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Apple launches new MacBook Pro rangeBy Hanleigh Daniels 25 February 2011 | Categories: news
Apple has unveiled its new line of MacBook Pro notebooks yesterday, boasting faster processors, graphics, HD FaceTime camera, as well as input/output (I/O) ports.
The 13" MacBook Pro features either a latest generation 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor or Intel’s fastest dual-core, the 2.7 GHz Core i7. These processors can employ Turbo Boost, to offer speeds of up to 3.4 GHz, which according to Apple enables CPU performance up to two times that of the previous generation MacBook Pros.
Apple’s new 15" and 17" models bring quad-core processing performance to the range via Intel’s 2.3 GHz Core i7 processor, sporting Turbo Boost that (like in the 13" models’ case) allows for speeds up to 3.4 GHz. This CPU also has up to 8 MB of shared L3 cache, with Cupertino claiming that these MacBook Pro models are able to run applications up to twice as fast as its range-topping forerunners.
Everything is faster
It’s not just the processing performance being boosted, as the new models also sport integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processors, enabling faster video encoding allowing for smoother HD video calls through FaceTime, as well as quicker video decoding enabling more efficient iTunes movie playback.
Cupertino has ditch Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) this time round, and opted to go with AMD Radeon HD GPUs, with up to 1 GB of video memory in the new 15- and 17" MacBook Pro models.
Continuing the theme of ‘everything is faster’ is the inclusion of Intel’s new Thunderbolt port technology, which offers speeds (ten gigabits per second) of over 12 times that of FireWire 800 and up to 20 times better than USB 2.0 (480 Mbits/s).
It also supports video and eight-channel audio, meaning users can connect HDMI-compatible devices via the HDMI adapter they are already using and current VGA, DVI and DisplayPort adapters are also supported.
New FaceTime camera
Apart from the new CPUs, GPUs and Thunderbolt ports, Apple has also included a new FaceTime HD camera, enabling three times the resolution (users can make 720p HD video calls) of the previous camera, as well as better performance in low-light conditions.
“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.
These new 13" MacBook Pros are available in the US in two configuration options, a 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 model with a 320 GB hard-drive starting at $1199 (approx. R8465) and another sporting a 2.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 and a 500 GB HDD starting at $1499 (around R10580).
The new 15" MacBook Pros are also available in two models, one with a 2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500 GB hard-drive starting at $1799 (around R12700) and the other with a 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750 GB HDD starting at $2199 (about R15520).
Apple’s new 17" MacBook Pros boasts a 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750 GB HDD and is priced at $2499 (approx. R17630). No local release info is available as of yet.
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