Core 2 Duo or wait for Sandy Bridge 11 Inch Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mthemh44, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    Have a 2007 MacBook Pro right now. 2.4ghz core 2 duo 4gb RAM NVidia GeForce 8600m GT

    Also have iPad.

    I want to sell the iPad and replace it with an 11 inch Air. Should I do that? If so, should I wait for a possible Sandy Bridge edition? I'm guessing i3?

    What do you guys think?:apple:
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What are your current and future computational needs?
    Does the current machine you have suffice yours?
  3. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Can you get useful work done with the current C2D MBA 11? Enough to make it work the equivalent rental price? (as in the difference between the price of the next version and whatever you could sell your used MBA 11 for several months from now.)
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    I think that the current Core 2 Duo is a great low powered processor. But, I really don't think that it is worth the price. I don't really think that it will provide the power that my 2.4 ghz Core 2 Duo can provide. But my concern with a core i processor in an air (with no fans) would be it would get very hot. what do you guys think?:apple:
  5. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    The MacBook Air is not a gaming machine by any stretch, but that said, the Core 2 Duo/NVIDIA 320m combo would be better suited to light gaming than the Sandy Bridge/HD3000 combo. Otherwise, the Sandy Bridge MacBook Air would be superior to the current MacBook Air line, even if nothing else changes. Likely the 11" will come with a ULV i5 or i7. There are no mobile Sandy Bridge Core i3 chips yet.

    If the Sandy Bridge model gets Thunderbolt, and you don't game, it would be a no brainer (Sandy Bridge) as far as I'm concerned, provided Apple doesn't do anything stupid like make the screen resolution lower. The processor would be significantly faster, capable of processing 4 threads at a time (instead of 2), and would use less battery. If not for the garbage integrated graphics that were mandatory in the old Core i3/i5/i7, Apple would have switched to them a year ago. The CPU really is that much better.
  6. Ridley, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2011
    A sandybridge macbook air should be a significant upgrade. The 11 inch will supposedly have the ultra low voltage variants... a 1.4 Ghz i5 or a 1.6 Ghz i7.

    I can't find the link but the 13 inch should have a choice of 2.1 or 2.3 Ghz i7.

    EDIT: here is the link

    "consumers can expect to see new 11.6-inch MacBook Airs sporting 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz Core i5 and Core i7 chips and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs with 2.10 and 2.30GHz Core i7 processors."
  7. macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010

    Any time frame when the MBAs will be upgraded with Sandy Bridge? Or
    any of the rumored upgrades? Lion?
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    What power do you need? You still haven't given us any idea of what you use your computer for, so there's no way we can provide you with any legit advice.

    As KPOM said, if you want to do any sort of FPS-dependant gaming, the Intel HD 3000 IGP will be a drop from the 320m. We still don't know how big of a drop. In windows it's ~40% drop in gaming, but the OSX drivers for the Intel HD 3000 are stronger, so hopefully it'll be less.

    If gaming doesn't matter, the LV Sandy Bridge processor will stomp the C2D. The Intel HD 3000 (even the low-voltage variant) handles Flash video, 1080p, etc... all fine - the only thing it's bad at so far is gaming).

    And to alleviate your concerns, The Sandy Bridge chip shouldn't get much hotter than the C2D at all. Currently the SU9400/9600 in the 11" Air uses 10W while the 320m uses at least another 10W (power usage dictates heat, for the most part in a laptop).

    The Processors that the Sandy Bridge MBA would use are 17W parts, so they'd actually (hopefully) suck less power, making them less hot than the C2D+320m processors.

    But this is all in theory. Only time will tell.

    The current rumours point to a manufacturing Ramp in May, and a release in June for the Sandy Bridge MBA. CNET reported this back in February, and AppleInsider and others have corroborated it lately, lending more credence to the June date.

    But again, this is all just rumours. The only time we'll actually know if a SB MBA is coming is when Apple announces/releases the update. ;)
  9. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Speed bump will be signifficant

    Judging by the bump in speed in the freshly updated iMacs we can expect the new Sandy Bridge processors to be up to 70-100% faster in processor intensive tasks than the C2D.

    This, combined with improved battery life, will make the new Airs very attractive to people like me who don't use the machine to play 3D games. Besides, the possibility to increase the SDD space via Thunderbolt seems very attractive.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2011
    I will use this machine for internet browsing, video chatting, some basic video editing, microsoft office, and maybe some windows 7 using some vmware fusion. How do you think the sandy bridge will handle these tasks?
  11. macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    I'm not an expert but I think the white Macbook and the Mac Mini are far more overdue for a refresh (as well as other products maybe). Seeing how they often relatively evenly space the different refreshes and most of the time do them one by one, I don't see the next MBA coming before fall 2011. The current gen MBA does what its supposed to do very well for the time being. MBA enthousiasts want it all now (portability and power) but power is not what this machine is about so I guess it can wait a bit more.
  12. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I think everyone should just wait, there will ALWAYS be something better down the road, and you could always have had that, but then, once you buy, there will always be something better some day, so if you are always waiting, you will never , ever buy, and enjoy the world of Apple Computing:get over the remorse, buy something, and enjoy computing, the way it should be:eek:
  13. macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Got the 11 MBA today. Seems great so far. Of course easy for a Mac to make a great first impression with its packaging and aluminum unibody etc. SSD makes things much speedier than they would otherwise be. Handles 32gb iphoto library with no problem.

    Only knock right now is 64gb is small. doh! Leaves me 15gb after loading all photos in there.

    Wife's machine though or will be on Sunday. Might be loading photo library on a different mac. Haven't decided. And sold my imac so will have to wait until I get a new one.

    But I got a deal on it. $786 on Ebay after Macmall sale and IE9 EBay bucks promotion. EBay bucks as good as cash since you can buy gift cards on EBay to stores I shop at anyway for essential goods.
  14. macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2011
    I see the point you are trying to make... i talked about this in another post so please forgive the cut and paste, but I feel like the issue is not whether we are debating if computers will be better in the future (like you are saying) but rather what cycle people like to buy on. Tick vs Tock

    This is a really clear explanation

    Basically for Intel a tick is a die shrink and a tock is a new micro-architecture. Personally I prefer to buy chips on the tock because i think they are better value and more exciting. I have a merom MBP and am waiting to buy an SB air for my girlfriend.

    Seriously, look at that link and see the gap between Penryn (current MBA C2D) and SandyBridge. According to wikipedia SB is 17-20% faster than Nehalem clock-for-clock and Nehalem is 20% faster than Penryn (current MBA C2D) clock-for-clock. 20% faster of 20% faster is 44% faster clock-for-clock! I've got my eye on the 11 inch models and they have a turbo clock rate of almost double the current chip on TOP of that!

    A SB upgrade would be a massive increase in CPU speed. Flat out, you don't find those kinds of jumps very regularly in the industry. SB to Ivy Bridge will likely be 20% improvement, we are talking likely over 50% in this iteration!

    And anyone that tells you the current gen is a better buy because of the GPU, i'd also disagree with. No one know what apple has up its sleeve for GPU in a SB MBA, but at WORST the gap there is still small...especially compared to the CPU gap. AND the CPU gap affects the user experience far far more.

    Its a no brainer to wait for the likely June release of a SB Air. Seriously... a 1 month wait!? Please! I hope we can stop debating it.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    LOL, you didn't mention heat and fan noise once in your post, just speed, speed and more speed.

    With the power and speed you speak of heat and fan noise come with that. Is the MBA capable to manage the heat from the added power? We're not sure. If I had to say one way or the other I'd say no, based on what I've read SB in it's current state would turn the little 11" Air into a frying pan.

    Think SB doesn't run a (lot) warmer? Go read in the MBP forum, on the first page there's people posting who wish they'd of kept their C2D MBP's ... because of excess heat and really loud fans. I had a 17" MBP quad core for a short time, the fans roared and it ran much warmer than the C2D 15" MBP's in our offices....

    So "tick tock" the reality of it all is I've had my MacBook Air since it's release on October 20th, you still don't have one ... tick tock ... and what guarantee to do have that Apple will introduce a SB Air in July, couldn't it easily be July, August, September, October or even skip it and wait for the revised and cooler running Ivy Bridge .... tick tock ... you're still waiting.

    So in reality, Cheffy Dave's point is right on, and by the way ... tick tock he has his MacBook now too ... you don't.

    Seriously, these 'wait for SB' and 'Future Proofing' threads crack me up. To begin with Apple is the most unpredictable company on the planet when it comes to product updates, and the rumors and speculation are rarely close.

    See it. Like it. Buy it. Enjoy!!
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Bel Air, CA
    Buy it now only if you need it now. Since you're asking online if you should buy it, then you obviously don't need it now.... So wait for the refresh.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Well they did add a quad core CPU to the 15 and 17 inch MBP as well as a dedicated graphics card without changing the form factor so...

    I personally find that my sandy bridge system is a lot cooler than my core 2 duo system but can get hotter if I push the CPU up (which doesn't happen much since its so powerful compared to the core 2 duo).
  18. macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    It won't be that big of a difference. You're exaggerating.

    And every new release is always the "most exciting."

    And there's no guarantee a new MBA is released in June.

    Now I probably wouldn't have bought my MBA 11 the other day if it was full price plus tax. But ... this notion the new ones 8 months later are going to be so so much better is drinking a little too much kool-aid.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    Really? A 45W CPU and a 20W GPU that in turbo mode can suck up 90W+ of energy... and there was no Chassis changes, so the new MBPs get hotter. Wow. It must just be Sandy Bridge. It's the devil. Thanks so much entatlrg for enlightening us with your obviously superior knowledge on the subject.

    I honestly don't see how a 65W+ CPU heating up a 17" chassis originally built to house 55W or lower, compares to a 17W CPU/GPU heating up an 11" chasis that was built to handle at least 20W (C2D+320m).

    Now, also keep in mind that TDP is not everything, but baring any actual measurements of the purely theoretical SB MBA, using pure numbers (not just vague opinions), the current ULV C2D+320m consumes more than 17W so a SB MBA will presumably *not* heat up like a frying pan, as you seem to love to say in every thread.

    Were you also one of the ones who was panning (rightly so) Arrandale last year and telling us all to wait for SB as "the answer"?

    I'm not sure why you get off so much on spreading FUD about the SB processors. If you wanted to sound off about how the GPU will be 1/2 as powerful as the 320m, (when playing games), I'd be with ya. As that's a provable statement. But all this frying pan nonsense just reeks of an Ultimate MBA 13" 320m owner who doesn't want his new toy to become outdated.

    Like this "Waa waa, I have one and you don't" statement builds you any credibility?

    Sure, there's a possibility the MBA could not be updated till the fall. Sure. Reliable sources have said June, but Apple could still change plans. And sure, Ivy Bridge will be cooler, but that's not till this time next year... and the MBA will then be 18+ Months without an update.

    Bottom Line: If you have proof, kindly show us the testing that proves that a 17W CPU+IGP in a theoretical machine will heat up as much as a 65W+ CPU in a 17" Machine. Otherwise, enjoy your 320m machine and stop spreading FUD around about processors no-one's seen/benchmarked/tested, (except for a lone possibility in a Samsung machine running Windows).

    My take on it is that most people who are asking these questions don't *need* a machine right now. So the general rule in computer buying "buy the best you can afford, and only when you *need* it, and don't look back" still applies.

    If people don't need a MBA till the summer/fall, of course they should wait. SB or not, why spend $$ you don't need?

    Intersting. Another recent buyer, poo-pooing the potential for a June release. (AKA hoping their investment isn't invalidated in a month by a new machine.)

    I get it, I seriously do. But I don't get why people try to pass their feelings, or wishes off as "probability". None of us know. For sure not me. But also not you. But I'd rather bet on people who've accurately pin-pointed releases months in advance, than go with the people who obviously have a horse in the race of not wanting a new machine to come out right after they've just bought the "old" one.

    Regarding power, though, SB is a full two generations ahead of C2D. There's lots of enhancements (though w/o an Nvidia GPU, there's also a downside). 44% faster could be a real thing. But only in CPU-bound testing.

    The closest comparison is the 2010/2011 MBP 13". The 2010 2.4Ghz C2D base-model had a geekbench score around ~3400. The new i5 MBP 13" base-model (lower-clocked, mind you at 2.3Ghz) scored 5945. 3400/5945 = almost 57.6%, hitting right around that 44% faster mark, no?

    Granted, the LV chips will be different, (Geekbenching Windows i5-2537M vs. OSX SL9400 gives you a less direct comparison, but the i5 chip is still 30% faster CPU-wise).

    Thing is, we haven't seen them under OSX, and we haven't seen any of the 25W Parts which'll also have Turbo-Boost (if Apple doesn't cripple it), and if Apple goes with 17W/25W i7 chips, they'll have hyper-threading as well. That'll help make that huge jump in CPU power (and potentially mitigate at least some of the 40-50% drop in gaming power).

    It still comes down to no-one knows. June/September/Sandy/Ivy, we don't know We can only help people try to make decisions, and spreading complete false-hoods doesn't help anyone.
  20. macrumors regular


    Oct 8, 2010
    After having the Rev C MBA since release and upgrading to the maximum 11.6 model when they were released I am starting to long for a bigger screen again. The thing I miss most is the backlight keyboard so that will be a deal breaker if they reintroduce it as an option.

    Does anybody know if SB will improve the battery life? Not that I think it's bad currently, but an improvement would be good.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    We don't know if the refresh will really come in June. Clues aren't clear enough.

    Also think if you're really going to prefer the CPU bump over current gen's NVIDIA 320M.

    Either way, because you can wait, buy in June. The lack of a dedicated GPU in the potential update could be a deal breaker for some, but it can also pull down the prices of the late 2010 version.
  22. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I don't think it makes any sense at all to buy a C2D MBA now. We know Apple is updating everything w/ SNB and TB. MBA is due and probably before WWDC. The current MBA price will get a haircut and the new ones will better stand up to time, i.e., the next 3 years of computing. Either way if you buy now you screw yourself over.
  23. macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Except I hope the new ones are released as soon as possible despite having just bought an 11" MBA.

    I'm not sure how you go from me saying no one knows to me saying I hope they aren't released.

    Yep only in "testing."

    YOu really have to qualify these sunny projections. They show up in benchmarks and tests, but not in day to day use so much.

    I have a SB machine too. I know.

    Exactly. No one knows when the next model is coming. Stop treating it as a given is all I said. And stop pretending like SB cpus will make your machine 50% faster across the board.

    Personally I hedged my bets. I purchased an 11" MBA. I bought mine low enough that I can roughly break even on a resell give or take in the next month or two.

    Even then the new 11" MBAs are going to be a few hundred dollars more than I paid for today's 11" MBA. Is there day to day use going to be more zippy? That's what I would be looking for in an MBA. Zippiness. Responsiveness. I'm not looking so much for outright computing power.

    That's because I know it's not going to come close to the power of my desktop for heavy duty tasks.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    Just wait, the Sandy Bridge Airs are going to be insanely powerful. If they turn out to be disappointing, you can always grab a 2010 on clearance.
  25. macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    Apple to begin production of Thunderbolt MacBook Airs this month

    By Kasper Jade
    Published: 11:00 AM EST

    Apple next month will reportedly begin manufacturing the first updates to its rejuvenated MacBook Air line as the company looks to maintain the impressive sales momentum generated by the ultra-thin notebooks and limit the market opportunity for would-be competitors hoping to wedge their foot in the door.

    Sales of the aggressively-priced 11.6- and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs got off to a hot start following their introduction last October, with Apple assembling roughly 1 million units within their first quarter of availability. During those three months, consumers reportedly chose the new MacBook Airs at a one-to-two ratio to the company's more established MacBook Pro offerings, making for one of the company's most successful Mac product launches ever.

    However, shipments of the Airs declined 51 percent sequentially during the first calendar quarter of 2011 -- including a 40 percent month-over-month decline in February -- as Apple introduced new MacBook Pros that caught consumers' eyes, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven sources within the Cupertino-based company's Far Eastern supply chain.

    Kuo tells AppleInsider that his latest round of checks with suppliers and system builders in the region reveals that MacBook Air shipments are set to rebound during the current calendar quarter, fueled by an upgrade to Intel's latest Sandy Bridge microprocessors, integrated Intel graphics, and the expected adoption of the new Thunderbolt high-speed I/O technology that made its debut on MacBook Pros earlier this year.

    Specifically, he said the new models will "go to mass production in late May," which corroborates an earlier report that cited reliable sources as saying Apple would be ready to publicly announce and ship to consumers MacBook Airs with Sandy Bridge processors during following month of June.

    The upgrade should help boost Apple's overall notebook shipments between 5 percent to 10 percent sequentially for the current quarter, according to Kuo, reversing a 5 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, which he notes was still less than the 11% average decline for notebook shipments from the top 6 OEMs worldwide during the same period.

    In moving to Intel's 32-nanometer (nm) Sandy Bridge architecture, the mid-2011 MacBook Airs will jettison two-year-old Penryn-based 45-nm Core 2 Duo chips for the chipmakers' new line (below) of low-voltage and ultra-low-voltage Core i5 and Core i7 chips, which sport between 3MB and 4MB of Smart Cache and support a theoretical maximum of 8GB of internal system memory.

    Should Apple follow its current trend of using ultra-low-variants for the 11.6-inch MacBook Air and low-voltage ones for the 13.3-inch models, consumers can expect to see new 11.6-inch MacBook Airs sporting 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz Core i5 and Core i7 chips and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs with 2.10 and 2.30GHz Core i7 processors.

    In a report shared with AppleInsider last week, Kuo also noted that production of Apple's legacy white MacBook model has been on a steady decline since the start of the year, with shipments falling 10% and 50% in February and March, respectively. As such, it's likely that Apple will similarly need to make some form of announcement regarding the future of this offering sometime in the coming months.

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