Why not use AMD Fusion in the new Air's?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MadMac84, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. MadMac84 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    I was just looking around at what the new MacBook Air's might have in terms of hardware when I thought about AMD's Fusion platform. On closer look it seems like a great fit for the Air:

    A8-3500M (Sabine)
    - Quad-core (1.5-2.4 Ghz)
    - Radeon HD 6620G graphics
    - Single chip design
    - 35W TDP

    There are other variants of course, but this one stood out to be an awesome fit for the Air. It would get around the main issue everyone is having with the move to Core i7/i5 which requires HD3000 graphics and it would be quad-core (although not hyperthreaded I believe). It's 6620G graphics is even rated at about 17% faster than the 320M. There were some rumors that Apple might some time use AMD, so lets hope that this is what is used in the new Air (at least I hope it is).
  2. endhalf macrumors regular

    May 24, 2011
    35W TDP when LV Core i5/7 has 17W TDP? I'd say no chance... AMD chips were always too hot :/.
  3. MadMac84 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Doesn't the current MacBook Air have a total TDP of around 35W though? Add in the fact that it will now be a single chip design allowing for slightly bigger heat sink and I would think that the AMD solution is still a better fit than the Core i7/i5 even if it is more power efficient. Also, doesn't the intel chip require a south bridge chip that almost doubles the total TDP?
  4. jimN macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2005
    I think I read that whilst the GPU is much better the CPU is worse and therefore except for gamers, no one else would benefit. People who want an air primarily to game are likely misguided, so better to support those who want a bit more processing oomph.
  5. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    This. The MBA is all about power efficiency to maximize its battery; no chance of AMD putting a chip in it until they get their efficiency up more. Add to that the fact that Apple is pretty tied into Intel, who in return helps them out with early releases often of products that aren't yet out and you've got a recipe for a Core iX going into the new MBA.
  6. MadMac84 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    The few reviews that I looked at for the Fusion only compared it to the mobile Core i7/i5's and not the ULV versions. So obviously Fusion got completely killed. But I wonder how much of a difference there is between the mobile chips and the ULV chips.

    Personally though, since I'm in computer graphics I'd be more of a proponent of the better graphics, unless it was significantly slower in the CPU, then I would reconsider.
  7. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    As you're talking about the MacBook Air, you're likely to be in the minority.
  8. blackhand1001, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    The amd e350 is a good balanced cpu with low voltage. It has lower idle power than a dual core atom (less than 3 watts) yet performs like a non stripped out netbook cpu (it has out of order execution unlike the atom). I have used it extensively. The graphics card in it is a ton better than the HD3000. It would have no problem running mac osx and it would get better battery life. And they could also have a higher clocked version that would still get excellent battery life and idle performance would most likely be unchanged.
    These things are perfectly responsive and the graphics are a huge plus. The cpu is comparable to what the air has now but the power usage is much better as are the graphics.
  9. PaulDoFish macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    HD3000 graphics isn't "required" to be used with the new Sandybridge CPUs. It's just included on the same CPU. Apple could instead use a discrete graphics chip in conjunction with a Sandybridge processor and the integrated graphics would be disabled.

    But obviously, the Air is all about portability and battery life, and not having a discrete graphics chip will significantly increase the new Air's battery life.

    And also, the mobile Sandybridge CPUs have HALF the TDP rating of AMD's APU chips.
  10. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place

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