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Portables (Apple) Upgrades Apple

Quad Core, Thunderbolt In New MacBook Pros 495

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-yer-cult-on dept.
Although as I write this the store is still down, the Apple web site has officially published the specs for the revised MacBook Pros, which top out at 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 for the 17" as well as offering a 512GB solid state drive. Somehow I don't think my boss will let me expense the one I want.
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Quad Core, Thunderbolt In New MacBook Pros

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  • Thunderbolt (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:25AM (#35299418)

    Is Intel's official name for the technology formerly codenamed Light Peak

    http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm

    No, it's not an Apple made-up name.

    • Interesting, it seems it is basically mini Display Port with PCI Express at 10Gb/s on top. I welcome that. Over copper for now, but I guess the 100Gb/s version expected in 2020 may utilise fibre.

      • Just to add to my comment. 10Gb/s over fibre I would think requires single-mode glass fibre. Not the most durable of cable choices for day-to-day use.

        I get through multi-mode plastic fibre ADAT cables pretty quickly because the fibre breaks somewhere in the cable. Glass, you only have to stand on, twist or bend at silly angles and it may break, and they don't come cheap.

        • by Ferzerp (83619)

          10 GbE runs over multimode fiber just fine.
          8Gb FC runs over multimode fiber just fine. I don't see why the much shorter distances here would require single mode.

    • Re:Thunderbolt (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheSeventh (824276) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @11:33AM (#35300324)
      Odd that Intel would use "Thunderbolt" when it is also the name of the latest Android phone coming out for Verizon (was supposed to be out today), and although Intel claims to have a trademark, Verizon actually has one: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4008:ncmpfb.6.1 [uspto.gov]
      • Given the number of generically-fast-sounding names out there, it is a trifle curious; but my understanding is that trademarks only apply within limited areas of commerce(since the intent of trademark protection is to keep brands from being faked or undermined, not to make sure that a given name, particularly a generic english word, is used by only one product anywhere). Verizon would have to make the argument that cell phones and local peripheral interconnects are within sufficiently similar lines of busin
      • Trademarks are market dependent. There isn't a whole lot of crossover between telephonic handsets and super-ultra-mega-high-speed peripheral connectivity.

        For example:

        HD Video editor guy: "Yeah I'm plugging this 600TB Xsan into my new MacBook Pro via the Fiber Channel to Thunderbolt adapter"
        HD Video editor manager guy: "Wow, your phone will do that too? What is that, bluetooth then?"
        HD Video editor guy: /facepalm

        That conversation isn't likely to happen, ever.

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        The same word can be given as a trademark for multiple things, as long as a reasonable consumer would not confuse one for the other. A reasonable consumer would not mistake a cell phone for a connectivity technology.

    • Re:Thunderbolt (Score:4, Insightful)

      by patniemeyer (444913) <pat@pat.net> on Thursday February 24, 2011 @11:37AM (#35300390) Homepage

      LightPeak is a much cooler name... and less ambiguous as a search term... and less childish sounding.

      • They had to switch when they dropped the fiber interconnects and added the high-voltage charge pump "Thorsecure" anti-tampering feature...
  • Resolution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jevring (618916)
    Nowhere does it say anything about screen resolution. Why is it that people seem to think that the physical size (in inches) of the screen is the only thing that matters?
    • Re:Resolution (Score:5, Informative)

      by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:34AM (#35299530)
      13-Inch

      Supported resolutions: 1280 by 800 (native), 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched

      15-Inch

      Supported resolutions: 1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched

      17-inch

      Supported resolutions: 1920 by 1200 (native), 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio; 1280 by 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio stretched; 1600 by 1200, 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1600 by 1200, 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched

      http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs.html [apple.com]

    • by telekon (185072)

      Nowhere does it say anything about screen resolution. Why is it that people seem to think that the physical size (in inches) of the screen is the only thing that matters?

      I always ask the same question about women.

      Baby, I know it don't look big, but it can do 2560x1440 at 32bpp and 120 fps!

    • http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/specs.html [apple.com]

      Supported resolutions: 1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched

      Took about 15 seconds to find.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:32AM (#35299488)
    They have the Apple logo, iOS logo, iPhone, and Macbook. Why does apple get so many special Slashdot icons?
    • by Rary (566291) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:37AM (#35299598)

      They have the Apple logo, iOS logo, iPhone, and Macbook. Why does apple get so many special Slashdot icons?

      Meanwhile, Microsoft gets a dated sci-fi reference attached to a dated image of a guy who doesn't work there anymore.

    • Because the graphic designers all use macs?
    • by gozu (541069)

      Because sexy Apple products make computer geeks sexier by extension. Steve Jobs is personally invested in the grand mission of helping neck-beards get laid.

      In return, we give Apple insane coverage. Simple really.

  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:36AM (#35299574)

    Dozens.

    Overkill much?

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @01:15PM (#35301656)

      Dozens.

      Overkill much?

      Quad Core, Thunderbolt In New MacBook Pros 247 Comments
      Apple in Talks to Improve Sound Quality of Music Downloads: 429 Comments
      MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2: 352 Comments
      Apple To Unveil Light Peak, New MacBook Pros This Week?305 Comments
      Last.Fm Founder Criticizes Apple Over Music Subscription Fees: 218 Comments
      Steve Jobs Health Worries Escalate: 520 Comments
      Apple To Keep 30% of Magazine Subscription Revenue: 381 Comments
      Why Dumbphones Still Dominate, For Now: 618 Comments
      Will the Apple TV Become a Gaming Platform? 194 Comments
      Vatican Bans IOS Confession App: 323 Comments
      iPhone Attack Reveals Passwords In Six Minutes: 186 Comments
      Pirated App Sold On Mac App Store: 334 Comments

      Yeah, overkill. Slashdot's really ramming this down our throats. It's not like we're screaming at Slashdot to keep publishing Apple stories or anything.

      • 1. news fact
        2. rumor
        3. rumor
        4. rumor (then trumped by #1)
        5. flamebait (op-ed)
        6. rumor (no one knows his state)
        7. news fact
        8. flamebait (op-ed)
        9. rumor
        10. fact, Apple pop culture
        11. news fact
        12. news fact
        13. this post (op-ed flamebait?)

        (notice, more than 50% of the articles are rumors or flamebait, not news...)

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:38AM (#35299612) Homepage Journal

    well, buy a pc. get more for less. and there's some good chassis too available(and they come with built in 3g, bluray, esata, usb3 etc etc). they'll even work nicely with your old firewire devices ;).

    of course though, maybe you really must have the new interconnect to connect.. erm, well, nothing. well, some devices will come with due time and you're going to be paying your mac tax on the thunderbolt cables.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by angel'o'sphere (80593)

      well, buy a pc. get more for less. and there's some good chassis too available(and they come with built in 3g, bluray, esata, usb3 etc etc). they'll even work nicely with your old firewire devices ;).

      I assume you just make fun, but I don't get why people repeat this. I don't even want to start arguing about prices and quality ....

      If i buy a PC ... you know ... then ... think about it: obviously then I have a PC, right? And not a Mac. So how can buying a PC be more when in fact it is of zero value for me?
      You

      • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

        I see you've ignored cows for so long that you don't know many of the shortcomings have been fixed with the birth of the latest cow.

      • by Revotron (1115029)
        You'll see... 2011 is SO going to be the Year of the Cow! And no, I'm not talking about Chinese astrology.
  • at 2199. The fact the base resolution isn't much better than Windows budget computers irks me too. If anything their prices are worse than before. The whole push seems to be to get LightPeak out ahead of the iPad2 which many have speculated that the unknown connector on it was LightPeak

    The 13 inch laptop is disappointing when compared to even the MBA line. I am can almost justify the 13 price structure but I still trying to get my hands around where they are with the 15 laptops.

    I love my Apple iMac but I certainly don't see value in their laptops, I can get by just fine with a $600 dollar range Windows Laptop and have done a trip or two with a netbook just fine. The price difference alone changes how you deal with them on trips, when I traveled with my previous 2.4 MBP I was loathe to leave out of my sight, checking it in at the desk when I had to be out of the room for hours. With the others I just stuffed them under a pillow.

    The only thing Pro about these is the price. The name is a pretentious as those with them who camp at Starbucks

    • by glennpratt (1230636) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:55AM (#35299846) Homepage

      I thought the same before using a MacBook Pro every day for work for a year.

      You just don't get the stability, performance, battery life and build quality in a cheap Windows notebook (I've bought tons of them after much research when I worked in IT). Runs for months on end, 80 hour weeks, never shutdown, rarely restarted, basically never gets in my way.

      • Macintosh quality (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Relayman (1068986)
        I walked into an office recently and a coworker saw my MacBook Pro and said, "I wish I had that instead of this Dell POS. Just look at the screen resolution!" Put a four-year old MacBook Pro next to a four-year old Dell laptop and you will be able to see the difference. There will not be any missing cheap plastic pieces on the Mac.
      • Not really worth the 500-1000 dollar upcharge IMO. My HP ultraportable never gets in my way either. I turn it off it once every couple days just because I don't need it all the time. For example, when I am sleeping. Also, the build quality is as good as any Macbook I've ever used (My wife likes Macbook and owns a refurb one as I won't allow her to buy a new one because of the ridiculous cost). It has a brushed aluminum chassis with a plastic bottom, however it actually is nice this way as its super lite and
      • Actually I must say qualitywise the business lines of windows notebooks are not too bad, I have been working with Lenovos for the last year and I they are qualitywise pretty much in the same game. But if you go for the business notebooks you often also end up with Intel only but the build quality is there but also the price in the same regions.

        As for non lockups on Apple computers, as soon as you install some VM software which goes deeply into the kernel then the stability becomes flakey as well. My 13 inch

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        You realize that the shutting down every 49 days thing is no longer true in Vista/Win 7, right? The only reason I have to shut down now is to save electricity or to install security updates (but Apple has those too). I also haven't seen a blue screen since Windows XP SP2. I'm a coder and even when I make a typo with some pointers or do something else that crashes the machine, I have never gotten it to the point where I have to reboot. Windows 7 is a resource hog, but it's rock solid.
    • Same thought I have not seen the prices yet, but I assume Apple used the product change for yet another pricehike like it has happend so often in the past. The bigest issues indeed is the lack of a good graphics processor in the 13 inch macbook pro. Guess it is now slowly time to say goodbye to Apple. My current macbook pro 13 inch will hopefully last for another bunch of years but then if Apple does not change their product offering in the low range again to something worthwhile graphicswise I will say goo

      • by LDAPMAN (930041)

        You assume wrong. The prices are the essentially the same.

      • Hey. If you really want to switch, want to sell your Macbook Pro to me for $400 + shipping? For that price, you can probably get a new Windows laptop that does everything the Mac Book Pro does.

        You get a new laptop and get rid of the apple one you don't want. Sounds like a good deal.

    • by Fozzyuw (950608)

      I agree with you. I'd really like to get a Macbook Pro, but I'm just having a hard time justifying the price when I could spend less and get more on a PC laptop. But I'd really like to get a Mac (finally) but they keep pricing themselves out of my price-range for some of the basic specs I'd expect.

  • The 13 inch model is a letdown, it only has an intel graphics processor, only time will tell if this is not a significant performance downgrade to the nividia solution before. At least the 15 inch and 17 inch models still have discrete graphics processors.

    • by Sancho (17056) * on Thursday February 24, 2011 @10:54AM (#35299832) Homepage

      You can get an idea right now, since the HD3000 has been out for a while. Basically, in raw GPU performance, it's pretty lousy. There are places where the memory bus improvements can make up some of the difference, but frankly, I consider this a step back. It's a shame, too--I'd been planning on picking up the 13" MBP after this refresh. Now I'm going to start looking at other notebooks.

      • Ok thanks for the clarification, I just expected such a miserable result from an Intel offering. Oh well, I hope my 13 inch intel based notebook will last a while longer. I am not to eager to switch to the 15 inch notebook because the form factor fits perfectly. Once it dies I will have to get a non apple machine I guess, or an old 13 inch model second hand.
        Is there any address where you can write apple about your personal concerns about this epic fail.

        • by Sancho (17056) *

          They have a complaint page somewhere on their website, and sometimes people have luck mailing Jobs (though since he's on sick leave, that's probably not the thing to do.)

          Frankly, the 13" MBP has been the redheaded stepchild for the last generation or two. It's barely worth buying over the Macbook, if at all.

  • Awe damn it... I just bought this Toshiba two weeks ago [toshibadirect.com]
    1. Intel® Core i7-740QM processor (quad core 3.6 GHz)
    2. Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) -- (Also, I've installed Linux -- Dual Boot)
    3. 6GB DDR3 1066MHz memory (50% more than Macbook?)
    4. 564GB: 64GB SSD (Serial ATA) + 500GB (7200rpm, Serial ATA) -- ( 52 more GBs than Macbook, but only part SSD )
    5. 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460M -- (What's the Macbook got? Plus, I can play most games on this out of the box)

    Additional features:
    Quad-core Processor, 7200 RPM Hard Drive, Solid State Drive, Blu-ray, LED Backlit Keyboard, HDMI port, harman/kardon® speakers, Face Recognition, Numeric 10-key Pad, Webcam and Mic, Bluetooth®

    Why wasn't there an

    • by armanox (826486)

      Oh Toshiba. Every time I think about buying a new laptop (and getting a Macbook) I end up buying a new Toshiba. You also forgot to mention how sturdy your Toshiba is (I've had quite a few of them take some falls with no ill effects).

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        I broke my boycott of Toshiba (because of the Toshiba Kongsberg scandal) last year and bought a 120Hz LED TV from them... not bad at all, except I can't stand watching normal televisions now... DAMN YOU!
    • by chill (34294)

      Bah! The wireless is only in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. They left out the 802.11a/n 5 GHz bits.

      Can you tell me if the wifi is provided by a mini-PCI or mini-PCIe card? If so, I could replace it with something proper that does both 2.4 & 5 GHz.

    • by fermion (181285)
      If that is the right laptop for you, then there is no reason to have any remorse. There was no story because it is just anther Windows machine designed to put maximum features to make it buzzword compliant. Blu ray, HDMI, SSD, backlit keyboard, name brand speakers. There is no indication that any real thought was put into design, just marketing and achieving a price point. This is what some people want, to say they have a particular feature, even if it is not used.

      Which does not mean that Apple is not

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Because yours didn't come with a white apple sticker with a bite missing from it. But cheer up, you paid less for more.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @03:14PM (#35303456) Journal

      Intel® Core i7-740QM processor (quad core 3.6 GHz)

      Not sure where you got that from. The i7-740QM [intel.com] is a quad-core 1.73GHz part. In the highest Turbo Boost mode, it is a single-core 2.93GHz part. It doesn't have a 3.6GHz mode. It's also the last generation (Clarksfield, 45nm) part, while the MBPs use the newer (Sandybridge, 32nm) ones. The slowest that the 17" MBPs come with is the Core i7-2720QM, which is 2.2GHz in quad-core mode, up to 3.3GHz in single-core mode.

      Given the other features of that machine, the CPU looks pretty anaemic.

  • now the cheaper macbook pro is better then mac pro BUT IT COSTS LESS.

    Ok the mac pro may have a better video card and faster cpu but $2500 for a desktop with out screen with only a quad core cpu and 3gig ram vs a laptop with quad core screen and 4 gb ram?.

    $1200 for a 13" laptop with INTEL VIDEO?? when other systems have faster cpus and better video cards + bigger HDD's for $400-$600 less?

    look like the mini is still at Core 2 Duo and the mac pro is still at the same cpu spped and price.

    How will Thunderbolt wo

    • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday February 24, 2011 @12:45PM (#35301302) Journal

      As someone who has benchmarked the living crap out of all of Apple's 2010 hardware, I can tell you with certainty that the Mac Pro will still leave these in the dust on any real work. The 2010 Mac Pro is 3 to 4 times faster than the 2010 MacBook Pro i7 in any reasonable benchmark you want to talk about. Maybe it's only 2 to 3 times faster now.

      Until Intel releases Xeons based on this same stuff, then it will probably be 4 to 5 times faster.

  • I hope Apple hasn't let their fascination with reducing port count get in the way of what might otherwise have been an interesting technology...

    By amalgamating the mini-displayport and the light peak data lines, they certainly have kept another small hole in the chassis from sullying the 2001-esque purity to which they aspire. However, that means that you can't use an external monitor and a light peak device at the same time, unless you either deal with an ugly(almost certainly powered) breakout box, or
    • by ejtttje (673126)
      They mention a few places that Thunderbolt is daisy-chainable. I assume that when you buy Thunderbolt devices they will provide a pass-through port like firewire devices usually did. So just make the display (adapter) the last device in the chain. (and hope that everything else you want to use does include the pass-through ;))

      I wouldn't be surprised if 'native' DisplayPort screens start including a pass-through as well, it's just the adapters that are 'terminal'.
    • I hope Apple hasn't let their fascination with reducing port count get in the way of what might otherwise have been an interesting technology...

      Well, first the mini-DisplayPort compatible connector has been adopted by Intel [intel.com] as well - so this is the official Thunderbolt connector, not some Apple proprietary thing.

      Secondly, according to the Apple website, you can still plug a monitor directly into the thunderbolt port, using your existing Mini-DP cables and adaptors. So nothing has been lost.

      Interestingly, if you look on the tech brief at the intel site, it says:

      Thunderbolt cables may be electrical or optical; both use the same Thunderbolt connector. An active electrical-only cable provides for connections of up to 3 meters in length, and provides for up to 10W of power deliverable to a bus-powered device. And an active optical cable provides for much greater lengths; tens of meters.

      So - is there actually an optical link hiding inside the socket on the new Macs? (Not

  • Thunderbolt based on pci-e? how many lanes does it have?
    can you boot from a add in card on the Thunderbolt pci-e bus?
    can you link a video card in a pci-e box linked by Thunderbolt have it work good for games / cad and other stuff a add in video card can do?

  • Seriously, how much do these things cost? Looks like they don't want you to know since they are probably a 50% markup over comparable laptops from other manufacturers.
    • by LDAPMAN (930041)

      Starting at:
      13 inch $1199
      15 inch $1799
      17 inch $2499

      The same as the old models and within a few buck of comparable models....if there were any.

  • Full specs and prices here http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/2/24/apple-updates-macbook-pro-range/ [thinq.co.uk] Mr Taco beat me to it by seconds, as usual.
  • From this photo here [apple.com] you can see that the logo for thunderbolt is a commonly-used symbol for electricity. It certainly looks as if that's where the power supply is supposed to plug in. I think it's a poor choice of name and symbol, compared to Light Peak.

    • From this photo here you can see that the logo for thunderbolt is a commonly-used symbol for electricity.

      In fairness, you mean the commonly used symbol for high voltage electricity. So, it's OK if you plug the 3kV feed directly in. I wonder it if takes 3-pahse. One way to find out, I suppose...

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