is the core 2 duo the bottleneck for MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by justdamnit, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. justdamnit macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    i am in a dilemma of getting a max out MBA 13"or base MBP 15" i really love the slim MBA and i have to carry it around to school but the CPU disappionted me a bit, can't believe apple still use the core 2 duo today instead of the i3, i5. my main purpose of the notebook is for word, web browsing, and perhaps a little gaming. which one should i get? any help would be appiciate, thx
  2. toondw macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    for what your doing the AIR will be great, to be honest it's strange to compare the 2 but i know what you mean......i just got the maxed out 15" pro and am exchanging it for the maxed out 13" air, i went a bit silly with the pro.....i just dont need all that power!
  3. justdamnit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011
    if the MPA have the i3 or i5 cpu, i would go for it without a doubt:cool:
  4. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    stop worrying about the specs and realize it will do everything you want easily.
  5. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    I want to connect a firewire, or estata external hard drive for audio recording.;)

    I would say get the 2011 15" now, sell it when the new MBA's come out with i series processors, and get the refreshed MBA. I just sort of see it as a better investment right now getting the 15". You will be able to sell the 15" for a lot more than the MBA I would think when the new MBA's are sporting i series processors, and you still have a core 2 duo. At least with the 15" you have the Quad Core. They will still be top of the line when the MBA refresh happens more than likely.
  6. wisty macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2009
    Yeah, the C2D is the bottleneck; but only if you can max it out. You won't with Word and Web browsing.

    I'm looking at the 13" MBP, but I may actually need the power at times. And I'm a big guy, who won't feel the weight of the 13". And my wife doesn't want me to spend the extra money :rolleyes:
  7. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The CPU is not the bottleneck in today's computers and the MBA proves it.

    Apple used the MBA to show people there is an alternative to Intel's marketing which would have people believe that the only way to speed up a computer is to get a new one with a faster Intel CPU.

    Apple attacked the true bottleneck which is the drive and drive controller. The SSD standard in the MBA makes it feel faster than MBPs to normal users in computing.

    Apple also focused on software and attacked on all fronts the limitations of today's computers. The Nvidia 320m blows away the Intel IGP especially in the voltage of Core i-processors. Apple has absolutely made the MBA to take advantage of the better ways to make faster Macs.

    I hope Apple continues to attack on all fronts as it did with the MBA. I don't look forward to Sandy Bridge in the MBA because it represents all that is wrong with computers today and how consumers feed on Intel's marketing even though the company's tactics are about as disgusting as possible. It was a sad day when Apple stuck its 13" MBP users with Intel's IGP, and I wish more people understood or cared about that.

    The Nvidia announcement that it had given up making chipsets was a terrible day for all low-end Macs that benefited so greatly from what they had to offer over Intel. I still have hope that Apple can find a way beyond Intel's disgusting tactics and use an AMD GPU or even skip Intel all together for a complete AMD solution.
  9. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    The 7200 rpm drive in my MBP seems to be more of a bottleneck than the CD2 in my MBA.
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Like others have memtioned, with what you're doing, the HDD is going to be the biggest bottleneck, not the processor.

    If you're going to get the 15", build one with a SSD instead of the HDD.
  11. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    I totally agree with you on this. Great post. I do wish they would have given the MBA a little more connectivity for peripherals. I mean, here you have a great computer in the MBA but there are folks who simply can't use it for what they want to do because of limited connectivity. That is why I can't wait for the new MBA to come out. It should be sporting Thunderbolt. My current pc with a core 2 duo has no problems with what I throw at it. I would be totally fine with another core 2 duo in the MBA.
  12. Pitta, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    Pitta macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2010
    I'm sorry to (lightly) hijack the thread but I'm on the verge to press the buy button on a MBAir 11" and I see many owners here.
    It prefectly fits my needs but I'm unsure about one thing.
    My wife (the computer will be her one, I'll use it only to sync my iPhone) will use iPhoto (creating photobooks) and browse the web mainly, so no problem here.
    OCCASIONALLY we use Handbrake to convert some movies in AppleTV 2 format and stream them to the TV, or the AirVideo app which do live transcoding (for iPhone and iPad, soon to AppleTV via Airplay).
    Now we use an early alumiunium MacBook to do that (about 1 hour to convert a movie using Handbrake ATV2 preset, no problem with AirVideo app, C2D 2,2 Ghz), but we want to get rid of that.
    Will we be able to do that?...I much longer will we have to wait to convert 1 movie?
    I know it's impossible to say precisely, but I want to get a vague idea of the CPU differences and if this could ruin the CPU in the long run (heat? too stress on the cpu for the air?).

    Many thanks.
  13. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    I *pretty much* agree as well. I do think the 13" will eventually get a discrete GPU when the ODD is eventually removed. What people don't understand is that the Intel HD 3000 can only barely keep up with the 320M with a CPU thats literally 2x more powerful than the C2D. In GPU-based applications, the performance will suffer since they will be using the GPU more.

    Does anyone know the exact reason for nvidia exiting the chipset-making business? I really blame the whole thing on Intel, who forbade anyone to make integrated GPU's for the Core i series but themselves, when until the HD3000 came out, all of their GPU solutions have been pure ********.
  14. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    The Core Duo is not the bottleneck. The old Airs had a bottleneck, but Apple did an overhaul on the architecture and removed it. As for your wanting an i3, you should realize it is just the old Celeron that Intel has relabeled. The Core Duo is a much better chip, especially when paired with the NVidia graphics card.
  15. alexandero macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2004
    I believe the current MBA won't be significantly faster than your 2,2 C2D, as its CPU is basically the ultra low voltage version of the C2D chip that was released in 2007.

    If you do convert videos frequently and if possible, I suggest waiting for the next MBA version with Sandy Bridge, as you'll then be able to convert movies in 10-20 minutes.
  16. leowyatt macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2010
    I have an ultimate Air and finally got round to processing some photos last night and it was a breeze. It out performs my work laptop which has a faster C2D chip in everything I've tried.

    For what you need it for, get the Air. Once you've used one you'll never want to go back to a heavier machine again. I'm consistently blow away by how light this machine is, even 3 months later. It's handled everything I've thrown at it and not skipped a beat. Admittedly I do all my gaming on consoles so that might skew my opinion slightly.
  17. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    You will not hurt/ruin the Air's CPU by running processor-intensive tasks (like converting video).
  18. Pitta macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; it-it) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Many thanks for the replies.
    I do not want to convert movies faster, I was just curious about how much longer (if any) that occasional task would take...the whole night? The same 1 hour? Maybe double the time?
    I never saw a similar benchmark so I asked.
    I'm in love with the air and probably buy it anyway, but if possible I would like to have a vague idea of how tasking this type of transcoding could be on the Air processor.
    Again, thanks.
  19. alexandero macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2004
    I believe converting movies is still done by the CPU (only), and as the current C2D in the MBA basically is the same chip we've seen in MacBookPros four years ago, just shrinked in size and using less energy, you should achieve the same speeds as with your old C2D.
  20. frozen macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008

    My main worry is about the lifespan of the SSD. Are SSDs really getting slower over time? And as far as I have understood it, it is almost impossible to replace the MBA SSD? A slow processor combined with a unreplaceable SSD makes the lifespan of a MBA considerable shorter than a MBP or even MB. And also very difficult to sell after some years when wanting to upgrade? Or am I completely wrong?
  21. Mac767 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    I was in the same dilema... this video helped me decide...

    I know the MBA is outstanding in form and lightness, but the MBP is not that thick.. and the speed, backlit keyboard and thunderstorm helps!
  22. Help Please macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Yup. You just called it a "thunderstorm" port. :eek:
  23. WiseDuck macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2009
    I'd say it's the bottleneck. I have the base model and it does struggle a bit in Pixelmator. But it's usable and it did work well for some simple clip editing in iMovie etc. Overall it's a snappy little thing and I think it's awesome!

    I do hope they put a ULV Sandy Bridge CPU in the next Air. I'll sell this one to the family and buy a new one asap if they do!
  24. Mac767 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    my bad, I was watching the news... lol

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