Intel’s family of Sandy Bridge processors is about to get a whole lot bigger as the chip manufacturing company ramps up production of new ultra-low voltage (ULV) processors that would be a perfect fit for my favorite portable computer — the MacBook Air.
CPU World has let the proverbial cat out of the bag with a leak this week showing a trio of Core i5 and i7 CPU models that would be faster than the chips currently offered by Intel. Those chips run between 1.4Ghz and 1.6Ghz.
According to CPU World, the new Core i5 2557M will run at 1.7Ghz with the ability to Turbo Boost to 2.7Ghz while the Core i7 2637M and 2677M will run at 1.7Ghz and 1.8Ghz respectively with the ability to run at up to 2.8Ghz and 2.9Ghz respectively.
The three new processors will be dual-core with Hyperthreaded processors including graphics cores that range from 350MHz to 1.2Ghz. Main differences from existing CPUs would be a smaller on-board cache of only 3MB of Level 3 cache versus 4MB and lower clock speeds. The chips will use 17 watts of power between the graphics and processor making them efficient enough to be tucked inside of Apple’s MacBook Air.
The chips themselves are due later in the year, but how late is the question. These new processors could significantly impact the base performance of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs.
Rumors say that the MacBook Air will see a refresh this summer, but the current models were released last Fall and it is anyone’s guess if Apple will wait until then to upgrade the popular MacBook Air product line.