What if the New 12" MBA Used an A8 Chip?

iRun26.2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
1,639
6
Would you still be interested (or more possibly interested)?

Mine must be powered by Intel.
 

Nee412

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
281
8
Sunny England!
No I wouldn't be interested. Putting off buying a rMBP in hope of an Intel rMBA being released soon.

If an A8 powered MacBook Air comes along instead, I'll just buy a rMBP.
 

2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,936
427
If the new Macbook is powered by any ARM chip, my 2010 MBA will be my first and last.
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
807
141
I don't think they will, but I'm sure if they did 90% of consumers wouldn't know the difference or care. Even I wouldn't care, as long as it could match the performance of the i5 and run common programs.

I think we're at least 3 generations away from an Arm powered laptop from Apple though.
 

iRun26.2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
1,639
6
I don't think they will, but I'm sure if they did 90% of consumers wouldn't know the difference or care. Even I wouldn't care, as long as it could match the performance of the i5 and run common programs.

I think we're at least 3 generations away from an Arm powered laptop from Apple though.
But that's what Microsoft thought about the Surface RT: Many customers had no clue, until they couldn't run their old software. Then they returned it!

Would Apple's built in apps (Safari, Pages, etc) be good enough? No other programs that customers bought for a previous Mac would work (like if they had a previous version of MS Office for OSX). There is no way a x86 emulator could deliver reasonable speeds (at least not yet).

But, like you say, maybe three generations from now I can see it.
 

Fattytail

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2012
874
187
But that's what Microsoft thought about the Surface RT: Many customers had no clue, until they couldn't run their old software. Then they returned it!

Would Apple's built in apps (Safari, Pages, etc) be good enough? No other programs that customers bought for a previous Mac would work (like if they had a previous version of MS Office for OSX). There is no way a x86 emulator could deliver reasonable speeds (at least not yet).

But, like you say, maybe three generations from now I can see it.
If it does use an A8 chip, it won't be called a Macbook Air. That much you can bank on.
 

2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,936
427
I don't think they will, but I'm sure if they did 90% of consumers wouldn't know the difference or care. Even I wouldn't care, as long as it could match the performance of the i5 and run common programs.

I think we're at least 3 generations away from an Arm powered laptop from Apple though.
if you want the performance of an i5, its going to take a lot more than 3 generations.
 

iStiggy

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2013
37
8
Apple would use an Atom.
I see Apple using a 7w Broadwell chip. Atom is about as fast as an A7.

I use Intel's Power Gadget on my 11" 2013 Air. My processor is normally using around 2 watts, and it is normally running at .8-.9Ghz. it is an interesting tool, since Terminal or any other app doesn't show real time Ghz.
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,864
30,392
Boston
I think any move away from the intel architecture would be a huge mistake,. Just look at MS' struggle with windows RT, its the red headed step child of products
 

ha1o2surfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2013
348
12
I see Apple using a 7w Broadwell chip. Atom is about as fast as an A7.

I use Intel's Power Gadget on my 11" 2013 Air. My processor is normally using around 2 watts, and it is normally running at .8-.9Ghz. it is an interesting tool, since Terminal or any other app doesn't show real time Ghz.
The new Quad Core Atoms are much faster than the old Atoms. You can't compare the two (A7 vs Atom) anyways due to architectural differences.

On my Dell Tablet the quad Core Atom idles around .2 watts and is just as fast as the first macbook Air's Core Duo. Now that's impressive! My 3840QM can idle around 2.4 watts so the U SKU CPU's aren't impressive to me.
 

Anitramane

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2013
430
0
The new Quad Core Atoms are much faster than the old Atoms. You can't compare the two (A7 vs Atom) anyways due to architectural differences.

On my Dell Tablet the quad Core Atom idles around .2 watts and is just as fast as the first macbook Air's Core Duo. Now that's impressive! My 3840QM can idle around 2.4 watts so the U SKU CPU's aren't impressive to me.
Here's the atom and apple cpu comparison; Atom wins.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,069
204
Nope. Mainly for program compatibility, though. I don't want to go through another transition. Plus, I'm not sure the power-to-performance benefits are there yet with ARM, and they may never be.

Intel is doing a really good job with decreasing power consumption while maintaining performance. And I'm not even sure that the CPU is the component pulling most of the power on the Air: the display is probably pulling a lot. After a few more cycles, I think it will be clear that the display is the battery killer.

Finally, once a certain battery life milestone is crossed/ maintained, it becomes less important to chase battery gains. What I mean is, Apple laptops used to last about 4 hours, then 7, then 9, now 12. So it lasts a work day for most people, but not everyone. We could get to the point where it lasts more than 24 hours, which would be awesome. At that point, I don't think it makes much sense for them to keep chasing battery life.
 

ha1o2surfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2013
348
12
Nope. Mainly for program compatibility, though. I don't want to go through another transition. Plus, I'm not sure the power-to-performance benefits are there yet with ARM, and they may never be.

Intel is doing a really good job with decreasing power consumption while maintaining performance. And I'm not even sure that the CPU is the component pulling most of the power on the Air: the display is probably pulling a lot. After a few more cycles, I think it will be clear that the display is the battery killer.

Finally, once a certain battery life milestone is crossed/ maintained, it becomes less important to chase battery gains. What I mean is, Apple laptops used to last about 4 hours, then 7, then 9, now 12. So it lasts a work day for most people, but not everyone. We could get to the point where it lasts more than 24 hours, which would be awesome. At that point, I don't think it makes much sense for them to keep chasing battery life.
Oh yeah totally agree, screen is def the biggest killer of battery life!
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
342
The new Quad Core Atoms are much faster than the old Atoms.
Yeaaah, and the Broadwell i5/i7 will be way faster than any quad core Atom.

The MacBook Air isn't about making a netbook (and trust me, I made the mistake of trying one of those; there is NO comparison). It's about think and light, and power saving, yes, but also very much about how much CPU and raw performance can also be packed into that small space. Atom just isn't there, no matter how many cores you stuff into the die.

I'm guessing the motivating to speculate about ARM/Atom-spec'd MacBook Airs is to make them cheap. But I guarantee you that people aren't gonna like a "cost-reduced" Mac. It'll be slow, and it'll be a compromise, and it will be frustrating.
 

iRun26.2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
1,639
6
Oh yeah totally agree, screen is def the biggest killer of battery life!
Keep in mInd that an IGZO screen will be a dramatic improvement. Will it make up for a higher resolution retina display all by itself? I am not sure but I bet it will be pretty close.
 

ha1o2surfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2013
348
12
Keep in mInd that an IGZO screen will be a dramatic improvement. Will it make up for a higher resolution retina display all by itself? I am not sure but I bet it will be pretty close.
well idk what you mean by make up for? A "retina" and a IGZO screen are pretty both just run of the mill high resolution screens?