Sandy Bridge Air vs. Ivy Bridge Air - Worth waiting for?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ghileman, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. ghileman, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    What can be said about the upcoming Sandy Bridge Air vs. the rumored future Ivy Bridge Air on the following topics:

    1. Timing and Probability: With the likelihood of Sandy Bridge/Thunderbolt/Lion packed Air appearing sometime near June 2011 at I'm guessing 90+%, what is the likelihood that we'll a) see an Ivy Bridge Air at some point, and b when? (e.g., around or after CES 2012)?

    2. Graphics: how much of a graphics improvement will Ivy Bridge bring over Sandy Bridge, which apparently will be a noticeable graphics step back from the Nvidia chip in the current Air, particularly on gaming.

    3. Heat: Sandy Bridge apparently runs hot (or at least the full-voltage chips do). Do low-voltage Sandy Bridge chips completely solve the heat/fan concerns for the Air? How big of a performance difference is there between Low-voltage and high-voltage Sandy Bridge? (Note: I have a Rev. B Air and if I'm going to upgrade one of my absolute requirements is that my next Air run A LOT cooler and much reduced fan action.)

    4. Battery: I've read elsewhere, from the reputable Hellhammer I believe, speculation that Sandy should yield about a 1-hour boost in battery life over the current C2D. Can we expect further improvements from Ivy? How much?

    5. Other Performance: What other general or specific performance benefits can we expect from Ivy over Sandy?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    ******* sake! please don;t start this now...go eat your lunch or do your laundry the Sandy Bridge Air hasn't even been released! you guys are too need to get out more
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    and here I thought I was keeping speculation reasonable by not also asking about the perhaps slobber-worthy future Haswell Air? ;)
  4. macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2011
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    During the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) on September 13, 2010, Intel's CEO Paul Otellini mentioned that Ivy Bridge processors may be introduced as early as in the second half of 2011.[55] According to early roadmap details, Intel is estimating that Ivy Bridge will offer a 20 percent CPU performance advantage over Sandy Bridge.[56]

    On the graphics side, there will be support for DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1, and Intel is targeting a 30 percent graphics performance and 20 percent overall performance boost compared to Sandy Bridge.[56] It seems that Ivy Bridge might get 16 graphics execution units (4 more than Sandy Bridge).[57][58] Ivy Bridge will also support PCI Express 3.0.[59] A new Panther Point chipset, to be released with the Ivy Bridge platform, will offer native USB 3.0 support, while Ivy Bridge chipsets will be backwards compatible with the Sandy Bridge (Cougar point) platform.[60][61]

    Intel has completed designing Ivy Bridge processors and is planning to showcase them during Computex Taiwan 2011 in June.[62]
  6. macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2006
    Canberra, Australia
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    The Wikipedia info I highlighted above paints some broad strokes on the CPU and graphics performance boost we can expect with Ivy Bridge, but I'd still be interested in hearing any thoughts on heat, battery, and the likelihood that Intel gets IB deployed sometime in the second half of 2011?
  8. macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2011
    You'll likely have all of those answered at Computex Taiwan 2011 (June) where Intel plans on showing off Ivy Bridge.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Intel needs to wake up and start dealing before AMD slides in. We should have had an i3/320M combo in this gen MBA, but they got greedy. AMD is winning the graphics war, I'm going to wait and see what they have in a year. Right now MBA is perfect for what it is, but my 13-UMBA C2D works hard to run things like Skype, where as my i5-540M Dell just cruises along.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
  11. macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    Wow...that is very interesting! (The future of the MBA is exciting...yet I still do truly enjoy the late 2010 11.6" MBA, an excellent design from Apple)
  12. macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Fast forward to 2056. Stu's grandchildren stop by his house on a crisp fall day, but to their shock and disappointment, they find Stu sitting dead at his horrible-looking, miserable-performing circa 2007 Dell laptop with a desktop full of Internet Explorer pop-ups and a CPU utilized at 100% because of Malware--Windows XP went out of support years ago. Sadly, Stu never bought a MacBook Air because he was perpetually caught in an n+1 waiting cycle, claiming he was waiting for the BEST EVAR performance. Unfortunately for Stu, he failed to grasp the concept of basic utility. Some might call him retarded, but to me, he was just another Macrumors member. Ever the patient consumer.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
  14. macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I was going to mention the tombstone his family had fashioned from liquidmetal with the backlit writing, but I figured maybe that was taking it a bit too far.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I doubt that if you purchased a MBA you would need anything more powerful than what is currently offered, if so you would have gone with a MBP...portability is one thing, but if you need power stick with a MBP....Next MBP will undoubtedly come with a redesign and im guessing with the same ssd chips thats in the current MBA's except with a 512 chip added in there.....
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    by the way too as far as battery life is concerned, my current MBA lasts all day on a charge...more is better yes, but all day is good too
  17. macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    if you keep waiting there will always be something better around the corner.
  18. macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2011
    It depends what part of the wave you like riding. The jump to a whole new architecture is always going to be the biggest gap. I am waiting for SB for that reason.

    I am sure there will be people complaining about Ivy bridge saying you might as well wait for the haswell architecture. However Ivy bridge will be the best in that line of chips, the end of the wave if that's what you're into. Its a die shrink of SB with some extra features here and there but the gap between SB and IB is soo much less than the gap between C2D and SB.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Since neither of them exists, your choice is between nothing and nothing. I don't think the question is if SB or IB worths waiting for. It's whether what is available now is worth.

    If the present Airs meet the minimum (or, preferably, the recommended) hardware requirements of the software you'd like to run then you're fine with the current models. If not, you've got no other choice but to wait. Your choice is as simple as that.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Your going to spend your whole life waiting with no CPU
  21. macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Why do so many people feed these threads? Ridiculous!
  23. macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    Many people on this forum (including myself) are 'Mac Book Air enthusiasts', meaning we already own a MBA yet are still excited about what the future holds. We our not necessarily putting off our purchase, we are eagerly looking forward to (and debating) what out next MBA may contain. It is fun to dream! :)
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm glad that I bought the current version. It's plenty fast enough.

    One thing to think about is if you'll want to be able to run Snow Leopard or be forced to run Lion. The way it looks right now I may be forced to stick with Snow Leopard (Lion may not support some older programs and drivers) which means that if the new MBA comes out after Lion than I won't be able to use it because it most likely won't run Snow Leopard.
  25. macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2009
    C2D -> SB is 3 generations of processor advances.

    SB -> IB is only one generation, and it's a die shrink. That will mean reduced power, but not a whole lot of speed increase.

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