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Intel Preps 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz Processors Suitable for Next MacBook Air


CPU World reports that Intel is working on three new ULV (ultra low voltage) Sandy Bridge processors due later this year.

The three new processors increase the clock speed over their existing Sandy Bridge ULV processors from 1.4-1.6GHz to 1.7-1.8GHz while keeping the TDP (thermal design power) at 17 Watts. The TDP is one of the key factors in Apple's ability to fit these processors into their ultra-portable MacBook Air. At 17 Watts, these processors could indeed be used in Apple's MacBook Air.

We previously highlighted Intel's currently shipping ULV processors as likely candidates for the next MacBook Air. These unreleased processors are obviously even more attractive candidates with turbo boost speeds up to 2.7-2.9GHz. The new processors are listed here:


CPU World has no word on the launch date of these processors, but Apple's been known to receive Intel parts earlier than other manufacturers. The MacBook Air is rumored to be launching in the June-July timeframe. Any of the Sandy Bridge ULV processors would represent a significant boost over the existing MacBook Air processors which are still using the Core 2 Duo processors.


Top Rated Comments

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66 months ago
Backlit Keyboard!!

Please put the Backlit Keyboard back in!! It's a must!
Rating: 12 Votes
66 months ago

For when you want a computer that's only slightly faster than your cell phone. 1.2Ghz dual core Samsung Galaxy S II anyone?


I hope you're joking.
Rating: 8 Votes
66 months ago

My laptop does not have class nor does it represent my class. You guys put too much value into inanimate electronics.


Classiness is Apple's sole reason for premium pricing; seeing how they're number one now, the world thinks class is worth it.
Rating: 6 Votes
66 months ago

For when you want a computer that's only slightly faster than your cell phone. 1.2Ghz dual core Samsung Galaxy S II anyone?


Rating: 5 Votes
66 months ago

the hd3000 over whatever it is called is about as fast as a nvidia 8600m gt


Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact it's doubly not true. First, the rankings where people have been getting that idea actually combine scores from two versions of the 8600M GT. The version which was in the older MBPs is significantly better than its brother, so the ranking for the 8600M GT that we're all familiar with should be quite a bit higher (I fell for this myself).

Second, the HD 3000 we're familiar with is the one that's in the 2011 13" MBP. The version of the HD 3000 we can expect in the Air (such as the one in the processors described in this thread) run at a lower clock speed. So we can't expect the MBA to have the same graphics performance as the MBP. Although, these new chip's turbo speed comes quite close to the chips in the MBP.

I'll agree those are good points, but for a higher-priced machine, people perceive quality. Therefore, especially as the OS is said to be finely tuned to the hardware, the people being bummed out do have a valid point.


Oh certainly, don't get me wrong, I feel we have some right to expect that a new generation of machine shouldn't involve taking a step backwards in something so central as GPU performance. I just mean that there are some business realities involved here that are forcing a sacrifice and Apple has deemed that the sacrifice will inconvenience a small enough sector of the potential customers of this machine that they're willing to go for it. Apple has a spectacular track record for knowing exactly how to scoop the biggest chunk of potential customers. I'm certain they know the downgrade to the HD 3000 will disappoint a group of us but by making this move to Sandy Bridge they're gaining a lot more fans than they're losing. I'd love something with 320M like power but I also understand why it's unrealistic to expect it in the current processor market. I think a 1.8ghz SB MBA owner will have very very little to complain about.
Rating: 5 Votes
66 months ago
Nice to see even the macbook airs are getting sandy bridge processors..
Rating: 4 Votes
66 months ago
I kinda just want this to come out so the October 2010 models will be cheaper, so I can eventually get one of those.
Rating: 3 Votes
66 months ago

An Acer? Wow she must have the patience of a Saint.
Is that like 10 years old? Just wondering


I suggest you google "Acer". You'd probably be surprised at what you find. Huge player in the global market and dominant in Europe.
Rating: 3 Votes
66 months ago

These 2 hit the nail. The larger group is the one that wants, at least see's iX.
Lets put on our (average) consumer goggles and look at the specs sheet.

2010 MBA:
Proc: Core2Duo .. thinks to self, didn't i have that on my last laptop like 3 years ago????
GPU: Nvidia 3....... lost interest, turns to sales guy, "hey can this play portal 2?" sales guy:"Yeah, the Nvidiai blah blah blah..." consumer zones out.

2011 MBA:
Proc: Sandy Bridge i5/i7.. thinks to self, that's what everyone's got, i think it's the newest and latest processor. (smiles)
GPU: Intel integrated..... again, lost interest, turns to sales guy, "hey can this play portal 2?" sales guy:"Yeah, kinda.... blah blah blah" consumer zones out. Thinks to self, I heard "Yeah". I'll get it.

This is what consumers think, at least your average joe. So, Proc always will trump in marketing to the large market. They've probably learned their lesson from saying, 2010 focus' on graphics. No body cares! Except us of course. Marketing can only do so much w/ saying they have nvidia graphics, but the latest Intel Core i7 technology w/ hyper-threading (basically giving you a quad core) and turbo boost can crunch the most computationally heavy programs! (See what I just did there... it's just easier)


On the dot! I used to be all religious about technology and used think of some companies as evil, etc. This changed once I was exposed to reality at work. This is the reality. You can have the best product and fail if you can't market it, and vice-versa. There is a funny story a professor once told me (don't ask for a reference, its just in my memory):

This happened >50 years ago.

A guy walked into a board meeting of Ford motor company: "I have designed this small radio which we can fit in a car. If we put this, people can play music on while they drive."

Random board member: We are in the business of making cars, we don't make toys.

Henry Ford: Wrong! we are not in the business of making cars, we are in the business of making money.

To me, this sums it all up :-)
Rating: 3 Votes
66 months ago

I currently have the maxed out 2010 13" MBA and I simply love the machine. But...I will say that it only takes a few minutes of a Skype video call to get the fans spinning pretty fast.


You will never be satisfied with any laptop if that is your issue. CPUs get hot when used. When they get hot, fans spin up. It's just the way it is.
Rating: 3 Votes

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