Intel Launches New Broadwell Chips Appropriate for MacBook Air and 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today announced the launch of a full set of "Broadwell-U" processors, opening the door for updated versions of Apple's MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The chip launch is essentially in line with a leaked timeline from last July that also pegs the release of more powerful Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as late as July or August of this year.

As outlined by AnandTech, the new Broadwell-U chips include a set of four 28-watt chips ranging from 2.5 GHz to 3.1 GHz in base frequency and featuring new Iris 6100 integrated graphics. The Core i5-5257U, Core i5-5287U, and Core i7-5557U chips appear to allow for direct upgrades from the Haswell-U chips currently used in the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. While the new chips include only a 100 MHz CPU speed increase over their Haswell counterparts, a number of other improvements, especially with regard to graphics, should make for significantly improved performance.

broadwell_u

Broadwell-U chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (top) and MacBook Air (bottom)
(Source: AnandTech
)

On the MacBook Air front, Intel is offering four different 15-watt Broadwell-U chips that would be appropriate for the lineup, with all of the new chips carrying improved HD 6000 graphics. Base clock speeds range from 1.6 GHz to 2.2 GHz compared to the 1.4 GHz and 1.7 GHz options available in the current MacBook Air, and associated upgrades in Broadwell should yield significant performance improvements for the new chips.

Looking at potential release dates for Apple's Broadwell systems, Intel tells AnandTech that the new Broadwell-U chips are already shipping to vendors, with the first systems based on the new chips expected by the end of the month. Systems based on chips using Iris graphics may be more toward the end of the current quarter.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forums: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

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Top Rated Comments

ValSalva Avatar
124 months ago
Too little too late? If one can, wait for Skylake at this point.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacHiavelli Avatar
124 months ago
Too little too late? If one can, wait for Skylake at this point.

But when? Will Intel delay Skylake to maximise Broadwell's shelf life?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
124 months ago
Safari is going to be so snappy on this new chip
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmChimera Avatar
124 months ago
Too little too late? I'd wait for Skylake at this point.

Yeah, I'm not upgrading my Macbook Pro until it has Skylake.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
124 months ago
Will we get a completely new Mac mini design with these new CPUs or will Apple wait for Skylake? Since they just "updated" the Mac mini (debatable) will they wait another two or three years and then stop making it because they didn't sell enough units?

It's like they're trying to kill it on purpose. :(
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ctyrider Avatar
124 months ago
But IMHO it's more likely than not that there will be Skylake Macs significantly before mid-2016. Like I said: If you can wait. Any time is good for a Mac if you need one.

Early 2016 would be the soonest we will see any Skylake-based MacBooks. Sure, if you don't need a new Mac this year - go ahead and wait. That same rule applies to any new generation / upgrade / refresh.

There is nothing special or unique about Skylake that makes it a "must", not any more so than any other iteration of Intel CPUs.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)