Will i7 be worth it in the new MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Obi Wan Kenobi, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

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    #1
    The current speculation is that the base line 11 inch MBA will have
    - i5 SB processor
    - 4GB RAM
    - 128 GB SSD

    The 'pay extra' processor bump is rumoured to be an i7 SB processor.

    2 questions:
    1 Will the processor bump be worth having?

    2 Would you be better off buying more RAM instead?

    I ask because the prevailing view on here, seems to be that bumping the current processor from 1.4 C2D to 1.6 is not worth it, whereas the RAM bump is.

    :confused:
     
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #2
    That really depends on what you plan on doing with it. Why don't you wait until the first benchmarks come in.
     
  3. altecXP macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Unless the i7 also results in faster GPU then not really for probably 90% of Air buyers.
     
  4. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #4
    i5 to i7 will be minimal, but noticeable in benchmarks.

    I myself plan to max out the 13" model. Only because I plan to keep it for at least 3 years before upgrading again.

    My current Air is still usable it's just in need of RAM. But back in 08 2GB was a good as you could get. The RAM is really the only reason I even want to upgrade.
     
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #5
    Besides a slight speed bump that freakin' Mr. Data would probably have problems noticing, isn't the main advantage of the i7 hyperthreading, or doubling the cores, for the few programs that can actually use it?

    Does anybody really expect to use FCP on an Air?
     
  6. Mikael macrumors regular

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    #6
    The i5 has HyperThreading as well.

    The only difference seems to be that the i5 has 1MB smaller L3 cache and 100MHz lower turbo frequency. That is highly unlikely to cause a noticeable difference in any application. The difference in list price is just $39, though, but my guess is that it will look quite a bit different in Apple's options list...
     
  7. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #7
    I guess I was mistaken. The SB i5 and i7 in the imac has turbo boost (ramping up clock speeds if all four cores in the quad aren't being fully utilized, but only the i7 has hyper threading, which allows for the extra virtual cores.

    Wikipedia reports that different versions of the i5 may or not have HT. How confusing. It also talks about a mobile i5 chip with only two cores, so much for my theory that the '11 air will only get an i3. Huh.
     
  8. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

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    #8
    Your looking at desktop stuff. i5 desktop processors do not have HT. All Mobile i3/i5 and i7 processor have HT.
     
  9. Duke15 macrumors 6502

    Duke15

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    #9
    Ya I think its almost certain that they will get i5 and i7 I honestly cant see the 13" getting i5
     
  10. Dragynfyre macrumors member

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    Oct 22, 2010
    #10
    I can't imagine you doing anything on a MBA 11 that will require more than an i5+4GB of RAM.

    RAM is overrated by most consumers. The only time you'll need than 4GB more is if you like to multitask with VMs and do intensive video/photo editing. All of which I can't really see you doing on a MBA 11 (or at least not to the point where RAM becomes the bottleneck rather than the ULV CPU).
     
  11. Samsumac macrumors regular

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    May 18, 2011
    #11
    The i5 in the 13" MAcbook pro's has HT, rather than i5's in general... :D:D
    Just to clarify it a bit more. The i7's expected to be in the new MB Air were supposedly created for Apple's needs.... It is just a matter of waiting right now.
    You can make a very good implementation of a mediocre cpu, or a bad implementation of a great cpu...:cool: . Let's hope Both the cpu and Apple's implementation is good
     
  12. Duke15 macrumors 6502

    Duke15

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    #12
    Very true, although im not 100% on the CPU just yet, or should i say GPU, CPU should be good, I think it will be as good as the 320 but a lot of ppl disagree so guess we shall see
     
  13. halledise macrumors 65816

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    #13
    the guys in our local Apple (Reseller) Store maintain the base 11" MBAir will have an i3 processor - with the ULV i5 reserved for 'best' 11" Air and the i7 and the 13" Airs

    yesh, new one on me too - but they seemed pretty confident of this …
     
  14. blipmusic macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2011
    #14
    Seriously? Stop projecting. The new MBA no doubt will find its way into the hands of DJs and other live musicians.

    Load a few software synths and huge sample libraries while tweaking audio tracks with live fx and come back to me with your results. Because that's what *I* will do when I get the 11" SB MBA as my only computer.
     
  15. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

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    #15
    Just have 2 windows XP versions in parallels and try to OCR a dozen or so PDF's in Acrobat and you are lacking quite some memory if you have 2Gb installed. Even with 4Gb I see my MBA 13" ultimate starting to swap quite some data.
    I prefer the 13" because it has so much more real estate, but I can see people easily using an 11", i7 and 8Gb without ever having to edit video or photo's.
    So for the minor price difference between 2Gb and 4Gb in the past it was well worth it to future-proof your MBA and I expect it to be the same with the new MBA'11.

    Because I bought the maxed out MBA'10 I don't need a MBA'11, my MBA will last at least until the MBA'12 arrives, at which point I might be seduced into buying the MBA'12, but most likely not needing it. So for me it was worth spending an extra €190 for a faster CPU and 4Gb of memory as it makes my laptop last at least another year, perhaps even two, longer.

    So to answer the topics question: yes, it might be worth it to max-out your MBA'11 if you use it more heavily and you want to future proof your MBA. But if you're just after a light weight computer for light weight tasks, (some mail, safari, a little game, word and some video-watching) then it might not be worth it.
     
  16. KillerTree macrumors regular

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    #16
    They're just guessing.
     
  17. mrklaw macrumors 68000

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    #17
    how do they compare? Eg hyperthreading mobile i5 (2 physical cores, 4 threads) Vs desktop i5 (4 physical cores, 4 threads)?
     
  18. Obi Wan Kenobi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

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    #18
    Thanks for that.

    I do wonder how much 'future-proofing' is wise with an MBA. Parts are not upgradeable after sale, and so once things start to fail the device's life-span is immediately curtailed. I'm thinking particularly about the battery. Batteries only have so many charge cycles in them, and their performance deteriorates over time.

    Perhaps someone else here knows better?
     
  19. mrklaw macrumors 68000

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    #19
    battery on the MBP isn't user replaceable either. Isn't the MBA battery replaceable by Apple?
     
  20. Obi Wan Kenobi, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    Obi Wan Kenobi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

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    #20
    I have an old Alu MB. My battery is easy to replace. Move two clips and it pops right out. I don't know about the newer ones.
     
  21. halledise macrumors 65816

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    #21
    of course they are :D

    but then - isn't everyone on this forum also :rolleyes:
     
  22. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #22
    $129 plus tax.
     
  23. Mikael macrumors regular

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    #23
    Yep, but all mobile i5s have HT. In fact, all mobile Sandy Bridge CPUs have HT.

    On the desktop side, only the quad core i5s lack HT.

    Well, there isn't really all that much Apple can do to screw things up in regards to the CPU. I guess you have a point if you count the on-die graphics and the fact that Apple writes their own drivers, though.
     
  24. racketeer71 macrumors regular

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    #24
    Handbrake..?
     
  25. Mikael macrumors regular

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    #25
    Nope. Cache usually has very little impact on encoding times. Also, even in favorable cases, you'd be unlikely to see a performance increase of more than ~5%.
     

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