Now that the Core-i5 520UM is out, think its good enough for next Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Adidas Addict, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

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    #1
    Now the Core i5 520UM is available on the market do you think this is a good enough CPU for the next Macbook Air? It's benches sound disappointing but it may well fit with the rumours that that Air is going to be repositioned in the range as a more mass market device.

    The energy-efficient ultra-low-voltage variant of the Core i5-520M with the name i5-520UM is at home in the U160. The CPU has the same performance features as the standard version (Hyper Threading, Turbo Boost). The standard- and turbo-frequencies are however much lower.

    The dual-core processor is clocked at between 1.06 and 1.86 GHz (Turbo-Boost). The maximum wattage of 18 Watts (TDP) is admittedly high. The chip also contains the memory controller as well as integrated Intel HD graphics. The integration of both these components into the processor structure is standard on the new Core i3 and i5 CPUs.

    The 520UM is able to work on four threads in parallel (Hyper Threading), which should be a benefit when working with multi-threaded applications. HT supplements each physical core with a virtual one, a feature missing from the Core 2 Duo CULV/ULV processors (SU7300, SU9400, SL9400) processors.

    Is the Core i5-520UM in poor shape?

    To what do we attribute the weak performance of the i5-520UM? All processor and system benchmarks henceforth executed have suffered from its slow processing speed. We tested with the single-core benchmark SuperPi as well as Cinebench R10 and found the hard evidence: the Turbo Boost of the U160 clocks the processor both irregularly and not as high as the Turbo Boost in the 1830T. While the U160 is quick to change between 1.09 and 1.4 GHz (four threads), the 1830T stays relatively constant at 1.6 GHz (single core). The same goes for multi-core calculations in Cinebench: the U160 persists at standard frequency of 4 x 1.09 GHz while the 1830T calculates in Turbo-mode at 4 x 1.46 GHz. See the series of screenshots for more information. There are no options in the BIOS for activation/deactivation of HT or Turbo-Boost.


    Taken from:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Lenovo-IdeaPad-U160-Subnotebook.34367.0.html


    As an off topic side note, the Lenovo Sub-Notebook U160 11.6"........
    Can you imagine this being made in IBM times:D
    If ever something looked as different as possible to the companies thinkpad range this is it
     
  2. gri macrumors 6502a

    gri

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    #2
    Doubt it. Apple won't go backwards and sell a Mac in 2011 with a speed of 1.06 GHz. What is the watt usage of the current C2D in there, isn't it in the same range (might be completely wrong here)
     
  3. Adidas Addict thread starter macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

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    #3
    They might though if it's true that they want to make it a premium netbook without ever actually mentioning the forbidden word.
     
  4. wakka092 macrumors 6502

    wakka092

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    #4
    Apple didn't put the i5 in the MacBook Pro 13" and MacBook Air for a reason - there's no space. Changing to the i5 would require Apple to shoehorn in an Intel southbridge chip due to the Arringdale design.
     
  5. ninjaslim macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #5
    I doubt Apple would want to use a processor with Turbo Boost in the MacBook Air. So, my prediction is that Apple will indeed use one of the ultra-low voltage Core i3 or i5 processors, but will disable the Turbo Boost or have Intel manufacture custom parts. Intel has done that before, so it's nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, this all depends on whether or not the processors have power ratings that are accurate when Turbo Boost is activated.
     
  6. iMacmatician macrumors 601

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    #6
    Turbo Boost is not designed to exceed chip or platform TDP.
     
  7. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #7
    The i3 will likely be the chip used for the new Air.
     
  8. ninjaslim macrumors member

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    #8
    Wow! In that case, I think Apple will use the Core i5-520UM and offer the Core i5-540UM as an enhancement, but they will disable Turbo Boost via software or heavily modify the behavior of Turbo Boost so that these chips will run at their Turbo Boost frequencies, rather than their native frequencies. It's that or Intel will make custom chips for Apple that will have higher standard speeds.

    I wonder how the graphics card is going to play into all of this. I mean the integrated graphics from Intel is not going to cut it...
     
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #9
    No. Too difficult to market a downgrade in clock speed. I say 2+ GHz Core i7-6x0LM series low voltage CPUs. Direct replacement for the current C2D SL9x00 series CPUs. This is the only direction that makes sense in a 13" MBA.

    Now, it is possible that there are two or three new MBAs. An 11.6" MBA could get a slower ultra low voltage CPU and focus on longer battery life. I believe the whole point of the concept of the MBA is to be similar power and performance to MB but as light as air. So I say a 13" MBA definitely is to be on the market with a low voltage CPU and I will even go so far as to predict an ATI discrete GPU. I think the 5430 at 7W is the ideal.

    An 11.6" could stick with Intel's IGP, but again, that would be a lower class MBA focused on extreme portability not ultraportable with performance of MB.
     
  10. ninjaslim macrumors member

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    #10
    I hadn't thought about it that way. However, I must say that I don't think Apple will still release a 13.3" model. I think there will be an 11.6" model with a few options for enhancements.
     
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #11
    I will have to see if the 11.6" will be acceptable for me. I recently replaced my work PC with a 12.1" HP... and I am not really satisfied with the screen. For me, it seems like a significant downgrade from my personal laptop (13.3" MBA). OTOH, Apple displays are typically stunning, so I will withhold judgement until I see and use one in person.

    If the screen quality is OK, and it is significantly lighter than the current MBA, then I would consider it. I hope that they move to an integrated GPU. I do not need high graphics performance in my laptop. I would prefer to stay at the same battery life as the current MBA, with lower TDP and a smaller/lighter battery.

    /Jim
     
  12. steamtoy macrumors regular

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    #12
    Apple doesn't have to make the 11.6 inch ones. All they have to do is to eliminate the bezel on left and right side, which would make it same size as most of 11.6 inch notebook on market
     
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #13
    That is exactly what I am predicting. A 13" MBA that's smaller like an 11" netbook without a bezel and no wasted space around keyboard. picture an aluminum "bead" around the edge instead of a flat bezel. Then the 15" MBA will be barely bigger than the current 13" MBA and use the same design.

    The current Macs actually waste a lot of space... and it doesn't make sense. Especially with the MBA, Apple should clean it up and make sense of the design.
     
  14. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #14
    A 13" MacBook Air without the bezel and area on the sides of the keyboard would be pretty sweet, but wouldn't that mean they would have to shrink the battery? The MacBook Air gets mediocre battery life as it is.
     
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #15
    My personal feeling is that I do not need longer battery life than the current MBA. Hence... if the power consumption could be reduced (11.6" screen, lower power processor, integrated graphics)... the I would prefer that apple include a smaller battery (reducing weight) rather than keeping the MBA a 3lbs with a longer batter life.

    As an example (to make a point), if I had a choice of:

    a) 3lb MBA with 10 hour battery
    b) 2lb MBA with 4 hour battery

    I would strongly prefer option b)... because I just don't need a longer battery life... and I always enjoy lower weight.

    /Jim
     
  16. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

    Rereading the recent news story of Apple hooking up with Liquid Metal... well, which product would they use that for, first? My guess: The iPad first, the Air second, the phone (which doesn't need any sales help, now) later.

    Or... (drum roll), they convert all the notebook cases to Liquid Metal, all at once. Lightens the whole product line, and catapults them all into a higher orbit of 'cool'.
     
  17. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #17
    I am right there with you. There's a 4.5 lb. MBA already, it's just labeled the MBP. The 1.5 lb. is the battery and optical drive and a little extra aluminum for space demands. A 3 lb. MBA is perfect... to get an 8 or 10 hour battery, they would probably have to add at least 3/4 lb. I DON'T WANT IT. People have called me selfish and stuck up for not wanting a heavier battery... I don't get it.

    I would bet 90% of 10-hour MBP users don't need any more battery than the MBA has available at 4 hours. Sure, it might add slightly more convenience some times, but most of the time I seriously doubt people have NO ACCESS to a power outlet for more than four hours at a time. I just don't think people understand that a 10-hour battery in the MBA is going to equal 3.75 lb. of weight... NOT ACCEPTABLE in my book.

    The number one advantage of the MBA is the 3 lb. weight. Less important is the thickness. Apple can eliminate the tapering. Make the thing .5" uniform thickness, keep the same weight, and make most of us happy... and probably give us 5 real hours of battery. Eliminate the wasted bezel space, eliminate the space around the keyboard... and thickening up the center allows a better battery offsetting the weight reduction of size/aluminum.

    I am really looking forward to it, and it's the only MBA that makes a world of sense to me right now.
     
  18. stewie1 macrumors member

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    Feb 23, 2010
    #18
    I tend to agree with those who prefer the small size. I don't like that the MBA doesn't pack enough battery power for a full day's work but I bought an extra power adapter that I can take along if I will need it during the day.
     

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