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As reported by Fudzilla and HardMac, Intel is about to launch its next generation Sandy Bridge ultra low voltage CPUs suitable for the MacBook Air.

Due to the MacBook Air's thin form factor, it has required the use of particularly low power CPUs from Intel. Apple has stuck with Core 2 Duo processors with a maximum Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 10-17W. Apple is believed to have continued to use this older processor design in order to keep NVIDIA's graphics chips powering their ultracompact notebook. Due to licensing disputes, NVIDIA was prohibited from building newer chipsets that supported Intel's newest processors.

With the release of Sandy Bridge, Intel upgraded the performance of their integrated graphics chipset. This was good enough for Apple to offer in their latest 13" MacBook Pros, so we expect it will be good enough for the upcoming MacBook Airs as well. Apple had been previously rumored to be introducing the "Sandy Bridge" MacBook Airs this June.

HardMac pinpoints the Core i5 2537M (17W) as the possible chip to be used, at least in the 13" model:
Fortunately, Intel has low consumption processors, well for now, one processor, the Core i5 2537M. It is clocked at 1.4 GHz and features an impressive turbo mode reaching 2.3 GHz. It would be a huge gap with the power currently offered in the MacBook Air, even in the 13" model. Plus the bus is now 1333 MHZ, while it is only 800 MHz currently.
Meanwhile, the current 11" MacBook air uses an even lower power (10W) processor, but it's not clear how much power savings is offered by removing the need for the NVIDIA graphics chipset, as the Intel solution is integrated within the processor itself.

Article Link: Intel Launching Next Generation MacBook Air Processors
 

QCassidy352

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I have a 13" ultimate of the current generation. The limiting factor for me is the graphics, not the processor. so going to sandy bridge with the intel 3000 would be a less appealing machine for my uses than the current model. It's really too bad the sandy bridge macs are tied to those garbage integrated graphics.
 
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PolarIced

macrumors newbie
May 25, 2007
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Has Intel R&D come up with a new, low-power, backlit keyboard? ;)

(Figured I'd throw that out straight off, as it's bound to come up somewhere along the line)
 
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bkj216

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2010
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And THAT's why I didn't jump the gun on a MBA yet. Now give me the new processors, and a backlit keyboard, and Apple's got my $.

(Be nice if they could bump up the battery life on the 11 too)
 
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dethmaShine

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Apr 13, 2010
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Into the lungs of Hell
For a programmer dealing with Terminal, Xcode, Netbeans, Eclipse, etc (not graphic intensive softwares), would this macbook air be a better deal than the 13/15" Macbook pro?

Anyone?
 
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newdeal

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Oct 21, 2009
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Has Intel R&D come up with a new, low-power, backlit keyboard? ;)

(Figured I'd throw that out straight off, as it's bound to come up somewhere along the line)

For most people the ipad is more useful than the air anyway imo. Yes i owned an air, the ipad 1, and now the ipad 2 and the air was just a watered down macbook pro more than the ipad is a scaled up ipod touch
 
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ohla313

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2010
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awesome!!! this is really tempting. Should I throw an SSD in my 2010 4GB 2.66 GHz 13" MBP or sell it and wait for the MBA refresh?
 
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lasuther

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Hopefully these hit in July for back to school shopping. I want to pick up a 13".
 
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Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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Finland
ULV CPUs (17W) will go to 11.6". The TDP of 320M is not known but 9400M has TDP of 12W so it is quite safe to assume that the TDP is similar to that. That means current 11.6" MBA has TDP of 22W (includes CPU, GPU, chipset) while SB 11.6" MBA would have a TDP of 21W (17W for the CPU and ~4W for the PCH).

13" will go with LV CPUs (25W). Again, currently it has 17W for the CPU and 12W for 320M. That's 29W. 25W CPU and ~4W for PCH gives you the same 29W.

11.6" - Core i5-2537M (option for Core i7-2657M)
13.3" - Core i7-2629M (option for Core i7-2649M)
 
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parapup

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Oct 31, 2006
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For a programmer dealing with Terminal, Xcode, Netbeans, Eclipse, etc (not graphic intensive softwares), would this macbook air be a better deal than the 13/15" Macbook pro?

Anyone?

Sure if they allow you to bump up the memory to 4GB it should be more than usable especially with the SSD. May be you will need to hook up an external disk for storage needs but apart from that it'll all be good with the i5/7 lineup.
 
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vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
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If the new airs are going to be anywhere near as powerful as the current MacBook pros, they're going to sell for sure.
 
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mikethebigo

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May 25, 2009
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Does anyone know if the IGP in these processors is underclocked compared to the variants used in the MacBook Pros?
 
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damnyooneek

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2005
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"But I JUST bought this..."
"3D, 3D, 3D."
"Wait... 4D?"
"You bought the wrong one dummy..."
 
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QCassidy352

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iSamurai said:
I would love to see a 15" laptop with no optical drive, with the specs and price somewhere between the MBA and MBP.

A 15" MBA (no optical) with dedicated graphics is my ideal Mac. It'll happen someday...
 
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Gemütlichkeit

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2010
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This is what I've been waiting for. Apple is about to get a chunk of my bank account lol. Upgrading from an early 2008 MBP
 
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*LTD*

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Feb 5, 2009
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This is impossible.

Apple isn't supposed to care about Macs anymore, just iToys.
 
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sebseb81

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2010
84
0
Maybe I'm just being optimistic but there have been a lot of models of the MBA in the refurb section of the Apple store online recently, and they've been there rather consistently (as has the regular old MB). Maybe both MBA and MB will be updated sooner than we think? June certainly sounds reasonable for the MBA, and the MB is due even sooner, I would imagine.
 
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pmz

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Nov 18, 2009
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I have a 13" ultimate of the current generation. The limiting factor for me is the graphics, not the processor. so going to sandy bridge with the intel 3000 would be a less appealing machine for my uses than the current model. It's really too bad the sandy bridge macs are tied to those garbage integrated graphics.

Since you have no clue how the sandy bridge airs will perform, I'll take your statement as FUD.
 
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xxBURT0Nxx

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Jul 9, 2009
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I have a 13" ultimate of the current generation. The limiting factor for me is the graphics, not the processor. so going to sandy bridge with the intel 3000 would be a less appealing machine for my uses than the current model. It's really too bad the sandy bridge macs are tied to those garbage integrated graphics.

only the 13" mbp has integrated graphics, they are not quite as good as the 320m on older models or in the current mba, but they are much better than integrated graphics of the past. All other mbp models come with the integrated graphics as well as a discrete graphics processor.
 
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shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
922
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Wow, Intel is really keeping up with the processors. Someday I imagine Apple will make a 15" MacBook Air and call it a MacBook Pro (maybe not quite as thin but thinner than current MBP).
 
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