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Old Jan 10, 2011, 10:24 PM   #1
iRun26.2
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Don't Buy The First MBA With Sandy Bridge?

With Intel's very recent licensing of nVidia's technology to go into future Sandy Bridge IGPs, it seems likely that it might be a good idea to SKIP the first release of Sandy Bridge for the MBA:

The first Sandy Bridge chips (that we see now) barely can keep up with the graphic performance of what the current MBA already has. It will take a while for Intel to set up and use nVidia's better technology...but when they do, I bet it will be quite an improvement!

(Thinking in this manner will help me talk myself out of the MBA Sandy Bridge update when it becomes available...)
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Old Jan 10, 2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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Well, I think it's way to early to be making these types of predictions. Who's to say that the first MBA with SB isn't one with an nVidia IGP?
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Old Jan 10, 2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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You presume there will be a sandy bridge MBA. Also, there will be no change to sandy bridge as a result of the announced licensing agreement today.
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Old Jan 10, 2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Well, I think it's way to early to be making these types of predictions. Who's to say that the first MBA with SB isn't one with an nVidia IGP?
You are right. That would make the most sense for Apple (wait for a SB version with the nVidia technology). I think it might be a difficult sell for them, to release a Sandy Bridge MBA that has greatly improved CPU power yet goes backwards with the GPU performance.

I don't think Apple will upgrade the MBA for a while either, since it is selling so well and there will certainly be a MBP update before the next MBA update.
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Old Jan 10, 2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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You presume there will be a sandy bridge MBA. Also, there will be no change to sandy bridge as a result of the announced licensing agreement today.
Ivy Bridge, then?
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:09 AM   #6
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Ivy Bridge, then?
That's my guess. Ivy bridge igp will have full dx11 capabilities.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 08:38 AM   #7
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I've learned my lesson. When I see a machine come out with intel graphics, I will always wait and view various opinions and reviews from early adopters and journalists. This may mean months, but it sometimes takes that long to get the real truth on what something can and can't do.

I got the recent Macbook air. (My first one) So I don't plan on upgrading to a new model until maybe a few revisions down the line. It'll have to be pretty significant for me to want to bite. This already has spec to handle the releases I know about for the next couple of years, at least.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 11:09 AM   #8
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I got the recent Macbook air. (My first one) So I don't plan on upgrading to a new model until maybe a few revisions down the line. It'll have to be pretty significant for me to want to bite. This already has spec to handle the releases I know about for the next couple of years, at least.
I agree. I'd need to see the return of the backlit keyboard and a SSD increase from 128G to 256G to get me to consider upgrading my 11.6" MBA (and there's no way I'd be willing to go backwards with the GPU capabilities).
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 11:18 AM   #9
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From AT:

Quote:
Intel Gets

Continued Access To NVIDIA's Graphics Patents
Quote:
Intel has to license NVIDIA technology to avoid running afoul of the company's large patent portfolio with their own IGPs. It's for all practical purposes impossible to build a desktop GPU without infringing on an AMD/NV patent. This agreement allows Intel to continue producing their IGPs, just as how the original 2004 chipset agreement allowed Intel to produce more modern IGPs in return for NVIDIA getting a chipset license
No, you won't see NVidia IGP in Intel CPU. This agreement doesn't seem to add any new things for Intel, just continued access to use NVidia's old patents.

You guys are dreaming too much.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 11:46 AM   #10
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I got the recent Macbook air. (My first one) So I don't plan on upgrading to a new model until maybe a few revisions down the line. It'll have to be pretty significant for me to want to bite. This already has spec to handle the releases I know about for the next couple of years, at least.
My sentiments exactly. I got a 13" MBA a couple weeks ago (it too is my first Mac) and it suites my needs perfectly and unless something in here fails that cannot be easily repaired, I think will continue to do so long enough for me to skip a couple generations. I've got a powerful dual monitor desktop for all my heavy tasks.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 01:29 PM   #11
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No, you won't see NVidia IGP in Intel CPU. This agreement doesn't seem to add any new things for Intel, just continued access to use NVidia's old patents.

You guys are dreaming too much.
It all started with a bad headline from ars, for which Jon Stokes has apologized.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Intel's new HD is about as good as the nVidia chips in the old MBA (what is it, 9500M?), but no CUDA or OpenCL. Also, TPD should be lower. I'd rather the speed, battery life, and memory bandwidth, but gamers and people who need CUDA (PS users?) will not be happy campers.

There might be a small chance of them making room for discrete - the lower TPD and smaller SSD (if that's possible) might make room. But that would increase the price, and battery life would suffer. Not likely at all.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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Intel's new HD is about as good as the nVidia chips in the old MBA (what is it, 9500M?), but no CUDA or OpenCL. Also, TPD should be lower. I'd rather the speed, battery life, and memory bandwidth, but gamers and people who need CUDA (PS users?) will not be happy campers.

There might be a small chance of them making room for discrete - the lower TPD and smaller SSD (if that's possible) might make room. But that would increase the price, and battery life would suffer. Not likely at all.
The next IGP (in ivy bridge) will have DX11 compatibility, so I don't see why they shouldn't support openCL as well, but I'm not sure there.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:36 PM   #14
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No, you won't see NVidia IGP in Intel CPU. This agreement doesn't seem to add any new things for Intel, just continued access to use NVidia's old patents.

You guys are dreaming too much.
While I'm sure they are 'not for sale', it would seem to be Intel's best interest to find a way to buy nVidia much like AMD bought HTI. Integrating the GPU within the CPU makes a lot of sense from system standpoint. Will Intel ever reach an advanced level of IGP on the CPU (from Apple's perspective for a MBA) without help?
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:59 PM   #15
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While I'm sure they are 'not for sale', it would seem to be Intel's best interest to find a way to buy nVidia much like AMD bought HTI. Integrating the GPU within the CPU makes a lot of sense from system standpoint. Will Intel ever reach an advanced level of IGP on the CPU (from Apple's perspective for a MBA) without help?
If they make it a priority I think they can do it rather easily given the resources Intel has. I just don't think it's been much of a priority for them, but with the mobile/ultra mobile market is taking off, i'm sure it will be sooner rather than later. Intel IGP is by far the best selling IGP around and Intel has been pretty good about updating it to be "good enough" for the majority of users. It's generally pretty up-to-date on features, but down on raw performance.

I personally don't do any gaming on laptops so for me it's more beneficial to have an Intel IGP that's part of the CPU and consumes less power and come in a smaller package than it is to have a separate GPU that may perform a bit better but at the same time run hotter and consume more power and require more space on the logic board. As long as it has hardware acceleration for flash and avchd video, it's good enough for me.

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Old Jan 12, 2011, 09:35 AM   #16
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While I'm sure they are 'not for sale', it would seem to be Intel's best interest to find a way to buy nVidia much like AMD bought HTI. Integrating the GPU within the CPU makes a lot of sense from system standpoint. Will Intel ever reach an advanced level of IGP on the CPU (from Apple's perspective for a MBA) without help?
The market for high performance IGPs is fairly low. Gamers will anyway opt for a discrete GPU and the people who don't need graphics power are already fine with the current IGP. I think the biggest need for good IGP is in ultraportable like MBA but like I said, the market for ultraportables isn't that huge.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 09:35 PM   #17
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The market for high performance IGPs is fairly low. Gamers will anyway opt for a discrete GPU and the people who don't need graphics power are already fine with the current IGP. I think the biggest need for good IGP is in ultraportable like MBA but like I said, the market for ultraportables isn't that huge.
There has been a great deal of discussion here (complaining, actually) about how poor Intel's IGP has been in the recent past. I guess I got sucked into thinking that very good graphics are important to everyone. (I remember reading many posts from 'Scottsdale' deriding Intel's horrible graphics.)

I, myself, now that I own the late 2010 11.6" MBA, would never consider going back to my original Rev. A model. Graphics and plots in MATLAB just 'fly' on my MBA... almost rivaling my much faster Dell laptop.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 09:43 PM   #18
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Previous Post Removed?

One off topic question for anyone who may know the answer...

What happened to the graphic posted by 'Shasta Macnasty' on this thread? Was it removed? (I guess I feel kind of stupid because I never completely figured out what was meant by that).
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 10:10 AM   #19
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There has been a great deal of discussion here (complaining, actually) about how poor Intel's IGP has been in the recent past. I guess I got sucked into thinking that very good graphics are important to everyone. (I remember reading many posts from 'Scottsdale' deriding Intel's horrible graphics.)
It is poor compared to what NVidia could have offered if Intel allowed them to make chipsets for iX CPUs. The issue in most cases is that people just bash the Intel IGP but they cannot provide any better alternative. C2D + NVidia IGP cannot live forever. iX + discrete GPU is possible but then Apple would have to increase the size of the logic board and that would mean a loss in battery life (battery is the only logical thing they can make smaller). Sure there is AMD but currently AMDs are even worse. One can speculate about AMD's future CPUs but until we have specs and raw numbers, it's pointless.

That leaves us with iX and Intel IGP. Maybe I missed something, let me know if I did. I'm sure I would be bashing the Intel IGP if we had other viable options, but currently I think we don't.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 04:17 AM   #20
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One can speculate about AMD's future CPUs but until we have specs and raw numbers, it's pointless.
I think there are some results for GPU on the just released Fusion platform and it was suppose to be better than SB's IGP if I am remembering it correctly.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 04:56 AM   #21
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I believe fusion may be a bit more powerful than the SB IGP. That said, ever since Intel introduced Core 2 Duo, AMD CPU's have consumed more power, ran hotter and offered up less performance that what Intel has to offer. Fusion may be ideal for a media center box, but I think Sandy Bridge is going to be a better fit for laptops.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 10:09 PM   #22
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I believe fusion may be a bit more powerful than the SB IGP. That said, ever since Intel introduced Core 2 Duo, AMD CPU's have consumed more power, ran hotter and offered up less performance that what Intel has to offer. Fusion may be ideal for a media center box, but I think Sandy Bridge is going to be a better fit for laptops.
It really does sound like the new Sandy Bridge CPUs are going to be pretty awesome when it comes to combining processing power and low energy consumption (certainly compared to AMD's). I think just the fact that 'turbo mode' can be applied to either core or the IGU when needed is a major advancement. It really makes sense to me to for SB chips to be applied the ultra-portable MBA product line.

Back about six months ago I was reading all about what people were thinking the next generation MBA computers would have. I was convinced that I was not going to buy a new MBA until they came out with one with the Sandy Bridge chips. well, I was so impressed with what I saw when I used with the old C2D that I couldn't wait. The 11.6" machine was so fast and portable I could not wait for it to have my preferred processor.

Now, I will be kind of jealous if they came out with a new MBA with the SB chips in a few months but I would need more than just a faster processor to upgrade. And, I don't really think Apple will upgrade it until they upgrade the rest of the portable line. I'm sure there are people that bought MBA who will also buy the MBP when they also give it a SSD.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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Back about six months ago I was reading all about what people were thinking the next generation MBA computers would have. I was convinced that I was not going to buy a new MBA until they came out with one with the Sandy Bridge chips. well, I was so impressed with what I saw when I used with the old C2D that I couldn't wait. The 11.6" machine was so fast and portable I could not wait for it to have my preferred processor.
Is it really that amazing? I'm having the same trouble as you. I went to my local apple store and immediately fell in love with the 11.6 inch form factor, but I wanted to wait and see whether or not the MBA's would eventually get a Sandy Bridge update.

I know Apple hasn't sacrificed CPU power for GPU power, but does anyone have solid benchmarks for the Sandy Bridge IGP?
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 11:29 AM   #24
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I love these threads...

I have a iMac 3.2 quad core with 16GB RAM, and my MB Air runs circles around it in times of everyday use\speed. SSD affects performance. For my use, a better processor doesn't.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 11:35 AM   #25
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nb-no) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Heh. Apple can do that. Who cares about gpu power in a MBA. if you want a good gpu buy a mbp
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