What if the MBA only gets a spec bump? Would you be happy? Ecstatic? Disappointed?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Scottsdale, Oct 11, 2010.

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What MBA excites you the most?

  1. MBA Spec Update. Same case/display. C2D 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Glass Trackpad.

    21 vote(s)
    16.3%
  2. Core i7 ULV 2 GHz. Intel's IGP only. 4 GB RAM, Smaller footprint and 11.6" IPS Display. Price drop.

    43 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Core i7-6x0LM 2.13/2.93 LV, AMD 5430 7W GPU, 4/8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 13.3" IPS, BIG Price Hike$

    39 vote(s)
    30.2%
  4. AMD CPU/GPU/Chipset. Lower price points. 2/4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 13.3" normal Display.

    15 vote(s)
    11.6%
  5. Or, do you think the MBA is EOL... gone forever... done.

    11 vote(s)
    8.5%
  1. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #1
    So in another thread someone mentioned if there's no event it probably will just be a ho hum boring spec bump, and I thought GREAT.

    Given the chance of Arrandale CPU with only Intel's IGP, I would be ecstatic to get another C2D update with an Nvidia 320m...

    Is it just me, or would others be happy with the following...

    Core 2 Duo/Special Chip 2.4 GHz SL9700 CPU (not throttled)
    Nvidia 320m (slightly throttled)
    4 GB DDR3 RAM with two RAM slots and an upgrade possibility to 8 GB for $300
    256 GB SSD in high end and 128 GB in low end versions
    Glass Trackpad

    NO OTHER CHANGES... $1499 low end and $1799 high end.

    What does everyone think? Who would buy? Who would skip it?

    Would you take C2D plus Nvidia 320m over the following...

    Core i7-6x0LM
    Intel's IGP as sole graphics non-solution
    4/8 GB RAM
    256 GB SSD
    Glass trackpad
    11.6" IPS display

    Price drop to $1299 and $1599

    Of course, we all want the following...


    Completely new MBA
    Core i7-6x0LM with boost to 2.93 GHz
    AMD 5430 GPU
    4/8 GB RAM
    256 GB SSD
    Glass trackpad
    IPS or OLED display in 13.3" and with a reduced bezel and footprint
    3G/LTE Verizon card
    USB 3.0 x 2
    LightPeak
    Liquid metal case.

    But a price increase to $1699 low-end and $1999 high-end.

    Which MBA does everyone truly want? Will there be a complete remodel of the MBA if there's no live event? Will there be an update tomorrow? Or announcement of live event next week? Or the following week or two?

    I am excited. This is the most optimistic and realistic time for an MBA update that includes a redesign and some great adds, but a quiet update might mean another "boring" update... HOWEVER, that BORING update might actually be the best update for everyone here. Whether we all want Core i-series CPUs and IPS displays, the Nvidia GPU/chipset is a much better Mac for us. If we had 256 GB SSDs and 8 GB RAM options in a very similar MBA to the current MBA, I would be ecstatic.
     
  2. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #2
    Critical for me in any next MBA is:
    more RAM
    bigger SSD
    keep it light (no major increase to weight)

    the rest would be "nice to have"...
    faster / better processor
    another USB port
    better battery
    glass trackpad
    some other new Apple "wow factor" / new design / new feature

    Not necessarily wedded to any one size, however the current size works well for me. I always carry letter / A4 sized paperwork, so I don't need or necessarily want it to go smaller (e.g. 13 to 11.6" viewable screen)... but keeping it light and thin is important.

    My current MBA is really struggling, and whilst I don't want to move to the next 13 MBP, I may have to.
     
  3. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #3
    I too have an original MBA that's overdue to be replaced. My new 15" Core i7 MBP is doing an excellent job as my primary laptop, so its time to focus on replacing the MBA.

    Must haves for me are retention of the 13" display, the light and thin form factor, and the addition of an excellent glass track pad like my MBP has. Everything else I'm willing to be flexible on.
     
  4. haoqfu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #4
    Must have for me:
    4GB RAM
    at least doubled battery life & fast charging

    Nice to have:
    glass trackpad
    reduced screen bezel
    new form factor
    reduced price
     
  5. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    15" MBA with no Bezel, option for Matte 1680x1050 display, 4GB RAM, i5/i7 BTO, 128GB SSD/500GB HDD standard, 256/512 SSD BTO, Glass Trackpad and price... i don't give a **** just give me that laptop!
     
  6. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    I do think it's possible to get a standard SATA-II 1.8" SSD in the MBA if they make it a uniform case size and eliminate the tapering... maybe .5" to .65" thick for the entire MBA.

    I really think with the exact same case they could nearly fit a 15" display in the MBA. How about a 14.1" like the Lenovo ThinkPads? You're right it needs a high-resolution display with the higher quality IPS.

    If you want to put a matte display in the current MBA you can. I found a display reseller that has matte LED backlit displays that will fit in the MBA. What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't have a matte option for the 27" LED ACDs. I personally like the glossy, and I ordered three of the new displays... :D

    You failed to mention a GPU requirement? Would you be content with Sandy Bridge or Arrandale's IGP? No other IGP? I really want a discrete GPU or an Nvidia GPU/chipset or even AMD GPU/chipset model over only using Intel's IGP as graphics non-solution.
     
  7. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #7
    Any update that includes a price jump doesn't make any sense to me. The current MBA is very pricey for what you are getting in terms of the performance as compared to the MBP. So buyers are paying for thin and light with style. I was very happy with the MBA rev A I had until I got tired of the heat issue about 6 months ago. Got the new Rev C 2 months ago with the faster SSD and love it. But if I wasn't able to spend whatever I wanted to on a computer for work, I could not have justified the high price compared to a 13" MBP. Given that the MBA price/features have not changed for about 18 months, I just don't see how Apple can do any update and jack the price (unless they do something "magical" with the MBA. :) )

    I think us MBA fans need to realize what the iPad is doing to the ENTIRE ultraportable notebook computer category.

    As I posted in another thread, we had better see an update to the MBA in the next week (given the supply shortages at retailers and Apple stores, and discontinuing of the MBA superdrive) or it's EOL MBA.
     
  8. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #8
    The iPad is teabagging the netbook market, however ultraportables are much stronger (the MBA has ~4x the power) and thus less vulnerable
     
  9. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I don't want to spend anything on my Rev A MBA, I don't even want to replace the battery at 600 cycles, because I'm buying this MBA the second it's available! I knew I forgot something, well the IGP performance, is it really that terrible? Will it drive a 27" ACD? Looking at the iMacs will Apple choose the ATI Graphics Card option (I know you found a compatible Graphics option)? With the issues of Glossy/Matte, I love the Glossy screen, I just hate the black bezel though, personal preference, and if Apple choose the IPS display, does that mean it will be Glossy only? Or have I got the wrong idea about IPS? Tomorrow could be a great day Scottsdale!
     
  10. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #10
    I don't believe Intel's IGP would drive a 27" ACD, nor would it run OpenCL at introduction. I believe Intel's IGP would destroy completely the capabilities of the MBA. We have seen Intel's IGP in MBAs before, the original... remember the nightmare.

    The problem people have when assuming the Intel IGP will be acceptable is they look at Windows performance benchmarks. Windows is 3x more efficient at running OpenGL. That's why if you want to play a game, you're better off on Windows. The thing is with Windows, graphics manufacturers write their own drivers. With OS X, Apple writes the drivers. This leads graphics companies to making the most optimal best drivers to show off the speed performances and benchmarks of their newest GPUs.

    We cannot use Windows benchmarks of Intel's IGP and get any sort of idea what it means for the exact same IGP on OS X. People keep making this mistake. The Intel IGP will be nothing but a problematic worthless graphics non-system that will ruin the MBA. Therefore, I don't see it happening. I just don't believe Apple would do this to its customers.
     
  11. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Are you suggesting the IGP on i5/i7 is as capable as the Rev A MBA X3100 GMA? That is annoying, but you have been suggesting an ATI alternative (5430 if I remember), can Apple squeeze this and the i5/i7 into a 13" MBA with the same form factor as now (assuming we only get a spec bump and not a redesign)? So if we only got an internal change, could we be looking at ULV i7 + ATI?
     
  12. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #12
    I am NOT by any means suggesting that the Core i-series CPUs aren't more capable than the x3100 IGP with the chipset on the original MBA.

    What I am suggesting is that the IGP with Arrandale is NOT going to fare anywhere near the benchmarks identified on Windows when used with OS X. Windows is ultimately extremely more capable when it comes to OpenGL, and drivers written by graphics manufacturers.

    What I am also suggesting is that the IGP with Arrandale is not going to even be half as capable as the two-year-old Nvidia 9400m, nor is it going to have the same h.264, OpenGL, OpenCL, and performance capabilities as the two-year-old Nvidia 9400m.

    Even with Sandy Bridge, it will not even come close to the Nvidia 9400m ON MAC'S OS X OPERATING SYSTEM. The problem is inherent to OS X and Apple's system of writing its own drivers.

    When comparing a new MBA with sole use of Intel's IGP, I fear we will have another debacle just as we had with the original MBA. Blame it on Apple, blame it on OS X, blame it on drivers, blame it on whatever... but it will fall short to meet the standards for today's graphics needs and demands we have on OS X.

    The bottom line is people fail to realize the inherent differences between OS X and Windows when analyzing what a GPU/IGP might be capable of on OS X just because it does X, Y, and Z on Windows. The two OSes are completely different when it comes to the graphics systems, and we cannot rely on benchmarks performed on Windows operating system when we intend to use it with OS X on a Mac.

    Apple realizes these issues, and it chose to go Core 2 Duo with Nvidia's older chipset/GPU rather than "stick" its users with a completely useless and incapable IGP found on Arrandale CPUs.

    My conclusion is that Apple disables the IGP and uses an ATI GPU... or it could have even negotiated a "truce" so to speak allowing it to use Nvidia's GPU/chipsets with Core i-series CPUs. Or it could use AMD/ATI GPU, or even go with a complete AMD CPU/GPU/chipset... but it will not use Intel's IGP for graphics... in my opinion it will not happen at this time.

    If Intel can make huge improvements, maybe. But the IGP with Arrandale is not even close. Sandy Bridge has a long way to go to be capable enough on OS X. Not to say it's not a hell of a lot more capable than it was previously... but it's not even close to the Nvidia 9400m on the Mac OS X operating system.

    The graphics systems have improved so much since the x3100 on the Mac, that the two-year-old MBA gets so much better with each OS X update because Nvidia 9400m driver improvements, OpenCL, OpenGL, h.264 and etc... it would be devastating to stick Mac users with sole use of an Intel IGP... unless Apple suspended all work on iOS and other products for a year as it did with the iPad/iOS to work on improving the graphics system on Macs... bottom line, not going to happen.

    But this is all my opinion, and I sure as hell hope I am right, OR that Apple has completely changed the graphics system in OS X if I am wrong.
     
  13. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #13
    AMD will not force Apple to use Radeon chips because what they care about is getting a foot in the door (and Apple can buy it outright) with Apple maybe ordering a custom chip from them
     
  14. gri macrumors 6502a

    gri

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    New York City, aka Big Apple
    #14
    Would have been ecstatic with C2D and 4G Ram, 228 SSD but not any more. Time has passed. I have a C2D MBA with 128 SSD. Knowing that C2D is dead in 10 weeks I would not buy now a C2D updated one even with 4 G RAM. In that case I would wait and see. If, however, its going beyond the C2D I would be very happy. And, yes, I know that the C2D is a capable processor and if another GP unit is in there a good option but somehow at this time I don't want to buy a computer I know is outdated already and certainly in a few weeks...
     
  15. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Yes the time has passed for another C2D chip... unless it's Quad Core then i would be laughing! Thinking about C2D's EOL this Quarter, could we be seeing a full 13" Notebook spec revamp (i.e. MacBook, MacBook Pro 13" and MacBook Air)?

    Edit: now reading what i have just written, all three merged into one... 13" MBP with no Superdrive, just Ethernet, 2 USB, and SD Card Slot priced at £900?
     
  16. ditosou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #16
    no new rumors??!!!

    no MBA update news? no new rumors about possible updates? no secret photos? no new ID numbers from retailers?

    hummmmm..... :(:(:(:(:(
     
  17. skate71290 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Neither did the Mac Mini, have patience, I think all any of us can safely say is that if the update doesn't happen during October it won't be until next January! :eek: :mad:
     
  18. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    #18
    That's wishful thinking. If an update doesn't come in the next week, the MBA is EOL. As the original "rumor" stated, stock of the MBA is low or non-existent at a number of retailers. The only reason for that would be an update very soon or EOL, as is the typical pattern for Apple.

    What could possibly be the reason for low stocks now with an update in January?? Unless it's no longer an MBA but the introduction of a totally new notebook? Which still means the current MBA is EOL.
     
  19. Jobsian macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #19
    Definitely, definitely price hike. I want a premium product.

    Nice thread Scotts, the MBA forum was becoming a little stale. Even though I'm not posting as frequently I'm still following this avidly.

    Above almost all else, I want a new MBA to have better cooling. Choppy youtube on a Rev C is no fun.
     
  20. jbyun04 macrumors 6502a

    jbyun04

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    I liked the way the Mac Mini was released. The new form factor was such a pleasant surprise, though I don't know about that price increase.
     
  21. MartiNZ macrumors 65816

    MartiNZ

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #21
    Yay I went with the majority vote. Except I'm hoping for something like that without the price hike :D.
     
  22. bjavor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #22
    Voted first choice. I'm all with Scottsdale on that one. This is all I've been waiting for the whole year. Though I'm not entirely sure about the glass track pad. I've used a MBP for a while and while the texture of the glass pad definitely feels nice, I've found the click action to be inferior that of the MBA. It somehow requires too much force and I also prefer the physical button I can rest my thumb on...

    If the expensive option comes true I would be happy with that as well I guess. However I'm really not too excited about the whole 11.6" prospect. Of course it's not impossible that it may turn out to be a great machine, but currently I'm affraid that it will be too small. The 13" screen can already feel slighly crowded at times... (And increasing the resolution may not necessary help if as a result you'll need to increase font sizes everywhere to be able to read things without your eyes starting to bleed...)

    My biggest fear at this point would be that they may come out with an 11.6" model (that I end up not liking) and axe the 13" one... Compared to this scenario I would even prefer to buy a brand new rev C MBA now while they are still available. I'm actually really tempted with this, but my more reasonable side keeps on telling me to wait and see :)
     
  23. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #23
    Scottsdale, do you have proof that the IGP in Sandy Bridge is really that bad? I can understand your hesitation based on the currently available iteration of Itel's IGP but I have been impressed with what I've read about Sandy Bridge's new IGP. I think the power savings from an integrated graphic solution could also be significant...precisely what a smaller MBA requires! Maybe Apple will indeed write some updated drivers and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results. :)

    I'm convinced that it won't be that far away either. I've seen Sandy Bridge listed as "Q4 2010" release, when it was previously listed as a "Q1 2011". I think Itel realizes that it must do everything it can to get these more advanced chips into premium laptops before they are left in the dust (like they are now).
     
  24. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #24
    I'd be happy with just a RAM upgrade to 4. Just bring it on, Apple. Jeeesh!
    <grumble grumble)
     
  25. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #25
    And EVERYTHING you have read about Sandy Bridge has been Windows-based drivers and OS. It simply doesn't equate to anywhere near the same thing on OS X.
     

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