Intel: Ivy Bridge "will double battery life"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by slnko-v-sieti, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    This recent news piece from ComputerWorld reiterates ("will double battery life[...]") some claims Intel made about the battery improvements Ivy Bridge will bring to the MBA:

    For being an incremental update, doesn't doubled battery life (best case scenario) seem like a huge jump?
  2. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    They play with their numbers quite a lot. I think double would require more than just cpu/gpu changes. Displays and drives consume a fair amount of power. I'm not sure what the power budget on the Air's SSD is though.

    Ivy Bridge is supposed to essentially throttle down when the machine isn't being full utilized. If you're fully taxing the machine, you're unlikely to see a really significant increase in battery life.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    I read that although they are reducing the power-consumption of the CPUs, they are going to make them more powerful and have more cores; therefore, the extra power that is saved is used to power the 4 individual cores. So there isnt a net increase or decease in actual battery life of the laptop, but instead you get a performance increase without sacrificing battery life.

    Could be 100% incorrect though.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Oct 9, 2008
    In my world.
    Besides what are we going to have a 700 - 900 mhz Macbook Air?
  5. macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    This. They talk about double performance per watt. That would mean that they would need to make the chip as fast as a Sandy Bridge to have double the battery life. That would mean underclocking to about half its original frequency.

    I bet they won't underclock it, it'll just be faster. But if you wish, underclock it yourself if you like laptops that run cool and last long. I think 2x is a bit too optimistic though.
  6. macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Two things about this thread.

    1) The original quote doesn't say "double battery life". It talks about double performance, and power savings up to 50%. But it doesn't say IB will double the battery life.

    2) CPU performance is only one variable when calculating battery life. Screen brighness and radio antennas (WiFi, Bluetooth & 3G) are also significant contributors. Even the RAM and SSD take up some juice.

    Not to say that we won't see improved battery life, but I expect maybe an additional hour or two at most.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    Some good applicable advice to live by: Set your expectations low and you'll always be impressed!

    I wouldn't expect more than an hour of extra battery life with Ivy bridge...
  8. macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    It isn't just the CPU that uses the battery though... so it doesn't equate to the MBA's battery lasting twice as long. Running the display has to require a massive amount of the battery itself.
  9. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Assuming the CPU can clock down to the current speeds of the current CPU's (which would mean it would use 1/2 the power as current CPU's), and assuming that a CPU uses ~30% of a laptop's power (I heard that years ago), you'd be saving 15% of a laptop's power, or giving the laptop 15% extra runtime... shared with all of the components. So lets say an extra hour, tops. That's not much different from any other previous gen to current gen improvements.

    I hope I'm wrong, but somehow my armchare mathmatics feels right.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    I've also heard claims that the ivy bridge processor reduces power consumption. I haven't heard that it cuts power consumption in half until reading this.

    Also if Apple decides to drop Intel and go with ARM processors in its entire line of products, we may never see the ivy bridge in action in a Mac since it's not supposed to be for sale to the public until Spring of 2012.,13753.html
  11. macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    and some other things too … ;)
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Maybe ARM is the reason why Q1 release dates are rumored despite Ivy Bridge being supposed to arrive early Q2.

    That may also be what the switch back to nVidia is all about... They're making quad-core ARM SoCs these days (starting with Tegra 3).

    But raw CPU performance would be way below that of Intel's x86 processors. I don't really care about performance so I wouldn't mind given the benefits (battery life, heat).

    There's an interesting discussion about the improbability of Apple switching to the ARM architecture in this article.
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Yeah, that's why I went back to the original, to see if it was really the same claim. It's easy to see where they made the leap in logic.

    Thanks for the insights, all. I was really surprised to see that claim not being propagated across news websites, and now it's clear why.
  14. macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Impossible. I will be impressed if ivy bridge can add another 30-45mins to the total runtime. In casual use, thanks to Sandy bridge, cpu does not use a lot of power anyway. They have to do something about the screen and the wireless stuff if they really want to improve the battery life drastically.

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