Apple MacBook Pro refresh, adds Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 mobile processors
Here comes the moment, where Apple finally refreshes its MacBook Pro line of laptops with Intel’s latest Core i5 and Intel Core i7 mobile processors. It took Apple this long, no thanks to a processor shortage. And, we have NVIDIA joining the party too, with their Optimus Technology.
Full specifications of the updated MacBook Pro laptops after the break.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro machines are still stuck with Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors (although faster at 2.4GHz and 2.66GHz), but it has a new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics part. Seems like the new hardware and power optimizations are giving a longer battery life; Apple claims up to 10 hours with the 13-inch models.
As for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, it’s available with either the Intel Core i5 (2.4GHz and 2.53GHz) or the Intel Core i7 (2.66GHz) processor. A beefier NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB VRAM does the job of rendering your stuff for display. The highest spec-ed 15-inch Core i7 model has an increased amount of 512MB VRAM though.
And lastly we have the biggest 17-inch MacBook Pro, which is available with one processor – the Core i5 2.53GHz. The same GeForce GT 330M handles the graphics, but it has 512MB VRAM. Hmm, we wonder why only the 15-incher has a Core i7 option, and not the 17-inch.
Apple calls it ‘automatic graphics switching’, but it’s actually NVIDIA’s Optimus Technology at work. The discrete GT 330M GPU is switched on or off depending on the type of content displayed (such as games, design applications, Flash content, etc, basically stuff that can benefit from GPU acceleration); the workload is transferred seamlessly between the NVIDIA chip and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics core. Expect better battery life compared to laptops running solely on discrete graphics. Apple is confident that the 15-inch and 17-inch models can last up to an impressive 8-9 hours.
The rest of the parts are pretty uniform across the three models; all machines have:
- 4GB of DDR3 memory,
- mechanical hard drives as the default (250GB on the lowest end 13-inch, to 500GB on the higher end 15-inch and the 17-inch),
- glossy LED backlit displays (1280×800, 1440×900 and 1920×1200 for the 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch respectively)
- 8x SuperDrive
- mini DisplayPort,
- 2 USB 2.0 ports,
- 1 FireWire 800 port,
- SD card slot (the 17-inch has an ExpressCard 3/4 slot instead),
- backlit keyboard as standard
A few quick clicks into the Apple Store reveals a list of customizations available, such as the ability to upgrade the mechanical hard drive to a solid state drive (of up to 512GB capacity, and at the same time upgrading the size of the hole in your pocket), and even anti-glare screens (finally no more mirrors!).
Go on, the Apple Store is waiting.