Don't Buy The First MBA With Sandy Bridge?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iRun26.2, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #1
    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...) :)
     
  2. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

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    #2
    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?
     
  3. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #4
    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.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Ivy Bridge, then?
     
  6. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #6
    That's my guess. Ivy bridge igp will have full dx11 capabilities.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #7
    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.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    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).
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #9
    From AT:

    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.
     
  10. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #11
    It all started with a bad headline from ars, for which Jon Stokes has apologized.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #14
    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?
     
  15. 2IS, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    2IS
    macrumors 68030

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    #15
    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.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #18
    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).
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

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    #21
    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.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    impulse462

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #23
    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?
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
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    #25
    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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