MBA refresh

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Allan in T.Dot, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. Allan in T.Dot macrumors member

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    Jul 14, 2010
    #1
    Alight, I'm sure this will piss off someone...but when do you think the MBA will have a refresh or at least update of the specs? Anyone care to venture a guess...I mean, it did take how long for the previous model to get a full facelift much less silent updates? So....takers anyone?

    I'm just not fond of buying the first refresh model off the line and am wondering if the specs will improve a bit. I'm not in a rush, I'm still running a 2009 and a 2010 15" MBP. Thanks!
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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  3. lilcosco08 macrumors 65816

    lilcosco08

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  4. miata macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Slightly different, but there are the rumors of MBPs getting an update in Q1 2011 that might include some MBA-isms.
     
  5. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

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    #5
    That question is perfectly logical. I'm sure many wonder that. After many years and many new Apple laptops, I've found the second gen (after an all new model is introduced) is the one to have. They are always the benefactors of what Apple learned with the 1st gen models. This time I bought the new model and the first two died. Just got the third new replacement today. Perhaps this is why there's an Apple Tax. It covers all the replacements they give out.
     
  6. brooks1083 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #6
    I think it's a logical question as well. My experience has been just the opposite though.I've bought many first gen video game consoles and had them last until the next one comes out (while all my friends had bought 2 and sometimes even 3 replacements). I look at it as a byproduct of them coming up with quicker manufacturing procedures and cheaper materials. I can see the logic of waiting for the next generation to iron out the quirks, it's just that I've always had the opposite experience.
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    While there have certainly been a number of issues with the new MacBook Airs (I, for one, had to have mine replaced), I don't get the comments about not buying a "first generation" product. This is the third or fourth generation MacBook Air, depending on whether you consider the June 2009 CPU boost to be a new generation. Remember, the MacBook Air was released in January 2008, revised substantially in November 2008 (nVidia GPU, cheaper SSD option), and again in June 2009 (CPU boost to 2.13GHz). This was a significant revision (new GPU, more ports, better heat management), but it is not a completely new product.
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #8
    After the 13" MBP gets updated to beyond C2D CPUs and Nvidia GPU/chipsets, all of the other Macs that follow the same architecture will get updated (13" MBP, MB, Mm, and MBAs). Whatever Apple follows the C2D with will dictate the same basic system of CPU design, GPU, and chipset in all of these Macs. In the past, Apple updated 13" MBP, MB, Mm, and then MBA in that order. I don't see why it would be that different.

    Apple used this new MBA to introduce software features, a new system of storage, and a new design to the MBAs. I believe the MBA will keep the same design and features but get a new CPU, GPU, chipset after the MBP, MB, and Mm get their updates respectively.

    I strongly suspect AMD across the board - meaning an AMD CPU, GPU, and chipset in all four of these Macs. Apple has been so resistant of accepting the worthless IGP that comes with Core i-series CPUs, and introduced and is heavily advertising another C2D CPU, because it's obviously going a different direction.

    It makes sense to me for Apple to do one of two things. Apple will either use leverage of negotiations with AMD to force Intel to permit it to use Nvidia GPUs and Chipsets with Intel Core i-series CPUs, or Apple will simply move to AMD for the CPU, GPU, and chipset for these four Macs (13" MBP, MB, Mm, and MBA).

    It seems obvious that Apple refuses to stick its users with Intel's IGP as their sole graphics solution until Intel's IGP can compete with Nvidia and AMD. Given this Apple needs to use a discrete GPU to get the Core i-series CPU in these four Macs. SJ said that Apple wanted to give users a better all around experience available from C2D and Nvidia rather than an Intel Core i-series CPU and Intel's IGP as the sole graphics solution.

    While I believe Apple could get a discrete GPU in the 13" MBP, it probably cannot get it in the MBA. Given Apple's strategy of using one model across all four low-end Macs, it seems obvious that Apple will find a way to go with a CPU, integrated NON-Intel GPU, and chipset. Apple needs a solution that will work in all four of these Macs, and the current system works great. There is the volume pricing discounts, as well as production advantages, software advantages, and etc to keep one strategy in use across all four of these low-end Macs.

    We don't need discrete GPUs to get great graphics performance, but Intel's IGP is not a real solution and it's a joke compared to what is available from either Nvidia or AMD.

    I think the 13" MBP might get an update as early as January, and the other three low-end Macs will follow through Summer of 2011 with updates using the same type of CPU, GPU, and chipset.

    I bet the next MBA looks identical but includes LightPeak in lieu of one of the USB ports, a backlit keyboard in 13" model, and AMD CPU, GPU, and chipset. I know it's out there, but I don't believe Intel is going to let Apple use Nvidia chipsets and GPUs with Core i-series CPUs unless the justice department steps in between now and then. That really only leaves Apple with a non-option, the discrete GPU model, another non-option the Intel IGP, and the most viable option the AMD CPU, GPU, chipset.
     
  9. kp98077 macrumors member

    kp98077

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    #9
    I know some high level execs at apple and I've heard next month
     
  10. efirmage macrumors member

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    My guess is that the next updates will be bigger for the MBP and Macbook than the MBA. The MBA will probably just receive the usual HD (SSD) and CPU boosts that their 2nd gen products get. Maybe late summer if you're lucky, but probably next fall.
     
  11. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

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    #11
    Or perhaps Apple might use some of that $51 billion in cash and buy AMD.

    Just a thought.
     
  12. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

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    #12
    Oh yeah? Well I am a high level exec at Apple and I can verify this. Don't tell anyone though, s'posed to be secret.
     
  13. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Apple has used Intel IGPs in the past, and probably will again - when they're worthwhile to use them.

    Sandy Bridge apparently is worth-while. The only thing I can see holding Apple back would be the lack of OpenCL support, but there's rumours that Sandy Bridge will have OpenCL as well.

    Reports from as far back as August suggest that Sandy Bridge's graphics are a huge leap forward, and (at least at the desktop level) match a Radeon 5450.

    The graphics gains combined with a leaked roadmap today suggesting several UV and LV parts coming out in the 1st half of 2011, suggest that by Summer 2011 (WWDC?) all of the line could be ported up to a CoreiX processor.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    Sandy Bridge will have OpenCL (fourth paragraph.) Yay! (The main crux of the article is "dedicated media accelerators", but I imagine that is via the OpenCL support. And I bet OpenCL is about 75% due to Apple.)
     
  15. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Wow, that's the first actual confirmation I've seen that Sandy Bridge will have OpenCL.

    Though another post at Macworld this week (by Anand of Anandtech of all people) said that Sandy Bridge will *not* supposed OpenCL?

    Seems like there's a lot of different info floating around, which worries me. We'll have to see when Sandy Bridge is officially launched at CES in January, I guess?
     
  16. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

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    #16
    My guess, is either summer 2011 or fall. Im betting on fall.
     
  17. i0Nic macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Will probably follow a tick tock cycle every ~ 8 months.
     
  18. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #18
    Some other sources seem to imply that OpenCL support will be through a hybrid of CPU and GPU operations. Which is sort of the point of OpenCL, that it can execute no matter what, not just on GPUs. So if other sources are to be believed, Sandy Bridge won't do OpenCL 100% in the GPU side; some of it will be CPU side.
     
  19. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #19
    Bollocks :apple:
     
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #20
    But the main benefits of OpenCL are using the GPU to offload work from the CPU. It is nice if the code can run on either the CPU or GPU (for compatibility purposes), but if the Sandy Bridge IGP doesn't use OpenCL code efficiently then it is unlikely Apple would rely on the chip without supplementing it with a discrete GPU.
     
  21. drjsway macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #21
    If Apple doesn't go AMD, I don't see a refresh until 2012. There is no chance Apple will update with Sandy Bridge. A faster processor for a much slower GPU is not an upgrade, it's a trade-off.
     
  22. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2004
    #22
    To be honest, I think you're probably right on the GPU side. But I don't see Apple ever going with AMD (it would piss Intel off too much, and Apple needs Intel on the high end -- nothing that I've seen from AMD competes with Intel for RAW Power).

    I'm still holding out hope that Sandy Bridge's GPU performs somewhere in between a 9400m and a 320m and that's enough of a performance balance for Apple to accept using it.

    That or they ditch the optical drive in the 13" MBP and have room for an i5 and an Nvidia Discrete chip. But that's the Pro, and there's no room for both in the MBA! :S
     
  23. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    #23
    We're good until next Fall with these sweet new MBA's I'd bet.

    Apple doesn't have a history of refreshing until it's really necessary ... can't imagine there would be a need to update these within the next year.

    Such GREAT machines!
     

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