In the perfect world: 14" rMBA Core M + Broadwell-U

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SmOgER, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. SmOgER, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #1
    I will start with the note that Apple certainly does not want MBA to get further into MBP territory than they already are. That being said, I believe it's very possible to make the MBA faster, having a great battery life and being equipped with retina 14" screen without gaining weight, size or thickness. Maybe even implementing one additional thunderbolt/usb port (there is enough space for that on both sides, not to mention the back sides).

    Obviously retina uses more power, but why not use ultra low power Core M (4.5W) which will be utilized for basic stuff (energy saving), and when/if there is demand for more processing power (say Core M gets ~80+% load after you open more resource hungry app), Broadwell high perfomance side (~26W) would kick in along with the low spinning fan. Overall concept very much like the Exynos 7 Octa (8 core mobile CPU). It's a complicated design, but Apple had lots and lots of time to make it possible, and they are surely capable in cooperation with Intel.

    This kind of notebook would no doubt hurt the MBP sales for the time being (there is room for improvement for MBP as well), but it would surely be a big step from Apple redefining 'netbooks/ultrabooks' once more, and isn't this what matters the most at the end of the day? It's been quite a while since Apple brought up something special (last time that probably was back in the beginning of 2010 when iPad was introduced).
     
  2. plastictoy, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015

    plastictoy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    #2
    The processor combo would be at least $500. The ideal you're imagining would likely be Apple's own ARM chips that run low and then switch to the big power hogs for performance. But is it necessary? The current processors are already at only a couple watts for the processor in idle states or low demand.

    Adding more sockets introduces a layer of complexity, another point of failure, and software variables that needlessly complicate things. Not to mention the reduction in internal space competing with battery space and thermal dissipation requirements for a 25W+ U-chip that limits the case design (thicker, not thinner).

    At the end of the day, these hardware scenarios don't matter. If anyone with a old computer today got the latest Macbook Air, they'd be delighted. Retina or not, it's a significant user experience upgrade from whatever crap PC they used in the last few years or decade. What makes computers special depend on usage and not the chips inside that 99% don't care to ask.
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #3
    Core M is a SKU of Broadwell which is throttled to get it down to 4.5W.

    What you're suggesting is sort of like saying, why not have two identical cars, and switch from one to the other when you want to drive at highway speeds.
     
  4. SmOgER, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015

    SmOgER thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 2, 2014
    #4
    I highly doubt that Arm is the way to go. Core M might be just a stripped down version of Broadwell-U, but with 2 CPUs working simultaneously, the tasks like video rendering would take quite substantially less time, so hands down it would be the fastest ultra portable notebook for quite some time.. Plus Broadwell-U even with low load takes quite a bit more power than moderately loaded Core M.
     
  5. plastictoy, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015

    plastictoy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    #5
    You're better off just adding two more physical cores to the regular processor package.

    Edit: We might know for sure later but Core M could very well be regular cores that failed to pass voltage leakage at higher frequencies. So it's clocked much lower and sold to the low-end market that won't ever need to get past the TDP range. Accepting that, it's better to have a native quad-core than two different processors, one of them running rejected cores, trying to synchronize for paltry gains.
     
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #6
    False. Core M = Broadwell-U with different "settings."
     

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