MacBook Air Suitable Montevina Chips Due Later This Year

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PC manufacturers have recently introduced a number of new ultra-thin laptops that share a similar profile to Apple's MacBook Air. The HP Voodoo Envy edges out the MacBook Air with a slightly smaller (0.7 vs .76 inches) maximum thickness and uses the same custom Intel processors (SP7700 and SP7500) that were designed specifically for Apple.

CNet reminds us that this custom processor is based on Intel's older Merom (65-nm) chip design. An Intel representative confirmed to CNet that a 45-nm Penryn/Montevina version of the chip is expected to be introduced later this year. That chip will be suitable for use in a future version of the MacBook Air. According to Wikipedia, the next version of this "SP" line of chips come in at 2.26GHz and 2.4GHz but with a slightly higher power consumption (25 watts vs 20 watts).

The MacBook Air was introduced at Macworld San Francisco 2008 and currently ships at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz processor speeds.

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kornyboy

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This could be a good performance boost as well as an improvement to battery life.
 

arn

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This could be a good performance boost as well as an improvement to battery life.
If the power specs are to believed, I don't think it will actually have better battery life.

arn
 

digitalbiker

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Apr 24, 2002
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MBA getting better!

This is more like it!

I would love to see a MBA based on the new montevina platform with a larger HDD.

This would allow the MBA to not only be an excellent travel machine but it would be stout enough to run windows in vm for windows only clients.

I wonder if later this year, means later than July 14th when Montevina is supposed to be released.
 

solipsism

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Jan 13, 2008
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They won't use these chips. There is no way theya re going to jump from 1.6 to 2.26GHz and ose considerable battery time. Though they might be abl to underclock it to get better performance and reduce power usage, but that depends on the chip cost and a a few other technical issues.

PS: I find it funny that the MBA does so well on Apple's ranking and on Amazon's ranking, often beating out all other cheap notebooks from other manufacturers. And now there are two manufacturers who are competing with it and using this unique processor.
 

Woot1289

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Jun 20, 2008
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Does This Mean Update This Summer?!

Ok, so I need a macbook pro for school. Is this update going to happen by August? Or am I wasting my time... I would very much like the updated pro.
 

shawnce

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Jun 1, 2004
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If the power specs are to believed, I don't think it will actually have better battery life.
They don't have to run it at the listed clock speeds (clock rate is still the dominate factor in processor power consumption). The newer cores (Penryn) perform better clock for clock then older cores (Merom) almost across the board so running them at a similar clock rate can increase performance and battery life.
 

SirOmega

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Apr 17, 2006
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Those aren't the chips you're looking for...

Intel is going to have 1.6 and 1.8GHz penryns that replace the chips currently used in the MBAir - TDPs of around 17W - WP Link

Dont expect a speed bump for the MBAir. At most, I would expect Apple to drop the 1.6 model and go just 1.8GHz with basically the same specs with the exception of cheaper SSDs (I'd expect the 64GB SSD to be around $599 instead of $999, and probably have better performance - 80MB/s read/write) around the end of Q3.
 

DaBrain

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This could be a good performance boost as well as an improvement to battery life.
How's that? If it consumes more power it will definitely use more battery! ;)

I thought I read that the 45nm chips used less power, not more. Unless they underclock the processor as others mention, but to me that seems a bit self defeating. One would hope that we would see a speed bump also. We shall see!
 
I was trying to figure out if you were kidding or not. To me there is no design at all, just thin blocky laptop. At least the Air has some style.
Agreed. I know beauty and ugliness are subjective but man, that laptop is ugly. Thin but ugly! I sure as hell don't feel any "Envy" for it while the MBA is sexy as hell and I hope the future redesigned MBPs follow the same style ... :cool:
 

Small White Car

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I would love to see the Air more or less "locked in" to the processor speeds it has now.

Ok, it can inch upwards slowly, but the priority shuold be battery life. How fast do you need for word processing and e-mail anyway? It's a traveling business machine for goodness sake!

Imagine in 2012...the regular Macbook has an octo-core 4.5 gHz chip in it and the same 3-5 hours of battery life that the 2008 machine did.

The Air, on the other hand, has only risen to a dual-core 2 gHz chip. That's fast enough for what it needs to do, and in exchange it has a 15 hour battery life.

Suddenly, the difference between the Macbook and the Macbook Air becomes much more clear.
 

solipsism

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2008
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Wow...that Voodoo laptop looks kinda awesome.
It does look nice.

Things that the Voodoo Envy has that the MBA has AND that people complained about:• Battery time (MBA has considerably more)
• Ports (Envy has an extra USB if you use the eSATA port)
• Lack of Ethernet (Envy has put in the power supply when sends it to the Envy as an 802.11b signal... clever idea)
• Footprint (I guess people want extra small keyboard)
• Weight (saying it was too heavy for it's size)
• Storage (Envy comes with storage several months after MBA)
• CPU (Envy comes with exact same CPU speeds several months after MBA)
• Price (Envy is more expensive than MBA)
• Desirability (Apparently it's popular enough since it's being copied)
 

JML42691

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Oct 24, 2007
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I am somewhat confused by this, does this meant that the MBA could theoretically have speeds of 2.26 and 2.4 if this chip were to be used in them, or is this referring to another chip that is too large for the MBA? Because if this is true, then the MBA would have made one hell of a jump in performance.
 

Clive At Five

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May 26, 2004
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"MacBook Air?"

(Man, it seems like it's fallen off the face of the planet since it was debuted... is anyone even buying it? I smell a Cube 2.0.)

-Clive
 

malckwan

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Mar 26, 2006
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Slightly?

According to Wikipedia, the next version of this "SP" line of chips come in at 2.26GHz and 2.4GHz but with a slightly higher power consumption (25 watts vs 20 watts).
An increase of 5 watts from 20 watts to 25 watts represents a 25% increase. That's hardly "slightly higher".
 

JesterJJZ

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Jul 21, 2004
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I was trying to figure out if you were kidding or not. To me there is no design at all, just thin blocky laptop. At least the Air has some style.
It has an expresscard slot and more ports. I'm talking about functionality. To me the Air is as useful as a brick. And personally I think the Air looks like poo. Reminds me of the toilette seat ibooks, only thinner. I prefer blocky these days.
 

diamond.g

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Mar 20, 2007
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They don't have to run it at the listed clock speeds (clock rate is still the dominate factor in processor power consumption). The newer cores perform better clock for clock then other cores almost across the board so running them at a similar clock rate can increase performance and battery life.
Um Montevina is a chipset (well it is really a platform but I digress) not a CPU. So the core is still Penryn. No difference. Which is why the 2.4 GHz parts run hotter.
 

bobertoq

macrumors 6502a
Feb 29, 2008
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I bet Apple could make the regular MacBook that thin if they wanted to.

This would be a great upgrade! 1.6 GHz to 2.4 GHz! Surely the could use the newer chips and still improve battery life, like they did with the iPhone 3G.
 

carfac

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
1,217
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I would love to see the Air more or less "locked in" to the processor speeds it has now.

Ok, it can inch upwards slowly, but the priority shuold be battery life. How fast do you need for word processing and e-mail anyway? It's a traveling business machine for goodness sake!

Imagine in 2012...the regular Macbook has an octo-core 4.5 gHz chip in it and the same 3-5 hours of battery life that the 2008 machine did.

The Air, on the other hand, has only risen to a dual-core 2 gHz chip. That's fast enough for what it needs to do, and in exchange it has a 15 hour battery life.

Suddenly, the difference between the Macbook and the Macbook Air becomes much more clear.
Smartest post about the Air I have read. Hits the purpose of the Air on the head, and thus the upgrade path philosophy.
 
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