Apple updates MacBook Pro line with next-gen CPU, GPU & Thunderbolt I/O

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
As expected, Apple on Thursday updated its MacBook Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.



Overview



Starting at $1,199 and featuring the very latest dual-core processors, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation. In addition to the new 13-inch model, Apple also updated its larger, faster 15- and 17-inch configurations.



Â?The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers,Â? said Philip Schiller, AppleÂ?s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. Â?Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro.Â?



Sandy Bridge architecture with integrated Intel HD Graphics



The new Core i5 and Core i7 chips found inside the 13-inch MacBook Pros are part of Intel's new Sandy Bridge architecture and also include integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3SDRAM shared with the main memory.



The entry level 13-inch model offers a 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with a 3MB shared L3 cache for $1,999 while a $1,499 configuration includes a 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with 4MB of shared L3 cache.



Thunderbolt



The new MacBook Pros are the first computers on the market to include the unique Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer.



Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters.







Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.



FaceTime HD



The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for crisp, widescreen video calls. With AppleÂ?s FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch.







FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.



Unibody enclosures



The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its same aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.



EPEAT Gold status



Every Mac notebook achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements. Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.



In addition, each new MacBook Pro comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iLife, AppleÂ?s suite of applications for creating and sharing photos, movies and music.



Features included with new Core i5 and i7 chips

New Intel Core i5 and i7 chips up to 2x faster at the core



The new 13-inch MacBook Pro models feature the new dual-core Intel Core i5 processor or the fastest dual-core processor available Â? the Intel Core i7, and they use IntelÂ?s recently refined chipsets. This makes the new MacBook Pros perform up to twice as fast as the previous generation, capable of handling demanding tasks like editing HD video, compiling audio, or rendering a multilayered image file. And ac OS X Snow Leopard is designed to take advantage of every processor core, maximizing performance.




Faster single-chip microarchitecture



The latest Intel Core architecture puts the processor, cache, memory controller, and graphics engine on a single chip. Data travels a shorter distance, allowing for greater efficiency.



Turbo Boost 2.0



Turbo Boost is a dynamic performance technology that automatically increases the speed of the active cores Â? up to 3.4GHz. Turbo Boost 2.0 is even more dynamic and efficient. By shifting core frequency in smaller increments than before, it allows the processor to manage performance without sacrificing efficiency.



Hyper-Threading



Hyper-Threading is now standard on every MacBookÂ*Pro. This technology allows two threads to run simultaneously on each core, so MacÂ*OSÂ*X recognizes eight virtual cores on a quad-core processor and four on a dual-core processor. When youÂ?re running multiple applications at once, the processor spreads tasks more evenly across a greater number of cores.



Integrated memory controller



With faster access to memory, each core can get right to work on your data, rather than waiting for it to arrive. ThatÂ?s why the new Intel Core architecture uses an integrated memory controller to connect fast 1333MHz memory directly to the processor. Together with up to 8MB of shared L3 cache, the integrated memory controller helps your applications run at peak performance.



Energy-efficient graphics



Thanks to the new microarchitecture, the graphics processor is on the same chip as the central processor and has direct access to L3 cache. That proximity translates into performance. The graphics processor also automatically increases clock speeds for higher workloads. An integrated video encoder enables HD video calls with FaceTime, while an efficient decoder gives you long battery life when youÂ?re watching DVDs or iTunes movies.

Technical Specifications

Size and weight:

Height: 0.95 inch (2.41 cm)

Width: 12.78 inches (32.5 cm)

Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)

Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.04 kg)

Connections and expansion:

MagSafe power port

Gigabit Ethernet port

FireWire 800 port (up to 800 Mbps)

Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)

Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps)

Audio in/out

SDXC card slot

Kensington lock slot

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 106
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    I'm sure many will be thrilled by the speed, but I'm majorly disappointed.... My hopes for a MacBook Pro Air have been dashed.... Maybe next year...
  • Reply 2 of 106
    Hmmm.... no SSD or instant boot-up.... yet.



    But it will happen next year, I am sure, which will coincide with my upgrade cycle!
  • Reply 3 of 106
    .....
  • Reply 4 of 106
    AMD? Gross.
  • Reply 5 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    AMD? Gross.



    Pack that attitude up and take it home, AMD graphics are nothing to sneeze at mate.
  • Reply 6 of 106
    Bleh!! All I wanted was higher res for the 13" MBP like the Air...



    I guess I'll stick with my 2008 Aluminum Macbook (fitted with SSD) for now ti'll next year.
  • Reply 7 of 106
    Please give me a speed comparison between my Imac 3.06ghz Intel core duo 2 vs the new Macbook Pro 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with the same amount of ram. I have no idea if a 2.0 core i7 matches up favorably with a 3.06 core duo 2. If I does I want the Macbook instead.
  • Reply 8 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffw View Post


    Bleh!! All I wanted was higher res for the 13" MBP like the Air...



    I guess I'll stick with my 2008 Aluminum Macbook (fitted with SSD) for now ti'll next year.



    Yup
  • Reply 9 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    AMD? Gross.



    AMD purchased ATI a while ago. This is just the first set of Macs with the rebranded video.
  • Reply 10 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grilla View Post


    Please give me a speed comparison between my Imac 3.06ghz Intel core duo 2 vs the new Macbook Pro 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with the same amount of ram. I have no idea if a 2.0 core i7 matches up favorably with a 3.06 core duo 2. If I does I want the Macbook instead.



    It could be at least as fast as your iMac. At least in terms of raw CPU power. But... Wait for the benchmarks. And what quad core apps will you be using? Sigh anyway all this stuff is getting too bloody confusing for me.
  • Reply 11 of 106
    I have to say it looks like they just wanted to get this out of the way and move on to the actual main event, the iPad 2. iPad is the future.
  • Reply 12 of 106
    .....
  • Reply 13 of 106
    Such crap old graphics cards



    Yeah lets benchmark them against a 3 year old game and a 6 year old game

  • Reply 14 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OmicronTurtle View Post


    Such crap old graphics cards



    Yeah lets benchmark them against a 3 year old game and a 6 year old game





    Man you would bitch if they hung you with a new rope eh......
  • Reply 15 of 106
    I like the introduction of the light peak...er, thunderbolt. I am also happy with the fancy speed bumps. I guess we will see a real redesign later on down the road. The battery life of 7 hours worries me, but supposedly this is based on "real" usage. The benchmarks will let us know.



    Only one thing disturbs me, and this seems indicative of Apple's recent money-grubbing. WTF is Apple doing charging for FaceTime? This is just nickle-and-diming the customers. I am sorry, but this should be included with MacOS and iOS. To charge for this after previously providing (similar) iChat with MacOS strikes me as a very Microsoft thing to do. Tacky Apple, tacky.
  • Reply 16 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    Man you would bitch if they hung you with a new rope eh......



    No, everything else about the specs I like, but Apple continues to put poor graphics cards in their consumer and even "pro" products.



    Dont bother with the get a PC for gaming argument. If Apple gave decent graphics cards in their products more and more new games would come to Mac
  • Reply 17 of 106
    How are the graphics chips "old"? I understand that Intel's graphics chips are less capable than AMD or nVidia's, but the HD 3000 chipset is specific to the Sandy Bridge platform, which has been out for about seven weeks now.
  • Reply 18 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    Only one thing disturbs me, and this seems indicative of Apple's recenty money-grubbing. WTF is Apple doing charging for FaceTime?



    Wait until you see the prices for all the thunderbolt adapters you will need to carry around with your portable computer.



    Also, FaceTime is an open standard so anyone can write a free FaceTime app for OSX...oh wait they lied about that too!
  • Reply 19 of 106
    djintxdjintx Posts: 454member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    I like the introduction of the light peak...er, thunderbolt. I am also happy with the sped fancy speed bumps. I guess we will see a real redesign later on down the road. The battery life of 7 hours worries me, but supposedly this is based on "real" usage. The benchmarks will let us know.



    Only one thing disturbs me, and this seems indicative of Apple's recent money-grubbing. WTF is Apple doing charging for FaceTime? This is just Nickle-and-diming the customers. I am sorry, but this should be included with MacOS and iOS. To charge for this after previously providing iChat with MacOS strikes me as a very Microsoft thing to do. Tacky Apple, tacky.



    Since when has Apple given away new software for older Macs? Every time there is a new iLife suite released, it is only free and included with new Mac purchases. It's not like we can go online and download the updates for free.
  • Reply 20 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fireball1244 View Post


    How are the graphics chips "old"? I understand that Intel's graphics chips are less capable than AMD or nVidia's, but the HD 3000 chipset is specific to the Sandy Bridge platform, which has been out for about seven weeks now.



    It doesn't matter when it came out or when it was designed, it's rubbish. Upon reflection, it is old in the sense that Intel's GPUs have lagged years behind Nvidia and AMD GPU technology.
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