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Apple quietly updates MacBook Pro lineup with faster CPUs, graphics

post #1 of 75
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With no mention of the update, Apple on Monday improved its MacBook Pro lineup with slightly faster Intel processors, as well as new graphics processors and larger hard drives in some models.

The new entry-level MacBook Pro now sports a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU. It also features a larger 500GB 5400-rpm hard drive at the same cost of $1,199.

The faster 13-inch MacBook Pro now boasts a 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, and its hard drive has also been upgraded to 750GB. It sells for $1,499.

For the 15-inch models, both feature quad-core Intel Core i7 processors. The low-end 15-inch has a clock speed of 2.2GHz and a 500GB hard drive, plus a faster AMD Radeon HD 6750M discrete graphics card with 512MB of GDDR5. The faster 15-inch runs at 2.4GHz with a 750GB hard drive and features the AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB of GDDR5.

And the updated 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with a 750GB hard drive, along with the AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB of GDDR5. All MacBook Pro models come with 4GB of RAM clocked at 1333MHz standard.

Apple's top-of-the-line build-to-order 17-inch MacBook Pro offers a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 for an additional $250, while the RAM can be upgraded to 8GB for another $200. All MacBook Pro models can also have their hard drives upgraded to solid state capacities up to 512GB for as much as $1,200.



All of the new MacBook Pros are listed as in stock, and come with free shipping. Monday's upgrade was done silently by Apple, as the company didn't even list the updated notebooks as being "new" to the store. As of Monday morning, the iPhone 4S was still listed as Apple's newest product.



AppleInsider first reported in September that Apple was set to surprise with a late 2011 MacBook Pro refresh. The relatively minor upgrades are expected to allow the professional line of notebooks to remain competitive until Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge chips launch in the Spring of 2012.
post #2 of 75
All nice upgrades.
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post #3 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

All nice upgrades.

Yep...just in time for the holidays. Expect another sales breaking season from Apple!

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post #4 of 75
I've been checking daily and waiting to drop my order as soon as they were introduced so it was a nice discovery a couple of hours ago... (hence the email).

What I forgot to mention was there is also a drop in the price of the Hi-Res Anti Glare screen - on the 15" its down from AUD240.00 (from memory) to AUD165.00

Cheers,
Chris
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With no mention of the update, Apple on Monday improved its MacBook Pro lineup with slightly faster Intel processors, as well as new graphics processors and larger hard drives in some models.

Why not have a major event like they did with the iPhone? The changes to the MacBooks are comparable to the changes made to the i4.
post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Why not have a major event like they did with the iPhone? The changes to the MacBooks are comparable to the changes made to the i4.

Its not that big a spec bump to warrant a huge release party....c'mon...does every vendor have that for all of their upgrades? No they don't.......

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post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Its not that big a spec bump to warrant a huge release party....c'mon...does every vendor have that for all of their upgrades? No they don't.......

You might go as far to say that these upgrades would not even be noticeable to casual users. The quad i5 and i7 chips are already so fracking fast at running OSX that the limiting factor is RAM throughput and hard drive speed. The speed will show up in gaming and benchmarks, but not be a big deal for anyone else.

Still, nice upgrades. I'd be interested if the chips are cooler and lower powered as well. Does anyone know?
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Why not have a major event like they did with the iPhone?p

Because the updates don't really mean anything.

Quote:
The changes to the MacBooks are comparable to the changes made to the i4.

Not at all

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post #9 of 75
Congrats on letting CJ troll you guys. Nice bumps, but I'm still waiting for tax time and the Ivy Bridge MBPs to take the laptop plunge.
post #10 of 75
I wish they would offer a higher res, non reflective screen as an option on the faster 13"
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by CxJx View Post

What I forgot to mention was there is also a drop in the price of the Hi-Res Anti Glare screen - on the 15" its down from AUD240.00 (from memory) to AUD165.00

The price difference in the US was $150 before and after. In the EU, the price difference was 150 euro before and after. Memory and SSD upgrade prices are also unchanged.

I had been hoping that Apple would make 1680x1050 the new standard for the 15" models, so I'm disappointed. A decrease from 200 to 150 (dollars or euro) for the 4GB to 8GB upgrade would have suggested that we might hope for 8GB base memory some time next year. As is, I think 2013 is the earliest we can hope for 8GB minimum RAM (Mac Pro possibly excepted).
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post #12 of 75
Just in time. I will be ordering the 15 inch with 2.4GHz. I will upgrade to 8GB RAM but will do the upgrade myself. Just waiting for MacMall offers on AI!
post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Why not have a major event like they did with the iPhone? The changes to the MacBooks are comparable to the changes made to the i4.

Computer says no. Seriously, you should be able to see why Apple would do a special event to announce the iPhone, but not a nudgary Intel CPU spec bump. The CPU is twice as fast? The GPU is 7x faster? There is Siri in the new Macs that needs to be demoed? There are lines for MBPs this morning? There has been worldwide anticipation for new MBPs that will sell a reported 40 million units before the year's end?
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post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Why not have a major event like they did with the iPhone? The changes to the MacBooks are comparable to the changes made to the i4.

Not. Leave, troll.

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post #15 of 75
Well, there ends my 9 months of being king of the geeks with my previously top of the line 17" MBP.....!
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Just in time. I will be ordering the 15 inch with 2.4GHz. I will upgrade to 8GB RAM but will do the upgrade myself. Just waiting for MacMall offers on AI!

Yep - I upgraded my early-2011 rev to 8gb for about $45 via NewEgg. Apple's memory upgrades are no longer the ludicrous prices they used to be, but they are still unreasonable for anyone who feels comfortable turning a couple of screws on the bottom of their machines!
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Well, there ends my 9 months of being king of the geeks with my previously top of the line 17" MBP.....!

LOL - that's exactly what I was thinking of when I read these upgrades were coming (although mine is the top-of-the-line 15", which I didn't really want but it was the only way to get the matte, high-res display in-store).
post #18 of 75
That's a nice graphics upgrade. The 6770M will be able to play the latest games (Deus Ex, Rage) at very respectable settings. I know because I have an older iMac with slightly worse graphics and it plays them just fine.
post #19 of 75
I actually freaked at the pricing this morning.. I ordered a new MBP on the 15 th and received it last friday. Configuring the same model comes out to be 300$ cheaper as of today. I called he online apple store to express my concern. I said I could legally return this unit for a full refund and place an order with the new pricing but would love a solution that was less of a hassle for all. They credited 300$ to my credit card.

Happy camper.
post #20 of 75
Ah, I have to admit it was earlier than I had expected. Guess you never really know with Apple! Not complaining though
post #21 of 75
I am curious whether anyone has thoughts on what predictions can be made about the upgrade of the MacPro based on this latest revision to the MacBook Pro. It sounds to me like we won't see anything until Spring 2012 based on the reference to Sandy Bridge processors in the article.

Thanks
post #22 of 75
I just bought a 13" MBP a week ago. It works fine and is a big improvement from the 1G Intel Macbook. My question is do you think it's worth exchanging for this upgraded version? I see minor speed bump and a larger hard drive. Thanks.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by his blue period View Post

I just bought a 13" MBP a week ago. It works fine and is a big improvement from the 1G Intel Macbook. My question is do you think it's worth exchanging for this upgraded version? I see minor speed bump and a larger hard drive. Thanks.

You have 15 days to exchange it, so why not? Now if there's a restocking fee involved, I probably wouldn't bother. You won't notice the extra 100mhz, and for less money you can upgrade the hard drive yourself to not only have the 500gb of storage, but with a 7200rpm drive (which, believe me, you *will* notice).
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

You have 15 days to exchange it, so why not? Now if there's a restocking fee involved, I probably wouldn't bother. You won't notice the extra 100mhz, and for less money you can upgrade the hard drive yourself to not only have the 500gb of storage, but with a 7200rpm drive (which, believe me, you *will* notice).

With no restocking fee to get the newer machine it's a gimme. It does have some performance improvements, but I think most importantly it will be x-many months newer release thus increasing the resale value when you do eventually sell it for a new machine thus reducing your TCO.
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post #25 of 75
Sorry, but 7200 RPM HDs and discrete graphics should be baseline features in any computer billed as a "Pro" machine.
post #26 of 75
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post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorGonzo View Post

Sorry, but 7200 RPM HDs and discrete graphics should be baseline features in any computer billed as a "Pro" machine.

I'm inclined to agree. FWIW, I did a lot of reading up on 5400 vs 7200rpm drives when I decided to upgrade my first-generation MBP with a larger drive. I'd originally paid extra for the 7200rpm 100gb drive, and when I ran out of room bought a 5400rpm 640gb drive because so many people had said there wouldn't be a discernible difference in speed. Those so many people were wrong. My machine felt like molasses had been poured inside...

This time around I did it right - I moved the 750gb 5400rpm drive into the optical bay of my 2011 MBP and installed a 120gb SSD into the hard drive bay. My OS, Apps, and certain files (including a Windows VM) are on the SSD, my documents are on the traditional drive. Now my machine is quite fluid!
post #28 of 75
Of course some people dislike the increased volume level from the 7200 over the 5400 rpm drive. That is another concern besides battery life. I can't find any recent battery life tests
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorGonzo View Post

Sorry, but 7200 RPM HDs and discrete graphics should be baseline features in any computer billed as a "Pro" machine.

Agreed. But the marketing speak is meaningless. Those things belong in any computer at the MBP's price point.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post


This time around I did it right - I moved the 750gb 5400rpm drive into the optical bay of my 2011 MBP and installed a 120gb SSD into the hard drive bay. My OS, Apps, and certain files (including a Windows VM) are on the SSD, my documents are on the traditional drive. Now my machine is quite fluid!


Sounds like a great way to do it. The best of both worlds.
post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Sounds like a great way to do it. The best of both worlds.

Honestly I'm hoping that if the next round of MBPs ditches the optical drive that that is how they will approach things. Even if it was the soldered on SSD strip ala the MBA, having a SSD and a scratch drive both inside would be very nice.
post #32 of 75
My solution to the 5400RPM dilemma is to no longer buy laptops; my current MacBook Pro rarely ever leaves the desk since the introduction of the iPad, so it's back to an iMac for me the next time I'm due to upgrade.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Computer says no.

LOL! Been watching Little Britain as well, have you?

Cheers,
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post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Of course some people dislike the increased volume level from the 7200 over the 5400 rpm drive. That is another concern besides battery life. I can't find any recent battery life tests

I didn't notice any increased battery life when I put the 5400rpm drive in (that was one of the concerns I had read about with the faster drives). I also didn't notice any perceptible noise with the 7200rpm drive. Then again, the first-generation MBP had plenty of other noises that might have covered up the sound of the hard drive anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Sounds like a great way to do it. The best of both worlds.

That was my thought. I also use the optical drive about three times a year. For those circumstances I picked up an external case for the optical drive (which is usb-powered). Very handy!

In case you're interested:

Total upgrade cost was a little over $300. Well worth it for the speed jump.
post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

All nice upgrades.

They're just a mid generation spec bump. The new cpus retail for an identical amount to what the old ones did. They were designed as mid generation replacements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Of course some people dislike the increased volume level from the 7200 over the 5400 rpm drive. That is another concern besides battery life. I can't find any recent battery life tests

The 7200s carry a noise factor? I don't think I've personally noticed on any that had them. The noisiest thing by far is the fan ramping up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Agreed. But the marketing speak is meaningless. Those things belong in any computer at the MBP's price point.

I agree with you there. Those should be standard features on a premium laptop, and at the macbook pro price points it shouldn't be an issue budgeting for those features. Apple has never really catered to the low end market so I expect slightly more from them in baseline features (remember Steve Jobs saying they choose not to build low end machines?). On the 13" versions do you think it's an issue of space?



Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

In case you're interested:

Total upgrade cost was a little over $300. Well worth it for the speed jump.

That sounds completely awesome. It makes me hope they don't go for a slimmer profile on the macbook pros because I now want that for my next one.
post #36 of 75
I'm still a happy camper with my early 2011 mbp 2.3 ghz

8 gigs made a world of a difference
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post #37 of 75
The previous low end 15 inch model had only 256 MB graphics memory, which was pitiful for a Pro laptop with discrete graphics. Especially considering the increasing use of GPU acceleration in many applications. Glad to see that it has been upgraded to 512 MB.
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

The 7200s carry a noise factor? I don't think I've personally noticed on any that had them. The noisiest thing by far is the fan ramping up.

That was why I was hoping to find some more recent data for testing related to the speed differences. I found several links of people back in 2006 talking about differences in battery life and noise, but hard drives have come a long way in 5 years. The old logic was the 7200rpm ate up more battery life, but the 5400 rpm drives have also come a long way as areal density has increased.

If there are heat differences between the 5400 and the 7200, that could account for more time spent w/the fan on or the fan cranked higher, which would be the main likely noise difference anymore. Like I said, possibly no difference anymore, but still something to wonder about.

EDIT: Found a couple of links:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music...0-5400-hd.html

The second link provides 2 other links w/actual testing, rather than anecdotal information.

http://www.barefeats.com/mbps02.html
http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/...--ssd-hdd.html
post #39 of 75
still no discrete graphics chip for the 13" models...
post #40 of 75
Great, no way to hold back Lion and all it's OD bugginess now, I predict 3 people will want a new laptop by noon tomorrow. Sometimes working in IT sucks.
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