To those considering buying an MBA now- Wait for Arrandale! Consider the following:

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jobsian, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Jobsian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    I've been surprised by the apparent surge of people looking to buy a new MBA of late (not only on this board). There have been a few threads recently here on people considering buying a new MBA. New computer/upgrade/replacement etc.

    I'd strongly urge any such people to consider the following:

    Intel revamp their mobile architecture roughly every two years. The current cycle is about to end with the introduction of the Arrandale 32nm processors (current Penryn are 45nm), which is due in a month or two. The expectation (not a certainty) is that Apple will be among the first to have their hands on them, in which case an update may be on the cards.

    45nm->32nm, that's almost a third reduction in process size. Less power required (greater battery life), less heat produced (cooler, quieter). With all the threads on heat, noise and battery, the Arrandales will be massively welcomed.

    The other thing is that if any Air update is announced, it seems almost unfathomable that it wouldn't come with 4GB RAM. Perhaps even 256GB SSD.

    The only problem may lie in the graphics card, but that's for another thread!

    Bottom line as far as I can see is that unless you absolutely need a computer now (in which case I definitely would recommend a RevB/C Air), I wouldn't recommend getting one at the end of the Penryn's life cycle. Just to wait it out a month or two :)
  2. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    I wish a month or two was 'now' .... c'mon Apple blow our minds and introduce a new MBA before Christmas :)
  3. bmstrong macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
    You figure, January or Feb, at the latest? The X-Mas Apple line up is set and done.
  4. couto27 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2008
    i dont agree with you

    the macbook air is not a netbook

    from gismodo " The three coming out in the first half of 2010 are the Core i7-640UM (1.2GHz), Core i7-620UM (1.06GHz) and Core i5-520UM, all for "ultra thin" laptops"

    from engadget " The Core i5-520UM and Core i7-620UM both run at 1.06GHz, while the top Core i7-640UM model speeds ahead at 1.2GHz, with bulk-buying prices of $241, $278, and $305 per unit of each processor"

    macbook air with 1,2 ghz($ 305) i dont think so

    in performance the rev c 2,13 ssd will be must faster ,even if you are able to have more ram.
  5. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
    i don't think it'll happen around xmas, by the end of next year maybe
  6. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    MacBooks tend to be updated in January based on past MacWorlds. Since Apple wont be there this year, they are on their own schedule. It would not surprise me if it is around CES, they dont have to go to CES, but can steal all the thunder out of the show by some updates, and maybe a tablet.
  7. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    I think that applies not just to the Air but the MBP notebooks as well. We're safe until the end of the year at least, as Phil Shiller has already gone on record stating that Apple's holiday lineup has already been set.

    It's highly likely that near February we will see new models of the MBP notebooks based on Arrandale. It also seems likely we'll see Apple's tablet/slate at that time.

    The Air is up in the air though... I think either it will get completely remodeled with Arrandale and a new case design with everything else, or if it doesn't, it's hit the end of the line and will wallow for months with spec bumps like the Mac Mini.

    The reason for this is I think the Arrandale MBP redesign may shave off some weight, making the MBP 13 start edging over into Air terrority, and the tablet (if it runs full OSX) could start overlapping in functionality too.
  8. awesomedeluxe macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    There is a very very long thread in the Macbook Pro section all about waiting for Arrandale. It's very long (58 pages) so let me summarize for you our best guesses about the next-gen Macbook Air!

    The Arrandales are dual-core with hyperthreading (four "virtual" cores). If one of the cores isn't in use, it will be disabled and the other core's CPU is overclocked (this is called "turbo mode"). Also, Arrandale comes with a 45nm integrated graphics processor (the TDP in the chart below includes both the IGP and the CPU).

    The Air will most likely employ the low-voltage Arrandales. Specs:

    Core i7-620LM- CPU: 2 GHz (turbo: 2.80 GHz) GPU: 533 MHz L3 Cache: 4 MB TDP: 25 W
    Core i7-640LM- CPU: 2.133 GHz (turbo: 2.93 GHz) GPU: 533 MHz L3 Cache: 4 MB TDP: 25 W

    (ty wikipedia). Expect around a 15% performance increase with that CPU. The GPU is actually quite a bit weaker; like half of the current 9400m's performance. But the voltage is much lower. Including Calpella (the name of the upcoming accompanying chipset) the total TDP will be just 28.5W.

    Now, I know you said GPU was for another thread, but sorry. There is reason to suspect a graphics-switching solution involving the ATi 4530 might be in use here (Sneakz pointed out it's in the latest kernel). With TDP around 8-12W, this would probably be okay (keep in mind the Intel IGP would be idle while this is running, reducing TDP by an unknown amount). That GPU is a little better than what's in use now. It's also very possible that Apple uses ATi's upcoming 5430 ("Park") which is slated to come out early 2010. It promises to drastically increase performance at the same thermal envelope.

    Bad news time: it's most likely these don't come out in January. Sneakz also pointed out that some hidden files in the latest snow leapord suggest only two major updates, and those will probably be the 15" and 17" Pros. So weigh that, and those nagging rumors that the Air might be End of Line-d, when you decide if you want to wait.

    Personal opinion: I say the next Air is worth waiting for. I heavily doubt the EOL rumors and suspect the Air will come Q1 2010 or early spring. Also, I agree with Jobsian that 4GB of RAM is almost a given. I am 50/50 on the 256GB SSD; I would also say 50/50 for a second USB port.

    Hope all that was helpful!
  9. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Even with the problems on and off with Nvidia, they are so much better than Intel graphics.

    I had a MBP w. dual graphics and it was a pain in the arse to switch.
  10. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    If you believe that one report, that GPU may end up in the high-end MBPs. Not to say it couldn't go elsewhere but if it is true, they are either standardizing the GPU across models or significantly dropping GPU performance across the notebook line. That or a BTO…
  11. awesomedeluxe macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    You're right. Here's why I believe they might use the same GPU in the Macbook Air.

    I think they will need a discrete GPU, because the Arrandale IGP is much weaker than the 9400m they used before. Yes, they could go without it, but I think (hope) such a big drop in performance is unbecoming of Apple. The 4530 would work, TDP-wise and performance-wise. At least, I've been unable to find a better option. And by using the same GPU, they could save money: it's easier to clear inventory at higher rates when there is less variation.

    Now, Park is also a possibility, especially with the Air since we're not expecting that until later down the line. That's preferable. All told, it's tougher to guess with the Air since it's farther down the pipeline, but performance at at least the level of the 4530 is a fairly reasonable expectation. I would be extremely surprised if it relied solely on Arrandale's IGP.
  12. Jobsian thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    Interesting posts so far and that's a great summary. I do really hope they go with the ATI option for the graphics. I've been following the Arrandale thread on the MBP forums too and am really impressed by the turbo feature, they scream on the benchmarks!
  13. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Does this mean Apple will call it the MacBook Turbo Air?:eek:
  14. bmstrong macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
    I almost feel the "Air" name is done at this point. I look for the new revision to become the low end Pro, and a new name for the "Tablet".
  15. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    I really can't see Apple dropping the Air, including the name. I actually think it'll take a lot more sales away from the 13 and 15 MacBook Pro's over the coming years.
  16. peterho macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2009
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I just got mine brand new from Apple store last night. 2.13GHz with 128GB SSD. I'm too tired of waiting, and those "rumors" drive me crazy! Air is an amazing machine, if you really like it, just go get it, like I did!
  17. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Agreed. Intel integrated graphics SUCK. Always have, always will.

    It would behoove Apple to steer well clear of them.
  18. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    I doubt Apple is waiting for the new i5 and i7 mobile processors. Keep in mind that every MBA thus far has employed custom (for the Air) variants of an existing larger chip. This is feasible because the Air's CPU is soldered to the mobo and cannot be replaced. I have no reason to believe the next Air will be any different.

    in sum, I bet we'll see the new i5 and i7 mobile CPUs in the MacBook Pro by mid-2010, and a smaller, integrated version of the same chip in the MBA in late 2010 or early 2011.
  19. awesomedeluxe macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    I think it was just the very first Air that had any sort of exclusivity with that. Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage processors are open to all these days. The reason that what's in the Air seems special is because very few manufacturers go with the LV processor variant because it consumes too much power for an ultrathin notebook (I'm not sure, but I think Apple might be secretly underclocking it, which would explain how they're getting away with this). If the most reliable intel roadmaps are accurate (and with intel they usually are), we're going to see the Arrandale LV and ULV chips at around the same time as the standard voltage ones. There is still reason to believe the Air will come out later than the Macbook Pro (see my post above) but it shouldn't take as long as you're suggesting.
  20. Jpoon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2008
    Los Angeles California
    I'm very curious to see how the update to the MacBook air will change the battery life...
  21. bmstrong macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
    I think the 13 and the Air will become one at some point, minus the Air name. Sorry if I was unclear.
  22. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    I would agree, if Apple can get some of the things from the MBP into the air, like more USB ports, FW, ethernet, Optical. So it may not be as thin as the Air, put there comes a point were it can not get much thinner
  23. awesomedeluxe macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
  24. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    Well this news sealed the deal on waiting for a MBA, going with the MBP 13 come January or February
  25. Gordon Werner macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2003
    I would be happy if they just add another 2GB of RAM to the AIR

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