2011 MBA and iX processors

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ozreth, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #1
    I know it's a bit soon, but the months go by fast and I was thinkin...

    Since the C2D has now been EOL'd, when should we expect to be seeing iX processors in the Air? I'm sure enough C2D's are lying around to keep it up for a bit, but the switch should come soon.

    How do these things typically work?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    Apple updates its MBAs quite irregularly, the update before the last one was over a year ago (6/2009) therefore it is safe to assume, that the next MBA update will be quite a while, a summer update coming with Lion is quite possible. Other than that it is just guesswork, even the sentence above is just guessing, extrapolated from past update cycles.

    But a low power i3 is quite possible then for the MBAs.
     
  3. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Would a low voltage iX processor offer a significant power savings over the C2D? I don't know about the others, but for me that's the only reason I would even consider switching. The C2D is good enough for almost all of what I do. What would prompt me to buy a new MBA is longer battery life in the same 2.3 lb body.
     
  4. hcho3 macrumors 68030

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    #4
    CPU don't mean crap to me without decent gpu. If next mbp gets i3 processor, then u can assume MBA will get it as well.
     
  5. miggitymac macrumors 6502a

    miggitymac

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    #5
    I'm not saying that it won't happen relatively soon, but just wondering what your source is for saying that they've already been EOL'd.

    Intel's website is still showing them as "launched" rather than EOL. :confused:
     
  6. jcschlic macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #6
    I started a thread about this a few weeks ago and it started quite a bit of discussion. Just like you, I am very interested to see when the iX inclusion will roll out. I think that 2010 and 2011 are very exciting years for the MBA.
     
  7. fswmacguy macrumors 6502

    fswmacguy

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    #7
    Okay, here's the deal.

    Nvidia has already announced that they are no longer going to manufacture separate GPUs for notebooks. Rather, they are going to bundle the GPU in with the CPU (I think it's called 'Tegra'?). The benchmarks for this kind of thing aren't that great, as far as I'm aware.

    The Intel i-series is a larger hardware package than the Intel C2D series. If I recall correctly, the i-series is almost twice the size of the C2D package. Had Apple chosen to go with the Intel i-series in the MBA, they may have encountered a space issue where the 320M wouldn't fit, and we all would have been stuck with Intel integrated graphics (booo hissss).
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    At least with Intel's current lineup, i7-6xxLM would be Apple's only choice for 13" MBA as those are the only 25W CPUs (it has IGP so no need for discrete GPU, thus it shouldn't be too hot). Prices are about the same too. UM chips top out at 1.33GHz, way too slow for 13". For 11", i5 UM should be possible as they are actually cheaper than current chips used in 11".

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #9
    What is known, if anything, about the quality of the IGP incorporated in the i7-6xxLM chip? The conventional wisdom seems to be that so far, at least, the IGPs Intel puts in its i series chips are pretty sorry.
     
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #10
    Tegra is not a notebook platform. It's a mobile device platform. Think iPhone devices when you think Tegra and Tegra II. For one, it's based on the same ARM architecture you find in the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Space issues had nothing to do with it. The 320M chipset is not compatible at all with the iX series of processor, it's a chipset specifically made for the Core series of processors. That's the crux of the problem, Intel refuses to license the proper technology so nVidia can keep on producing chipsets (think nForce, not GeForce) for Intel processors.

    The current iX series processor have piss poor IGPs. Just look at the sorry performance you get from them in the 15" MacBook Pro.
     
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #11
    On top of everything else, rumors have it that Intel will launch the next-generation mobile chips early next year. These new chips will have *WAY* better graphics than the current ones (although still behind the GeForce 320M.)

    The Intel graphics may be "good enough" for Apple to use them in the Air (they did when it launched after all, and those Intel graphics were absolutely horrendous.)
     
  12. Perdification macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2010
    #12
    Yeah true, SBs graphics are better than any intel IGP now: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-preview-three-wins-in-a-row/7

    Although that is from a desktop perspective. We can't really tell how the laptop SB will perform, due to the fact that thermal dissipation is a huge problem when it comes to tiny laptops, especially the MBA. Apple might choose again to underclock the SBs graphics, due to heat issues, who knows?
     
  13. Perdification macrumors regular

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    #13
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    Actually, we can. All laptop SBs should have an IGP with 12 EUs. Most desktops have 6 EUs but it is unknown whether the chip AT tested had 12 or 6. LM and UM chips will likely have a bit lower clock speed than their standard voltage counterparts but they should still have the very aggressive Turbo. Standard voltage chips go from 650MHz to up to 1300MHz! That's 100% Turbo. I would expect LM chips to have 500-550MHz core without Turbo and 1000-1100MHz with Turbo. BTW, the chips AT tested did not have Turbo.

    So, it's possible or even likely that the mobile chips will be significantly better than the one that AT tested. Plus AT's tests were done with beta drivers, a lot must have happened in software side as well.

    Sure, 320M will likely beat the next gen Intel IGP but the CPU bump would be fairly substantial.
     
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    Anything is possible. It likely depends on Apple's suppliers and how quickly they run through their supply of Core 2 Duo chips. I'm guessing that the MacBook Pro and MacMini will get the Sandy Bridge treatment first, however. That would leave just the MacBook Air running the Core 2 Duo, and the supply of 1.4, 1.6, 1.86, and 2.13GHz Core 2 Duos is probably sufficient to support that line (since no other product in Apple's lineup uses them).

    If Sandy Bridge is at least a lateral step (i.e., the CPU gains offset the GPU losses on general application benchmarks), expect Apple to make the switch, if nothing more than to avoid the "old technology" criticism. That said, I'm guessing it won't be sufficiently faster to convince Rev D owners to switch, particularly 13" Rev D models with the faster Core 2 Duos. We should just wait for the Rev F Ivy Bridge models in 2012. Those will have both a faster CPU and GPU than the current models, plus Light Peak may be ready by then (or Apple will bite the bullet and adopt USB 3.0).
     
  16. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #16
    It may be ready by 2012, which means that Apple may adopt it in 2030! They're not a fan of adopting other people's technology, lets face it they don't even offer Blu-ray compatibility yet in their software, and thats positively old tech now!
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #17
    According to several pieces of news, Apple is part of Light Peak's development so it would be surprising if Apple did not adopt it soon after its release. Intel has even showed a mockup of MBP with three LP ports, I bet Apple would not have allowed that unless they were interested about LP.
     
  18. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #18
    If Apple brings the price of the MacBook Air down, then I wouldn't have a problem with them using Intel IGPs. Just get rid of the MacBook and lower the price of the Air.

    Otherwise they better find a way to increase graphics performance, I don't care what anybody says, Intel graphics are terrible and it seems like every update there are people that say "The new Intel graphics are double the performance! Intel is finally catching up in that regard!"

    I remember the update from the GMA 950 to the GMA X3100 specifically. The GMA X3100 had actually WORSE performance in Mac OS X due to terrible drivers released by Intel.

    Intel is nothing but a monopolistic, company run by a bunch of tyrants. They have screwed over consumers so many times.

    Do I want Apple to use AMD APUs? At this time, no. AMD APUs are still at the first generation and not ready and they are for budget computers at this point. But maybe in the future. Maybe.

    I say Apple has a couple options:

    -Use Sandy Bridge IGP and lower the price.

    -Find SOME way to push in a low power discrete graphics card - ATI 6xxx series has some decently low powered ones. There are 12" and 13" Windows laptops with discrete graphics that aren't completely thick - I think it's possible.

    -Use Sandy Bridge IGP and keep the same price, but market it as the laptop that has the best battery life ever made by Apple, without mentioning the gigantic loss in graphics performance - this is probably what they are going to do.
     
  19. Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #19
    Yep, and for many years now Apple have been a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association publicly backing the format throughout the format war with HD-DVD, but they are still yet to adopt the format on their own hardware or even make their software compatible, so some might say thats as equally as surprising. I'm sure there's a reason, and probably something to do with them seeing the future in electronic media rather disc, but hey there's always a reason.

    Point is, Blu-ray wasn't the first, Apple are well known for publicly backing technology but never actually using or supporting it when the time comes.
     
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #20
    :confused:

    Apple uses lots of other people's technology. They use Intel processors. Before that, they used Motorola processors. They adopted USB 1.0 before most others, and pretty much use industry standard internal parts for everything.

    Apple hasn't adopted Blu-Ray primarily because DVD competes with iTunes. They want you do download movies from them, not buy or rent DVDs from NetFlix or Best Buy. Light Peak doesn't compete with any technology that Apple uses right now, apart from FireWire, which they don't support as much as they used to.
     
  21. Beanoir, Dec 24, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010

    Beanoir macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

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    #21
    I accept there are plenty of instances where they have, my point was there are also plenty of instances where they haven't when the rest of the technology world is, it took them years before they went Intel, it took them years to adopt SD card readers, they still haven't adopted USB which is probably something to do with them developing FW 1600 and 3200. They didn't want to adopt USB2, and they don't want to adopt USB3, which leads me to believe they probably wont want to adopt Light Peak, but like history says they may be forced to in the end due to consumer demand, but will resist for some time, leading to my comment about Apple taking forever to adopt new tech that isn't theirs.

    You're probably quite right about the itunes vs. blu-ray argument, but there always seems to be a reason why they don't, but the reasons for them not adopting Blu-ray may well be fine form Apple's point of view, but it's not always what the consumer wants. I for one would quite like to shove a blu-ray in my superdrive and play it on my apple HD screen without even thinking about it, just like a PC, but I can't and it annoys me.
     
  22. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #22
    I am as frustrated by Apple's stubborn refusal to incorporate Blu-ray technology into its computers as you are. Although streaming is the wave of the future, today there is not enough bandwidth and speed available on the Internet to practically handle streaming 1080p video and HD audio. The reason sales of Blu-ray players and discs continues to skyrocket is that, so far, nothing that has been streamed comes close to matching either the video or audio quality of a BD. In the meantime, Apple sits on the sidelines. I won't contemplate further why that is, for this way lies madness.:)
     

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