Apple bumps MacBook Pro processors across the line

Dan Moren
30 July, 2014
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MacBook Pro, apple, macworld australiaBeen holding out for the latest update to the MacBook Pro line? Hold out no longer: Apple on Wednesday issued a small speed bump to its professional notebook line, bringing new processors to the laptops.

The upgrades see the intro-level and mid-range 13in Retina MacBook Pros going from a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with a Turbo Boost of up to 2.9GHz to a 2.6GHz dual-core i5 with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.1GHz; the high-end 13in meanwhile goes from a 2.6GHz dual-core i5 to a 2.8GHz dual-core i5 (its Turbo Boost, which previously reached 3.1GHz, now gets up to 3.3GHz). The entry-level 13in Retina MacBook Pro also now starts with 8GB of RAM, like the mid-range and high-range models, instead of 4GB. Storage remains the same for all three models at 128GB, 256GB and 512GB of flash storage, respectively.

Build-to-order options for the 13in line include $120 for a 2.8GHz i5 chip and $370 for a dual-core 3.0GHz i7 chip for the entry-level and mid-range models; on the high-end 13in, the 3.0GHz i7 costs just $250. Doubling the RAM to 16GB costs $240, and the high-end model also lets you upgrade to 1TB of flash storage for $600.

The 15in models have received commensurate updates. The entry-level version now features a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz, up from a 2.0GHz chip with Turbo Boost of 3.2GHz; its starting RAM has been doubled from 8GB to 16GB. The high-end 15in now sports a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, an improvement over the old 2.3GHz model with a 3.5GHz Turbo Boost. Other stats remain unchanged: The 15in models feature 256GB and 512GB of flash storage, respectively, and the high-end model has not only Intel’s Iris Pro integrated graphics, but also a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT750M.

On the 15in entry-level machine, you can upgrade to a quad-core 2.5GHz Core i7 for $100 or a quad-core 2.8GHz Core i7 for $350, as well as double the flash storage to 512GB for $330, or quadruple it to 1TB for $930. The high-end 15in MacBook Pro has the 2.8GHz Core i7 for $250, as well as an option for 1TB of flash storage for $600.

Most of the MacBook Pros remain at the same price, with the 13in models at $1599, $1849, and $2199, and the entry-level 15in notebook at $2499. However, in accordance with Apple’s recent price-dropping, there was one light downtick: The high-end 15in model now starts $200 cheaper, at $2999. The non-Retina 13in MacBook Pro – whose specs were unchanged – remains at $1349. In its press release, the company describes the older notebook as “a very popular system with Windows switchers.”

The latest update comes on the heels of a solid quarter for the Mac, with Apple selling 4.4 million of the machines, and continuing to outgrow the PC market as a whole. Whether these modest upgrades will contribute to another great quarter for the venerable computing platform, well, we’ll have to wait until October to see. Meanwhile, stay tuned, we’ll bring you more details and benchmarks about these machines as soon as we have them in hand.

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