New faster, Intel ULV CPUs in Core i3, i5, i7 variants announced. Will MBA get one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scottsdale, May 24, 2010.

  1. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #1
    New CPUs announced by Intel today. These could be the rumored CPUs used in the next MBA. They provide faster clock speeds than current ULV CPUs. In addition, they add a Core i3 ULV variant.

    Core i7-660UM - 1.33 to 2.4 GHz
    Core i5-540UM
    Core 5-430UM
    Core i3-330UM

    The next variants come out in 4Q that offer the Core i7 at 1.46 GHz.

    Anyways, these are all possible I would suppose. However, if only the Core i7 can be overclocked permanently it would be likely Apple would use this new Core i7-660UM in high-end and either the Core i7-620UM or Core i7-640UM in low-end.

    I suppose anything is possible. All of the rumors have been saying this, maybe Jobs will announce this at WWDC now that more CPUs are available?

    Here's a link to the Engadget Article

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/24/intel-officially-outs-core-i3-i5-and-i7-ulv-processors-for-thos/

    At least there's hope and a real reason for Apple to have waited this long for an MBA update... sorta.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Looks promising though only 130MHz more. Are you sure about that 1.46GHz? It sounds very abnormal frequency. Anyway, MBA is forced to use the Intel GPU, so it's up to Apple whether Steve accepts the IGP or not. I would guess the price of 660UM to be ~340$.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #3
    I'm guessing the GPU frequency is still terrible like the previous ULV processors? Meaing it's going to be worse than the 9400M? Disappointing. If Intel wasn't forcing everyone to use their garbage IGP this would be a great update.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #4
    Any idea on what the real world performance differences between those core I ULV's and the Core 2 Duo in the current Macbook Airs? Would the increase in power be worth the loss of GPU power?
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Would an Intel GPU be a marked improvement over the current 9400m? or would the gains from core i series be crippled by the Intel GPU?

    Would Jobs announce both new Mac Pros and new MBA's at WWDC?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    Not if it turns the GMA IGP off. Then uses the full capabilities at up to 2.4 GHz of the new Core i7. If it did that, it would have to use a dedicated GPU for graphics. However, it could easily do it within the current MBA's TDP.

    The current MBA is at 29W. Apple could use the 18W Core i7-660UM overclocked with GMA IGP off, and use an ATI 5430 at 7W for a total reduction of 4W to a 25W TDP in the MBA. That would add massive graphics performance boosts, with typical Core i7 boosts, a real marketable MBA with newest Core i7 and a GPU that would beat the 13" MBPs GPU... it would make those MBP buyers that don't need a 10-hour battery or optical drive be able to select an MBA at a price bump but with a highly preferred GPU.

    This is all speculation that rumors are truthful that the MBA is getting a Core i7 with the GMA IGP turned off and full capabilities of CPU going towards the CPU's 32nm DIE with 45nm GMA DIE off. One would naturally assume that this requires a dedicated GPU. The most energy efficient discrete GPUs are ATI's. However, I suppose Apple could introduce a new Nvidia GPU that uses very little energy. The Nvidia 310m uses 14W, while the ATI 5430 uses a 7W TDP. I don't know how Nvidia makes that up, but I guess anything is possible.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #7
    would a dedicated graphics solution be able to fit in the MBA?
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-HD.23065.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9400M-G.11949.0.html

    Intel GPU is about as fast as 9400M, marginally faster in some tests

    13" MacBook Pro didn't get dedicated GPU so it would be nonsense to include one in MBA. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple continued with C2D and would just add 320M
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #9
  10. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    Base frequency of 166MHz, but up to 500MHz according to this. 35W Arrandale have 500MHz as base freq and maximum of 766MHz I think
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #11
    From notebookcheck:
    "The Turbo Boost function of the new Arrandale CPUs also allows the automatic overclocking of the GPU core. The graphics card is only overclocked if the CPU is not fully loaded and the TDP is not fully used.

    High End: Core i5 520M, 540M, i7 620M: 500-766 MHz
    Low End: Core i3 330M, 350M: 500-677 MHz
    Low Voltage: Core i7 620LM, 640LM: 266-566 MHz
    Ultra Low Voltage: Core i5-520UM, i5-620UM, 640UM: 166-500 MHz
    It is questionable if the Turbo is really often used in current games, as most games also use a lot of CPU time. Therefore, the UM and LM versions of the GMA HD should be a lot slower because of the slow base speed of 166 / 266 MHz."

    Either way if it was always at 500MHz it would still be a downgrade because of the lack of hardware acceleration and OpenCL support.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #12
    What's the next ULV C2D alternative for the MBA?
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #13
    LMAO, um NO the Intel GMA IGP would be a disgusting move for Apple to make with the MBA. In fact, Jobs recently criticized the GMA IGP as the reason Apple used the Core 2 Duo with Nvidia 320m in the new 13" MBPs.

    I don't know if a discrete GPU would fit in the MBA or not. I assume Apple is not including this system in the 13" MBP due to cost or the MacFive theory I have. Basically, if the discrete GPU wouldn't fit in any one of five Macs Apple wouldn't use it. Because Apple has used one setup for MacFive since October 2008.

    The 13" MB, 13" MBA, 13" MBP, Mm, and 20/21.5" iMac all use the same basic system requiring the same driver integration into OS, requiring one set of Nvidia GPU drivers and h.264, OpenGL, and OpenCL integration into OS X. I offer the past MacFive as the reason Apple should release a C2D MBA with an Nvidia 320m in the MBA, Mm, and 21.5" iMac as soon as it gets the 13" MBP and MB inventories stocked up to meet demand.

    I still think we should get a C2D with Nvidia 320m, because I don't think Apple will create a completely different strategy for the MBA. However, maybe Apple would think the MBA user doesn't need the 320m and can live with the GMA IGP. I just don't think that's going to happen. So if Apple is using a Core i7, turning of GMA IGP to permanently overclock the CPU it will be forced to use a discrete GPU.

    I don't know if the limitation is based on MacFive, cost, space, or TDP factors? I don't think Apple would introduce an MBA with C2D and Nvidia 320m at WWDC as it would be a boring update. So if it gets the C2D with Nvidia 320m update, it will just come along some week when Apple gets to updating it in the factory lines. Why wouldn't Apple update the 13" MBP and MB first? Makes sense. Any update at WWDC probably offers something entirely new like the Core i7. I feel it would be awfully difficult to market a 1.33 GHz MBA. So Apple must have something else up its sleeve if it really plans to update the MBA at WWDC.

    The good news is in two weeks and 36 minutes SJ takes the stage at WWDC. I suppose within two hours there we will know if the MBA update happens at WWDC. I suppose we're hoping Apple shuts down the Apple Store during the keynote to update to new MBA and Mac Pro along with new Apple Cinema Displays, AppleTV, 6" iPad, and iPhone updates. I know that it's extremely doubtful all of these would be updated but they're all due.
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #14
    Yeah, could be. Never thought about the ULV one, have only thought about 35W ones MBPs use.

    It's the 2.13GHz C2D the MBA already uses. Unless Apple can fit a 25W CPU which is unlikely, it's either that with better GPU or i7 with crappy GPU
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #15
    I too have my fingers Crossed for a MBA update based on these new chips. An i7-660UM with the graphics Die shut off + an ATI or NVidia graphics solution would be amazing! MBA used to be positioned between the MB and the MBPro (before there was a 13" MBP) so I can see the graphics chip pushing it hopefully back to that niche (And the price to match).

    Here's hoping. The new i7-660UM chip is 32% smaller than the other i7 Mobile chips - so I'm hoping they can fit it all in... Plus no Optical Drive or Ethernet ports to clog up the motherboard - makes sense to me.

    Yeah, but not in the underclocked UM packages as others have stated.

    There's no other C2D chips in the ULV range to use. The 1.86 and 2.13 SL9600/9400 are the only chips Intel put out. So there's no C2D update that can be done.

    Without the space taken up by the optical drive - I can easily see the MBA having room for a 32% smaller i7 chip and a dedicated GPU from Nvidia or ATI.

    My dream (hopefully soon reality!) MBA Rev D specs:

    Intel i7-660UM Chip - 1.33Ghz turbos to 2.4Ghz
    ATI 5430 or even maybe 5650 (only uses ~15W)
    4GB RAM
    128 GB SSD
    Better Battery (same one that gives iPad 10+ hours Battery life? - would give MBA 6hrs?)

    That would make a MBA that's 2x faster than the older ones and still at under 3lbs! Amazing!!!
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #16
    I have always said I think the MBA should get the C2D and Nvidia 320m. I am just reporting on the news of a rumored potential CPU for the new MBA. It has potential to be used. I always think the MacFive strategy will be used until I see an MBA without the same base component makeup for not just lowering costs of buying in bulk but also for integration into OS X for drivers and etc.

    Are you asking for the next C2D? Apple is done making C2D at the end of 2010. The Core i7-6x0LM is the Intel stated replacement chip for the current SL9x00 Apple uses in the MBA. The problem is Nvidia cannot provide chipsets for chips beyond C2D. That is why Apple used C2D so it could use the Nvidia 320m GPU/chipset in the 13" MBP and MB again.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #17
    This iMac refresh will likely be the last to follow that. The next CPU's ready for the 21.5" iMacs is Clarkdale which comes with Intel's IGP.

    Apple can easily get away with the same C2D processors with the 320M. Shove a 128GB SSD in the low end and 256SSD in the high end and you have a pretty good situation on your hands.
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #18
    ATI 5650 would outperform 330M so no chance

    But Apple will likely (at least I hope so) use a dedicated GPU in all iMacs as they have no space issues. E.g. ATI 54xx in low-end, ATI 57xx in mid, and ATI 58xx in high-end

    Are there 256GB 1.8" SSDs available?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #19
    Well at the very least, this new announcement has given renewed hope at the possibility at least in the near term that the MBA could see a core i series chip and that 2011 will certainly see the new core i series in the MBA.

    However, what does the MBA need more a new GPU and upgraded RAM or an updated processor and RAM?
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #20
    Yeah, that's what I was saying. Only integrated graphics should've never been on the iMacs to begin with.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article...ros_256gb_ssd_that_may_reach_macbook_air.html
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    fr4c

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Hamster wheel
    #21
    And now the waiting game...

    Does ATI offer any GPU chips that might perhaps fit in the MBA, or is this going to be a C2D/320M update like the 13" MBP.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #22
    The latter.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #23
    Could they save space by soldering flash memory directly onto the mobo somewhere? Use the space a 1.8 or 2.5 form factor drive would take and apply discrete graphics. With the volume that Apple does in flash, they could probably do this fairly cost effectively.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #24
    All things considered i think we are probably looking at

    2.13ghz Core 2 Duo
    4gb of Ram
    Nvidia Geforce 320M
    128gb or 256gb SSD options
    7 Hours Battery Life (considering the relative increases from prior MBP to current)

    Hopefully they will also include Audio support over MDP for HDMI
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #25
    Audio over MDP is a no-brainer at this point.

    If they do go with this config - they're gonna have to drop the price - have this 2.13Ghz model be at the price of the 1.86 Model currently.

    We'll see - I really hope they can find a way to get the i7's in there.
     

Share This Page