Next MBA Revision CPU (My Assumptions)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dwalls90, May 20, 2011.

  1. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #1
    Based on the 3 ultra low voltage sandy bridge CPU's, and past Apple/Intel CPU usage trends, here's what I think will happen:

    [​IMG]

    Core 2 Duo will be axed due to the fact it's out of production soon. Thoughts?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Sounds reasonable, although I'm not certain why there isn't a 12W or whatever the 11" currently uses available from intel. I wonder if we will see battery life suffer.
     
  3. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #3
    Good point - maybe 11" will be forced to retain C2D, unless Apple can bump the battery tech a bit, because compared to the other notebooks it only gets a measly 5 hours, which can only get worse if the TDP is increasing!
     
  4. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I think Apple will probably keep 11" as it stands now, maybe with only a minor processor bump to C2D @ 1.86 Ghz. And 13" will have 4 Gb standard RAM, with Core i3 and max Core i5 processors. No Core i7 yet. That will come next year with a further refresh.
     
  5. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Yes, those are the currently available options for low power i5/i7.

    Maybe apple purchased c2d's from intel before they stopped producing them but as far as I know, unless its custom made for apple, there are no other low power c2d's which would provide an upgrade to the current line, very unlikely apple would go this route

    second prediction is that they will use the 3 processors you listed. Even though thats 17W, keep in mind that these machines do not have a discrete GPU which combined with the current c2d power usage actually uses more than just the i5/i7's 17W.

    third, also not so likely, is apple getting a contract with intel for some new mobile processor based on sandybridge and get dibs on it first when intel releases. Perhaps with the ability to use a discrete gpu alongside? Unlikely, but possible.
     
  6. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

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    #6


    at first this sounded plausible but remember the CPU/GPU combination problem. According to benchmarks the intel 3000 the sandy bridge platform uses is slower. Giving the 11 inch the c2d 1.86/nvidia 320m combo might not be a wise choice as people might be inclined to not get the (higher profit for apple) sandy bridge models. I know I would.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    My guess would be:

    i5-2537M in 11.6" with BTO option for i7-2657M
    i7-2629M in 13.3" with BTO option for i7-2649M

    Apple is already using the fastest C2Ds. 1.86GHz C2D (SL9400) is too hot for 11". There are no LV or ULV i3s either, only one i5 and the rest are i7s.
     
  8. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #8
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    I forgot how less power is required because of combined GPU and CPU. And apple already screwed the 13" MBP by taking the 320M and giving it an HD3000, don't think they won't do the same with the MBA! That said, I think my prediction stands as it's within TDP standards and I don't see C2D being used again. I would be shocked if we see a discrete GPU in any MBA model.
     
  9. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    We probably won't because of power issues as well as space limitations.
     
  10. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #10
    Definitely no discrete GPU, most likely HD3000, which is almost identical to the 320m. Yes, the base clock is slower for the LV/ULV versions, but the turbo clock is still pretty decent, which is likely what would happen for anything graphics intensive. The MBA wasn't intended for anything graphically intensive anyhow, and regardless of obligatory complaints, will still sell like hotcakes even with the HD3000. What I failed to realize was that the C2D and 320m each have their own TDP, which is likely comparable to the total TDP of the SB i5/i7 and HD3000, which is included, like you mentioned.
     
  11. mikekey macrumors newbie

    mikekey

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    #11
    I was just reading on Business Insider the other day that this is a major concern of Intel's. They are finally realizing that the 35W standard they have set is to high and they are focusing on producing all future chips with lower power consumption ratios between 3 and 15W.

    A lower power future could be interesting.
     
  12. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #12
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    This is true, the truth is most users only need 25-50% (max) of today's consumers CPU processing power. How many everyday users rip or convert professional media. Even flash is either disappearing for HTML5, or becoming more CPU friendly.
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

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    #13
    Assuming they go Sandy Bridge, that would definitely be the integrated graphics chips. Intel won't allow third party solutions, and all their other choices are slower than the HD 3000. It would be fine for most people, but gamers will be disappointed.

    I agree with Hellhammer about the processor choices. I'd spring for the Core i7 version of the 11.6" if that's the upgrade option. It is a decent processor that should provide enough horsepower for most people for several years. Combined with a slightly faster SSD (I'm assuming that the faster Samsung drives will be standard), and Thunderbolt, and this would be a good incremental upgrade to last year's model.
     
  14. cirus macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    True, but TDP refers to the cooling of the chip not the power usage (Will not affect battery life in any way). Efficiency matters more than TDP. For example, lets say I have 2 pumps one twice as powerful as the other and both have the same efficiency. Running the small pump at full power will require as much energy as running the large pump at half power and both will pump the same amount of water. The difference is that the larger pump could scale up and pump more water when needed.
    They may do this for thin laptops but there will still be 35 watt chips (maybe not 45 watt) for 15 or 17 inch laptops.

    It would be a bad move for them to change their whole lineup to 15 watt CPUs. Even with Ivy Bridge's ~50% performance increase (per watt), the fastest 15 watt processor would be slower than a 45 watt Sandy Bridge.
     
  15. hsl macrumors regular

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  16. strwrsfrk macrumors regular

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    #16
    Familiar Ground

    The current C2D TDP in the 11" is 10W. The total TDP of the 11" (w/ 320M included) is over 17W. Therefore, the new 17W Intel ULV i5/i7's will work (assuming they stick with the Intel IGP) as they do not cross the current threshold.

    These are very reasonable assumptions for the 11" MBA, as discussed in several threads before this one. Hopefully there are ~25W variants in store for the 13" MBA line, or perhaps Apple will combine these 17W CPUs with the Nvidia or AMD graphics many people are asking for.
     
  17. mac jones macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Is this rumor really 'firm' ?

    I'm not 100% convinced of anything before this fall. I haven't heard anything recently; just like a few weeks ago.

    Yet everyone has factored this in now.

    In other words, we need more info, and soon, otherwise it's vapor rumor
    (and vapor rumors are not good :) )
     
  18. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    It's definitely still a rumor but a very reasonable one
     
  19. Kavrocks macrumors newbie

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  20. mac jones macrumors 68040

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    #20
    True and true.

    But the problem I see is a match for a ULV in the 11", and it would be weird if they just upgraded the 13".

    If they put a more power hungry chip in the 11" that is going to be interesting. Or then again, maybe i'm wrong about this. (hopefully)

    Or maybe Intel has this covered, with a custom chip.
     
  21. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #21
    HH, the Master of knowledge;)
     
  22. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #22
    It's firm, because Apple's paths for macs is based on Intel's path for CPU's. AFAIK, these are the only ULV Sandy bridge chips that are already in production/will be in production soon, so these would be Apple's only choices.

    The only problem is that the i7-2629M and i7-2649M aren't ULV, and even with the included GPU, I see Apple going the better battery life route than the better CPU route for the MBA. Plus the Sandy bridge ULV are nothing to snub at for a laptop of their size and weight.
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Neither are the CPUs currently used in the 13" MBA. Like I have stated it million times, LV CPU in 13" would not increase the total TDP. The battery life is already good and Sandy Bridge may make it even greater due to better efficiency.
     
  24. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #24
    True, but point is, Apple will reach for that 7-10 hour battery life mark before they reach for the better CPU performance mark. This is Apple we're talking about. If there are any energy gains from this upgrade, they will use it so that the 13" can get 9-10 hours (7 now) and the 11" at least 7 hours (5 now).
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #25
    So why didn't Apple go with the ULV CPUs when the 13" MBA was originally released in 2008? The current 13" MBA could already have more than 7 hours if that was what Apple is looking for. Frankly, they seem to be at least somewhat interested in the CPU performance too. When idling, the ULV CPU isn't that much more efficient as the LV CPU can underclock itself.
     

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