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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1
MathiasVH
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Speculation: 2013 Haswell - Is this the next big thing for the Air?

I'm psyched about Haswell. As far as I can understand (and this may not be a whole lot) from reading articles on processor tech, it will be quite the perfect update for the Macbook Air: Far lower power consumption and a radically improved iGPU seem to be the main points.

What do you expect of the 2013 Haswell Air?
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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Yes, Haswell is the next tick in the x86 architecture, and the 2013 Air should see +10 hours of battery life, and finally some decent graphics performance. If an IPS screen is also included, I'm in for an upgrade, otherwise sticking with the 2010 13" UMBA.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:41 PM   #3
MathiasVH
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My own thoughts:
CPU-speed: Not a huge leap forward. My guess is 10-15% improvement - I think Apple will do anything they can in regards to battery life and maybe down-prioritize CPU-performance a bit.
GPU-speed: Radically increase. Intel has talked about major leaps. My guess: 60% faster graphics.
SSD-speed: Bumped from 500 to 600-650MBps read. Not a lot.
Temperature: Inspired by the rMBP? Is there enough room for new kinda vents/asymmetrical fan?
Hours/Charge: Big, big, big one. Current MBA is just under 7 hours. I think Haswell will be at least 9 hours/charge.
Screen: Unfortunately, I think the screen will remain the same. No rMBP. I think the 13 MBP will get retina, and if the MBA follows, they will overlap too much into each other's segments.
Design: The same. Nothing spectacular (certainly not a redesign)

I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts, and if you think I'm wrong (I most possibly am ), please, tell me (why)!
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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Next big thing? Nope, those days are over.

And that's not a bad thing.

It's all incremental from here and that's the best way to go.

Refine, refine, refine.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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CPU speed might not get such a big increase considering the high-end 2011 platform will see Ivy Bridge-E chips coming to it AFTER Haswell have launched for LGA1150 (and probably notebooks). I'd imagine them not doing such a thing if per-core performance on haswell would be much better.

GPU on the other hand will probably be much better, as usual. Regardless if it's a tick or a tock, intel has to keep up and narrow the gap if they want to make discrete GPUs obsolete anytime soon. Hope they can start delivering gaming-oriented driver updates as well.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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I'm really curious as to how battery life will change over the next few generations of Apple laptops. Low power could mean longer battery, but it could also mean thinner & lighter due to smaller batteries as well.

I mean, it seems like with the iPad, Apple is set on the 10hr battery life. Does the same apply to MBA & MBP? Would we see thinner laptops before seeing laptops with more than 7 hours of battery life?
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MathiasVH View Post
Temperature: Inspired by the rMBP? Is there enough room for new kinda vents/asymmetrical fan?
The 2012 Air uses the asymmetrical fans already. Apple just didn't make a big deal about it like they did with the rMBP.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 05:44 PM   #8
Calot
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The 2012 Air uses the asymmetrical fans already. Apple just didn't make a big deal about it like they did with the rMBP.
Wow, Google just confirmed it to me. I had NO idea. Great to know. My ultimate 2012 13" IS quieter than my 2011 ultimate 13".
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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I got the money ready to buy one today but am waiting for haswell to come out big improvement in battery which I love
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 09:44 PM   #10
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I would rather have an MBA with an A6. IMO it's only a matter of time before the power/watt ratio makes ARM too good to pass up. It's pretty close now.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:04 PM   #11
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I would rather have an MBA with an A6. IMO it's only a matter of time before the power/watt ratio makes ARM too good to pass up. It's pretty close now.
Apple could split their models into true pro and consumer lines again. The consumer Macbook could have an A6 and the Macbook Pro could keep an Intel processor. An A6 would be good for an everyday computer but I and many others still need the power of an i5 in a Macbook Air sized computer.

So:
Macbook Air 11 and 13 inch models get Arm processors.
Retina Macbook Pro 13 and 15 inch models keep the Haswell processors.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Apple could split their models into true pro and consumer lines again. The consumer Macbook could have an A6 and the Macbook Pro could keep an Intel processor. An A6 would be good for an everyday computer but I and many others still need the power of an i5 in a Macbook Air sized computer.

So:
Macbook Air 11 and 13 inch models get Arm processors.
Retina Macbook Pro 13 and 15 inch models keep the Haswell processors.
The Macbook Air - and the ultraportable segment in general - is one of the best selling notebooks out there. I don't think they'd go ARM-only on that lineup just yet. There's just really no point and it's not as if ARM Macbook Airs can run normal desktop software. It would essentially be relegated to iOS land. ARM chips make more sense as iOS devices for the foreseeable future.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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Haswell is expected. But an IPS screen would make me a sure buyer. The current screen is just not good enough for photographic work.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 12:39 AM   #14
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I want to see the same footprint of the 11in and 13in but want bigger screens (i.e. less bezel). So the 11in would become more of a 12-13in screen and the 13in would become more of a 14in screen. I love the footprint of the 11in but the screen (and battery life, which should be fixed with haswell anyways) are to small in real estate/capacity to justify the 11in.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 12:48 AM   #15
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Haswell Macbook Air

Retina Display
9 hour battery life
iGPU =40% faster
SSD roughly the same speed

Future leaning changes

AVX 2 - now accelerates integer and not just floating point
TSX extensions = improves threaded performance
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 01:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MathiasVH View Post
As far as I can understand (and this may not be a whole lot) from reading articles on processor tech, Haswell will be quite the perfect update for the Macbook Air: Far lower power consumption and a radically improved iGPU seem to be the main points.
You realize that a year ago, you would have read the exact same thing about Ivy Bridge.

Next year, you will read the same thing about the next architecture.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 01:07 PM   #17
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I also think the MBA will move to ARM pretty soon. They will become a sort of tablet-with-keyboard-low-end-Apple-PC, which is exactly what they have to be. Decent raw power, high portability, long battery life.

I wouldn't also be surprised if they will adopt iOS as operative system, leaving OSX to the big brothers. The reason is that I am not sure whether Apple wants to develop an operative system which is fully compatibile (and optimized) for two different architecture (x86 and ARM), unless ARM processors will adopt some specs that will make them x86 compatible.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 01:08 PM   #18
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The big thing for the MBA is the 2nd generation in 2010. The 2011 and 2012 models are refinements where some would consider 2011 the major leap with the core i chipset. 2013 will just be incremental like every previous year.

The MBA is too thin to hold a retina display as that would most likely go to a MBP 13 first. Besides battery life would kill on a MBA with retina.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 06:36 PM   #19
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I also think the MBA will move to ARM pretty soon. They will become a sort of tablet-with-keyboard-low-end-Apple-PC, which is exactly what they have to be. Decent raw power, high portability, long battery life.

I wouldn't also be surprised if they will adopt iOS as operative system, leaving OSX to the big brothers. The reason is that I am not sure whether Apple wants to develop an operative system which is fully compatibile (and optimized) for two different architecture (x86 and ARM), unless ARM processors will adopt some specs that will make them x86 compatible.
Oh where for art thou downvote button
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 03:34 AM   #20
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Ever since the 2010 revamp, we've seen evolutionary steps rather than revolutionary ones.

What do I expect for 2013? same thing: evolutionary steps. A little bit more of CPU and GPU juice, some more battery life, probably capped to 8gb RAM still, same screen, same form factor, etc.

Let's face it: the MBA is pretty perfect as it is for what it is and the needs it fulfills (mobile performance), so no need to re-invent the wheel - just some tweaks here and there will suffice.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 08:32 AM   #21
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Haswell Macbook Air

Retina Display
9 hour battery life
iGPU =40% faster
SSD roughly the same speed

Future leaning changes

AVX 2 - now accelerates integer and not just floating point
TSX extensions = improves threaded performance
No Retina in MBA until Apple/Display OEM's figure out a way to severely reduce the power usage. Notice the retina iPad and rMBP both have had huge increases in total battery capacity compared to their predecessors. The ipad did it by going up in thickness and weight, whilst the rMBP dumped the DVD drive to make room. There's no real space left in the MBA so Apple will have to either thicken the MBA, develop some new much higher density lipo batteries, or reduce the power requirements of the retina display.

I'm predicting much more modest gains in battery life. The Ivy Bridge is already quite power efficient and uses only 1-2 watts at idle, sometimes even less. You're going to see a bigger jump in battery life under load, not idle. Usually a die shrink is required until a big jump is seen in battery life and as Haswell is going to be built on the same process as IB....
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 10:05 AM   #22
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No change in design?

Interesting that no one is focused on design change? While I am extremely happy with my 13" mid 2011 MBA (its my 2nd air) I for one wouldn't mind seeing continued reduction in weight.

I carry the MBA almost 80 days a year on a plane. Any reduction in weight would be immediately noticed and valuable.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 10:32 AM   #23
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... I for one wouldn't mind seeing continued reduction in weight.
In that case, get rid of your MBA and don't get another one and voala weight reduced.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 10:52 AM   #24
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I think the Retina MacBook Air will have to wait for Broadwell in 2014.

Unless Apple is willing to go with a slight increase in the thickness similar to the iPad 2 to the iPad 3, there just isn't any way to do it without significantly affecting battery life.

I think a bigger change will be IPS panels in the 2013 model and slight increase to something close to 1920X1080 resolution. It won't be truly "Retina" at 165PPI but it will be a big step in the right direction.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 11:03 AM   #25
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I think a bigger change will be IPS panels in the 2013 model and slight increase to something close to 1920X1080 resolution. It won't be truly "Retina" at 165PPI but it will be a big step in the right direction.
Crossing my fingers that's exactly what we get in 2013 MBA.
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