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Macbook Pros Upgraded With Optimus & Core i5, i7 CPUs

Gordon Kelly


Macbook Pros Upgraded With Optimus & Core i5, i7 CPUs

Judging by the current trending on Twitter you'd think we'd seen the second coming, but in fact Apple has simply gotten around to putting those tasty Intel Core i5 and i7 processors into its MacBook Pro ranges - you know, about 2 months behind everyone else.

Completely entitled moaning apart, the spit and polish does bring the 15.4in and 17in lines up to date. Core i5 2.4GHz (520M), Core i5 2.53GHz (540M) and Core i7 2.66GHz (620M) CPUs will be available and Apple has paired them with Nvidia's rather excellent GeForce GT 330M graphics chips and Optimus.

This latter point is possibly the most exciting since the power savings from Nvidia's dynamic GPU switching technology (see our full guide) leads to greatly increased battery life and Apple is boldly proclaiming the new models will last up to ten hours from a single charge. Naturally enough this can be sliced in half depending on the work you're doing, but it's a jolly good start. Also worth a mention is the new option of a 512GB SSD, though at a whopping £1,040 you could buy a second 13in MacBook Pro instead.

Both 15.4in and 17in MacBook Pros have 4GB of RAM by default along with 320GB or 500GB HDDs. Pricing starts from £1,499 (yes those It's-just-an-over-priced-PC accusations aren't going to die down any time soon) and shipping begins immediately.

Less encouraging is the short shrift given to the 13in MacBook Pro, which sticks with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and receives a less powerful GeForce 320M GPU. At least 4GB of RAM is standard now, though with the entry level model (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 250GB HDD) coming in at £999 and the step up a monstrous £1,249 (2.6GHz CPU, 320GB HDD) I don't need to tell you where the better value for money is.

Interestingly, all MacBook Pros (and indeed all Macs) continue to eschew Blu-ray drives for now. Odd since Apple was one of the format's earliest backers way back in March 2005...

Update: Yes, for those who asked: no USB 3.0, integrated 3G option or HDMI either. Apple will soon sell you a mini DisplayPort to HDMI adaptor though which you can carry around. And yes again, the new models are indeed expensive. Judging by your comments I wonder if this is the first time owners seem genuinely pleased they bought an old model just before new ones replaced it?!

Update 2: According to Apple Insider and a number of your comments, Apple has actually eschewed Optimus in favour of its own proprietary GPU switching tech. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to with an Nvidia chip when Nvidia itself offers a cheap and powerful solution, but that's Apple for you.

As yet we don't have any specifics about how Apple's tech differs from Optimus.


Apple UK MacBook Pro Product Page

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