Intel (FINALLY) Lauches MacBook Air-type i7/i5 processors! - ehMac.ca
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Old May 24th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #1
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Intel (FINALLY) Lauches MacBook Air-type i7/i5 processors!

The i7-660UM runs at 1.33 but Turbo Boosts up to 2.4Ghz

The i5-540UM runs at 1.2Ghz but turbo boots up to 2.0Ghz.

They're also pretty small processors apparently:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnet.com
One of the distinguishing features of these processors is the chip's package size, which is 32 percent smaller than standard processor packages, according to Intel.
Maybe Apple can pair these chips with an underclocked Nvidia 330M?

The only problem I can see is that the Intel i7/i5 processors themselves use 18 Watt TDP - but the SL9400 used in the current MBA are 17 Watt TDP and the 9400M is reportedly 12W. But the 330M is reportedly 23Watt. So...

Current MBA: SL9400 + 9400M GPU --> 29 Watt TDP

Potential Future MBA: i7-660UM + 330M GPU --> 41 Watt TDP

Or... ATI has a Mobile GPU the 5650 which has a TDP of ~16W so that would make it:

i7-660UM + ATI 5650 --> 34W TDP

Not *that* much more than the current 29 Watt TDP.

Fingers Crosses SO MUCH for a MBA update. C'mon Apple!
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Old May 24th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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I think it will be hard to convince the general public that going from a 1.86GHz processor to a 1.2 GHz processor is an upgrade at all.

That's probably why the first generation of mobile i7s never made in into the MBPs (even though they had quads), their clock speed was too low.

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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrefly View Post
The i7-660UM runs at 1.33 but Turbo Boosts up to 2.4Ghz

The i5-540UM runs at 1.2Ghz but turbo boots up to 2.0Ghz.

They're also pretty small processors apparently:

Maybe Apple can pair these chips with an underclocked Nvidia 330M?
Sadly no such chance. Intel isn't licensing NVIDIA to produce i3/i5/i7 based chipsets, which means we won't be seeing integrated NVIDIA GPUs with these chips. I wouldn't count on the Air getting discrete graphics either given the lack of physical real estate on the logic board, and the amount of battery it would chew up.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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I think it will be hard to convince the general public that going from a 1.86GHz processor to a 1.2 GHz processor is an upgrade at all.
I think it'll be more difficult to convince the general public to spend upwards of $1599 + for any MacBook Air.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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The 330M is too power-hungry, yes... but I never suggested an Integrated solution. There's also the discrete Nvidia 310M which has a lower power requirement and several from ATI (like the 5430 which only has a TDP of 7W). There's at least room to hope I'd think.

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Originally Posted by idphoto
I think it will be hard to convince the general public that going from a 1.86GHz processor to a 1.2 GHz processor is an upgrade at all.
Well, I'd agree, but they just convinced people that an i5 2.4Ghz was worth MORE than a Core2 2.53 Ghz (Low end 15" MBP went UP in price by $100). Not as much of a jump from 1.2->1.86, but the i7-660UM runs at 1.33 - so less of a jump to 1.86. Benchmarks will show it's faster, regardless.

Plus, on the MacRumors forums, they've been talking about the possibility that you can turn off the IGP Die(Graphics Chip) on the i7 processor and use that extra juice to overclock the 660UM to 2.0Ghz+. That would be GREAT - and certainly an upgrade worth waiting for,

Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo
I think it'll be more difficult to convince the general public to spend upwards of $1599 + for any MacBook Air.
You're certainly welcome to your opinion, but I have a RevB SSD Air and I love it so much. Only problem I see lately is 2GB RAM is not enough, but the machine's coming up on 2+ years of use and not a problem so far. The air has a small (but devoted) following.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fyrefly View Post
The 330M is too power-hungry, yes... but I never suggested an Integrated solution. There's also the discrete Nvidia 310M which has a lower power requirement and several from ATI (like the 5430 which only has a TDP of 7W). There's at least room to hope I'd think.
There's physically no room for discrete graphics; it's simply not an option. Here's a picture of the current MacBook Pro logic board c/o Ars Technica:



Red for CPU with IGP, green for the system controller, and blue for the discrete GPU. Compare that to the MacBook Air:



Red for CPU, green for controller with IGP this time. There's nowhere to fit a discrete GPU. Apple's best bet for the MacBook Air is to stick with the Core 2 Duo and NVIDIA chipsets.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #7
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Apple has developed their own chip for the iPad. Perhaps they have something more powerful in the works that replaces the 9400M as controller and IGP, if not the processor also. It would certainly be a big differentiator if they could pull it off.

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