Well, crap. v.new_i5_announcement

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jamesryanbell, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #1
    I've read all about that new i5 low voltage processor that seems to be Air compatible. I was *dead wrong* about the June update thing I guess. It looks very likely at this point.

    So here's the deal. I'm still within my 14 day return period, as I just bought the refurb last week. I'm very, very aware that the integrated Intel HD graphics are a step backward, and pretty much sucks compared to the 320m in the current MBA offerings. However, while the 320m is better (no doubt about that), it's not light years ahead. It's merely "better". Secondly, gaming is not a concern for me whatsoever with this machine. What I'm concerned about is that the processor is way, way better. That difference may be more important to me, but we still don't know when it'll launch, which puts a big question mark on how long I won't be able to fill that "ultra-portable second device" slot.

    So the questions are:
    1) Am I wrong that the 320m is marginally better?

    2) Am I wrong that the new i5 is substantially better?

    3) What's the smart thing to do in your opinion?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #2
    1. It's hard to say how much. The SV IGP performs similarly to 320M but LV and ULV versions have underclocked IGP. The Samsung with ULV was tested in Windows and what I have heard, it showed around 50% drop in performance from 320M. However, Anand mentioned in his review that Intel HD 3000 has great drivers in OS X while drivers suck in Windows so the difference is probably smaller.

    Depends do you have 11" or 13" MBA but I would say we are looking at 10-40% drop in GPU performance depending on the model.

    2. No, it is faster. Will it feel faster in your usage? Probably not as the CPU is very rarely the bottleneck.

    3. If the current MBA does everything you want, then I would keep it. You didn't buy MBA for CPU or GPU power so you are probably fine with what it currently has.
     
  3. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #3
    I have the 11" Ultimate. (computer in my sig)
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    I'd just keep it. Given the intent of the 11" air, I really don't think great graphics performance should be expected to begin with. The current model will still last for a good while. If you're not gaming though, I'm not quite sure where the issue comes in with GPU. Really old graphics cards can still easily run day to day applications, it's just gaming that really differentiates them.
     
  5. wisty macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2009
    #5
    I think the 320M is better at OpenCL stuff too. Given that the 320M can eat most Quad Cores alive (in terms of raw gigaflops - 136.8GFLOPS vs a 6 core Intel Core i7 980 XE at 107.55 GFLOPS ... though that's probably single vs double precision) it's going to be more and more useful, if anyone actually manages to use it.
     
  6. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #6
    Go ahead and sell your MBA and buy sandy Bridge MBA.

    Wait... there is something called IVY bridge coming.

    Wait... then there is another new iSeries processors in the way.

    Wait, then there is more.

    Let's go buy ipad 2. Wait. there is ipad 3. Wait... there will be ipad 4567.

    People are just crazy.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    Intel HD 3000 does not even support OpenCL. IMO OpenCL has been a moot point for years now. When Snow Leopard was released, everyone was talking about OpenCL and how amazing it is. After that, nobody has said a word about it until now. The support for it is very limited. I can't see it increasing rapidly anytime soon.

    NVidia is pushing CUDA which keeps developers away from OpenCL.
     
  8. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #8
    So, now you are all taking about intel HD 3000 vs Nvidia 320M?

    Let's see...

    Porsche vs Camry

    Right...

    Intel HD 3000 graphic is something that should never been made in tech world.
     
  9. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #9
    No, it just matters to some people. Want the stupid-but-serious, pseudo-12-yr-old answer from me? Dumb or not, here goes: When I buy something new, I want it to be "on top" for a minimum of six months or I feel like I got ripped off. There's value in being able to say "this is the absolute best thing that is offered of its kind". Part of elitist tech-head mentality I guess, but then again, I'm one of MILLIONS AND MILLIONS that think that way (whether they admit it or not).
     
  10. hcho3 macrumors 68030

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    May 13, 2010
    #10
    Good for you. Enjoy Intel HD 3000.

    I am not going to be dumb and give up my GPU power to get faster CPU.

    GPU and CPU are both important. People just don't realize how bad intel HD 3000 is already right now with MBP. And they are now asking for it on MBA 13 inch. Enjoy.

    GPU is not just for games.
     
  11. wisty macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2009
    #11
    Well, I think some movie and photo apps support it. But otherwise, it's all tumbleweeds.

    Given that you need a new programming language to do it, and parellel programming is *really hard*, and then it's going to be platform dependent (OpenCL? CUDA? Fallbacks for cards without GPGPU?), and you probably need all kinds of error checking (since GPUs prioritize speed over accuracy) it's no wonder it's fallen a little flat.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    So how bad exactly is it then? It runs OS X fine. Apps like Safari, iTunes and iPhoto run absolutely fine too. No problems with HD playback either. The only noticeable difference is in games. Some people make it sound like the GPU is the most important part in overall performance, while in reality it makes pretty much no difference what GPU you have under the hood in basic usage.
     
  13. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #13
    You're assuming I'm upgrading. I never said that. That's equating the new product with superiority to the current gen. I'm not sold on that yet, other than processor. That's why I made the thread. Admitting stuff I was obviously wrong on, and asking people's opinions with more technical knowledge than myself.
     
  14. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #14
    That's kind of what I thought too, but I was just curious as to others' opinions.
     
  15. hcho3 macrumors 68030

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    May 13, 2010
    #15
    You made a thread about it and I am free to say that intel HD 3000 sucks balls in iPhoto, iMovie and even basic gaming. I used it on 13 MBP 2011 and I returned it next day. I don't care what you buy or what you say.
     
  16. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #16
    The Air is not a performance machine anyway. If you bought it expecting that, your probably disappointed

    I can't find any shortcomings with the new Air, for what it's really designed to do. The last version had issues, but this latest version is fine.

    Of all the notebook models Apple makes, I would think that this line is the least likely to suffer cpu envy.
     
  17. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #17
    LOL, of course you are. When did I ever even insinuate that I wanted to limit opinion? The thread was created FOR opinion. I want to be convinced. That was the whole point.

    Cool. Opinion noted. If you don't care what I say, then feel free to leave the thread. :) Thanks.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Well, you just made a thread asking how people feel about the Intel IGP. Don't get me wrong but it doesn't take much to draw the conclusion that you haven't even tried one, and in that thread you don't mention that you had a MBP.
     
  19. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
  20. secksthoi macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #20
    Was the 2011 13inch MBP really that bad? Huh....
     
  21. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #21
    Could someone please explain WHY apple will apparently have to go BACKWARD with the next MacBook Air in terms of the graphics processor?

    I feel completely out of the loop. I don't know what Intel's disagreement is with Nvidia or whoever it is that they have all the problems with. Why is it that Apple's computers with Intel processors can't use the latest and greatest graphic cards? Reading the board - it sounds like it is a problem generated by Intel - not by the graphics cards manufacturers.

    I would really appreciate someone clarifying exactly what the disagreement is and some help in understanding why Apple seems to be eternally locked into poor qualify (i.e. outdated) graphics processors.
     
  22. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #22
    sounds like a simple case of buyer's remorse …

    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) only you can answer that satisfactorily, though if you're at all unhappy with your current MBA, I'd take it back for a refund and play the waiting game.

    I can't see Apple rushing to production until they see the end of the C2D supply they currently have and are also convinced of the efficacy of i5/HD3000 combo.

    4gb of memory + Flash storage make the current Airs as fast as.
    as noted (I think by Hellhammer) the CPU/GPU power combo is not really the main deal here.

    and for what it's worth, I'll be hanging onto my 1.86/4/128 13" for at least another year.
     
  23. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #23
    But, the argument goes, if you are just going to drive it in traffic, the Camry is sufficient.
     
  24. jamesryanbell thread starter macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #24
    It's only "remorse" if I decide the coming product is superior. I'm not there yet. I'm just asking. :)
     
  25. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #25
    It basically boils down to this... when Intel moved on from Core2Duo to the Core iX processors, Nvidia wanted to renew it's licence from Intel to produce Integrated Graphics chips and Overall System Chipsets to pair with the new iX chips. Intel said no. Nvidia wanted to just go ahead anyway, but Intel sued them and Nvidia of course counter-sued.

    It was a big mess for almost 2 years (2008-2010), till Nvidia gave up fighting.

    Basically, it's a super-monopolistic move on Intel's part and I have no idea how/why they got away with it. They've basically said "Our IGPs are the only IGPs that people can use. If you have physical room and TDP headroom for a discrete GPU, then go to it. But otherwise, you're stuck with our (inferior) solution."

    The problem is that Apple makes super-svelte laptop designs, like the MBA. The Logic Board for the MBA is SO TINY that it can barely fit a Core2Duo and a tiny 320M controller/graphics chip:

    [​IMG]
    (The Logic Board is the circuit board in the middle of the picture - see how small it is, compared to the keyboard (and that's the 11" MBA!)

    Therefore there's no room for a Core i5/i7 and a discrete chip like a Radeon that the MBP's have. That leaves Apple in a bind - they either use a Low-Voltage Intel i5/i7 chip with the Intel graphics (that are only 1/2 as fast as the 320M, but are on par with the 9400m from the last MBA revision), or they stick with the aging Core2Duo chip - a chip that Intel's gonna stop making in October 2011.
     

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