Anand's review is out

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PeterJP, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. PeterJP macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium

    In the usual place:

    He reviews only the 13 inch version. His conclusion is that it's a major update in many ways: Wi-Fi, SSD, biggest 15W TDP CPU with an HD5000. The only compromise is that the CPU offers no performance upgrade: it's almost identical to the previous version. But in return, you get 12 hours of battery, measured at 75% display brightness (previous Apple battery times were at 50%, too). And Mavericks should improve a few things, too.

    I cannot state it better than Anand when he says:
    I've been doubting to get an 11" Air or 13" rMBP for some time now. If the latter gets 12h battery time in a slimmer package, it'll be hard to resist.
  2. methinks... macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2013
    An excellent review from Anandtech, as usual.

    When you have a section called "Absolutely Insane Battery Life" all by itself... :D
  3. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Finally we can se that the i7 is indeed draining the battery life more faster than the i5 on all situations.

    Sustained operation at higher frequencies will likely draw more power, and negatively impact battery life. Light to medium workloads will enjoy a mix of race to sleep benefits as well as higher power consumption under load. Idle power should be roughly similar between the parts however. For most workloads I'd expect a modest impact to battery life,
  4. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    He hasn't actually tested it, but he's generally assuming that it will because of general rules about higher frequencies.
  5. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    The iGPU improvement over 2012 is slightly diappointing though. Guess these aren't really gamer machines. The base CPU also is hardly an improvement in real app performance over 2012 either. For the majority of users though of MBA's which want the best battery life, the 2013 is a big upgrade. For power users like me who like to work with 80+ MB RAW files from my 36MP DSLR, the only real upgrade is the faster SSD speeds. (yes, I have my rMBP, but for many trips, I prefer the lightness of the MBA over the power of the rMBP.)
  6. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Correct but it is common sense that more power = more battery too.
  7. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Yeah, Anand always does a great job. He makes a pretty decent case in my mind to buy the cheaper '12 model.

    "All of this comes at a cost: the 2013 MacBook Air ranges from just as quick as the 2012 model, to a bit slower, in CPU bound tasks. I wouldn't consider the degree of performance regression obviously noticeable, but it's there."
  8. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    Boy, am I dissapointed with both gpu and cpu performance and lack of IPS panel.. Hoping to see a better results for i7 as Anand promised to add that to an article. If not, say hello to Haswell rMBP. Higher TDP is what that ULT silicone begs for to show all of its potential.
  9. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    This isn't news.
  10. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    MBA isn't going to get a significant CPU/GPU upgrade until Intel goes to 14nm as we're still being limited by the same 22nm power constraints Ivy Bridge.
  11. ApplNat macrumors member


    May 18, 2013
    Despite the fact that all kinds of users are insisting the MBA meet their specific needs, the MBA is designed for the mobile user who needs a balance of features. Not super high-end features. Not a gamer's lair. The general consumer and business user who is on the move and needs a lightweight robust netbook that can do most everything decently enough. Not everything...most everything. Not to the 'nth degree. But a laptop that will get the job done for most people, most of the time.

    Compromises? Yeppers.

    Gamers will be disappointed because this netbook is not designed for their specific use.

    Video editors extraordinaire and photogs who are processing thousands of frames and need speed and the most high def they can get will also be disappointed because again the MBA is not designed for their specific use.

    The MBA can be used by the above, but not without compromises.

    I'm sorry that angers so many people but it is what it is. This netbook is very nice and it suits my needs to a 'T.' If I were a pro-level videographer/photog or a big gamer or someone running 3D animation or vast computations I would opt for different specs and a different machine--specs that would be best for the intended usage.
  12. wermy macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2013
    I'm not sure I'd classify the MBA as a "netbook."

    Scratch that, I'm definitely sure I wouldn't. ;)
  13. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Especially with the upgraded CPU, a MBA is much more powerful than a netbook. I guess some of us are just bellyaching as 2010-2011-2012 transitions came with significant increases in CPU/GPU performance that just isn't seen with the 2012-2013 transition. Even the desktop Haswell users are pretty disappointed in the meager performance increase between IB-Haswell. Many of us were expecting more out of an Intel 'tock'.
  14. lshirase macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008

    Not by much in real world use.
  15. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    Strange enough, there was a significant performance increase when 1st gen Core iX processors switched to Sandy Bridge, though it was the same 32nm silicon. Magic, indeed. Or it's Intel's marketing team took over the engineers that could've done more significant architecture improvements to Haswell. I'd pick up the magic.
  16. Dookieman macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2009
    Eh.. It's a big enough improvement to make previously struggling games run well on high settings.
  17. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    It did for me, I've had both models and using them side by side for 5 days and for my own type of workload i5 win by a mile, I get about one extra hour on the i5
  18. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm not exactly sure why this is a bad thing. Or why "all kinds of users" saying it meets their needs is contradictory to the above statements. All kinds of users are in fact finding that the lightweight robustness of the macBook Air is not only sufficient, but a step up from even the MacBook Pros of a couple generations ago that they were using to do the same jobs prior.

    I would think a gamer should know better than to rely on an 11 or 13 inch ultrathin laptop for serious gaming.

    Some may demand more power, others might only require a MacBook Air as a secondary or on-site system that supplements a more capable system back in the studio. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable speaking for EVERY professional in this field, as their workflows and techniques may differ. How it is that you feel capable of speaking for all of them baffles me, frankly.

    The facts don't anger people, and honestly, neither really does your presentation of an opinion as universal fact. The MacBook Air is not for everyone, though neither is a top of the line MacBook Pro. Apple recognizes this, most certainly. If they didn't, and had the same pretense as yourself, then they would only ever make a single model, single configuration Mac and say that was all anyone ever needed.

    Yeah... see, either you have no earthly idea what a real netbook is (and how spectacularly it fails at just about everything), or you're calling the MBA a "netbook" to deliberately get a rise out of people.
  19. DavidC1 macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2006
    It isn't that straightforward. The 1st Gen Core mobile had CPU and Graphics/Memory Controller on different die. The former was at 32nm, but the latter was at 45nm. With Sandy Bridge, CPU stayed at 32nm, but GPU and Memory Controller moved to being on the same die, so it went to 32nm. Also being on the same die vs. on package means lower power due to needing less power for communication.
  20. scyap macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2010
    This implies that the reviewer is running Mountain Lion right?
    If so, should we expect improvements in battery life in Mavericks?
  21. PeterJP thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium
    Boy, you're a tough crowd to please.

    Here's a good quote:

    Indeed. What angers people is their own expectations and that the bad angry world (being Apple in this case) hasn't conformed. Even if the expectations are unrealistic.

    Here's the deal. Apple had a choice of a wide range of processors. They decided to go for a lower TDP one this time. The TDP is in fact lower than the CPU only TDP of the previous generation, but this package also includes the PCH and a much bigger GPU. I'm impressed that the CPU still manages to get about the same performance. In Apple's eyes, if you want to do serious processing on the road, you can use QuickSync, OpenCL or a MBP. That's about fair.

    If the general conclusion is that everything feels snappier, if everything is faster except for a few benchmarks on CPU, then it's a great deal.

    The point about the IPS screen is interesting. I don't know if these can be produced as thin as the MBA requires.

  22. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    You need a report to tell you something where common sense would have sufficed?
  23. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    Are you mad at me? What is the problem?

    I do not need a report I've purchased both models on June 10th and tested myself for a week (read my posts) everybody was waiting for the almighty review for a final verdict and there it is.
  24. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Since when is 11 hours vs 12 hours winning by a mile? Doing some basic math, that's a battery loss of about 8%. Either of those numbers is insane.

    So it really wins by about 150 yards...
  25. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    I am interested in seeing how Macbook Air, will shape up compared to it's two main competitors, Asus Zenbook Infinity and Samsung ATIV 9 Plus.


    Both are very interesting products. With the Samsung, can they really claim 12 hours of battery on a 55Wh battery with such a display? I think it sounds doubtful.

    Meanwhile the Asus packs a significantly more powerful CPU at a higher TDP(28 vs 15) - how will the battery and thermals be, and how much will it have overclocked freuqency?

    These two products, Samsung Series 9 and Asus Zenbook Prime series, are the notebooks that packs the best trackpads, that actually come close to Apples own, as well as the best in house island style keyboards along with Sony.
    Price, thermals, battery, noise, sound quality, viewing angles will all be a part in the comparisons as well. It's going to be interesting.

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