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Refreshed Apple MacBook Pro launched with Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs, AMD graphics and Thunderbolt

by Parm Mann on 24 February 2011, 13:41

Tags: MacBook Pro, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Following a flurry of leaks and speculation, Apple has today unveiled a new range of MacBook Pro notebooks.

Available in 13in, 15in and 17in models, with prices starting from £999, £1,549, and £2,099, respectively, Apple's refreshed range sports a choice of second-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon HD graphics and a new high-speed interface dubbed Thunderbolt.

The latter, developed by Intel under the code name "Light Peak", is a copper-wire interface offering data transfer rates of up to 10Gbit/s - double that of USB 3.0. Apple's MacBook Pro is the first available computer system to utilise the technology, and with Intel claiming that optical implementations of Light Peak can scale upward to speeds of over 100Gbit/s in the next decade, the interface could become a one-stop replacement for a wide range of existing connectors such as USB, FireWire, SATA, DisplayPort and HDMI.

In addition to adopting Intel's high-speed interconnect, Apple's latest round of MacBook Pros feature AMD Radeon HD graphics at the expense of NVIDIA's once-problematic GeForce. Starting today, both the 15in and 17in MacBook Pro are available with an Radeon HD 6000 Series GPU running alongside a choice of Intel Sandy Bridge processors.

Intel's second-generation processor provides its own integrated graphics core and will solely power Apple's smallest 13.3in MacBook Pro, while the larger 15in and 17in models will use hybrid graphics technology to ensure the power-hungry discrete Radeon GPU is called upon only when needed.

Available processor options range from a dual-core 2.3GHz Intel Core i3 on the 13in MacBook Pro, up to a quad-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 on the range-topping 17in MacBook Pro, while discrete graphics choices on the 15in and 17in models include the AMD Radeon HD 6490M and AMD Radeon HD 6750M. All three models now feature an integrated FaceTime HD webcam and battery life continues to be rated at seven hours. Complete specifications are available at the Apple Store.

Following on from today's MacBook refresh, Apple is expected to unveil a second-generation iPad at an event on March 2nd.



HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

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Some nice features there :)
spoon_
Some nice features there :)
Where?

Lightpeek is going to be potentially very useful, in a few years, for 99.99% of people its useless right now.

But its the only feature I see listed.

Still maybe next time they will get a user servicable battery. I know their prefered solution is to just buy two laptops, but dagnabbit thats too pricy.
TheAnimus
Where?

Lightpeek is going to be potentially very useful, in a few years, for 99.99% of people its useless right now.

But its the only feature I see listed.

Still maybe next time they will get a user servicable battery. I know their prefered solution is to just buy two laptops, but dagnabbit thats too pricy.

LightPeak is gonna be great now, it's a transport layer so you can send USB, Firewire, HDMI, DP, anything over it via inexpensive tiny bus-powered convertors… running PCI-Express and DisplayPort protocols over 10Gbps with twin channel bi-directional goodness for all. And as Intel are dropping USB3 in favour of it, and Apple are implementing the Intel ThunderBolt branding of it we might finally see something other than USB widely adopted on both PC and Mac.

Currently in production ThunderBolt products now or soon from ApoGee, Avid, BlackMagic, LaCie, Promise, and WD…. :)

Pain in the backside having to get an external drive with eSATA AND Firewire connectors to be able to use on both Mac and PC laptops.
Was looking at getting a 15“ model but not so sure now, Still there is a 15” variant with the 6750 GPU instead of the 6490 and if it can be upgraded to a 1650 x 1050 screen I may still be tempted.
I'm not casting a downer on lightpeek, its just right now its not going to be my choice of port. The eSata/firewire thing is just because apple are ****ing retarded, buy almost any other laptop right now and you'll have esata, and as they can do that port magic where its the same as a USB it takes up little space.

The lightpeek your loosing a port, so it has to be worth it, right now its not. I'd also probably want more than one port on the device. Thats the problem with a change in paradigm. If everything is USB right now, fine. But when your migrating your going to be in a muddle of them. As such I'd want everything lightpeak but with a converter dohickey.

Hopefully that makes sense!