Macbook Air 13" 2012 - Pronostics

Augure

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
225
0
So I currently have a MBA 13" Fall 2010 and I'm really looking forward to see how Apple is going to update the next 13" entry MBA.
Especially given the problematics of low voltage processors vs. power/graphic/games or the rumors about the 15" and how they are going to price it.

I couldn't wait so I made some researches on the state of the market of computer components and Apple strategy to know what the next MBA 13" is going to be, here is what I think:

1.7Ghz Dual-Core i5 > 1.8 Ghz Dual - Core ivy5
4Go memory 1333hz > 4Go memory 1600Hz
Intel HD 3000 > Intel HD 4000
128gb SSD > 256gb SSD
Two USB 2 ports > Two USB 3 ports
Battery 7 hours > Battery 9-10 hours
1440 x 900 resolution > Same or higher resolution ?


The rest (audio speaker, bluetooth 4.0, thunderbolt, SDXC car reader...) is going to be the same.

Now, for everything except for the battery and screen resolution, I'm pretty confident with theses specs. According to the leaked specs of the first laptop Ivy Bridge processors and based on past Sandy Bridge cards used by Apple, the 13" MBA can only be the 1.8Ghz dual-core ivy5 processor, other are either another kind of voltage setting or not compatible.

Then the use of Ivy bridge implies the use of 4go of 1600Mhz RAM, which is the usual update and the one that matches the new processor, also the use of Intel HD 4000 that goes with it, and the two USB 3 port because the processor is natively equiped and the market is ready.
Also, this of course means way more battery BUT I don't know if it's going to mean same or better performance for lower voltage, AND if Apple is going to take advantage of the low consumption to use a higher resolution screen which consume more battery but fits with the "All Retina" strategy of upcoming Apple product set.

Finally because the 13" has had 128 GB for two generations of MBA now, and because price of SSD has continue to decrease, it's likely they will bump the storage to 256GB (and maybe 512GB for the higher end 13" MBA)

________________
:eek: HOWEVER, even if these predictions are most likely to be true, and there is not a reason for Apple to innovate more than that since it sells (unfortunately todays Apple strategy), there is also the chance that they release a 15" Macbook Air.

What this would do is completely change the products set and prices to be more profitable for Apple, so even if the entry 13" MBA will have the 1.8Ghz ivy5, 4GB 1600Mhz Ram, Intel HD 4000, USB 3s and better battery IT WON'T HAVE 256GB. Instead it will stick with 128GB and the higher end with 256GB, as usual, but the 15" MBA will mark the difference with a 512GB SSD)


What do you think ?
 

Kungshi

macrumors member
May 11, 2011
47
0
That actually sounds very probable. Though I haven't been keeping up with solid state drive prices. What type of price drop have they seen over the course of the last year?
 

Smileyboy

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,119
109
Sounds about right to me.. I don't think SSD prices have dropped that much. Thats why I bought the 480GB SSD for mine.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,716
1,880
IIRC, 256GB SSDs were about $600 at the beginning of 2011. These are for regular format SSDs, not the sticks used in the MBA. Looking at Macsales.com , 240GB SSDs start at $359 for regular format and go past $400 for MBA sticks. Maybe by midyear another price drop will occur and 64GB minimums can be retired.

Of course, HDDs just broke the 2TB limit. :)
 

MacFever

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2007
242
29
so when is the expected arrival date for this bad boy with IVY Bridge??
 

tanhm

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2011
176
0
hope so :D

So I currently have a MBA 13" Fall 2010 and I'm really looking forward to see how Apple is going to update the next 13" entry MBA.
Especially given the problematics of low voltage processors vs. power/graphic/games or the rumors about the 15" and how they are going to price it.

I couldn't wait so I made some researches on the state of the market of computer components and Apple strategy to know what the next MBA 13" is going to be, here is what I think:

1.7Ghz Dual-Core i5 > 1.8 Ghz Dual - Core ivy5
4Go memory 1333hz > 4Go memory 1600Hz
Intel HD 3000 > Intel HD 4000
128gb SSD > 256gb SSD
Two USB 2 ports > Two USB 3 ports
Battery 7 hours > Battery 9-10 hours
1440 x 900 resolution > Same or higher resolution ?


The rest (audio speaker, bluetooth 4.0, thunderbolt, SDXC car reader...) is going to be the same.

Now, for everything except for the battery and screen resolution, I'm pretty confident with theses specs. According to the leaked specs of the first laptop Ivy Bridge processors and based on past Sandy Bridge cards used by Apple, the 13" MBA can only be the 1.8Ghz dual-core ivy5 processor, other are either another kind of voltage setting or not compatible.

Then the use of Ivy bridge implies the use of 4go of 1600Mhz RAM, which is the usual update and the one that matches the new processor, also the use of Intel HD 4000 that goes with it, and the two USB 3 port because the processor is natively equiped and the market is ready.
Also, this of course means way more battery BUT I don't know if it's going to mean same or better performance for lower voltage, AND if Apple is going to take advantage of the low consumption to use a higher resolution screen which consume more battery but fits with the "All Retina" strategy of upcoming Apple product set.

Finally because the 13" has had 128 GB for two generations of MBA now, and because price of SSD has continue to decrease, it's likely they will bump the storage to 256GB (and maybe 512GB for the higher end 13" MBA)

________________
:eek: HOWEVER, even if these predictions are most likely to be true, and there is not a reason for Apple to innovate more than that since it sells (unfortunately todays Apple strategy), there is also the chance that they release a 15" Macbook Air.

What this would do is completely change the products set and prices to be more profitable for Apple, so even if the entry 13" MBA will have the 1.8Ghz ivy5, 4GB 1600Mhz Ram, Intel HD 4000, USB 3s and better battery IT WON'T HAVE 256GB. Instead it will stick with 128GB and the higher end with 256GB, as usual, but the 15" MBA will mark the difference with a 512GB SSD)


What do you think ?
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,507
3,050
That actually sounds very probable. Though I haven't been keeping up with solid state drive prices. What type of price drop have they seen over the course of the last year?
3Gbps SSDs are down to about $1.5/GB now. The faster 6Gbps models are still mostly over $2/GB now. I expect Apple will switch to the 6Gbps models with all the Ultrabook competition coming out now.
 

MacFever

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2007
242
29
well the ultrabook market will be the hottest market according tech predictions excluding the tablets of course....

There are several major contenders (Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung etc) trying to capture some of Apple's share.....I can't see Apple sitting down for long watching these guys get ahead of them releasing newer updated versions before the next AIR. It would be great if Apple could get a jump on the IVY bridge before the competition release theirs.
 

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
I'm monumentally skeptical of such a dramatic bump. I believe the processor and even the graphics bump, but the SSD bump, and the battery bump? Color me skeptic. I think USB 3 can go either way.

Oh well, who knows. Should be exciting to see.
 

ET iPhone Home

macrumors 68040
Oct 5, 2011
3,743
465
Orange County, California USA
I hope so too, but do you think it may just be one 3.0USB and the other a 2.0? I say this, only because many pc's that adopted 3.0 last year,with their notebooks, only went with one to to two 3.0 ports leaving the rest 2.0.

I know Apple is different from PC Companies, but I hope all ports are 3.0.
 

Augure

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 3, 2009
225
0
I hope so too, but do you think it may just be one 3.0USB and the other a 2.0? I say this, only because many pc's that adopted 3.0 last year,with their notebooks, only went with one to to two 3.0 ports leaving the rest 2.0.
Obviously Apple is not the kind of company which would have one usb 2 port and one usb 3

RAM has become phenomenally cheap. Any reason they wouldn't drop 8 gb in it?
The ivy5 processor compatible with ultrabook won't allow boarding more than 4go of RAM, although the new iteration of 1600Mhz makes it faster.
Maybe on the 15" MBA

I'm monumentally skeptical of such a dramatic bump. I believe the processor and even the graphics bump, but the SSD bump, and the battery bump? Color me skeptic. I think USB 3 can go either way.
The battery bump is for sure, that's the point of the new processor BUT we don't know whether Apple will take advantage of this to power another part of the computer (higher resolution screen? mobile graphic card?) or just let us enjoy the better battery.

For the SSD, indeed it's uncertain as the price is still high but look at KPOM answer

IIRC, 256GB SSDs were about $600 at the beginning of 2011. These are for regular format SSDs, not the sticks used in the MBA. Looking at Macsales.com , 240GB SSDs start at $359 for regular format and go past $400 for MBA sticks. Maybe by midyear another price drop will occur and 64GB minimums can be retired.
well
3Gbps SSDs are down to about $1.5/GB now. The faster 6Gbps models are still mostly over $2/GB now. I expect Apple will switch to the 6Gbps models with all the Ultrabook competition coming out now.
 

austinguy23

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
613
8
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

My predictions for the '12 MBA Refresh:

HD FaceTime : Likely
128 GB becomes new minimum: Likely
6-8 GB RAM becomes an option: 50/50
6 Gb/s SSD: Unlikely, unfortunately
Retina Display: Unlikely, unfortunately
USB 3.0: Of course
Thinner bezel resulting in bigger display and/or smaller form factor: Unlikely, unfortunately
 

fyrefly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2004
597
29
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

My predictions for the '12 MBA Refresh:

HD FaceTime : Likely
128 GB becomes new minimum: Likely
6-8 GB RAM becomes an option: 50/50
6 Gb/s SSD: Unlikely, unfortunately
Retina Display: Unlikely, unfortunately
USB 3.0: Of course
Thinner bezel resulting in bigger display and/or smaller form factor: Unlikely, unfortunately
I don't see HD Facetime being a thing, unless them can cram a bigger sensor in the tiny space that the MBA has behind the LCD. The MBPs have Facetime HD 'cause their LCD lids are twice as thick as the MBA.

I also doubt they're gonna change the form factor, unless you're talking about adding a 15" model to the lineup.

I'd really like to see how these babies perform - 'cause if they can get close to the 13" MBPs, I can see Apple potentially retiring the 13" MBP and having the following lineup:

11" MBA
13" MBA
15" MBA

15" MBP
17" MBP

With the distinction between the 15" MBP and MBA being processor, weight, optical drive, and dedicated graphics card.
 

Dynax

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2011
14
0
Munich
Does anyone know how good the newer Intel Graphics are going to be? I mean compared to HD 3000 (and NVidia Geforece 320m of 2010 MBA)?

My MBA 2010 broke and I'm planning to skip 2011 model because of the crappier GPU (really had fun playing games on bootcamp).

There was an intel demonstration of F1 2011 with the new processors but that turned out to be just a video, not real gameplay.

I think its safe to say they wont built any discrete GPU into this years MBA as well, huh?
 

KohPhiPhi

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2011
763
194
1.7Ghz Dual-Core i5 > 1.8 Ghz Dual - Core ivy5
4Go memory 1333hz > 4Go memory 1600Hz
Intel HD 3000 > Intel HD 4000
128gb SSD > 256gb SSD
Two USB 2 ports > Two USB 3 ports
Battery 7 hours > Battery 9-10 hours
1440 x 900 resolution > Same or higher resolution ?
Sounds pretty realistic to me. Also, it's worth noting that it's an evolutionary update rather than revolutionary.

Also, it might be probably worth the upgrade if you come from the 2010 model (like me), not so much if you come from the 2011 model.

I'm going to see what they come up in 2012 with in the MBP 13", specially in terms of whether they sacrifice the DVD in order to gain room for a dedicated GPU (I hope so!). If the 13" MBP beefs up compared to the 13" MBA, then I'll go for the MBP. If, in the other hand, the specs between 13" MBP and 13" MBA remain in line (like with the 2011 models), I will once again opt for the MBA. I don't see the point in doubling up the weight for similar specs.
 
Last edited:

lippyt

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2010
36
0
Pretty safe. The MBA's logic board is really small - there's no room for a discrete GPU.

Image
Would there still be a need for the eagle ridge (cyan colored) chip in the next MBA?

Not much space saved there either.

Those predictions look right.

I would say that battery performance increase would be lower, maybe 1 hour at most. I'm assuming though there will be an increase in efficiency (due to the smaller fab process), the increased clock speeds (and turbo) will result in a lesser decrease in overall power consumption.