what difference will sandy bridge make to macbook air ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rav16, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    #1
    hello all ,
    iam not a geek or a tech savvy guy just just wanted some questions to be answered here .

    if the rumors are true what differnce one can expect if they bring sandy bridge cpus to the macbook air compared to the c2d ?

    will there be a huge difference so i can wait and buy later ?
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
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    Finland
    #2
    The difference depends on the task. It won't make Safari or Adium any faster but same CPU intensive tasks will definitely be faster. The most noticeable difference for an average user should be the better battery life
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #3
    They are going to use intel graphics card. It will be worse in games, but u will get better battery life.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    #4
    like how much more battery life i can get compared to the c2d ?
    in a electronic store in india i compared the display of a i3 . 15 windows machine with the air and used the same movie running on all 3 machines and even pics belive me the air just blow all of the hps, acers and sonys. is that because air has the nvidia chip ? and will the sandy bridge ones give the same kind of display like the current models are giving ?

    and sorry for a silly question which are CPU based extensive task for example ?
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
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    #5
    Hard to say as the chips are not available yet. I would expect something like an extra hour or two.

    Most likely because of the screen. Usually those cheap laptops come with awful displays.

    Video encoding and rendering for example. Mainly something to do with creativity
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #6
    Sandy Bridge would:
    -Improve general processing power substantially - much faster machine.
    -New onboard GPU should be about equivalent to current GPU in terms of performance.
    -No more separate GPU - more space (or smaller size), less heat, longer battery life, and maybe lower cost.
    -Main CPU now current, instead of 2 generations behind.

    Definitely worth waiting for, if you can.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #7
    I tend to agree with that. But wouldn't it be great if all tasks were noticeably faster?

    Anyway, the big one is better battery time.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Funkymonk

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #8
    Is it physically impossible for apple to put sandy bridge and amd discrete graphics on the mba?
     
  9. macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
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    norcal
    #9
    Time will tell. Let's first see how SB does on PC laptops with integrated graphics.

    It may be suitable for MBA and entry level MBP. While people totally knock current Intel Core "i" series and integrated graphics, it's not that bad on one of my laptops and integrated graphics have come a very long way. Let's see though if the Macintosh community is pleased, which it probably won't be for every member.

    Integrated graphics are not trying to pretend to be high end, and for now, it doesn't seem like it's possible or cost-effective. Until then, a dedicated/separate graphics chip is the answer.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
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    ATL
    #10
    The potential negative with Intel's integrated graphics only seems to be gaming, and that drop off shouldn't be too much. If you're buying a MBA to game you're putting your money in the wrong class of notebook but if you happen to game on it the performance wouldn't be horrible unless you expect all settings on high.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
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    #11
    My idea of computer gaming is mahjong, and the only moving game would be a Bugdom type of thing.

    If I were online doing first person shooter on a really high level, wouldn't a self built desktop buying the best components one at a time be the best option, especially since it's upgradeable?
     
  12. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #12
    If you're worried about gaming, sign up for On Live
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #13
    They've held off on putting discrete graphics on all their 13" models ever since the switch to Intel CPU's. Even in the GMA950 time (which was atrocious when compared to even the weakest discrete GPU at the time). Apparently the 13" case was just a bit too tight to fit a GPU.

    I could see them adding a discrete GPU to the MBP 13" or maybe even the standard plastic MacBook. But the air is even more limited in terms of space than those, and quite a lot so. Also the focus on features is portability, not performance. So I'd guess the chance of it getting one in the near future is minimal. The MB/MBP 13" will be first with that feature if it appears and even then the air might never get it.

    Having said that, it'll be interesting to see what the upcoming MBP refresh will bring. If it does indeed bring discrete graphics (which I doubt, because SB is apparently pretty good), the chances of the Air getting it in the future would be a bit greater. Still wouldn't bet on it though.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    #14
    i dont understand why people arent impressed with SB. It will be better than the historical c2duo, and then something else will come along and make SB obsolete. It is a natural evolution. Generally speaking, people desire newer processors eventually. I am not using my old PB G4 after all, though i loved the form factor.

    Yes, if you buy a MBA now, it will become "yesterday's news".

    One should buy the computer if you need it, and if you don't need it, then dont. If you have the option, then you have to weigh what you have now to what your needs are.

    Certain apple computers stay fast for a while. A 2006 model mac pro can geekbench at over 5000... the top laptops just reached that level last year. The MBA geekbenches at 2000-3000. That mac pro can be bought for ~1100 on auction sites.

    The good news is resale value.

    I am a corporate user, so for me, the slow processor is not as important as portability for travel. I have a mac pro and other higher power computers for the crunching at work. It seems like a lot of mac users are students or younger people. For a corporate user like myself, it is about productivity. I am less productive if I cannot take the computer with me.

    Sandy bridge is probably not important for me - where my needs are on the road, with MS office and internet capability. Powerpoint/keynote use. However, the second the MBA is too slow for my basic needs I will upgrade. Usually that is about 2 years. And the cost of the machine, whether it is 1000 or 3000 is not important for my corporation. I produce 100x-1000x that in payback for the company. So the upgrade process is easy.

    When I look at ultraportables, I think of the business user. If I were a home user, the MBP 13" offers so much more for a few pounds. And if I were a home user/student/ entertainment user, I think the new MBP that will come out soon with SB are probably the best bang for the buck.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
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    #15
    As to whether or not there will be a difference to you, depends on what you are going to use it for. If you're planning to do video editing or run VMs on your Air, wait until it comes with quad core and 8 GB of RAM. You might also want to consider a Pro instead.
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    It isn't that we're not impressed. It's that we're telling people to evaluate their needs. The current systems are fast enough for many people's needs, and if people keep waiting for the next big thing to come out, they'll never buy because something better is always on the way.

    Remember, too, that a lot of us here are the type who buy new computers after a year or two. The Core 2 Duo is outdated, but not so outdated that it can't keep up with most people's needs for the next two years. Remember, it was Intel's current chip 2 years ago.
     
  17. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

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    #17
    You say that like it's a good thing. When the next best thing is right around the corner, it makes sense to wait for it. The only issue here is that SB equipped MBA has not been confirmed by Apple yet. Given the dwindling supply of Core 2 based CPU's though, it makes sense.

    If I didn't already have an MBA, I'd wait for it.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #18
    If you buy your computer to make you 'feel good' that you have the top of the line for a longer period of time then you should wait. If you actually buy your computer because you intend to put it to good use, and take advantage of the combination of speed and portability that the current MBA has, then you should buy it now.

    I like using mine. :)
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #19
    I just have limited knowledge here, but..

    Does anyone know what the lack of support for OpenCL will do? 320 M supports it (from the few MR threads I've looked at), but Sandy Bridge does not (Anandtech).
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #20
    Honestly, I don't think SB would see that much of a benefit on the Air. The graphics will take a small hit, and the performance to power usage ratio would improve. But, given what most people buy the Airs for (ultraportability, not performance), the SB mostly won't be used to its max. I guess I can't speak for all Airs since I guess an SB ultimate 13" would be much better for video encoding, etc, but in the end, anyone who bought the Air as a secondary or travel machine won't really care. That being said, I guess the higher end Airs would become much more viable as primary machines.

    To summarize, 13" Air users would be benefited the most, and 11" Air users would see very little improvement to what the 11" Air already does quite well.

    If the update really does come in June, I'd say it'll be because Apple is out of C2D chips, and not because of much of a performance boost.
     
  21. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #21
    I like using mine too. Id like it that much more if it had SB in there. It'll be put to use and just as portable with SB as it is with C2D. Not sure what you're getting at there. :)
     
  22. DarwinOSX, Feb 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #22
    You can't say it will be much faster or the GPU will be the same with credibility since the new low power mobile chips that would be used in an Air aren't even out yet. Those aren't due out until later this year.
    The C2D in current Airs is not the same as the C2D's from 2 years ago. These have a faster bus and more cache for one thing as well as a different die size making them run cooler with less power.
    For the OP if you want an Air just get one instead of worrying about it or listening to people who don't know what they are talking about.
    Apple typically only updates specific models once a year anyway even if new chips are out.
    If you start playing this guessing game about whats coming next you will always be doomed to frustration.


    Intel is saying they will support Open CL via the cpu instead of the gpu to get around this issue and make Apple happy but I haven't seen any firm evidence they have actually done so yet.

    Oh boy....Dwindling supply of C2D's? That would be news to Intel since they are still in production and will be for a long time to come.
    http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyId=26548
    OP, this is a good example of why you should not listen to people on an errornet forum.

    It will get marginally better battery life. Not anything amazingly better.

     
  23. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #23
    Dwindling supplies does not equal no longer in production smart guy, or do you really think Intel is producing them in the same quantities as they were prior to i3/i5/i7 CPU's? Ironically, I do agree with your last sentence, just not for the same reasons.
     
  24. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
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    Finland
    #24
    Production was stopped in early December 2010 but Intel will be shipping them until October 14th.

    In AT's tests, it provided a significant bump in battery life. I wouldn't be surprised to see an extra hour or two of battery life with SB
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    Terra Australis
    #25
    Personally, I agree Apple make the best hardware / casings / presentation in the laptops, but the real killer of these is they use outdate / old CPU's, which are then overpriced in the shops, yes they've been updated of course. The current MBA should be using the "i" series CPU's which were release 2010, even if the MBA has to be slightly larger. Now SB might be the new standard when the next MBA is due for a refresh.

    As for graphics, I have always been a fan of discrete (separate) graphics GPU with its own RAM, this way if some major hardware fault occurs your not killing the CPU/GPU in one hit. The problem with shared graphics is the video ram is taken from your system ram. Maybe apple should make macs with the option to switch from onboard to discrete???? As for Apple I believe they use two extremes high powered lots of features of portable with limited features. I think they need some more features in their MacBook Air's - backlit keyboard for a start, and an ethernet port.
     

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