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Silent MacBook Pro Update Provides Faster CPUs

In an update too minor to warrant mention by Apple, the entire MacBook Pro line now features slightly faster CPUs and options for larger hard drives, along with some beefier graphics processors.

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: The smallest MacBook Pro now comes with either a 2.4 dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU or a 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, up from clock speeds (the chips remain the same) of 2.3 and 2.7 GHz. The new models also come with either a 500 or 750 GB hard drive; previously the options were 320 or 500 GB.

  • 15-inch MacBook Pro: The mid-level MacBook Pro gains slightly more CPU speed, moving to either a 2.2 or 2.4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, up from the 2.0 and 2.2 GHz options. Previously, the only 7200-rpm hard drive available to replace the 5400-rpm stock hard drive was 500 GB; it’s now 750 GB.

    In the 2.2 GHz configuration of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the discrete graphics processor moves from being an AMD Radeon HD 6490 with 256 MB of GDDR5 memory to the Radeon HD 6750 with 512 MB of GDDR5 memory. The 2.4 GHz configuration jumps from the Radeon HD 6750 with 1 GB of memory to the 6770, also with 1 GB of memory.

  • 17-inch MacBook Pro: On the CPU side, the largest MacBook Pro moves from a 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 up to a 2.4 GHz processor. It also gains the option of a 750 GB 7200-rpm hard drive and replaces its AMD Radeon HD 6750 graphics processor with a 6770.

Obviously, these changes are minor and there’s no way short of formal benchmarks to know how much faster the new CPUs and graphics processors will make everyday tasks. If you’ve been planning to buy a new MacBook Pro, it’s worth making sure you get one of these new models. Prices and all other options remain the same.


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Comments about Silent MacBook Pro Update Provides Faster CPUs
(Comments are closed.)

Like Apple, kind of, well dropped the ball on the MBP's. It did'nt give the user an option of the Thunderbolt as a port and it did'nt include a small SSD that the user could house their installation of LION on. Ya they have increased the RAM on it., but a SSD would have worked better.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-10-28 17:42
I'm a bit confused by your comment - the new models have a Thunderbolt port, just like the previous ones did, and the RAM configurations haven't changed as far as I can see.

And while I'm a big fan of SSDs and they remain available as options for the MacBook Pro, Apple has never done anything like putting a very small SSD in for holding the operating system - it doesn't seem like the kind of thing they'd do.
You're right in that Apple didn't give the user the option of thunderbolt because it's standard. As for the SSD, although it would be cool to use some real estate to put in a MBA style SSD on top of the regular form-factor drive, I suspect they might be considering the spinning drive to be on its way out
I think the DVD drive will be gone long before the HDD. I'm hoping the next major iteration drops the internal DVD drive and puts an SSD in it's place. I think SSD + HDD in a laptop is the way to go for the next few years (I've already done this myself on my own laptop but wish I could purchase a laptop pre-configured like this.)
Ex2bot  2011-10-30 19:01
You can get inexpensive DVI or VGA adaptors from (or Apple, of course).
thomas powers  2011-11-01 13:58
Buy a $10 flash drive and park Lion there. Why put a tiny SSD on the board that's just for that purpose?

I hope DVDs and CDs don't disappear soon. That's where O save stuff while I travel, and how I make copies of stuff that's too big to email. I don't use the cloud, and I wouldn't presume to insist that my friends use it to accept what I share.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-01 16:09
I still don't get this. You mean instead of the Recovery HD partition taking up 700 MB?
Mark Nagata  2011-11-02 23:54
You wrote:
> 13-inch MacBook Pro: The smallest MacBook Pro now comes with either a 2.4 or 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU,

but Apple's page seems to be saying that the 2.8 GHz version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro has the i7 CPU, not i5.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-03 13:55
Yes, you're right - missed that when comparing the old and new spec pages. The only thing that changes is the clock speed still, though - the previous version was an i7 too. I'll fix.