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Old Aug 7, 2012, 07:44 PM   #1
Panini
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2.0Ghz processor.

AnandTech's review mentions multiple times that the 2.0ghz processor gives a significant increase in visual performance. Does this mean it has a better iGPU?

In games such as portal, will there be a difference in having a 2.0ghz processor (vs 1.8ghz)?

The thing that caught my eye was that it's turbo boost 3.2ghz while the 1.8 goes to 2.8ghz. Is this really meaningful?

Do most games only get bottlenecked by the Air's iGPU or does the processor actually help?
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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The GPU is virtually the same in both the i5 and i7. The base is 350MHz. I think the i7 Turbo Boosts to 1150MHz while the i5 boosts to 1100MHz (1050MHz in the 1.7GHz i5). It won't be noticeable except by a benchmark test. Any difference in gaming is primarily CPU driven.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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The GPU is virtually the same in both the i5 and i7. The base is 350MHz. I think the i7 Turbo Boosts to 1150MHz while the i5 boosts to 1100MHz (1050MHz in the 1.7GHz i5). It won't be noticeable except by a benchmark test. Any difference in gaming is primarily CPU driven.
I know this seems like a vague question, but would you say that the 0.4Ghz bonus in turbo boost is "worth" it?

From where I stand, a 0.2ghz bonus is good, but not worth the price increase, but 0.4ghz is. What I'm asking is, will the 2.0ghz processor run 0.2ghz faster than the 1.8ghz in most cases, or only for certain power tasks?

I heard turbo boost doesn't activate when an application uses both cores, so does this mean source engine based games will only benefit from a 0.2ghz increase?
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 01:18 AM   #4
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I know this seems like a vague question, but would you say that the 0.4Ghz bonus in turbo boost is "worth" it?

I heard turbo boost doesn't activate when an application uses both cores, so does this mean source engine based games will only benefit from a 0.2ghz increase?
It depends. If you do video editing or encoding, it may be "worth it." I don't think for gaming it will make a big difference, since the GPU is more important. As for Turbo Boost, it will activate with both cores active, but the clock speed will be lower. This chart is pretty handy. The chips Apple uses in the MacBook Air are the first three in the dual core ULV section.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/In-Revi...s.75342.0.html
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 01:30 AM   #5
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It depends. If you do video editing or encoding, it may be "worth it." I don't think for gaming it will make a big difference, since the GPU is more important. As for Turbo Boost, it will activate with both cores active, but the clock speed will be lower. This chart is pretty handy. The chips Apple uses in the MacBook Air are the first three in the dual core ULV section.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/In-Revi...s.75342.0.html
I see, it seems the dual core turbo boosts are 2.6ghz and 3.0ghz respectively. Does this mean it will function identically (or better) (CPU wise) to my 2.4ghz core 2 duo desktop PC?
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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Btw as well as the 200Mhz normal speed increase, this difference is doubled in turbo mode. The i7 also has 4Mb level 3 cache instead of 3Mb. Not a huge difference, but still significant. Btw one of the biggest things to help games would be to ensure you get 8Gb RAM, as that increases available VRAM for the HD 4000 graphics from 384Mb to 512Mb

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I see, it seems the dual core turbo boosts are 2.6ghz and 3.0ghz respectively. Does this mean it will function identically (or better) (CPU wise) to my 2.4ghz core 2 duo desktop PC?
The i5 and i7 will both perform *much* faster than a Core 2 Duo, due to a combination of factors - much improved micro- architecture, turbo boost, hyper threading etc. Also bear in mind the current MBA uses fast 1600Mhz RAM and a SATA III 6Gbs SSD, which I doubt your core 2 duo desktop PC will have, the latter in particular makes a huge difference in perceived performance.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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It depends. If you do video editing or encoding, it may be "worth it." I don't think for gaming it will make a big difference, since the GPU is more important.
This depends on the game. I'm currently playing Civ5 and the CPU is a bottleneck, I'm super happy I got the 2.0 GHz for this reason.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Panini View Post
AnandTech's review mentions multiple times that the 2.0ghz processor gives a significant increase in visual performance. Does this mean it has a better iGPU?

In games such as portal, will there be a difference in having a 2.0ghz processor (vs 1.8ghz)?

The thing that caught my eye was that it's turbo boost 3.2ghz while the 1.8 goes to 2.8ghz. Is this really meaningful?

Do most games only get bottlenecked by the Air's iGPU or does the processor actually help?
No it's all computational power - the integrated graphics are clocked identically from the 1.8ghz i5 to the 2.0ghz i7 upgrade.

From Intel
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...tml?proc=64903
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:10 AM   #9
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stay away from the 2012 i7 if you intend to use bootcamp alot. the 2012 i7 has been crippled by apple and they purposely are not expediting a release of updated drivers to enable turbo boost in bootcamp. if someone has evidence refuting my claims, i would like to see it.

with that said, the i7 experience in lion and mountain has been wonderful and marginally faster than my old 2012 i5.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:14 AM   #10
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I find going for the i7 2.0ghz is pointless anyways as the difference from the base model to 2.0 is fractional at best for 99% of the work a person would be doing. Even under 100% cpu utilization, shaving a few seconds off vs a few more seconds.. Is that really worth the extra cost.. I know it's only like $100 upgrade and all.. but I seriously doubt it's worth $100 overall. Apple at least priced upgrades for the MBA decently. You can't even find most ultrabooks from other makes offering the 1.8ghz as a base.. usually only the 1.7ghz.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:26 AM   #11
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stay away from the 2012 i7 if you intend to use bootcamp alot. the 2012 i7 has been crippled by apple and they purposely are not expediting a release of updated drivers to enable turbo boost in bootcamp. if someone has evidence refuting my claims, i would like to see it.

with that said, the i7 experience in lion and mountain has been wonderful and marginally faster than my old 2012 i5.
I don't think they are purposely crippling the processor. If they were doing that, why wouldn't they have crippled the i5, as well? I submitted a bug from my "developer" account, and got back a message that it is still under investigation. My guess is that it's a driver issue that they can't figure out quite yet between themselves and Intel.

ThrottleStop works as a temporary workaround. However, it can have a negative impact on battery life (and Apple's drivers are bad enough on Windows battery life already).

To the OP, the bug we are referring to is that for some reason, the i7 processor doesn't go into full Turbo Boost mode when booted into Boot Camp. It appears to be something related to the EFI. Instead, it maxes out at about 1.9GHz instead of 2.8-3.2GHz. There is a donationware program called ThrottleStop that temporarily fixes it, but you need to manually start it up each time you boot into Windows.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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stay away from the 2012 i7 if you intend to use bootcamp alot. the 2012 i7 has been crippled by apple and they purposely are not expediting a release of updated drivers to enable turbo boost in bootcamp. if someone has evidence refuting my claims, i would like to see it.
Do you have any evidence backing your claims? A bug in the firmware isn't necessarely conspiration-theory worthy...
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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Do you have any evidence backing your claims? A bug in the firmware isn't necessarely conspiration-theory worthy...
I do, actually. The evidence is no evidence of a firmware/driver fix or even expedited release of a fix for the turbo boost problem for 2012 i7 owners. If there really is evidence that Apple is expediting a release for us i7 owners, I will handsomely retract my claim. Handsomely.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 12:13 PM   #14
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I do, actually. The evidence is no evidence of a firmware/driver fix or even expedited release of a fix for the turbo boost problem for 2012 i7 owners. If there really is evidence that Apple is expediting a release for us i7 owners, I will handsomely retract my claim. Handsomely.
You can use Throttlestop to largely get around this (see this thread), but this is something Apple really, really need to properly fix and soon, unless they want t have a lot of p*ssed-off i7 MBA owners...
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 12:39 PM   #15
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I do, actually. The evidence is no evidence of a firmware/driver fix or even expedited release of a fix for the turbo boost problem for 2012 i7 owners. If there really is evidence that Apple is expediting a release for us i7 owners, I will handsomely retract my claim. Handsomely.
No evidence is just that - No evidence.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 12:53 PM   #16
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You can use Throttlestop to largely get around this (see this thread), but this is something Apple really, really need to properly fix and soon, unless they want t have a lot of p*ssed-off i7 MBA owners...
I agree, we need a proper fix. It's dissappointing to spend a bit of your own money and finding out you're not getting all it's worth.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 01:51 PM   #17
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I do, actually. The evidence is no evidence of a firmware/driver fix or even expedited release of a fix for the turbo boost problem for 2012 i7 owners. If there really is evidence that Apple is expediting a release for us i7 owners, I will handsomely retract my claim. Handsomely.
There's a difference between not expediting a fix and purposely crippling a system. I'm sure they didn't set out to make the i7 slower than the i5 in Windows. Again, if it were on purpose, they'd just disable Turbo Boost on the i5 in Windows, too. It just isn't a priority for them since they have Mountain Lion bugs to fix, a new iPhone to get out, etc.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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There's a difference between not expediting a fix and purposely crippling a system. I'm sure they didn't set out to make the i7 slower than the i5 in Windows. Again, if it were on purpose, they'd just disable Turbo Boost on the i5 in Windows, too. It just isn't a priority for them since they have Mountain Lion bugs to fix, a new iPhone to get out, etc.
oh i know, i'm sure apple is working on it on their own time. it sucks that it's been 2 months since release and still nothing.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 03:44 PM   #19
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Btw as well as the 200Mhz normal speed increase, this difference is doubled in turbo mode. The i7 also has 4Mb level 3 cache instead of 3Mb. Not a huge difference, but still significant. Btw one of the biggest things to help games would be to ensure you get 8Gb RAM, as that increases available VRAM for the HD 4000 graphics from 384Mb to 512Mb
Completely forgot about the vram and RAM relation in integrated graphics!

Another question: If the turbo boost caps at 1.9ghz for the i7, wouldn't the i5 perform better in bootcamp than the i7 since it can turbo boost to 2.8ghz?
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 03:46 PM   #20
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Completely forgot about the vram and RAM relation in integrated graphics!

Another question: If the turbo boost caps at 1.9ghz for the i7, wouldn't the i5 perform better in bootcamp than the i7 since it can turbo boost to 2.8ghz?
Yes, unless you use ThrottleStop to remove the limit. Then it boosts to 3.2GHz.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 03:47 PM   #21
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Turbo boost can't cap for the i7 at 1.9Ghz when the CPU is 2.0Ghz...
Since when does turbo boost make the CPU slower than it is by default?

What you have most likely read is about driver issues with the i7 and turbo boost not being triggered. But this is just a temporary bug, it will be fixed.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 10:06 PM   #22
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I was debating going for the i5 1.8Ghz or i7 2.0Ghz too, but ended up with the stock i5 1.8Ghz proc. Heat/noise/battery was also my concern as well. I will leave the Core i7 option for the future Mac mini.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 11:13 PM   #23
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I was debating going for the i5 1.8Ghz or i7 2.0Ghz too, but ended up with the stock i5 1.8Ghz proc. Heat/noise/battery was also my concern as well. I will leave the Core i7 option for the future Mac mini.
I prefer to go i5 over i7 in the Air's too. I've bought many i5's and i7's in both 11 and 13" size for my company over the years.

I don't think there is a noticeable speed difference between i5/i7 but I do think the fans roar up less and the battery lasts a little longer in the i5's.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 11:51 PM   #24
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I prefer to go i5 over i7 in the Air's too. I've bought many i5's and i7's in both 11 and 13" size for my company over the years.

I don't think there is a noticeable speed difference between i5/i7 but I do think the fans roar up less and the battery lasts a little longer in the i5's.
That's not a bad decision. The main reason I went with the i7 this year is that I got it last year. This year's i5 is about as fast as last year's i7. However, I really wanted USB 3.0 and the better actual battery life. For whatever reason, taking the hit on the 2011 and getting the 2012 seemed a bit more justified by spending the extra $150 on the i7.

Haswell should provide more substantial performance increases in the CPU, GPU, and battery life, so if Apple gives us a good reason to upgrade next year (e.g. a Retina Display) I might drop down to the i5. If I am going to upgrade yearly, or close to it, I might as well stick closer to the base model.
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