Intel Preps 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz Processors Suitable for Next MacBook Air

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 20, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    CPU World reports that Intel is working on three new ULV (ultra low voltage) Sandy Bridge processors due later this year (via Electronista).

    The three new processors increase the clock speed over their existing ULV processors from 1.4-1.6GHz to 1.7-1.8GHz while keeping the TDP (thermal design power) at 17 Watts. The TDP is one of the key factors in Apple's ability to fit these processors into their ultra-portable MacBook Air. At 17 Watts, these processors could indeed be used in Apple's MacBook Air.

    We previously highlighted Intel's currently shipping ULV processors as likely candidates for the next MacBook Air. These new processors are obviously more attractive candidates with turbo boost speeds up to 2.7-2.9GHz. The new processors are listed here:


    CPU World has no word on the launch date of these processors, but Apple's been known to receive Intel parts earlier than other manufacturers. The MacBook Air is rumored to be launching in the June-July timeframe. These new processors would represent a significant boost over the existing MacBook Air processors which are still using the Core 2 Duo processors.

    Article Link: Intel Preps 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz Processors Suitable for Next MacBook Air
  2. macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2011
    United Kingdom
    This is pretty interesting stuff and could mean that the MacBook Air is a real option for users of current low end MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
  3. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    It's a bit more than going from 1.4-1.6GHz to 1.7-1.8GHz... it's also going from a Core 2 Duo to an i5/i7.

    It's probably going to lose the nVidia 320M, however, so I'm not sure it's all good for games. How does the integrated intel GPU fare against the nVidia 320M for, say, Portal 2?

    The resolution of the MacBook Air built-in display isn't that high so it's probably good enough already, but is it at least on par with the 320M?
  4. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    the ghz comparison was comparing the existing Sandy Bridge Core i5 ULV processors which were 1.4-1.6GHz. These new ones represent a speed boost over the ones that are shipping right now.

  5. macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Don't know about the integrated graphics? Maybe the current setup would be ok? Saying that I don't really consider the MacBook Air as a gaming system.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2011
    Virginia, USA
    This is pretty legit! Can't wait to see how they play!
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2011
    This looks really interesting, I would certanly bought one of these.
  8. macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    Ok, but that's a bit irrelevant when talking about the MacBook Air since Apple is still using the Core 2 Duo for them.

    I was talking about the boost between the current MacBook Air models and the possible-future-MacBook Air models that would use these new CPUs.
  9. macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Nice to see even the macbook airs are getting sandy bridge processors..
  10. macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    Please add 3G!

    I would love to see 3G added to these machines, maybe a data plan similar to the iPad, i.e., no contract on-demand monthly billing.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2011
    Portugal (Porto)
    How yeah! This should increase the performance of the MBA greatly!
    Now if they can add a back lit keyboard and increase the battery a bit it will make it the perfect "netbook" :)
  12. macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    It's actually going to be interesting to see if Apple can keep the screen res of their laptops, such as the air so low down, if they do indeed bring out an iPad next year with a 2048x1536 screen resolution.

    It's going to hard to argue than a Laptop, such as this new air, or the current macbooks don't have the need or power to drive that screen res, when a much lower power tablet can drive it.

    Going to be interesting to see what happens.
  13. Guest


    May 13, 2010
    On Mars, thinking about my father...
    Yes it will have to loose the 320m, and no the IGP does not perform equally. The res of both sizes are very nice IMHO, but that's immaterial as the IGP could power a 2560x1440 screen easily. Just don't expect to use graphics intensive applications (i.e., gaming). Now, portal (and most things source powered) aren't that big of a deal, and should be playable at low settings (as I've seen Portal 2 run on other SB IGP machines...though the fps dipped below 25 occasionally).

    IMO, if Apple provides better battery + expected SB processing gains + Tb...I'd call it a good refresh.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 10, 2011
    This is excellent news since even lower Ghz i5/i7 are faster than equivalent C2D. Plus my wife's old Acer (don't ask) has been on life support and all she needs is an internet machine.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    Backlit Keyboard!!

    Please put the Backlit Keyboard back in!! It's a must!
  16. macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2003
    Can't original MacBook Air (January 2008 model!) is limping along with only 64 GB of hard drive space...
  17. macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Makes my decision of whether to wait or not even worse!! I really need a new laptop but would hate to see an upgrade in only a month.
  18. macrumors regular

    MTD's Mac

    Mar 18, 2010
    Los Angeles
    It doesn't seem like having enough graphics power to drive a display is an issue. The current MBA, and the 13" MPB with HD3000 Intel graphics both drive the 27" Cinema Display, plus their internal displays, just fine. I thought it was more about the cost and availability of hi-res screens from Apple's suppliers.

    That said, it seems odd that the last MBP didn't get a boost to give it the MBA's resolution. Probably a hint at who Apple things the users are for each machine, though I'm not sure what it implies...
  19. macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2005
    An Acer? Wow she must have the patience of a Saint.
    Is that like 10 years old? Just wondering
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Patrick Norton on today's Tekzilla podcast was reviewing the new ultra thin Lenovo Thinkpad which has the Core i5 processor and IGP HD3000. He stated for gaming that this laptop with the same IGP that allegedly will go into the new Air is not good for gaming. He said you won't be playing any FPS games with it. I think my current Air does admirable job playing games like Portal 2, Crysis 2, etc.
  21. rufwork, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2003
    That's like saying you've got a Nikon DSLR and won't use the camera in the iPhone 5, so there's no reason worrying about its specifications.

    As it turns out, there are times the best camera you've got is the one you have. If you want to play Portal 2 and have a MBA handy, it'd be interesting to know how much worse you can expect it to act than, say, going with a similarly priced MacBook that's got a dedicated chip (if it still does in the next rev).

    I've got a great Windows tower at home for playing WoW, but I still play a little on my MacBook 2.26 when I'm on the road. It's worse, but still quite playable. Good to know, you know?

    EDIT: Here's a YouTube with Intel GMA 4500. Not great, but playable. And slowdown in a single player game isn't as bad as fragging someone online. Of course, this Yahoo question says it stinks.

    Ha, a Portal 2 walkthrough filmed on a GMA HD.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    The biggest problem with HD3000 IGP is that its not supported by Apples hardware acceleration api so flash(youtube) is going to suck.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2008
    East Coast, USA
    Definitely wait, it'll be worth it!
  24. macrumors 68040

    Jul 30, 2003
    The last time I played any game on a computer was in the year 2000, I'd say it is pretty irrelevant to me how well my Mac does games. To use your example, if you have not taken a single picture in the last ten years despite carrying phones with increasingly better cameras with you around, I'd say it is pretty irrelevant how good these cameras are.
  25. macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2011
    For when you want a computer that's only slightly faster than your cell phone. 1.2Ghz dual core Samsung Galaxy S II anyone?

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