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New MacBook Pros Gain Thunderbolt, Goes AMD

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments

No more Nvidia GPUs and IGPs.

Yes, there's been a lot of talk about the Apple notebooks on this page over the last couple of days, but that's because it was widely believed that it would be the first product with a final implementation of Intel's Light Peak technology, as well as a move to AMD instead of Nvidia GPUs. It turns out that it was all true.

Apple today updated MacBook Pro its family with Sandy Bridge processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.

"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," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "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."

Starting at $1,199 the new 13-inch MacBook Pro finally ditches the Core 2 Duo, and gets Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz. There will be no discrete graphics for the entry model though – Intel HD Graphics 3000 only.

The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory.

MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include what was previously known as Intel Light Peak, which has been renamed Thunderbolt. 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.

The MacBook Pro now includes a higher resolution webcam with triple the resolution of the previous generation. With it, Apple has updated its FaceTime application for the Mac and is now charging 99 cents for it on the Mac App Store, which is a puzzling move for something that's included free of charge with all the iOS devices.

Get Mac software from Tom's Guide's download sections.

Discuss
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  • 1 Hide
    caeden , February 24, 2011 1:22 PM
    If it wasnt for the OS I would so want one of these! Thankfully this means lightpeak/Thunderbolt (hate the new name) will be coming to the PC soon!
  • 0 Hide
    wolley74 , February 24, 2011 1:23 PM
    Wonder when they'll make thunderbolt SSDs, would make them faster still
  • 0 Hide
    verenos , February 24, 2011 1:32 PM
    IS this the official specs or just more speculation?
  • 2 Hide
    shotgunpadre , February 24, 2011 1:32 PM
    99 cents too much! I'm not going to buy a mac..
  • -7 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 24, 2011 1:33 PM
    Hail Intel,but not AMD though...
  • 0 Hide
    rhino13 , February 24, 2011 1:33 PM
    So is this out now? I thought Sandy Bridge was still having issues.
  • -2 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 24, 2011 1:34 PM
    We now see a "Thunderbolt emerge from Light Peak"...
  • -3 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 24, 2011 1:40 PM
    Maybe they should of held back because of the cougar chipset issue,then they would of had time to try to make a gaming mobile/laptop pc...
  • 4 Hide
    Blink , February 24, 2011 1:40 PM
    Hooray for my AMD stock!
  • 0 Hide
    molo9000 , February 24, 2011 1:44 PM
    Bad update.
    Still only a 1280x800 glossy display on the 13" model and HD3000 isn't as good as Nvidia's 320m. (which is entirely Intel's fault)
    The $999 cure2duo MacBook most likely has better gaming performance than the $1199 core i5 MacBook Pro!
    Strange how they quietly adjusted battery life from 10hours down to 7hours even on the unchanged MacBook. 10hours on the old models was never realistic, but 7hours is slightly understated.

    Thunderbolt is the only good thing about this update. Let's hope it catches on... Firewire was clearly superior to USB but it never really caught on.
    The name "Thunderbolt" sucks though. It's completely meaningless. With "Firewire" you could at least guess what it was. "Thunderbolt" could be anything.
  • 1 Hide
    burnley14 , February 24, 2011 1:47 PM
    Thanks for implementing this new tech Apple! Now the rest of the laptop manufacturers will be forced to do the same, and sell them for cheaper no less!
  • 0 Hide
    waikano , February 24, 2011 2:01 PM
    caedenIf it wasnt for the OS I would so want one of these! Thankfully this means lightpeak/Thunderbolt (hate the new name) will be coming to the PC soon!

    Bootcamp, Run Windows 7 all day long...oh wait might not have drivers yet for Thunderbolt, but other than that would be a fine machine either way.
  • 0 Hide
    mchuf , February 24, 2011 2:03 PM
    Wow, I'm very surprised and impressed that Apple will be using the latest tech on their MacBooks. It does suck that a $1200 laptop will be using intgrated graphics. Did Apple reveal what the prices for the i7 models will be? And what specific GPU's will be available? 1 gb of vram is great, unless it's in a low level entry type of card. And why does Apple still not have a HDMI port? HDMI is the standard that is used in nearly every new consumer electronic product. It's kind of sad that you pay a premium for a MacBook Pro and still need an adaptor to plug it into 90+% of new displays.
  • 2 Hide
    rohitbaran , February 24, 2011 2:04 PM
    Well, implementing thunderbolt in Macs spells their arrival to the PC as well in near future. Also, the move from nVidia to AMD graphics is good, considering that recent nVidia cards have been power hungry monsters. I hope this benefits AMD which has been struggling due to all the firings of top executives.
  • 1 Hide
    waikano , February 24, 2011 2:25 PM
    molo9000Bad update.Still only a 1280x800 glossy display on the 13" model and HD3000 isn't as good as Nvidia's 320m. (which is entirely Intel's fault)The $999 cure2duo MacBook most likely has better gaming performance than the $1199 core i5 MacBook Pro!Strange how they quietly adjusted battery life from 10hours down to 7hours even on the unchanged MacBook. 10hours on the old models was never realistic, but 7hours is slightly understated.Thunderbolt is the only good thing about this update. Let's hope it catches on... Firewire was clearly superior to USB but it never really caught on.The name "Thunderbolt" sucks though. It's completely meaningless. With "Firewire" you could at least guess what it was. "Thunderbolt" could be anything.


    Giz has a little write up on the battery life, and an explanation for shorter battery life.

    http://gizmodo.com/#!5769265/why-the-new-macbook-pros-have-shorter-battery-lifehttp://gizmodo.com/#!5769265/why-the-new-macbook-pros-have-shorter-battery-life
  • 0 Hide
    dorkusm , February 24, 2011 2:27 PM
    Meh. Who cares? They're still too expensive for those of us who have to eat and don't care about carrying around something with an Apple logo for a status symbol.
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , February 24, 2011 2:28 PM
    is that mean the new apple lineup will also come with the sb cougar point bug ?
  • 0 Hide
    dgriffs , February 24, 2011 3:01 PM
    The battery life was never realistically 10 hours. It also says 7 hours on the regular macbooks now but the hardware is still the same. Its just a more accurate measurement of battery life.

    I was excited about getting a mbp but i'm disappointed that there is no discrete graphics card in the 13" model. I would love to have the 15" version but extra inches of screen and a mediocre graphics card is not worth another $600.
  • 1 Hide
    rpotratz_98 , February 24, 2011 3:22 PM
    Aside from the processors going to quad core I'm a bit disappointed. 8 Gig memory limit for a 64 bit machine is not cool for a refreshed design. I can' believe they left out USB 3.0 as well. This is also there professional series notebooks, yet they continue to use consumer level graphic chipsets. Why not use a fire gl chipset or a quatro chipset? At least most high end applications have certified those cards.
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