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Apple's MacBook Pros Catch Up with Core i7 CPUs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 68 comments

New MacBook Pros get refreshed with Nehalem and new Nvidia GPUs.

After most of the entire PC industry already moved to Intel's new 32nm Nehalem-based CPUs, Apple today caught up by refreshing its line of MacBook Pros – but only in the 15- and 17-inch categories, as the 13-inch model still uses Core 2 Duo processors.

The 13-inch does have a leg up on its bigger brothers by boasting an amazing 10-hour battery life, though the 15- and 17-inchers fly by with respectable eight to nine hour ratings with their Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. Batteries, like the previous generation MacBooks are sealed inside the casing and not hot-swappable. Sadly, still no Blu-ray Disc support.

The GPUs have also been updated, with the 13-inch running the Nvidia GeForce 320M as its only option for up to 80 percent faster graphics over the outgoing GeForce 9400M. The new 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Apple-designed technology that switches between the GeForce GT 330M and on-chip Intel HD Graphics (Nvidia says Apple isn't using Optimus).

"The new MacBook Pro is as advanced on the inside as it is stunning on the outside," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With faster processors, amazing graphics and up to three more hours of battery life, the new MacBook Pro delivers both performance and efficiency."

The 2.4 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:

    * 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;

    * 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;

    * 1066 MHz front-side bus;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;

    * 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight® video camera;

    * two USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);

    * SD card slot;

    * combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 60 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

 

The 2.66 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

    * 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;

    * 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;

    * 1066 MHz front-side bus;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;

    * 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight video camera;

    * two USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);

    * SD card slot;

    * combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 60 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 13-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a 320GB 5400 rpm or a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.


The 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US), includes:

    * 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;

    * 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;

    * 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight video camera;

    * two USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire 800 port;

    * SD card slot;

    * audio line in (analog/digital);

    * audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

 

The 2.53 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

    * 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;

    * 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;

    * 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight video camera;

    * two USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire 800 port;

    * SD card slot;

    * audio line in (analog/digital);

    * audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

 

The 2.66 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $2,199 (US), includes:

    * 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;

    * 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 with 4MB shared L3 cache;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;

    * 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight video camera;

    * two USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire 800 port;

    * SD card slot;

    * audio line in (analog/digital);

    * audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

 

Build-to-order options for the 15-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a high resolution 15-inch 1680 x 1050 display in glossy and antiglare, a 500GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

 

The 2.53 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $2,299 (US), includes:

    * 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display;

    * 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;

    * 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;

    * integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;

    * 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;

    * a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;

    * Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);

    * AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;

    * Gigabit Ethernet port;

    * iSight video camera;

    * three USB 2.0 ports;

    * one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);

    * ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;

    * audio line in (analog/digital);

    * audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);

    * glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;

    * built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and

    * 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 17-inch MacBook Pro include a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, a 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, antiglare display, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    jonpaul37 , April 13, 2010 9:00 PM
    ... and the Dell version of the SAME exact laptops cost almost half what the Apple products sell for! Good for you Apple, rob from everyone and give to the rich!
  • 22 Hide
    mianmian , April 13, 2010 8:10 PM
    Apple, you are late!
  • 21 Hide
    jonpaul37 , April 13, 2010 8:59 PM
    not that i am a fan of Dell's but Apple is the devil!
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    mianmian , April 13, 2010 8:10 PM
    Apple, you are late!
  • 21 Hide
    jonpaul37 , April 13, 2010 8:59 PM
    not that i am a fan of Dell's but Apple is the devil!
  • 25 Hide
    jonpaul37 , April 13, 2010 9:00 PM
    ... and the Dell version of the SAME exact laptops cost almost half what the Apple products sell for! Good for you Apple, rob from everyone and give to the rich!
  • 17 Hide
    warezme , April 13, 2010 9:02 PM
    but they have the most advanced cutting edge technology available! pfftt!
  • -4 Hide
    Toddosan , April 13, 2010 9:04 PM
    Yawn, snooze, We will talk apple when u get a better graphics chip instead of a rehased one that sucks badly. Also i predict that apple will stop being a computer company and head fully into the realm of consumer electronics and leaving its Macintosh users in the dust in about 5 years or so.
  • 12 Hide
    Lessqqmorepewpew , April 13, 2010 9:04 PM
    good god. the asus u30 is half the cost and twice the power!!
  • 6 Hide
    builderbobftw , April 13, 2010 9:08 PM
    Must be pretty hard to be the worst prebuilt now thats saying something
  • 18 Hide
    Abrahm , April 13, 2010 9:17 PM
    Oh look! They are still under powered and over priced!
  • 1 Hide
    orionantares , April 13, 2010 9:32 PM
    And of course today's deal is an 18.6" HP i7 at 1/3 the price of a slightly bumped up configuration on the 17" MacBook Pro to better match the HP laptop.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2010 9:42 PM
    lol, I love how some readers are here. Saying cheap plastic laptops with short battery life and a bloated OS never designed for mobile use actually compares to a Macbook Pro. I don't see any of the mentioned laptops with multitouch, IPS LED screen, and aluminum unibody. Along with 8-10 hour battery with a full Core i5/i7.. not the watered down low voltage core 2's.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2010 10:05 PM
    Dude, just use your ultra fast serial ATA 5400RPM drive to crush the iCompetition! Then dazzle'em with your 512MB of VRAM to the Alienware's m11x's 1GB, then they'll all be iSorry... They even read this article....lol
  • 13 Hide
    norb8 , April 13, 2010 10:09 PM
    Ethan314159: All those "premium" features is why Apple enthusiasts are labeled as snobs because most people don't want to pay an additional 100$ for a uni body laptop plus $300 for an LED screen. That savings could go to additional upgrades or other uses.

    Maybe Apple loyalists need the extra long battery life while they sit in a Starbucks typing their novel.
  • 4 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , April 13, 2010 10:10 PM
    Not having a swappable battery is unacceptable. On the other hand, everyone has their reasoning. I wonder what theirs is?
  • -6 Hide
    thejerk , April 13, 2010 10:23 PM
    Ethan314159lol, I love how some readers are here. Saying cheap plastic laptops with short battery life and a bloated OS never designed for mobile use actually compares to a Macbook Pro. I don't see any of the mentioned laptops with multitouch, IPS LED screen, and aluminum unibody. Along with 8-10 hour battery with a full Core i5/i7.. not the watered down low voltage core 2's.


    You're obviously a moron.
  • 1 Hide
    manitoublack , April 13, 2010 10:29 PM
    mlopinto2k1Not having a swappable battery is unacceptable. On the other hand, everyone has their reasoning. I wonder what theirs is?

    So that when the battery dies you have to buy a new laptop, not just replace the battery
  • 5 Hide
    pcfxer , April 13, 2010 10:32 PM
    The battery is swappable. "OMG not six screws I can no longer unplug the flat cable and unscrew six tiny screws!!! TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE give the exception life and longevity!"
  • 14 Hide
    jimmysmitty , April 13, 2010 10:34 PM
    Ethan314159lol, I love how some readers are here. Saying cheap plastic laptops with short battery life and a bloated OS never designed for mobile use actually compares to a Macbook Pro. I don't see any of the mentioned laptops with multitouch, IPS LED screen, and aluminum unibody. Along with 8-10 hour battery with a full Core i5/i7.. not the watered down low voltage core 2's.


    Those same "cheap" laptops have had multitouch, LED back-lit screens AND Core i3/i5/i7s for a while. Apple is just way behind in tech. You always pay more and get less with Apple. They are kinda the anti-Wal-Mart.

    Oh and in honesty, Windows 7 is actually easily on par with OS X.
  • -9 Hide
    onekill , April 13, 2010 10:34 PM
    Lol, I love Apple haters, they make my day. The fact that you can't afford a good computer, is no reason to hate on the people who can afford an amazing quality laptop. Core i5 or i7 in a 17 inch notebook for $2300? Gotta be kidding, but when you get that smooth 8-9 hours of battery life, while your recharging 4x more times on your Sony (2 hour battery life) il still be going, saves battery cycles, saves time being tied down. 3+ hour plane ride? Can't use your laptop for those 3 hours. I can go that 3+ hours, and still have battery to do everything I want. And your LCD screen doesn't compare to the samsung displays on those $1k laptops. Most people look at price and ask why would somebody pay for this, if that competitor is better? Screen quality is a huge one for laptops. I've owned PCs, I've owned expensive ones ($1.5k-$2k) and there quality is crap. Everyone thinks plastic is the way to go, Apple did it right and went with metal. Go pick up that Sony Z series. It feels cheap, the plasic bends and feels almost like it's going to fall apart. The screen is flexible enough that you feel like you can just... Snap it off with no effort. Other brands have horrible quality. So before you go hating apple, at least have some actual facts to back up what your talking about.
    Have a good day
  • 4 Hide
    tipoo , April 13, 2010 10:41 PM
    13 inch still using a Core 2, blech. But thats more the fault of Intel's lawsuit, Apple didn't have a choice since Nvidia cannot make chipsets for the i-series. Since they cannot put a discreet card in the 13 inch, they were stuck with a Core 2 Duo plus Nvidia chipset. The larger ones use Core i-series with an Intel chipset and Nvidia discreet graphics.


    And still no blu-ray, double blech.
  • -6 Hide
    applerocks , April 13, 2010 10:45 PM
    I love the Apple Haters here...

    Where do you buy this mysterious Dell for half the price that has the same specs? By the time I customized a Dell M6500, to be roughly the same specs as the MBP 17, I had to upgrade the 802.11g wireless to N, I had to upgrade the screen 1920x1200 res, had to add the built in camera, had to upgrade the hard drive to 7200 RPM, the stupid thing costs several hundred dollars more than the apple and is twice as thick, has 1/3 the battery life, and is made of plastic not aluminum... I just dont see the deal here.
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