Computer out of thin air: MacBook Air (NVIDIA)

The new MacBook Air, when closed compartment connectors were indistinguishable from the first. Still, from him all those “… from a solid block of aluminium” and went and put on the case the name of the model was below their dignity – but inside it was a completely different computer. Accurate data on the volume of sales of the first MacBook Air no although the hype about his appearance on the shelves was, the computer was considered a prestigious accessory, but whether it was sufficiently massive for Apple – question. I guess not. Known about the technical problems, for example due to overheating, shutting down one of the CPU cores. The beauty demands victims.

But the corrupted “non-replaceable” battery in the MacBook Air friends relatively easily and quickly replaced by new – for that, you had to Unscrew 10 screws and then return them to the place.

In October 2008, the MacBook Air has finally turned into computer (Air in English “air”, it was meant in the title), but the real success came to him only after his transformation from status toy for the elite to a product for all…

This is the second part of a series about the MacBook Air. Links to previous parts below:

First part: MacBook Air: half of computer for the price of two….

General data

The first MacBook Air was born long and difficult, so to 14 October 2008 it was MacBook om the most ancient and inefficient processors, manufactured on 65nm technology.

In the model announced October 14, 2008 used compact modification of the chipset, jointly developed by NVIDIA and Apple, with integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and a General purpose microcontroller with reduced power consumption (45 nm technology).

Read more about processors – in the section on options. I note only that the second level cache in low-voltage processors used in the new MacBook Air – 6 MB. In the first Air – 4 MB.

The problem with overheating is not something to disappear entirely, but happened less often.

For technical reasons, in a cramped and hot case NVIDIA GeForce 9400M could not unfold completely – which surpassed the performance of the Intel GMA X3100 from the previous model only 4 times.

The clock frequency of frontal system bus has increased from 800 MHz to 1066 MHz, EFI has become 64-bit, Parallel ATA (PATA) was replaced by c SATA 1.5 GB/s. the slowness of the hard drive was one of the most criticized shortcomings of the first Air.

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M significantly expanded graphical capabilities of the new Air, but not having a dedicated graphics memory used for their needs and 256MB shared RAM (Intel GMA X3100 was content to 144 Megabytes, or 160 if the MacBook Air was connected to an external monitor).

And it was only 2 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM (1066 MHz), soldered to the motherboard and to increase its volume was impossible. No way. Miniaturization is evil.

Screen with a diagonal of 13.3 inch (33.8 cm), glossy, led backlight.
Light sensor regulating the brightness of the screen. The native resolution of 1280×800. For laptops especially the small size is fantastic. Or anything – to it claims were not.

The external monitor support resolution up to 2560 x 1600.

Full-size backlit keyboard controlled by ambient light sensor.

Optical drive? Everyone knows that it was not, but he was. External, extra. MacBook Air SuperDrive (MB397G/A), in the case of height 1.7 cm, width and depth of 13.9 cm and a weight of 320 grams. DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW. Offered in the online store, but how much he’s worth could not figure out.

The primary means of interaction with the outside world was the wireless technology. And AirPort Extreme (802.11 a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR – built-in. To include a wireless IR sensor for Apple Remote (which does not work with any other device), and a built-in iSight camera (640×480).

1 USB 2.0 port. Support Ethernet through an external Apple 10/100Base-T Ethernet adapter (USB-Ethernet), offered in the online store for $ 29.

Mini DisplayPort. MacBook Air and a 24-inch LED Cinema Display is nice and comfortable. And if you close the lid (magnetic closure), and to connect an external keyboard… it Seemed that Air begins to work much faster. Illusion, but pleasant.

Ah, Yes: the model ID MacBookAir2,1.


As “MacBookAir1,1”, “MacBookAir2,1” offered in two versions. Conditionally they can be called “cheap” (hard disk) and “expensive” (c SSD).

A cheap option was used in the Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 GHz (SL9300), cache second level 6 MB. The basic kit contain a hard drive capacity of 120 Gigabytes (4 200 rpm).

Cheapest option was worth is, as before, 1 799 dollars. For $ 200 more than the most expensive MacBook and the Unibody… but the “show-off more important than money”, especially in the provinces.

For an additional $ 500, this drive was replaced by SSD volume of 128 GB.

Expensive option used Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz (SL9400), was included in the package is the same SSD volume of 128 GB.

Expensive option considerably decreased – to 2 $ 499. 3 098 dollars.

According to Apple to replace the HD or SSD outside Apple was impossible, but people did and are doing still.

To be continued

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