Time Frame on Next MBA Release

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MBABuyer, May 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    So, I am planning on buying my first mac computer this summer before school starts on September 1st.

    I am very interested in buying a fully spec'd out MBA. I would like to wait for the next MBA refresh, but I have to have it for school.

    My question is, when do you think the refresh of the MBA will come out? I understand that there have been many rumors about it coming out in late June, but those are "just rumors." Plus, many people think it is really early for an upgrade.

    Me and my friends are always debating about this, so if any of you have any idea, concrete reasons, or opinions about when it will come out, please tell them.

    Many Thanks,
    Swayne Martin
     
  2. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Nobody knows, as always.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    VA
    #3
    It seems that some people are very convinced that it will be released in June, some not.

    Swayne
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    the rumor mill churns on endlessly. no one knows, but it seems to be a little early in the product life cycle for an update, and i wonder how they will get the hot sandy bridge into that cool little body.

    the real question, i guess, is how much is it worth it to you right now. isn't the semester almost over? if you have until december, that ought to be plenty of time.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    My school ends June 3rd.

    So, I have till August 30th to get the MBA (when school starts). And, I was planning to wait as long as possible for the next MBA, maybe even up until August 30th?

    Swayne
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    #6
    Here's an idea: You obviously don't need this MBA now, so why don't you wait until August 21st to see what is available and then pull the trigger?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #7
    Honestly, Apple is in no rush to update the MBAs. The Sandy Bridge platform currently wouldn't offer us much more than we have now. GPU performance will greatly suffer and the C2Ds are hardly a bottleneck whatsoever right now.

    I play Portal 2 on my 11" maxed out at 50-60fps, edit Apple Prores 422 footage from my 5D Mark II in Final Cut, and do everything i need to do on the road and have not run into a hiccup.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #8
    you're killing me.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #9
    Do you own an MBA and have extensive use of a ULV Core i7 machine?


    Apple is never about throwing in the newest, most cutting edge tech if it means sacrificing other things, especially performance in a machine which they willingly designed around an older Core 2 Duo CPU so they could offer better graphics performance?
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #10
    Actually the C2D in the current MBA is what's keeping me from buying a MBA. It has the same speed as the CPU in the 2007 MBP I own, and the one thing I hate most about it is its CPU speed: processing images in Aperture, converting videos, using programming environments, running statistical analysis in SPSS or making music in Ableton Live - it's all CPU bound.

    And even if the C2D currently might be sufficient for some people, will it be sufficient for the software available in 2012-2014? Or will Lion, Photoshop CS6, Office 2012 etc. make us regret having bought a C2D?
     
  11. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #11
    If there is a refresh this Summer for the Air, I predict it'll be a soft refresh with Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt connectivity replacing the MiniDisplay port, perhaps a better GPU and maybe Facetime HD camera. I don't foresee additions or improvements to much else.

    I predict the SSD options will remain the same: 64 GB and 128 GB base for the 11" and 13" respectively. Based on the recent iMac refresh and BTO options, it doesn't look like SSD's have gone down enough for Apple to bump up the standard. Ditto for the RAM. I predict it'll remain 2 GB base RAM all around with the same upgrade options and prices. Hopefully, I'm wrong. I would be disappointed if both the SSD and RAM base standards remained the same, but I wouldn't be surprised.

    And there almost certainly will be no backlight for the keyboard; I think Apple will keep the same body and design. The battery life will either stay the same or improve slightly.

    Those are my predictions.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #12
    SD Card Reader Slot

    My base model 11" MBA is fine with me. I'll only upgrade for a SD Card reader.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    #13
    I've posted this in other threads, but it's relevant to your question. I owned a 2009 15" MBP with a 2.53 Ghz C2D processor. Five months ago I sold it to get a 13" MBA with the 2.13 Ghz processor and 4 GB RAM. I thought I'd be sacrificing some performance in Aperture with the change, but I've found that the MBA is more responsive and processes photos better in Aperture than my MBP did. This seems to suggest that the processor isn't the only thing involved, and that the much 320M GPU and SSD make up for a less powerful processor, at least in Aperture.
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    #14
    How will they include a better GPU? From what I've read the 3000M integrated GPU in Sandy Bridge is not as good as the 320M in the current MBA, and the MBA simply doesn't have room for a dedicated graphics card. Am I right on this, or is there the possibility of a better GPU included with the Sandy Bridge processor?
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #15
    Thanks for the note. A SSD definitely helps, but watching my CPU load via the menu bar app "iStat menus", I frequently see my cpu load hitting 100% for noticeable 20sec or more, caused by a single process/app.

    E.g. launching the IDE RubyMine 3.1 with one small project (followed by the standard indexing that happens when you open a project) takes 75sec on my MBP, and during this time the CPU load hovers between 50%-100%. If I'd replace my HDD by a SSD, I'd constantly hit the 100% CPU load and would end up with a launch time of approx. 50-60sec. But no less.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #16
    Moving from 2GB to 4GB standard causes the hibernation file on disk to grow by these 2GB, which is a lot on a 64GB SSD. Therefor they might only bump the base ram on the 13". Besides that, the price for SSD upgrades might fall a bit, and they might shave $50 off the base price as not having to buy a GPU saves them a bit of money.

    Although, with the current decline of the US$, they might only reduce the price when priced in EUR/Yen, an maybe even have to raise the US$ price by a bit (partly caused by the expensive Renminbi, the currency they pay their factories in).
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #17
    no, i don't. i only know the Airs on paper, but i know that pretty well.

    as was just mentioned, even the standard voltage C2Ds in the MBPs are a bottleneck for a lot of standard audio and video work.

    am i wrong?


    see, you just equated 'performance' with 'graphics performance'. it happens all the time in this forum.

    it can drive a guy crazy.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #18

    You have to remember we're talking an ultraportable notebook that Apple doesn't fully intend to be a video/audio workstation or a gaming rig, but they get it close enough with the c2d+320M combo to offer something different than everyone else.

    I honestly believe Apple is going to skip Sandy Bridge with these, it's totally likely. I need to run to a meeting but i'll be back to discuss further.
     
  19. CHSeifert, May 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    CHSeifert

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    #19
    I doubt Apple Will update the MBA before Ivy Bridge is here in early 2012 simply because sandy bridge is a larger chip size than ivy bridge and therefore runs hotter. Also the built in GPU is weaker than what MBA currently has.

    Ivy bridge will provide cooler CPU and a GPU matching what the MBA currently have !

    Not sure a sandy bridge MBA will even interest me :)
    Waiting for ivy bridge MBA !!!
     
  20. nebulos, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #20
    with the Air, i think, the traditional intention has been to make a use-able computer, on a basic level, in the smallest package possible.

    certainly, this does not mean audio/video work, but neither does it mean gaming.

    when Apple went with the 320M, many concluded they simply found the then Intel IGP alternative unsatisfactory. (one could argue there might have been other reasons?)

    the question is, unsatisfactory for what? watching HD movies? or playing 3D games?

    if the 3000HD can handle everything outside of games, then it seems to me the only reason not to go Sandy Bridge is to hang on to the gamers. I'm not sure how big a share of Air customers that represents. (of course, we're not talking hardcore gamers, but enthusiasts.)

    but even if that represents a big chunk, there is also a big chunk that would migrate to the Air for increased CPU power. a lot of content creators don't necessarily need the power (and weight) of the 2011 MBP, or want to shell out the cash.

    the form factor of the Air is, i think we can all agree, amazing. coupled with the high res displays, new Sandy Bridge processors, and a much lower starting price than the Pros, this machine, i think, could indeed truly become the flagship model for Apple.

    i am dreaming, but this dream could come true, and many say it will, as soon as June.


    ... that's not to say the wait is anything but excruciating.
     
  21. nebulos, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #21
    (mistake)
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    #22
    Also I will remind you folk that the core 2 duo models that are in all Apple products have already been discontinued by Intel. They are only continuing manufacturing for whatever final orders were placed in April. So unless Apple is planning on holding several quarters worth of inventory which on face value sounds kind non-Appleish from a supply chain perspective, all models will have to be updated with SB. Ivy Bridge is not due out until Q1 2012 at the earliest (http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/12/intel-roadmap-charts-rollout-dates-for-ivy-bridge-cedarview-sa/), and of course delays are always possible.

    Long story short, there's no way that Apple is skipping SB for the MBA.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    VA
    #23
    Looking at the picture below, it is easy to tell that they are completely switching out of the C2D, right? And since Sandy Bridge (pink color, and blue color) is very prominent, it could very well become a part of the MBA.

    I am just trying to figure out, based on this information, when a sandy bridge update would come?

    Click on image to enlarge

    Swayne
     

    Attached Files:

  24. macrumors 6502a

    nebulos

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #24
    might want to start by looking at mobile CPUs.

    anyways, i don't think that type of information is enough to determine, for example, June vs October.

    if you have researched this question, you've seen that basically the only rumors out there point to June.

    you will also have realized these are guarantees of nothing.

    no?
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    #25
    This is specifically refuted by what they've done with the 13" MBP, and even in that machine, they realistically had the option to include a discrete GPU.

     

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