Which processor will grace the next MacBook Air (Rev E I believe)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ghileman, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. ghileman macrumors regular

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    #1
    Are we looking at Core2 again so that the Air can keep its discrete nvidia graphics and maintain Apple's fat profit margins on this device, or something different?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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  3. darthdrinker macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Personally I don't think there will be a mayor upgrade for the MacBook Air for at least another year. Since both Intel and AMD(yes I know) will be launching mayor upgrades for their current platforms in the next year. It's very difficult to tell what Apple will use in their next MBA. But to keep the discussion going, I do think that in the future Apple might use AMD technology in their notebook products if Intel can't deliver the goods in the graphics department. :)
     
  4. JaneEyre macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I think it's way to far ahead to philosophize about, the laptop just got an update. And besides that I don't think the heat production will allow the use of much faster processors. I guess that's the reason apple didn't update the CPU speed this time too.
     
  5. fswmacguy macrumors 6502

    fswmacguy

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    #5
    Too far to speculate right now.

    The Intel i-series is being updated in January 2011 (Intel Sandy Bridge architecture). I have seen benchmarks and a side-by-side comparison of the current i-series and the next i-series processors. Sandy Bridge is incredibly fast.

    One thing to note: The Intel i-series package takes up more space on the logic board. So if Apple goes with them, there's a chance that we'd all be stuck with Intel's integrated graphics instead of a dedicated chip. Nvidia has stopped making dedicated GPUs for notebooks, so it's up to ATi to bring home the bacon.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

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    nVidia Stopped making chipsets because Intel did not allow 3rd party chipsets with their iX CPUs but nVidia still makes mobile GPUs since they require no licensing from Intel. The current 320M is an IGP, it's not a discrete chip.
     
  7. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    #7
    ....

    They will switch all their notebooks to arm processors. They will use designs from PA semi that allow them to run arm processors as fast as the current core 2 duos by utilizing multiple cores and since the software is written by them they can optimize for that. They will use a fanless version on the air to slim it down even further and provide even better battery life and they will use a fan cooled version on the others so they can increase the clock. At this time windows will be compatible with arm also as the current rumours suggest windows 8 will be arm compatible and so bootcamp will still be available. I expect after Lion will come OS 11 which will be the arm version so sometime in late 2012. They will offer an X86 emulator such as Rosetta to provide backwards compatability and then later drop it.

    They will not push the specs up on the current laptops much so that as a result people will view this as a step forwards rather than a step backwards. At the time arm is released they will drop the optical drive and this will allow them to thin out the pro while still increasing the battery life. Lightpeak will never see the light of day as after this shift intel will drop the project and go exclusive usb3.0 which apple will still not support
     
  8. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

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    Surely not arm....not for a full computer
     
  9. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I hope this was a comedic post; it's the worst prediction I've ever heard yet for the mbp path.
     
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

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    #10
    My hope is that apple starts to dump the Core2Duo processors in favour of Sandy Bridge.

    The big hold up seems to be Intel and insisting on internal graphics chips.

    I would love to see an Air with a better chip set etc.
     
  11. ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    looking out over the next 12-18 months, which processor is the best balance of performance, low heat, and battery life for the next generation of Airs?

    it sounds like a lot of people are hoping Apple doesn't go with SandyBridge, so is the only realistic alternatives sticking with C2D or AMD? And is AMD a definitively better choice than SandyBridge?
     
  12. aicul macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I heard something about a squabble between nvidia and intel. The CPU and GPU on MBA have to be almost glued together and there is some IP hassle.

    So if the IP hassle is NOT resolved and if these two providers are selected for the next MBA, I doubt there will be anything exciting to look forwards to.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    Sandy Bridge is definitely the best for that but Apple would have to use the Intel IGP which isn't exactly great. It is a huge step over the old Intel IGP but it's still worse than 320M (especially LV and ULV chips' IGP). However, according to the early tests, it provides great CPU and battery performance. As you said 12-18 months, Ivy Bridge will likely be out already but giving so faraway timeframe makes predicting very hard because we have absolutely no idea what will be the best chip then.

    Currently AMD can't offer anything competitive. Llano looks the most promising but it was pushed to Q3 2011 and even then it will only be few desktop chips. It was supposed to come out in Q1. The issue with AMD seems to be that they can't stick with their schedules, the same issue IBM had with PPC which was one of the main reasons why Apple switched to Intel. AMD would only offer good graphics compared to the Intel IGP but Intel should still be ahead in CPU performance, especially as Ivy Bridge will be out soon after Llano.

    Core 2 Duo is still plausible as Intel will be shipping them until Oct 20, 2011. I would, however, expect Apple to stop kicking the dead horse and move to newer CPUs.

    It has been solved, NVidia is not making chipsets anymore.

    IMO Sandy Bridge is the only viable option at the moment. NVidia ain't making chipsets anymore so C2D and NVidia IGP can be ruled out. AMD is too risky and likely not ready before the next update. This leaves us with Sandy Bridge.

    Of course, we could talk about ARM, especially as NVidia will be making ARM based CPUs in the future and they said we will see them in all kinds of computers including normal laptops, tablets, desktops, even servers.
     
  14. ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Interesting.

    I guess the key question at this point is when will Apple feel the urge to push out the next MacBook Air update?

    If SandyBridge is the only game in town right now, and it's available right now, and we many (finally) have some bona fide Air competition on the horizon (Samsung Series 9, pending 6.5 hour battery life claim, track pad responsiveness, etc.), then it would seem to me that Apple might move sooner rather than later to issue a new Air with Sandy Bridge.

    In terms of Sandy Bridge vs. C2D, are we looking at just performance gains (ignoring the graphics hit due to the loss of nvidia), or can we expect a Sandy Bridge Air to also get a battery duration boost?
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    According to the early tests, yes, we most likely will. That's a 45W quad core while 13" MBP uses 25W dual core so quite impressive (though IGP is included in that 45W while 320M is not included in 25W). More tests are needed but so far it looks promising
     

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