submit that most Rev A owners who say "my original MBA was perfect" have not spent significant time with the Rev B.

There is a dramatic difference, and it is mostly due to the 9400M. So much so that the Rev A with SSD is bested by the Rev B with HDD; that's no small feat.

jdechko
Aug 12, 2009, 11:04 AM
Guys don't rip me a new one here... A high-end MBA with 256GB SSD and Arrandale sounds great, but I'd love to see a low-end Air option with Nvidia Ion or CULV chipset. Since a lot of us use the MBA as a second computer for travel, battery life is paramount. And with Ion they can drop the price and still keep those juicy Apple margins. This would be a great business laptop and maybe even light photo editing as the Ion has the same 9400M as the current models.

The SSD they're using has to be way less costly now than when they started using them. I don't know if a low cost MBA is ready to replace the old Polycarb Macbook yet, but I'd say we're getting close.

The big hurdle is still the price... with a raft of ~3lb CULV Windows laptops on the horizon, let's hope Apple is planning on offering something remotely competitive.

Apple isn't interested in the low-end market. It can't compete on price and can't make up in volume what it loses in revenue. Having said that, what about the oft-rumored tablet? It may end up filling the niche for a second computer at a better price point than the Air. And based on speculation, I'd say 3lbs would be high for this device.

Ping Guo
Aug 12, 2009, 01:51 PM
Apple isn't interested in the low-end market. It can't compete on price and can't make up in volume what it loses in revenue. Having said that, what about the oft-rumored tablet? It may end up filling the niche for a second computer at a better price point than the Air. And based on speculation, I'd say 3lbs would be high for this device.

They're not interested in the low-margin market. ;)

I'm not suggesting Apple attempt to compete with $300 netbooks, but there are a great many users who value battery life and lower weight over performance, especially when they have a powerful desktop at home. Why do netbooks sell so well? Is it just because they're cheap? That's surely part of it, but people also love a laptop that's light enough to throw in a bag without worrying about the weight. Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba make lightweight laptops with ULV chipsets, and I wouldn't call any of them low-end.

A CULV MBA with NVIDIA graphics could offer some compelling features; it would produce less heat and offer greater battery life, as well as being cheaper. I could see an MBA priced the same as a base 13" MBP being a great alternative for those who don't need the power of the MBP. This is a nascent market with affluent consumers who find netbooks too flimsy and screens too small, but who still want something lightweight with decent power.

The possibility of a tablet replacing a laptop has been discussed a lot, and frankly I don't think it makes any sense from a usability standpoint. A touchscreen replacing a keyboard and touchpad? Running a hopped-up iPhone OS? So how do I use it on my lap? On a table?

Need to use Aperture and edit HD video? Buy a MBP. I think Apple has big plans for the MBA in the next couple of years, and not necessarily adding only faster, hotter chipsets and more RAM.

jdechko
Aug 12, 2009, 03:15 PM
Ping Guo, I think I pretty much agree with what you've said, although I don't think the market is as big as you think it is. Assuming the tablet pans out, in terms of portable computing you have (from smallest & least powerful to largest & most powerful)

iPhone > (Tablet) > Air > 13" MBP > 15/17" MBP

Apple has no interest in a sub-$500 computer market, and hasn't competed in the low-end, low-margin territory. If the tablet weren't so hot of a rumor right now, I'd say that there would be a possibility to the CULV MB "Air" type computer you propose (aka: an Apple Netbook). The other products in Apple's portable mix do an excellent job of filling nearly every gap in a line (save the low end, where we've already established that Apple doesn't want to compete). With the tablet, the market expansion possibilities for the Air/MB on the low(er) end grow even smaller. It's being pinched from all sides to fit into it's niche (and the Air, as an ultraportable, is a niche product).

I think the Tablet is a real product that we will see sometime next month (pure speculation) and it will be something like what you're speculating (CULV/Nvidia). There's also the docking station patent to consider for dealing with some of your usability concerns.

Sorry if I'm not clear. I've gone back and added/reworded stuff, so it may not read extremely clear.

Scottsdale
Aug 12, 2009, 09:42 PM
In the future, I am ok with a Ultra Low Voltage MBA that focuses on portability, as long as the current MBA form factor ends up being the MacBook. I think that future is very likely actually. The MBA seems to be powerful enough that half buy it as their primary Mac, like me. The other half use it as a secondary Mac. I see the MacBook's future as the current MBA role to be a primary Mac for those who want to focus on portability but need power too. The 2+ GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD would suffice for the non-Pro Mac user (all plausible very soon) yet focus on wireless and digital downloads.

An ultra low voltage thinner MBA with 10" display could focus as a secondary Mac, but would still be priced at $1000+ no matter what. It's not going to compete on price with a netbook.

The problem I see is that the tablet WILL become a secondary or personal tech device for Pros making an ULV CPU smaller thinner MBA POINTLESS!

I guess it all depends on the rumored Tablet!

h1d
Aug 13, 2009, 12:38 AM
There is a dramatic difference, and it is mostly due to the 9400M. So much so that the Rev A with SSD is bested by the Rev B with HDD; that's no small feat.

GPU makes no difference for light use, SSD vs HDD does for almost all operations.