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Core 2 Duo processor comes to MacBook Pro models  
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

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Giddyup: The MacBook Pro 17-inch. Click to enlarge. (Photo courtesy Apple)

Apple this morning has introduced the Core 2 Duo to its line of MacBook Pro laptops. Both the 15-inch and 17-inch models come with Intel's latest dual-core mobile processor, at speeds up to 2.33GHz, for an improvement of 25% in Aperture benchmark performance says the company (the Aperture benchmark is derived from the time it takes to fully import a RAW photo into the application, including RAW decoding and the creation of a JPEG preview).

While the new MacBook Pros are otherwise largely unchanged in design and features from their predecessors, there are three differences worth noting that should make the 15-inch model more appealing in particular:

  • The 15-inch incorporates both a FireWire 800 and a FireWire 400 port, rather than just a FireWire 400 port as before.
  • The 15-inch also gains a CD/DVD SuperDrive that will burn both single-layer and dual-layer DVD media, not just single-layer as with the previous model.
  • Both models will accept a maximum of 3GB RAM, up from 2GB. The RAM bump will be welcomed by shooters trying to run two or more RAM-hungry applications at the same time, including Photoshop and Aperture. Note that while the MacBook Pros have two user-expandable RAM slots, it's not possible to increase the RAM to 4GB by placing a 2GB SIMM in each slot. That's because of a limitation in the computer's Intel chipset that means the maximum RAM recognized by the system is 3GB, says Todd Benjamin, Apple's Director of Portables Product Marketing.

As well, the 15-inch model's ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics controller is now operating at the same clock speed as the 17-inch model, says Benjamin; previously, the clock speed of the graphics card in the 15-inch was slower, even though both models did and still do share the same Radeon X1600 component. The displays themselves in each MacBook Pro are the same as previous versions, notes Benjamin, and continue to be available in both standard anti-glare and optional glossy versions.

As of this writing, the U.S. online Apple Store is showing ship times of 2-4 business days for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and 7-10 business days for the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple has also introduced an airplane adapter for MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Called the MagSafe Airline Power Adapter, it will connect to both in-seat EmPower and 20mm power ports (the latter port type is found in American Airlines planes, says Benjamin). The adapter appears to be available now.

The MacBook Pro press release is below.

Press Release

Apple MacBook Pro Notebooks Now with Intel Core 2 Duo Processors
Up to 39 Percent Faster

CUPERTINO, California—October 24, 2006—Apple® today announced that its entire MacBook™ Pro line of notebooks now includes the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor and delivers performance that is up to 39 percent faster than the previous generation. All MacBook Pro models now offer double the memory and greater storage capacity than the previous generation, as well as a FireWire® 800 port for connecting to high-speed peripherals. The new MacBook Pro’s stunning, lightweight, aluminum enclosure is just one-inch thin, available in 15- and 17-inch models, and features a built-in iSight® video camera for video conferencing on-the-go.

“With an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, greater storage capacity and FireWire 800 connectivity, the new MacBook Pro delivers unprecedented performance and mobility in an incredibly thin and light design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We are thrilled that our notebook sales are growing twice as fast as the overall notebook market, and we hope these new MacBook Pro models continue that success.”

Every MacBook Pro features the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of shared L2 cache, which is up to 39 percent faster than the previous 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro and more than seven times faster than the 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 running industry standard benchmarks.* Apple has enhanced Mac OS® X to take advantage of the technology advances from Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, resulting in increased performance in professional applications like Aperture™ 1.5, Final Cut Pro® 5 and Logic Pro 7.

Ideal for business and creative professionals, MacBook Pro delivers advanced performance including 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable up to 3GB, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics with up to 256MB of dedicated GDDR3 graphics memory, and a double-layer SuperDrive™ for burning professional-quality DVDs. With the latest high-performance connectivity options, every new MacBook Pro includes built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme® and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), a FireWire 800 and a FireWire 400 port, combination analog and optical digital audio input and output ports, an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot, and a DVI video output to connect up to a 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display.

MacBook Pro comes with Apple’s MagSafe™ Power Adapter that magnetically couples the power cord to the MacBook Pro and safely disconnects when there is strain on the power cord, preventing the notebook from falling off its work surface. Apple now offers a new MagSafe Airline Adapter that makes using the MacBook Pro on an airplane even more convenient by connecting to in-seat power ports for continued productivity throughout the duration of a flight. MacBook Pro also includes an illuminated keyboard, Apple’s Sudden Motion Sensor that is designed to protect the hard drive in case of a fall, and a Scrolling TrackPad to easily scroll through long web pages or pan across large photographs.

MacBook Pro comes with iLife® ‘06, the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications featuring iPhoto®, iMovie® HD, iDVD®, GarageBand™ and iWeb™, the latest iLife application that makes it super-easy to create amazing websites with photos, blogs and podcasts and publish them on .Mac for viewing by anyone on the Internet with just a single click.** Every MacBook Pro also comes with the latest release of the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X version 10.4.8 Tiger including Safari™, Mail, iCal®, iChat AV, Front Row and Photo Booth, running natively on the Intel-based notebook.

Pricing & Availability
The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is shipping today, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro will ship next week, and every model will be available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The Apple MagSafe Airline Adaptor is shipping today for a suggested retail price of $59 (US).

The 2.16 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

15.4-inch widescreen 1440 x 900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness;
2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB;
120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
a slot-load 6x SuperDrive™ with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately);
built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display;
built-in iSight video camera;
Gigabit Ethernet port;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port;
one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio;
Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard;
the infrared Apple Remote; and
85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.33 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

15.4-inch widescreen 1440 x 900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness;
2.33 GHz Intel Core 2Duo processor;
2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB;
120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
a slot-load 6x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately);
built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display;
built-in iSight video camera;
Gigabit Ethernet port;
built-in Airport Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port;
one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio;
Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard;
the infrared Apple Remote; and
85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.33 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of $2,799 (US), includes:

17-inch widescreen 1680 x 1050 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness;
2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB;
160GB 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;
PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately);
built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display;
built-in iSight video camera;
Gigabit Ethernet port;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port;
one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio;
Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor;
the infrared Apple Remote; and
85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter.

Additional build-to-order options for the MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to a 200GB (4200 rpm) or a 160GB (5400 rpm) hard drive, up to 3GB DDR2 SDRAM, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter, Apple USB Modem, glossy widescreen display, and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

*Based on estimated results of industry-standard SPECint and SPECfp rate tests. SPEC is a registered trademark of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC); see www.apple.com/macbookpro for more information.

**Internet access required, fees may apply.

 

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