PDA

View Full Version : Poll Which of the following two MacBook Air Rev D Models would you rather buy?




Jobsian
May 14, 2010, 07:49 AM
Suppose the MacBook Air is refreshed at WWDC (yay!). Which of the following two models would you rather see announced and subsequently buy? Not certain how feasible the prices are, I pulled them off the top of my head!

Option 1: Minor Update, Lower Price:

Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz Processor
4GB RAM
192GB SSD
Nvidia 320M
Same form factor/screen/trackpad
Slight battery bump
$1799



Option 2: Major Revision, High Price:

Core-i7 680UM (1.46GHz, 2.53GHz Turbo)
4GB RAM
256GB SSD
Discrete low TDP ATI/Nvidia GPU
New Form Factor
Cooler Temps
IPS Display
USB 3.0
Glass Trackpad
Slight battery bump
$2899



cleric
May 14, 2010, 08:06 AM
Option 1: Minor Update, Lower Price:

* Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz Processor
* 4GB RAM
* 192GB SSD
* Nvidia 320M
* Same form factor/screen/trackpad
* Slight battery bump
* $1799


And this is the most likely upgrade. I doubt we will see it move back above $2000 now with the ipad out (yes i realize its not a direct replacement).

Scottsdale
May 14, 2010, 08:49 AM
Another nice thread, Jobsian. I really like this poll.

The biggest factor in this potential Core i7 ultra low voltage CPU is the graphics... I don't see Apple giving the MBA a dedicated graphics card when it wouldn't give the MBP a dedicated graphics card (13" model).

Also, there's another thread where a link says the Intel CPUs can run overclocked at the boost clock speeds all the time. I have to assume that is only possible with the GMA IGP turned off. That would lead one to suspect a real GPU. I guess I would even be happy with an Nvidia 310m with 256 MB VRAM (dedicated) in the MBA...

I still believe we're getting an Nvidia 320m GPU/Chipset with a de-throttled C2D CPU. And truthfully, that's all we need as long as it has 4 GB RAM.

jk1002
May 14, 2010, 09:16 AM
C2p would mean they have to upgrade again end of the year.

Technically feasible but i doubt that. Upgrades cost them money, they probably cant recoup with niche product like the air.

To go from 128gb to 256 ssd is consistently 450$ on all models i checked. I dont think we see that either maybe as a custom built option.

Since they always underdeliver what i expect i'd say end of the year for the update.

I have a rev a, just got the hinge fixed and am thinking either 15" pro or getting a runcorme as a short term fix.

thinkdesign
May 14, 2010, 10:52 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

I'd probably pick the lower model, in part 'cause the high alternate is so expensive. ^^^^ But I'd also buy the $1,799. Air right now, if they upgraded nothing but the 3 physical defects (hinge, "white donut" problem, and trackpad-button hits screen/bezel)... if these improvements were independently verified. /// I do agree with your idea of letting higher and lower models get designs that are farther apart. I need little more than a netbook with big memory and long battery life for days at the research library / travelling (plus I need Apple for ease of use, stores with classes and "geniusses", and the 1:1 help option.) I may qualify as geeky about some things, but NOT at solving computer-operating problems. ----- OTOH, some people want every bell and whistle. So, IF the market is so very bifurcated, then let the design revisions also widely bifurcate. ----- The NEWTON debacle showed that the most geektastic product (if offered, alone) may not win. Look what won. The company that started with the premise that they'd be simpler in the o/s and software, and not be afraid to put a few buttons on it -- Palm Pilot. I had 'em both... I liked the Newton a little better, but never used most of its abilities. Both screens broke.

Zulu1
May 14, 2010, 02:03 PM
If it doesn't have at least two USB ports; neither.

I just wish they'd put one out already, my PB G4 does not meet my requriements anymore.


Did anyone write that email to Steve?

Z1

Scottsdale
May 14, 2010, 02:50 PM
C2p would mean they have to upgrade again end of the year.

Technically feasible but i doubt that. Upgrades cost them money, they probably cant recoup with niche product like the air.

To go from 128gb to 256 ssd is consistently 450$ on all models i checked. I dont think we see that either maybe as a custom built option.

Since they always underdeliver what i expect i'd say end of the year for the update.

I have a rev a, just got the hinge fixed and am thinking either 15" pro or getting a runcorme as a short term fix.


What you're forgetting is the 128 GB 1.8" SSD found in the MBA cost over $650 when it was introduced in October 2008. Apple did reduce the pricing with the June 09 non-update as the price had dropped on the SSDs. The original MBA cost about $1300 more for a 64 GB SSD and tiny boost in CPU.

The point is SSD costs are dropping considerably, and Apple would probably have to bump the MBA's price by $200 on the top end to cover the costs differences for a 256 GB SSD. Apple could offer it as a BTO option and go with maybe a 192 GB SSD or even a 160 GB Intel SSD. Intel recently announced a 1.8" 160 GB SSD, so there's hope Apple would change the cable from LIF to SATA-II or MicroSata to make it happen. I would love a 160 GB Intel SSD over a 256 GB Samsung SSD.

The pricing and availability on an aftermarket 256 GB SSD for the v 2,1 MBA will be around $650 within three or four months. I wonder if Runcore is going to product a 256 GB SSD for the MBA? I wonder if there MBA SSD ventures have been profitable and what their sales look like? It will be nice to have several choices for the next MBA. My Runcore SSD has been excellent, but I really like the idea of the best SSD in an Intel drive... or a 256 GB SSD with a good controller and driver.


ADDED: I would be ecstatic with either of these two upgrades in all reality. I mean the problem is we're not considering Core i7 ULV and sole use of Intel's GMA HD for graphics... this would be tragic. I actually don't see option two happening as I don't see dedicated graphics, but it's nice to think about it.

Jobsian
May 14, 2010, 09:04 PM
Another nice thread, Jobsian. I really like this poll.

The biggest factor in this potential Core i7 ultra low voltage CPU is the graphics... I don't see Apple giving the MBA a dedicated graphics card when it wouldn't give the MBP a dedicated graphics card (13" model).

Also, there's another thread where a link says the Intel CPUs can run overclocked at the boost clock speeds all the time. I have to assume that is only possible with the GMA IGP turned off. That would lead one to suspect a real GPU. I guess I would even be happy with an Nvidia 310m with 256 MB VRAM (dedicated) in the MBA...

I still believe we're getting an Nvidia 320m GPU/Chipset with a de-throttled C2D CPU. And truthfully, that's all we need as long as it has 4 GB RAM.
Thanks for the comments (+in other threads)

You are right in saying that it might be difficult to see how Apple will include a Core-i CPU in the MBA when they didn't with the 13" MBP. However one way they might justify its selective inclusion in the MBA is by underlining that it's not the Low Voltage CPU (as I used to want) but the Ultra Low Voltage model.

Interesting about the permanent overclock, I have not seen this at all myself before. The 18W ULV Core i's really seem to turn on the afterburners - 1.46GHz to 2.53GHz (in the i7 680UM) is over 2/3 of an increase, I can't wait to see these perform.

To be honest, I'm tending to veer away from that constant yearn for higher clock simply because of the heat issue, especially as I'm starting to become more aware of heating patterns on my own notebooks and realise I don't need a highly geared CPU most of the time because it causes needless heating-fan(noise)-throttle-performance hit cycle. However don't get me wrong when I do want some heavier pushing, I love the GHz :D

Ultimately, yes the main problem with Option 2 is feasibility of discrete graphics, but I have hope. I also agree that not providing adequate graphics for the sake of increased battery isnt an option I'd like. We'll see though.

Would like to know what more MBA fans think especially gwsat.

Scottsdale
May 14, 2010, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the comments (+in other threads)

You are right in saying that it might be difficult to see how Apple will include a Core-i CPU in the MBA when they didn't with the 13" MBP. However one way they might justify its selective inclusion in the MBA is by underlining that it's not the Low Voltage CPU (as I used to want) but the Ultra Low Voltage model.

Interesting about the permanent overclock, I have not seen this at all myself before. The 18W ULV Core i's really seem to turn on the afterburners - 1.46GHz to 2.53GHz (in the i7 680UM) is over 2/3 of an increase, I can't wait to see these perform.

To be honest, I'm tending to veer away from that constant yearn for higher clock simply because of the heat issue, especially as I'm starting to become more aware of heating patterns on my own notebooks and realise I don't need a highly geared CPU most of the time because it causes needless heating-fan(noise)-throttle-performance hit cycle. However don't get me wrong when I do want some heavier pushing, I love the GHz :D

Ultimately, yes the main problem with Option 2 is feasibility of discrete graphics, but I have hope. I also agree that not providing adequate graphics for the sake of increased battery isnt an option I'd like. We'll see though.

Would like to know what more MBA fans think especially gwsat.

It makes sense though, to be able to permanently overclock the CPU, assuming the GMA will not be used. The whole purpose of the "extra" capabilities is to be able to use it for graphics OR for normal CPU clock speed performance boosts. When the GMA is turned off, there's either less draw on energy or more performance available for CPU performance. It makes sense and it makes the Core ULV CPUs a hell of a lot more interesting. This is all IF a dedicated GPU is being used.

So would Apple truly do this??? I hadn't thought so in the past, because I had no clue that the CPU could be overclocked permanently. I knew the GMA could be turned off, but I wasn't sure that it would use any less TDP because it seemed obvious to assume the extra performance would be for performance "boost" operations. So it wouldn't use any less energy than 18W, but that's okay as it's just the CPU... It leaves about 11W for a dedicated GPU. Now here's a question - can Apple use an Nvidia 320m instruction set on a 310m? Or, does Nvidia have an "alternate" 320m that isn't integrated into the chipset? This is very interesting indeed.

I always thought Apple would have to market a 1.2 GHz MBA to sell it with a ULV CPU. However, being able to run the CPU at 2+ GHz is big news. But does this mean Apple can throttle the CPU just as it has with the SL9x00 CPUs? Not necessarily, IF Apple could use an ATI that only required 8W TDP, the MBA would be at 26W, whereas the current MBA is at 29W. But here lies another problem, how does Apple make the MBA last 7/8 hours when it's drawing 89% of the power as the v 2,1 MBA?

This is a lot of interesting news for the MBA... I am intrigued as I had always thought a Core i7-6x0UM would be a devastatingly bad thing as we would get a <1.46 GHz CPU and Intel GMA HD... bad news on both fronts. So a 2 GHz Core i7 runs like a 2.4 GHz C2D.

Jobsian
May 15, 2010, 03:50 AM
It makes sense though, to be able to permanently overclock the CPU, assuming the GMA will not be used. The whole purpose of the "extra" capabilities is to be able to use it for graphics OR for normal CPU clock speed performance boosts. When the GMA is turned off, there's either less draw on energy or more performance available for CPU performance. It makes sense and it makes the Core ULV CPUs a hell of a lot more interesting. This is all IF a dedicated GPU is being used.

So would Apple truly do this??? I hadn't thought so in the past, because I had no clue that the CPU could be overclocked permanently. I knew the GMA could be turned off, but I wasn't sure that it would use any less TDP because it seemed obvious to assume the extra performance would be for performance "boost" operations. So it wouldn't use any less energy than 18W, but that's okay as it's just the CPU... It leaves about 11W for a dedicated GPU. Now here's a question - can Apple use an Nvidia 320m instruction set on a 310m? Or, does Nvidia have an "alternate" 320m that isn't integrated into the chipset? This is very interesting indeed.

I always thought Apple would have to market a 1.2 GHz MBA to sell it with a ULV CPU. However, being able to run the CPU at 2+ GHz is big news. But does this mean Apple can throttle the CPU just as it has with the SL9x00 CPUs? Not necessarily, IF Apple could use an ATI that only required 8W TDP, the MBA would be at 26W, whereas the current MBA is at 29W. But here lies another problem, how does Apple make the MBA last 7/8 hours when it's drawing 89% of the power as the v 2,1 MBA?

This is a lot of interesting news for the MBA... I am intrigued as I had always thought a Core i7-6x0UM would be a devastatingly bad thing as we would get a <1.46 GHz CPU and Intel GMA HD... bad news on both fronts. So a 2 GHz Core i7 runs like a 2.4 GHz C2D.
Ahhh, I see what you mean exactly now by the turbo in terms of switching off the IGP, freeing up the entire power draw to the CPU, rendering anything less than turbo CPU unnecessary.

The other thing is that personally speaking, 1.46GHz isn't so much a disaster IF the CPU can readily and reliably Turbo appropriately, the reports for which I haven't sought yet.

Wow, this will be a really interesting play IF Apple go for such a major revision. Of course Im also trying to tell myself not to have high hopes and likewise I'd be very happy for even a minor bump, which Id certainly buy. It would be amazing though if they did the major revision, regardless of cost.

Jobsian
May 15, 2010, 04:22 PM
This is closer than I thought it was going to be, $2899 is a lot of money. An indication of the visiting demographic!

gwsat
May 16, 2010, 08:15 AM
Suppose the MacBook Air is refreshed at WWDC (yay!). Which of the following two models would you rather see announced and subsequently buy? Not certain how feasible the prices are, I pulled them off the top of my head!

Option 1: Minor Update, Lower Price:

Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz Processor
4GB RAM
192GB SSD
Nvidia 320M
Same form factor/screen/trackpad
Slight battery bump
$1799



Option 2: Major Revision, High Price:

Core-i7 680UM (1.46GHz, 2.53GHz Turbo)
4GB RAM
256GB SSD
Discrete low TDP ATI/Nvidia GPU
New Form Factor
Cooler Temps
IPS Display
USB 3.0
Glass Trackpad
Slight battery bump
$2899

Jobsian -- Thanks to your having mentioned the poll in this thread in the your other recent MBA thread, about the news reports concerning an impending MBA upgrade, I finally found your poll and voted. I don't know how I overlooked it but a did. A thousand pardons!

I voted for Option 2 for entirely selfish reasons. I need an MBA that would have enough power to allow me to run multiple Windows and OS X programs simultaneously. For example, as I type this, I have 7 programs, some Windows, some OS X, open and running on my MBP's desktop. That requires a lot of RAM. Thus, if your Option 2 version of the new MBA's new form factor allowed for the addition of RAM slots I would be all over it because it would allow me to upgrade to 8 Gb of RAM.

Fraaaa
May 16, 2010, 08:44 AM
Even tho I like the poll, you've been a bit unrealistic.

You won't see IPS display and USB 3.0 on the next Air, there were no sign so far for this to happen, so don't get high hopes for nothing.

Scottsdale
May 16, 2010, 01:52 PM
Even tho I like the poll, you've been a bit unrealistic.

You won't see IPS display and USB 3.0 on the next Air, there were no sign so far for this to happen, so don't get high hopes for nothing.

True, unless the MBA doesn't come until way past WWDC. I believe Apple is going to forgo USB 3.0 for now and wait until it's incorporated in the chipsets as a standard configuration. So you're correct in that assessment as it's not realistic to expect now.

I believe an IPS HD display is possible, and it will for sure come within two updates. The longer Apple waits to upgrade the display, more likely 3D or OLED play into picture. The display is obvious and easiest way to make the Macs an extremely better experience for the user.

I think the dedicated GPU is very far fetched. I know it's a possibility, but it just doesn't seem likely that Apple would release a Core i7 MBA with a dedicated GPU three weeks after a 13" MBP with a C2D and Nvidia integrated GPU. I mean, wouldn't the Pro get the new technology too? I think it's completely probable that the MBA gets a C2D and Nvidia 320m GPU. All of the rest is HOPE and speculation.

Sure I want the MBA to get a Core i7 at 2+ GHz and a discrete ATI graphics card, but why wouldn't Apple do that in the 13" MBP also? Seriously, it could have done that with Core i5 CPUs in the 13" MBP, and used an Nvidia 310m GPU. Funny thing is, the 320m is integrated and performs better and uses lower energy than the discrete 310m Nvidia GPU. So integrated isn't always worse, and the 320m proves that.

My Guesstimates:

I am sticking with 85% probability to get an MBA update before or at WWDC with C2D, Nvidia 320m, 4 GB RAM soldered to board, 192/256 GB SSD, and glass trackpad.

As far as other stuff... far less likely... and not going to happen...

Far less likely - IPS HD display, new MBA case (might be thinner at thickest point but not tapered so has more space for components and cooling), two RAM slots, discrete GPU,

Not going to happen now (maybe later) - USB 3.0, LightPeak, and 10-hour battery.

stoconnell
May 16, 2010, 01:54 PM
I am curious to know if anyone has seen anything in the tea leaves to suggest that 192GB or 256GB SSD drive is commercially available/feasible in the 1.8" form factor, or are these based on a move to a 2.5" drive or just wishful thinking?

I believe that the chips are available to easily support a move to 4GB of RAM even with the current model of 16 memory chips soldered to the logic board. I was rather disappointed that Apple didn't choose to do that with the Rev C. Maybe they tossed that out when they significantly dropped the price point (out from under those of us who bought a Rev B).

Scottsdale
May 16, 2010, 02:38 PM
I am curious to know if anyone has seen anything in the tea leaves to suggest that 192GB or 256GB SSD drive is commercially available/feasible in the 1.8" form factor, or are these based on a move to a 2.5" drive or just wishful thinking?

I believe that the chips are available to easily support a move to 4GB of RAM even with the current model of 16 memory chips soldered to the logic board. I was rather disappointed that Apple didn't choose to do that with the Rev C. Maybe they tossed that out when they significantly dropped the price point (out from under those of us who bought a Rev B).

Yes, there are 256 GB SSD 1.8" drives available by Samsung and Toshiba that are available for custom order in bulk for OEMs. So Apple can buy them if they want to use them. Apple would seemingly special order them with LIF connectors just as it has the current Samsung SSDs in the MBAs. Or they could switch to micro SATA or SATA-II. I would assume they keep them the same to limit third-party replacement drive competitors.

PhotoFast has a commercially available 256 GB 1.8" SSD but it's not sold with an LIF connector. Again they could make special batches with an LIF connector if they wanted to.

Intel also announced its 1.8" SSD at 160 GB.

Any drive Apple gets it's going to have custom ordered for the MBA. I suspect 128 GB or any combination up to 256 GB, but 192 GB would be a lot more affordable than 256 GB and would be a significant boost from 128 GB. Meaning Apple can improve the SSD in the MBA by going to 192 GB, as it doesn't have to double the drive. SSDs can be made in any size but generally made with several chips. Could be 8 x 32 GB chips.

The biggest factor is the size of the chips are getting smaller with new smaller nm processes to make the same capacity chips. So while once 128 GB would only fit in a 1.8" SSD form factor, now double that could fit if the size of the chips get smaller or they double the capacity in the same size chips.

Apple could order 160 GB SSD, 192 GB SSD, 200 GB SSD, 220 GB SSD, 256 GB SSD... you get the point. It's whatever Apple is willing to spend the money for and yet offer an upgrade from the current 128 GB SSD. I do believe Apple would benefit the most by selling a 256 GB SSD in the MBA, because that capacity is about the normal size people want out of their laptops. No matter how big, some are going to want bigger and they're just not available yet as they cannot make the chips small enough to fit more in the same form factor of drive.

stoconnell
May 16, 2010, 09:19 PM
Yes, there are 256 GB SSD 1.8" drives available by Samsung and Toshiba that are available for custom order in bulk for OEMs. So Apple can buy them if they want to use them. Apple would seemingly special order them with LIF connectors just as it has the current Samsung SSDs in the MBAs. Or they could switch to micro SATA or SATA-II. I would assume they keep them the same to limit third-party replacement drive competitors.

PhotoFast has a commercially available 256 GB 1.8" SSD but it's not sold with an LIF connector. Again they could make special batches with an LIF connector if they wanted to.

Intel also announced its 1.8" SSD at 160 GB.

Any drive Apple gets it's going to have custom ordered for the MBA. I suspect 128 GB or any combination up to 256 GB, but 192 GB would be a lot more affordable than 256 GB and would be a significant boost from 128 GB. Meaning Apple can improve the SSD in the MBA by going to 192 GB, as it doesn't have to double the drive. SSDs can be made in any size but generally made with several chips. Could be 8 x 32 GB chips.

The biggest factor is the size of the chips are getting smaller with new smaller nm processes to make the same capacity chips. So while once 128 GB would only fit in a 1.8" SSD form factor, now double that could fit if the size of the chips get smaller or they double the capacity in the same size chips.

Apple could order 160 GB SSD, 192 GB SSD, 200 GB SSD, 220 GB SSD, 256 GB SSD... you get the point. It's whatever Apple is willing to spend the money for and yet offer an upgrade from the current 128 GB SSD. I do believe Apple would benefit the most by selling a 256 GB SSD in the MBA, because that capacity is about the normal size people want out of their laptops. No matter how big, some are going to want bigger and they're just not available yet as they cannot make the chips small enough to fit more in the same form factor of drive.

OK. I vaguely recalled some mention of larger 1.8" drives, but I was curious if they were showing up anywhere or still in the pipeline particularly from manufacturers that are Apple suppliers and make SATA-LIF drives (e.g. Samsung, which you mentioned). The world recession probably has put a hitch in some of these coming to market sooner.

I really wish Apple would just drop the SATA-LIF like a bad habit, and move to an interface more widely supported on the 1.8" drives. I suppose this runs counter to their tendency to be masters of vendor lock -- not to be hater, it's just a source of frustration.

manhattanboy
May 16, 2010, 09:34 PM
Suppose the MacBook Air is refreshed at WWDC (yay!). Which of the following two models would you rather see announced and subsequently buy? Not certain how feasible the prices are, I pulled them off the top of my head!

Option 1: Minor Update, Lower Price:

Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz Processor
4GB RAM
192GB SSD
Nvidia 320M
Same form factor/screen/trackpad
Slight battery bump
$1799



Option 2: Major Revision, High Price:

Core-i7 680UM (1.46GHz, 2.53GHz Turbo)
4GB RAM
256GB SSD
Discrete low TDP ATI/Nvidia GPU
New Form Factor
Cooler Temps
IPS Display
USB 3.0
Glass Trackpad
Slight battery bump
$2899


Can we at least have a semi-realistic poll?
Option 2 is for the dope smokers among us.

Scottsdale
May 17, 2010, 12:28 AM
OK. I vaguely recalled some mention of larger 1.8" drives, but I was curious if they were showing up anywhere or still in the pipeline particularly from manufacturers that are Apple suppliers and make SATA-LIF drives (e.g. Samsung, which you mentioned). The world recession probably has put a hitch in some of these coming to market sooner.

I really wish Apple would just drop the SATA-LIF like a bad habit, and move to an interface more widely supported on the 1.8" drives. I suppose this runs counter to their tendency to be masters of vendor lock -- not to be hater, it's just a source of frustration.

There is a third-party manufacturer making a 256 GB SSD with an LIF cable that is expected to be coming out within a few months. That SSD will fit in v 2,1 MBAs and will be marketed to those wishing to upgrade their MBA's. The pricing is expected to be about 70% to 80% higher than the 128 GB SSDs available from other third-party providers like Runcore.

I don't know how many computer manufacturers offer 256 GB SSDs in their ultraportables that use 1.8" drives (it could be NONE). However, that's a good place to start. It is extremely costly to make them, so it's going to be high cost ultraportables that need a 1.8" SSD. The Adamo has a 256 GB SSD available and isn't terribly expensive, but I don't know the size of the drive. Remember that it takes an awfully thin ultraportable to need a 1.8" SSD in the first place. I think about the LG x300, but I don't think it has a 256 GB SSD right now.

It really doesn't matter if they're not being used as they might be just too costly for any competitor right now. It doesn't mean that they're not available for a price and that Apple cannot buy them for the MBAs. Apple was paying the same price for the 128 GB SSDs for the MBA when introduced in October 2008 as a 256 GB SSD costs now. In addition, Apple was paying more money for 64 GB SSDs when the MBA was introduced in January 2008 than a 256 GB SSD costs right now. So the money factor isn't the issue here for Apple. Apple will just have to raise the price of the MBAs to include a 256 GB SSD. I would guess that a 192 GB SSD might make its way into the high-end MBA and allow BTO alternative of a 256 GB SSD. But it could really be any size SSD from maybe 160 GB up to 256 GB. I also think it's possible the low-end MBA will get a 128 GB SSD standard. I believe it might raise the price, but Apple needs to get the price of the MBAs higher as it now has an iPad to cover the secondary computing market for those who really just want a netbook like device. Apple should focus on getting the prices up again on the MBA, and it will have to add features or technology to make that happen.

Since we got a $700 price break on the MBA with 128 GB SSD in June of 2009, I do expect the price to go up by around $300 to $350 for a 256 GB SSD in the MBA. I also expect Apple to raise the price above that if it add an IPS panel or changes the MBA in other big ways with superior parts. For example, let's say Apple continued to solder the RAM on the boards and soldered 4 GB standard. However, let's assume they offered 4 GB standard in the low-end and 8 GB standard in the high-end MBAs (THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN IT'S JUST A HYPOTHETICAL "WHAT-IF" DEMONSTRATION). Apple would have to raise the price by about $300 more in the high-end MBA to cover that cost.

Everything Apple adds to the MBA will have to raise the price so Apple can make enough money on the MBA. I already feel like the MBA is an incredible bargain for what it offers, but since they have been offering it for that price for over eleven months I expect more for that money now. We all want the newest technology for our same money.

I wish Apple would just upgrade this MBA already. I really want it to happen this Tuesday, but I dream about what a WWDC MBA might actually have in terms of upgraded components and new innovative technologies. And there's always the possibility we will all be terribly disappointed and not get an updated MBA... or an MBA with 2 GB of RAM soldered to the board with a new GPU and larger SSD but no extra RAM. Anyone considering these possibilities? Apple has really disappointed us before, even remember the June 2009 non-update to consider the disappointment possible this Tuesday or even at WWDC.

Can we at least have a semi-realistic poll?
Option 2 is for the dope smokers among us.

This is true. I believe Option 2 is really just focusing on a Core i7. The hope of a dedicated GPU is further off in the realm of realistic possibilities. In addition, IPS displays are further off, and USB 3.0 isn't in any way going to happen unless this MBA update doesn't come for another three to six months. An MBA update between now and WWDC just isn't going to be as amazing as option 2. I would be SHOCKED if the update looked anything like option 2 in terms of component makeup.

Mhkobe
May 17, 2010, 12:49 AM
Also, there's another thread where a link says the Intel CPUs can run overclocked at the boost clock speeds all the time. RAM.

Does this apply to all of the core-ix CPUs? When I was reading another thread it was implied that this was only possible on the ULVs. It doesn't really make sense to me why, but that was my understanding.

Also, I would love that option 2, especially if it came in a 15" flavour for maybe 3000. I wish apple would just go with ati, but I fear that is very unrealistic.

-Nice thread 5*'s

Scottsdale
May 17, 2010, 01:48 AM
Does this apply to all of the core-ix CPUs? When I was reading another thread it was implied that this was only possible on the ULVs. It doesn't really make sense to me why, but that was my understanding.

Also, I would love that option 2, especially if it came in a 15" flavour for maybe 3000. I wish apple would just go with ati, but I fear that is very unrealistic.

-Nice thread 5*'s

Possibly? I don't know? It's interesting, and I don't know if it's possible or legitimate even with the ULV Core series CPUs.

ATI truly has low TDP dedicated GPUs that actually meet the total TDP required by the MBA (assuming 29W current form is the max capable).

Jobsian
May 17, 2010, 06:45 AM
Can we at least have a semi-realistic poll?
Option 2 is for the dope smokers among us.
The sad thing about this post is that you (and I and everyone else) are coditioned to believe such a spec list is for "dope smokers" not because of any technological limitation but because of Apple's tendency toward conservative hardware (with notable exceptions).

Each one of the items I mentioned are technologically feasible (to various degrees) and moreover some of the specs have been utterly eclipsed by others - eg Toshibas rumored MBA killer is said to use higher voltage Arrandales in an even thinner form factor, 512GB SSD etc etc. Not to mention Sony's MBA-weighted (though thicker) behemoth Vaio Z, the top spec of which if we were to utter it for even the 13" Macbook Pro we'd be directed to psychiatry!

Scottsdale
May 17, 2010, 08:57 AM
The sad thing about this post is that you (and I and everyone else) are coditioned to believe such a spec list is for "dope smokers" not because of any technological limitation but because of Apple's tendency toward conservative hardware (with notable exceptions).

Each one of the items I mentioned are technologically feasible (to various degrees) and moreover some of the specs have been utterly eclipsed by others - eg Toshibas rumored MBA killer is said to use higher voltage Arrandales in an even thinner form factor, 512GB SSD etc etc. Not to mention Sony's MBA-weighted (though thicker) behemoth Vaio Z, the top spec of which if we were to utter it for even the 13" Macbook Pro we'd be directed to psychiatry!

You are correct. Apple has let us down lately and usually does. However Apple truly made a move like this with the SL9x00 CPU, Nvidia 9400 GPU, 128 GB SSD on SATA-II controller, DDR3 RAM, and mini Display Port to drive up to a 30" ACD. Apple has proved it can make a huge upgrade if and when it wants to. With the price points being raised, everything listed becomes very possible. Just remember that Apple has to raise the price by a good $500 to $700 to get all of the components in option two.

Maybe we'll know something in another 24 hours??? Maybe not until WWDC.

Jobsian
May 17, 2010, 11:31 AM
You are correct. Apple has let us down lately and usually does. However Apple truly made a move like this with the SL9x00 CPU, Nvidia 9400 GPU, 128 GB SSD on SATA-II controller, DDR3 RAM, and mini Display Port to drive up to a 30" ACD. Apple has proved it can make a huge upgrade if and when it wants to. With the price points being raised, everything listed becomes very possible. Just remember that Apple has to raise the price by a good $500 to $700 to get all of the components in option two.

Maybe we'll know something in another 24 hours??? Maybe not until WWDC.
Indeed, and among the 'notable exceptions' to hardware conservatism I foremost had in mind was the Macbook Air, it buried premium ultraportable competition at the time in terms of hardware alone (not to mention osx).

Which is the reason why I'm still hoping for something more dramatic (for Apple's standard) hardware-wise for the updated MBA.

The odds are still on a minor spec update but I put the odds for a bigger revision higher for the MBA than I did for the 13" MBP update because of this very reason that the MBA has been a recent trailblazer, but also for the reason of the longer delay.

Either way, I'm certainly getting one :D

Let's hope it hasn't been EOL'd, lol!

gwsat
May 17, 2010, 12:55 PM
The sad thing about this post is that you (and I and everyone else) are coditioned to believe such a spec list is for "dope smokers" not because of any technological limitation but because of Apple's tendency toward conservative hardware (with notable exceptions).

Each one of the items I mentioned are technologically feasible (to various degrees) and moreover some of the specs have been utterly eclipsed by others - eg Toshibas rumored MBA killer is said to use higher voltage Arrandales in an even thinner form factor, 512GB SSD etc etc. Not to mention Sony's MBA-weighted (though thicker) behemoth Vaio Z, the top spec of which if we were to utter it for even the 13" Macbook Pro we'd be directed to psychiatry!
You came to your own defense before I had a chance to do it for you. There was nothing listed in your MBA dream machine's configuration that isn't available today. As you mentioned, a loaded Sony Vaio Z, which has been available for awhile, is even more powerful than your putative dream machine would be. The only thing that puts your dream machine in the "dope smoker" category is Apple's consistently disappointing recent history of unimpressive hardware revisions.

Unfortunately, we aren't going to know what the revised MBA will look like, or even if there will be one, until Apple does something. Steve Jobs' passion for secrecy makes Joseph Stalin look like a blabbermouth.:)

Jobsian
May 17, 2010, 02:23 PM
You came to your own defense before I had a chance to do it for you. There was nothing listed in your MBA dream machine's configuration that isn't available today. As you mentioned, a loaded Sony Vaio Z, which has been available for awhile, is even more powerful than your putative dream machine would be. The only thing that puts your dream machine in the "dope smoker" category is Apple's consistently disappointing recent history of unimpressive hardware revisions.

Unfortunately, we aren't going to know what the revised MBA will look like, or even if there will be one, until Apple does something. Steve Jobs' passion for secrecy makes Joseph Stalin look like a blabbermouth.:)
Haha that last line literally made me lol! :D

Come on Mr Jobs, please blow our socks off with the MBA D

L0s7man
May 17, 2010, 02:48 PM
Personally, I'm hoping for a high-res screen! Imagine 1440x900 ;-)

Also, I can't comprehend why there is no glass trackpad on MBA yet. It's ridiculous.

MartiNZ
May 17, 2010, 03:10 PM
Personally, I'm hoping for a high-res screen! Imagine 1440x900 ;-)

Also, I can't comprehend why there is no glass trackpad on MBA yet. It's ridiculous.

I reckon 1600x900, Sony offers that at 16:9 in smaller displays, IIRC, and the MBA should return to its rightful place as the trendsetter for the Apple laptops, rather than the lapdog. Glass trackpad should really have hit it before it hit the rest!

gwsat
May 17, 2010, 04:22 PM
Haha that last line literally made me lol! :D

Come on Mr Jobs, please blow our socks off with the MBA D
I gather that before Steve Jobs came back to Apple in the '90s, the security of information was not a high priority. I watched an excellent 2008 documentary, Welcome to Macintosh, on Netflix streaming last night. It pointed out that Jobs penchant for secrecy nearly killed sites like Mac Rumors because, these days, nobody at Apple seems to leak any information.

Wild-Bill
May 17, 2010, 04:29 PM
Option 3.

Major revision and lower price


Doesn't really matter anyway, as Jobs and company have the Air on the "pay no mind list", along with the Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and others.

L0s7man
May 17, 2010, 07:28 PM
Option 3.

Major revision and lower price


Doesn't really matter anyway, as Jobs and company have the Air on the "pay no mind list", along with the Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and others.

How about Option 4: minor revision + higher price!

cleric
May 17, 2010, 08:28 PM
How about Option 4: minor revision + higher price!

No reason to raise the price for a minor revision, that hardware is so old their profit margin just keeps going up they can afford to throw you a 4gb chip of ram and maybe a 320m if you're lucky for the same price.

Spacekatgal
May 17, 2010, 08:44 PM
Option 2. I wouldn't buy it this year, but I would get the revision the year after.

It would distinguish the MBA from the iPad, which is something very important. It needs to justify its existence in the Mac lineup.

If the Ram were expandable I'd be very tempted to pick it up. 4 is not enough for PS work.

Bri

Scottsdale
May 17, 2010, 09:55 PM
What everyone is forgetting that if the MBA gets a Core i7 CPU of any sort, it's much more likely to come with Intel's GMA HD for its sole graphics solution. Apple's point with the MBA might be different than 13" MBP. SJ said the MBP with C2D and Nvidia 320m offered slightly better CPU and incredibly superior graphics for the 13" MBP than the Core i5 CPUs with Intel's GMA HD. If Apple couldn't fit a dedicated GPU in the 13" MBP how will it fit one in the MBA?

I think everyone is getting way out of line thinking we're actually going to get a Core CPU and DISCRETE GRAPHICS SOLUTION. It is a DREAM scenario that isn't likely especially since Jobs bashed Intel's GMA HD for the 13" MBP. I believe it all tells us a C2D with Nvidia 320m GPU are on their way to the MBA. If we see Core CPUs, we're most likely getting Intel's GMA HD for graphics as Apple would probably say non "Pros" don't need the graphics power of the Nvidia GPUs. Also, Sandy Bridge ULV CPUs later this year or early 2011 would offer up to double the graphics performance which might get it close to the Nvidia 9400m of October 2008 MBAs. We have to remember the Core i7-6x0UM/LM comes with a graphics non-solution that might be half as capable as the 9400m and 1/4 as capable as the 320m that we could get from C2D and Nvidia MBA.

.summerfree
May 18, 2010, 01:38 AM
lol I swear that Scottsdale has been giving the same C2D/320m hypothesis for weeks and it makes a hell lot of sense. Let's be realistic here, there's no way option 2 is gonna happen. Remember: new Macbooks were leaked with the C2D/320m combo, so I highly doubt we're going to see the i7 or any ix chip in the MBA.

Scottsdale
May 18, 2010, 03:03 AM
lol I swear that Scottsdale has been giving the same C2D/320m hypothesis for weeks and it makes a hell lot of sense. Let's be realistic here, there's no way option 2 is gonna happen. Remember: new Macbooks were leaked with the C2D/320m combo, so I highly doubt we're going to see the i7 or any ix chip in the MBA.

Believe me, I would gladly be wrong if it means the MBA gets a dedicated ATI graphics card... but I honestly see Core i7 as only coming with GMA HD in the MBA, and that would be sickening right now.

A C2D and Nvidia 320m make all the sense in the world as the strategy has worked since October 2008 for the MBA. Apple tried the Intel way with the original MBA and it was a complete disaster. I know one thing, if I buy an MBA that only has Intel's GMA HD for graphics, I will spend my whole life in Windows 7 to stay away from OS X's inferior performance with drivers in graphics. I have always said the Intel GMA HD would be perfectly fine in Windows 7, but running OS X is a completely different story. Anyone can go read the recent reports about how poorly OS X fares against Windows when it comes to graphics, h.264, and most importantly OpenGL.

I would rather spend my computing time in OS X, but Apple needs to give us an Nvidia GPU chipset or an ATI dedicated GPU to make that happen with the Core i7 CPUs.

I guess we have five hours or so to see if it's today. It's awfully quiet for a night before an update... meaning it's not looking like it's Tuesday this week... maybe next week? Maybe not until WWDC?

Jobsian
May 20, 2010, 05:15 AM
Interesting poll figures so far, despite the $1,100 price difference between the two models, however not that very surprising given the MBA's traditional demographic (as I perceive it anyway).

I hope Apple have a similar demographic in mind :D

thinkdesign
May 20, 2010, 05:24 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Would someone please be specific --- What exactly is it that the "crap" "CoreI7 graphics solution" won't do as well as the current Macbook Airs, or the upgrade Scottsdale's predicting for soon?

Mhkobe
May 21, 2010, 01:05 AM
What everyone is forgetting that if the MBA gets a Core i7 CPU of any sort, it's much more likely to come with Intel's GMA HD for its sole graphics solution. Apple's point with the MBA might be different than 13" MBP. SJ said the MBP with C2D and Nvidia 320m offered slightly better CPU and incredibly superior graphics for the 13" MBP than the Core i5 CPUs with Intel's GMA HD. If Apple couldn't fit a dedicated GPU in the 13" MBP how will it fit one in the MBA?

What you are forgetting is that apple couldn't afford to put something with a ridiculous looking clock speed in the 13" MBP. It is one of their best selling computers, and very few people who buy them understand that clock speed isn't directly related to performance. With the MBA they can afford to put a core i7 ULV with something like a 1.2Ghz clock speed in it because the people who buy MBAs do their research. GPUs don't take up very much space, all that one needs to be worried about are heat, power, and whether you can sell it to a customer.

-I have people coming up to me all the time asking why Apple lowered the clocks on the high end MBPs so much, and they think that apple is lowering the performance.

Scottsdale
May 21, 2010, 09:26 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Would someone please be specific --- What exactly is it that the "crap" "CoreI7 graphics solution" won't do as well as the current Macbook Airs, or the upgrade Scottsdale's predicting for soon?

The "crap" is the Intel GMA HD Graphics DIE on the Core i5/i7 CPUs. It's less than 1/2 as capable as the 9400m we have used since October 2008. It is essentially going back to the original MBA's type of graphics... sort of.

A lot of people say the GMA HD works fine on Windows 7, but Windows has a hell of a lot better performance for graphics like OpenGL and h.264 API access. Just because it can play a BluRay in Windows doesn't mean it can do it in OS X. Whether we like it or not, we need the graphics capabilities Nvidia's GPU chipset can give us OR we need a dedicated GPU.

Apple used the Intel GMA HD in the new 15" and 17" MBPs. However, those have the real Nvidia 330 GT to fall back on. Even MBP owners are pretty disappointed when the Intel GMA HD is in use. Apple could have just turned off the GMA HD but it decided to use it to keep battery performance way up. Unfortunately the Nvidia GPU chipset is off limits for Apple with Core i-series CPUs.

I would gladly take an MBA with C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU that Apple used in the new 13" MBPs over a Core i7 CPU with ONLY Intel GMA HD for graphics. Steve Jobs replied to an email saying the 13" MBPs needed the Nvidia GPU as the loss of graphics afforded by the Intel GMA HD weren't acceptable. This way Apple gave the MBP slightly faster CPU instead of the boost from Core CPUs, and much better Nvidia 320m over Intel GMA HD that was pathetic. These email was sort of a wakeup call for anyone expecting a dedicated solution in a 13" Mac notebook. It implied that it wasn't possible for whatever reason - cooling, energy requirements, space, or just to keep a 10-hour battery feasible.

I am all for the C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m. I don't believe it would be "worthy" of showing off at WWDC unless Apple has a complete redesign ready. What that could be is using a non tapered design that is thinner at the thickest point and thicker at the thinnest point. I am guessing if that were to happen it would look something like iPad looks - when MBA is closed.

I have no idea if there is an MBA update at WWDC. I think the rumors tells us that there's something coming, but I don't put any value into those rumors saying a Core i7 CPU. The same rumors said Core i5 in the 13" MBPs. The same rumors said ATI discrete GPU in the 13" MBPs. The same rumors that said Optimus. The same rumors that have been off everywhere... meaning all of the rumors knew certain Macs were coming but didn't have any clue what the component makeup contained. Hell, there may not even be an MBA coming. If it does have a Core i7, I certainly hope it doesn't stick us with Intel GMA HD as sole graphics non-solution.

gwsat
May 21, 2010, 09:26 AM
Can someone explain just what the real world weakness would be in having the integrated GPU in the i7 chip handle all graphics tasks? About the heaviest duty graphics I use are to watch streaming videos. Even my little iPad does that just fine -- that is unless Flash is required.:) It seems to me that an updated MBA with the i7 CPU and integrated GPU might work just fine for me. Am I missing something here?

Jobsian
May 21, 2010, 11:34 AM
Can someone explain just what the real world weakness would be in having the integrated GPU in the i7 chip handle all graphics tasks?
This is precisely the question I hoped for replies to in my admittedly verbose recent thread here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=919533). You've put it more succinctly :)

Scottsdale
May 21, 2010, 11:36 AM
Can someone explain just what the real world weakness would be in having the integrated GPU in the i7 chip handle all graphics tasks? About the heaviest duty graphics I use are to watch streaming videos. Even my little iPad does that just fine -- that is unless Flash is required.:) It seems to me that an updated MBA with the i7 CPU and integrated GPU might work just fine for me. Am I missing something here?

It would be perfectly fine in Windows 7. It would SUCK in OS X. The bottom line is what works in Windows does not necessarily mean a GPU will be capable of in OS X. I can run my current MBA in Windows 7 and use 1/4 of the CPU as needed to do the same tasks in OS X. I don't know whether it's the nature of the Linux system to not do graphics well, or if it's Apple writing absolutely crap drivers that don't "aim for" performance?

I would probably buy an MBA with a Core i7 and Intel GMA HD, but I would probably completely abandon OS X to do that. I don't believe OS X and Intel GMA would provide even the level of performance required from today's Flash, HD playback, and etc to be acceptable as a primary Mac one computer system.

I love the form factor of the MBA as a writer, and I would love to have both OS X and Windows available, but I see no use for OS X if it doesn't have an Nvidia GPU chipset or a discrete ATI/Nvidia GPU. We have done Intel GMA before, it was in the original MBA, and I didn't like my original MBA in any way... not even for writing. Because we all expect our computers to provide a certain level of performance Intel is not capable of providing for us in the graphics area of focus.

I suppose I would consider even moving to a 13" MBP or 17" MBP plus iPad? I don't know what I would do? Hell, I don't even want to think about how disgusting this would be. The most hope we have, if Apple does use a Core i7, is the news that Apple will be running the CPU on boost thereby disabling the GMA. That would mean a dedicated ATI/Nvidia card would have to be paired with the Core i7. This is our absolute best case scenario. With the ULV CPU at 18W, and an ATI 7w 5430, we could be at 25W total which is a 4W TDP savings from the current MBA which uses a 29W TDP system.

There is hope, so let's not give in to the thoughts of a Core i7 with only Intel GMA for graphics. ;):apple:

gri
May 21, 2010, 12:52 PM
I would gladly take an MBA with C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU...

After using my refurb MBA for 3 weeks now I am not sure if I would jump to that now, even with the 4GB and larger HHD. C2D is a lame duck now and a dead duck by the end of the year. Any prediction for what comes after 2010, i.e. in 7 months?

gwsat
May 21, 2010, 02:10 PM
After using my refurb MBA for 3 weeks now I am not sure if I would jump to that now, even with the 4GB and larger HHD. C2D is a lame duck now and a dead duck by the end of the year. Any prediction for what comes after 2010, i.e. in 7 months?
What kind of apps are you running. My Santa Rosa MBP has an aging 2.4Ghz C2D, which has been ample for my purposes. If my experience with my MBP is any guide, I suspect that your dissatisfaction with your MBA is really attributable to its having only 2Gb of RAM, rather than to its C2D processor. Now that I have 6Gb of RAM, I routinely run a number of Windows and OS X apps concurrently from the OS X desktop, thanks to VMware Fusion's Unity mode.

Jobsian
May 23, 2010, 03:34 AM
With every day that passes im beginning to believe that Apple' likelihood for releasing high performance, high cost components for the MBA is higher than the likelihood for the 13" MBP.

I get the feeling, and it's no more than conjecture, that Apple, if they are to refresh the MBA, will want to differentiate this as a premium product and the poll results reflect it's demographic.

What kind of apps are you runningThat's a key question, by reading some of the accounts here it does seem that I'm a much lighter graphics user than many and so Intel-only wouldn't be such a handicap for me, though of course I'd much prefer Nvidia/ATI (only if the cooling is nailed, otherwise no deal for me)

Scottsdale
May 23, 2010, 08:45 AM
With every day that passes im beginning to believe that Apple' likelihood for releasing high performance, high cost components for the MBA is higher than the likelihood for the 13" MBP.

I get the feeling, and it's no more than conjecture, that Apple, if they are to refresh the MBA, will want to differentiate this as a premium product and the poll results reflect it's demographic.

That's a key question, by reading some of the accounts here it does seem that I'm a much lighter graphics user than many and so Intel-only wouldn't be such a handicap for me, though of course I'd much prefer Nvidia/ATI (only if the cooling is nailed, otherwise no deal for me)

Believe me, I believe 95% of users would be disappointed with an Intel GMA in the MBA. They wouldn't be disappointed until real world use shows them just how incapable the GMA would be as a sole solution. I believe your positive thoughts are misguided because you hope for a Core i-series MBA that is high-quality which you see the MBA as deserving.

I don't believe we have to worry, as I honestly don't see SJ backtracking on his words so quickly. A Sandy Ridge CPU offers double the GMA performance so it would be much more likely from Apple for the MBA. However, that MBA wouldn't happen until later in the year.

Maybe Apple will reposition the MBA as a luxury Mac and include both a Core i7 and an ATI GPU. I can actually see would be MBP buyers going for the upgrade to an MBA if it had a 2+ GHz CPU and discrete GPU, larger SSD, and two RAM slots. I don't think we should give up hope on such an MBA especially with the rumors that the MBA update is getting Core i7 and the boost feature will be used full-time by turning off GMA. I would say it's a long shot, but if Apple can make more money on such an MBA it's possible. Imagine tripling the MBA market with buyers willing to pay Apple $1k more for an MBA with a C i7 and ATI GPU that truly performs. Look at the BTO options from MBA buyers who want to tailor the experience for them with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, IPS display, and the discrete GPU possibility. Apple would have MBP buyers switching to the MBA for certain. It would be a big reason for Apple to differentiate the MBA over the 13" MBP stuck with C2D and iGPU. I would say we shouldn't give up hope given the rumors.

While I still believe an MBA with a C2D at 30% performance boost, with Nvidia 320m, and 4 GB RAM soldered to the board seems more likely, it doesn't rule out several other possibilities for the MBA. A new design could be Apple's focus for a new Mac given Apple's new stance as primarily a mobility company. Apple surely will want to introduce at least one new Mac of some form at WWDC. So I am trying to be positive. We have two weeks and we will probably know something. Of course there's the possibility that Apple says nothing at WWDC and the MBA gets the quiet C2D, Nvidia 320m, and 4 GB RAM after WWDC too. Maybe Apple was just focused on getting the MB updated first? A lot of parents buy MBs for their graduating kids who are going off to college. Maybe it was just more important to get this MB update first. The bottom line is we can all keep speculating but we're not going to truly know until SJ says it at WWDC OR it gets updated on Apple.com.