It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

Summary: The new high-end MacBook Pros mark several firsts, including: the first implementation of Thunderbolt (nee Light Peak) and the first quad-core processor in a notebook.

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Apple today announced new MacBook Pros which were overdue and widely anticipated.

Gallery: Apple speeds up MacBook Pros

The new high-end Apple notebooks mark several firsts for the company, including: the first implementation of Thunderbolt (nee Light Peak) high-speed I/O technology (also announced today by Intel) and the first quad-core processor in an Apple notebook. The new MBPs use Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and also come with a new AMD Radeon GPU.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations:

  • 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 320GB HD starting at $1,199
  • 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 500GB HD starting at $1,499

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations:

  • 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M, 500GB HD starting at $1,799
  • 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 750GB HD starting at $2,199

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features:

  • 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 750GB hard drive is $2,499

The new MacBook Pros don't appear to have any of the design queues from the MacBook as had been rumored. In fact, they look almost exactly like the current MacBook Pros, which is a bit of a bummer. But whatever.

What's your take on the new MBPs? You buying?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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34 comments
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  • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

    Way to catch up with the rest of the world Apple....
    Your first Quad Core I am so proud. Now if you could run mine sweeper we would be set....
    mcfant
    • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

      @mcfant
      Are you saying that Windows based computers need a Quad Core processor just to play a simple game like Mine Sweeper? Maybe Microsoft needs to cut down on the overhead in Windows.
      Rick_K
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @Rick_K
        Yes I am... But we also have hexacores if we want to do something else at the same time. Last I checked there were no Apple machines on top of any of the bench mark sites.
        Well maybe they will come out with a hexacore featured product in the next 5 years.....
        mcfant
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @mcfant
        <i>Yes I am... But we also have hexacores if we want to do something else at the same time. </i>
        I guess you?re a little late to the hexacore party then. Since Mac Pro?s have had those since last year (July 27, 2010 to was when they were first offered for sale)
        http://www.apple.com/macpro/
        http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/stats/mac-pro-twelve-core-2.66-mid-2010-westmere-specs.html
        Rick_K
    • Minesweeper on Mac

      @mcfant
      I've been playing it for years on my Mac just like on my PC. Here's a link (look actual support for my argument!) to a current iteration:
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minesweeper/id410759890?mt=12
      use_what_works_4_U
  • Ho Hum....

    ...and just want percentage of users have a REAL need for quad core processors?? 1%? 2% Be realistic about it.
    thofts
    • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

      @thofts

      Try it... you'll like it. Virus scanners alone use up about 5 cores. ;-) Frankly, 8 cores is not so silly for the large population of users who rip music while listening to other music at the same time while chatting over webcam, surfing the web, and running multiple adware/spyware apps in the background.
      scH4MMER
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @scH4MMER What takes 8 cores in Windows Vista or 6 cores in Windows 7 only requires 2 in Mac OS X and 1 in Linux.
        nix_hed
  • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

    I'm confused - according to Intel's web site there is no 2.0 GHz quad-core mobile processor. There's only the 2.2 GHz 2720QM and the 2.3 GHz 2820QM. What is Apple really putting in their Macbook Pro - are they not using a mobile processor?
    Unusual1
  • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

    And yet still no Blu-Ray. Optical tech isn't going away anytime soon and I still cannot for the life of me understand why Apple continue to refuse to put it in their laptops.

    Oh I know all the stuff behind iTunes etc. but let's get real, most people still get their 'content' as we call it now on physical media when it comes to films. Plus, those such as myself who enjoy commentaries, extras etc. alongside the movie itself have to pick from the limited iTunes Extra selection in order to get HD + extras when we are away on business for example. Add on top of that the huge chunk of disk space...

    Sorry, but they really need to pull their fingers out on this one. I love my mid '08 MBP but it is highly likely that when I start looking for a new laptop in 6-9 months time it will be a Windows one so I can play my large collection of Blu-Rays. And also so that a lot of my non-iTunes digital content can be streamed over my network via DLNA to my home cinema.

    Mind you, they've only just gone quad core, and those processors were becoming prevalent a couple of years before Blu-Rays won the format war and started mass market penetration!
    Ben_E
    • do you not have a BlueRay player??

      @Ben_E ..
      doctorSpoc
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @doctorSpoc

        He probably does but some like to play them on the go with their laptops. I just use the digital copy feature and save them to easier to travel with media like a flash drive anyway.

        However I can understand his point because some people actually do digital production on their computers and if they want to author a blu-ray they cannot on a Mac. Now that blank (single layer) media is about a $1.25 and burners are about $99 for some it has become affordable to do so. I haven't tried but can you even Author Blu-Ray on a Mac? I mean I am pretty sure they lack a compatible player for MacOS X. I attribute this move by Apple as it conflicts with their iTunes set up and they know people will spend less purchasing movies through iTunes if they could watch the actual movie on the computer. I have been asked several times how to play blu-ray movies on a Mac or how to get the digital copy feature to work which I also believe is not MacOS compatible. I mean why would they make it MacOS compatible when Macs do not choose to offer a Blu-Ray option despite customer demand. Is MacOS that limited they cannot make it compatible with Modern Technology which is why Apple is behind the other OEMs when it comes to using modern processors and chipsets in their computers?
        bobiroc
      • @bobiroc

        Is the only way to author a blu-ray disk in Windows is by using an internally installed drive? If so, I can excuse you not know the fact that on a Mac you can plug in an external drive and author to your heart's content.
        fr_gough
      • RE: external Blu-Ray on Mac

        @frgough@...

        Oh I know you can plug in a blu-ray drive to a Mac via USB but my question was since there was no software to play Authored Blu-Ray movies that have been advertised can you actually author the HD movie to a blu-ray and burn it and play it to see that it works. Everything that I can find searching the net suggests to install Windows.

        Maybe there is something so if you know of something please share. I use Adobe encore at home and have authored a couple blu-ray movies myself. I have the Adobe Creative Suite for MacOS too through work but my Macbook lacks the power to run it since it was lower end (for a Macbook) 5 years ago. Hence why I am looking to see if work can replace both my laptops with 1 more powerful Macbook Pro.
        bobiroc
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @bobiroc
        <i>However I can understand his point because some people actually do digital production on their computers and if they want to author a blu-ray they cannot on a Mac</i>
        Are you sure? As far as I know there is Digital authoring software available for OS X. Being that Windows 7 odes not natively support Blu-Ray (hence then need for third party software to burn a Blu-Ray disk), how can it be a knock on OS X? Just because Apple does not see fit to pay the license fees on Blu-Ray burners, that does not mean you can attach one via USB2, FireWire 800, or even Thunderbolt ports. So having an internal burner is not really that big of a deal. The iTunes angle is nothing more than a load of crap losers on too much Hateraide. If any company would be trying to lock people into their file formats, it would not be Apple.
        Rick_K
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @dRick_K

        Yes you need Authoring software on either platform but I do believe that Windows 7 can burn to a blu-ray disc when it comes to data and burn ISOs of blu-rays but I have not tested it. If you get a computer with a Blu-Ray or buy a drive separately you get the ability to play with the drive but the software is only for Windows. Maybe MacOS can burn data and ISOs to Blu-Ray too. I haven't tried so I could be wrong on that but unless I am missing something there is nothing available to play back a blu-ray movie on a Mac so if you can even use a software piece to make the blu-ray disc you have to hunt down a blu-ray player or a windows computer to test it.
        bobiroc
      • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

        @doctorSpoc Yes I do, but not on my laptop.

        First of all, Blu-Rays are gaining in popularity, and whilst I understand that the tech minded amongst us have already moved on to streaming etc. this is not always a viable option. Secondly, the space requirement for HD content is large, and the iTunes Extra content I mentioned can take a fair amount of space too, sometimes over half a gigabyte. Now, if you only have a 250Gb drive in your MBP the first place, and you want to take some HD content on the road with you, you may have to delete/move something off the HDD.

        Several people have said on this forum that you can get external drives and plug them in - true, they're pretty much sub-?100 these days. But why should I have to lug an external drive + cables (+ power supply sometimes) around with me? They're not exactly small are they? And you can't play back the discs on the Mac anyway due to lack of software. There are options for HD content in the DVD Player app which makes me think that they were going to offer it at one stage, but have sunce decided against it.

        I know that Apple prefers that all content go through iTunes and that sticking a Blu-Ray drive in stops a line of purchasing through iTunes, but these are supposed to be MacBook PROs, emphasis on the Pro! A simple MacBook with only the so-called "SuperDrive" I can understand. But why are they faffing around with this Thunderbolt thing (for which there are very few if any peripherals going to be available for some time) when they can't even get a simple piece of tech, that is now the de-facto standard for the physical distribution of HD content and has been for a couple of years at least, into their 'premium' laptops?

        Of course, one of the arguments would be that Windows doesn't natively play Blu-Rays either, that in fact you still need third party software. Much the same as the situation with DVDs and Windows XP. All it means is that in a few years time, maybe even Windows 8, native support will be baked into the OS.

        I'm sorry for ranting, it just stuns me that Apple, which is a very consumer oriented and content focussed company in terms of the ease of use of their products and how they market everything, is consistently dropping the ball on this one.
        Ben_E
    • RE: It's official: new MacBook Pros arrive with quad-core, Thunderbolt

      @Ben_E You do realize that playing back a Blu-Ray movie while on the go will kill a 9 cell battery in about 2.5 hours, right? Optical drive spindles use more energy than hard drive spindles, which are still spinning when playing a BRD or DVD, meaning that "digital" content is going to give you more battery life anyway.
      nix_hed
  • I must be living in the FUTURE!!!

    Dell notebook I'm typing on right now has an i7 quad core and I've been using it for over a year and a half. But since Apple just announced it's releasing "the first quad-core processor in a notebook." I guess I must be writing to you from 2012. So Merry Christmas 2012. Sorry! Gotta go now. Their yessing something about a giant tidal wave comming ou....................
    Scubajrr
    • Right. Because we all know that the only thing

      that makes a computer a computer is the CPU and chipset. Yep. Keep singing that to yourself while banging away on your cheap piece of plastic.
      fr_gough