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Apple intros MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt, quad Core i7

updated 08:50 am EST, Thu February 24, 2011

Apple intros 2011 MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt

Apple today launched its rumored new MacBook Pro. The new systems all use Intel's new Sandy Bridge architecture with Core i5 and i7 processors but also revolve around the promised new Thunderbolt technology: the Intel Light Peak technology supplies both Mini DisplayPort as well as high-speed interfaces. Along with direct connections, it's fast enough to not only support FireWire and USB over the connection but gigabit Ethernet and even PCI Express, allowing for multi-drive RAID arrays that work at full speed on a notebook.

Also new is the rumored FaceTime HD camera, which outputs three times higher in resolution than before and can do widescreen calls to other similarly equipped Macs and HD-capable Windows PCs with appropriate apps. FaceTime is now 1.0 for the Mac and costs 99 cents in the Mac App Store, but will only do standard definition when talking to an iPhone 4, iPod touch or earlier Mac.

The lineup's biggest leap in performance comes for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,199 for the previously confirmed 2.3GHz dual Core i5, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and Intel's much improved HD 3000 graphics driving a 1280x800 display; battery life is only quoted at seven hours, but is now using the tougher "real" standards. A $1,499 configuration boosts it to a 2.7Ghz Core i7 and a 500GB hard drive.

The 15- and 17-inch models are the first-ever quad-core mobile Macs and start at $1,799 for a unique-to-Apple 2GHz quad Core i7, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a 1440x900 display and an AMD Radeon HD 6490M with live graphics switching, all while maintaining the seven hours of battery. A $2,199 version of the 15-inch system goes to an official 2.2GHz quad Core i7, a 750GB hard drive and a Radeon HD 6750M. The 17-inch flagship at $2,499 has a 1920x1200 display and the same performance as the 15-inch edition aside from the usual third USB port and an ExpressCard/34 slot instead of the SDXC reader.

All of the systems are available today through the online Apple Store and at retail shops.

by MacNN Staff



  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    rumors = promises?

    "Apple today launched its promised MacBook Pro. The new systems all use Intel's new Sandy Bridge architecture with Core i5 and i7 processors but also revolve around the promised new Thunderbolt technology"

    Who "promised" a new MacBook Pro or Thunderbolt? You rumor sites need to remember that leaks and guesswork do not commit Apple to anything. It's statements like these that encourage people to get angry at Apple when they don't deliver all the features some blogger dreamed up.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. mr100percent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    First quad-core?

    I'm running a 2010 MacBook Pro core i5 and my Activity Monitor shows me 4 different graphs for my processors.

  1. facebook_Shourya

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    comment title

    @mr100Percent: The four graphs that you are seeing in your activity viewer represents two cores, each running two processes simultaneously via HyperThreading. The new quad core processors also support HyperThreading, so the new MacbookPros should show a total of 8 graphs (4 cores, each running two processes simultaneously).

    This is discussed near the middle of this page:

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Integrated Graphics???

    At the low end you're paying $1200 for a machine with integrated graphics and shared memory? Come on!!!!

    Secondly, CPU, GPU and memory controller on the same concentrated monolithic semiconductor? That's a lot of heat in a very small area when running flat out. We have seen thermal erosion problems with separate memory controllers in Powermacs, thermal problems with graphics chipsets from both ATI and nVidia in laptops and now all these hot boys are being loaded onto the same block as the CPU itself? Apple doesn't have a good history in cooling as it chooses form over function. Call me a pessimist but I see problems with the 13" MacBooks...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    At the moment, Apple has 10 different laptops of standard configuration. 5 Pros, 1 MacBook, 4 Airs.

    Can't wait to see the viral videos of consumers' heads exploding trying to figure out which 5 of the 13" models they actually want.

  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Wrong Specs

    "A $1,499 configuration boosts it to a 2.7Ghz Core i5 and a 500GB hard drive."

    The 13" $1499 configuration is a 2.7Ghz i7, not an i5. There is only one i5 in the entire lineup and that is the 2.3Ghz 13".

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