Sandy Bridge Stories March 20, 2013

A detailed performance test of a prototype Core i7 Haswell chip by tom’s Hardware suggests that it will offer a 7 percent to 13 percent performance gain over equivalent Ivy Bridge CPUs—a similar gain to that experienced with the move from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge.

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The integrated HD 4600 GPU experiences an impressive speed boost of almost 30 percent, but the website noted that this still won’t allow for comfortable gaming on HD monitors, so gamers will need discrete graphics chips.

While performance gains reached up to 75 percent in the case of some specific tasks, the gains for typical desktop applications are relatively modest.

Sandy Bridge Stories December 12, 2012

haswell-2013-roadmap

A report from VR-Zone (via Engadget) claimed to show Intel’s plans for its fourth-generation Haswell processors. These are expected to be released in the second quarter of next year and are the likely follow-up to Ivy Bridge for Apple’s next round of Mac refreshes (unless Apple switches to AMD, ARM, or something). Previous leaks showed Intel plans to release the Haswell processors between March and June 2013, and today’s leak, if accurate, gives us a look at all 14 new desktop CPUs expected in the Haswell launch.

The top of the lineup CPU in the Haswell lineup is a 3.5GHz Core i7, 3.9 with Turbo Boost, with a 8MB cache and a TDP of 84W. The low-voltage 35W end of the lineup goes down to a 2.9GHz Core i5. The roadmap also makes a reference to integrated graphics, listing Intel HD 4600 with built-in visuals for all CPU variations. Here is the full first wave of 14 standard and low-voltage CPUs, according to the leaked image:

Standard voltage 84W:Core i7-4770K, Core i7-4770, Core i5-4670K, Core i5-4670, Core i5-4570, and Core i5-4430.

Low-voltage: 35W Core i7-4765T, Core i5-4570T; 45W Core i7-4770T, Core i5-4670T; 65W Core i7-4770S, Core i5-4670S, Core i5-4570S, Core i5-4430S.

Sandy Bridge Stories November 15, 2012

New last-gen MacBook Air: $699

From 9to5Toys.com:

MacConnection offers the base model MacBook Air that was replaced this summer, new in box, for $699. This Air includes an Intel Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz Sandy Bridge dual-core processor, 11.6″ 1366×768 LED-backlit display, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, AirPort Extreme (802.11n wireless), Bluetooth 4.0, Facetime camera, Thunderbolt port, and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Ground shipping is free.

Sandy Bridge Stories September 7, 2012

Clayton Morris at Fox says that new iMacs will launch soon, perhaps as early as next week during the iPhone event or even after the rumored October event, but he seems to think they will be available for the holidays.

I’ve been hoping for an iMac update and it looks like my wish is about to come true! Multiple sources tell me that a new lineup of desktop machines from Apple is imminent.

It appears that Morris changed his story from “releasing next week” but there is no mention of that on the Fox News website.  Only this tweet:

There has been no shortage of new iMac rumors, and supplies have been dwindling in a number of retail channels. We are in agreement with some of Morris’s predictions like USB 3, updated CPU/GPU and SSD options, but we are not yet on board with the outward design overhaul and loss of optical drive.

A few things we can count on in the new iMacs are new Ivy Bridge processors, improved graphics chips, USB 3.0, and expanded SSD capacities. Also look for a new slimmer design with Apple finally removing the optical drive from the side.

It is possible that the iMac announcement could happen at the rumored October iPad mini announcement, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Apple has been known to update the desktops without much fanfare.

Analysts have expected a new iMac for some time now, with KGI Research’s latest estimates below: expand full story

Sandy Bridge Stories September 3, 2012

Price Drop: MacBook Airs at the Apple Store now start at $679

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Apple quietly dropped the prices on refurbished MacBook Airs last night by up to $120. Notables above are 2010 releases of the 11.6″ MacBook Air model with options of 128GB SSD or 4GB of RAM. Apple refurbished items are virtually indistinguishable from new items and come with the same 1 year AppleCare warranty. All refurbished Macs purchased at Apple are also eligible for the OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date Program.

These typically run out of stock very quickly.

Update: All gone. You snooze, you lose.

Sandy Bridge Stories June 12, 2012

iFixit delves inside refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air [Photos]

iFixit is hardcore when it comes to breaking open our favorite electronics to see what’s inside, and the website did it again today with the refreshed MacBook Air that unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference yesterday.

The updated 13-inch MacBook Air, equipped with USB 3.0 and MagSafe 2, sports a few new sizes for those pentalobe screws on the back. It also houses the same battery found in the preceding MacBook Air. Moreover, at first sight, its 128 GB SSD looks strikingly similar to the mid-2011 module:

“But upon closer inspection, the connector for this model’s flash memory module is slightly different than last year!”

The adjusted SSD form factor also shifted to a fresh flash controller. The current unit is SandForce SATA-III controller chip-based, but displays Toshiba marks. The tweaked notebook further boasts Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 128 GB flash memory, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM, and Broadcom BCM 943224. iFixit said, again, that the wireless board is identical to the mid-2011 flavor, but this one carries rotated stickers (sarcasm intended).

Lastly, the RAM is still not upgradeable. Oh, and that MagSafe 2 connector is thinner and wider, and it is not compatible with Apple’s current Cinema displays unless paired with its $10 adapter.

Go to iFixit for the entire teardown.  

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