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Apple Updates MacBook Pro Line with Faster Processors, Next-Gen Graphics

btarunr

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#1
Apple today updated the MacBook Pro line with faster processors, powerful next-generation NVIDIA graphics and even longer battery life. The popular 13-inch MacBook Pro features the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor for up to 80 percent faster graphics and a groundbreaking 10-hour built-in battery. The new 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology that toggles seamlessly between powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD Graphics processors.

Show full news post
 
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#3
WHOO!!

I've never been an Apple fan, but I've been waiting for this update for a while. What realy got me was the amazing battery life. I've never seen a laptop with standard parts. It's pretty incredable. I mean Ci5 + GT330 + Optimus = 8 hours of battery life for basic tasks, and decent graphics perfomance when needed. Most laptops either can't get that kind of idle battery life or they don't have enough GPU power when it's needed.

I know these things are damn expensive. And I've always been a price/performance kind of guy. But I've come to the conclusion that sometimes it' good to have nice stuff. And for something that I will be using for hundreds of hours over the next three to four years, I think the extra money is worth it.

I don't know if I'll be getting one, but it's definitely on my list.

Edit: Apparently these have automatic switachable graphics, but it isn't Nvidia's Optimus. As a consumer, I don't care who makes it, as long as it works.
 
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freaksavior

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#4
Thanks for posting this :) i want the new one now. my early 2008 models is umm.. yeah i want a new one.
 
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#5
...the powerful new GeForce GT 330M provides incredibly smooth, crisp on-screen graphics for the most demanding 3D games...
Oh, how it boggles the mind... :respect:
 
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#6
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#7
I love these laptops.
 
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#8
i got a Macbook for free from my school and trust me the battery life only last as long as they say if your backlit is turned all the way down
 
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#9
Well yeah, none of the Apple laptops will do that peak battery time without everything on low. But even when it isn't, from personal experience its still very reasonable and long lasting. Enough to watch a couple movies on.

Not particularly impressed with these new rigs. Personally I think they'd be more attractive getting rid of the dumb dual graphics and just going with a good low high end chip. The last time Apple used anything close to high end in their Pro line was at the end of the Powerbook G4s and that was a 9700 Pro when everyone else had 9800s. So still, Apple went with a lower power chip. But at least it was in the 256bit area instead of these 128s.

Apple is notorious with underclocking the GPUs and not advertising it. I'd suspect they are continuing that with these NV chips after what happened with the last gens from the big NV defect fiasco. In fact, amazing they are still using NV with all the complaints customers had about them overheating. But then Apple does swing between chipmakers a lot over the years. Wouldn't be surprised if Intel had some say in it, which is why we're seeing their craptacular graphics returning.
 

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#10
I think its about time they released this, I've been wanting to get one for ages
 
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#11
I think it's stupid if they advertise the battery life that is only available with the screen dimmed, it should be done at default settings.
 
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#12
Why would people buy this crap when they could have this.
 
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#14
Well yeah, none of the Apple laptops will do that peak battery time without everything on low. But even when it isn't, from personal experience its still very reasonable and long lasting. Enough to watch a couple movies on.

Not particularly impressed with these new rigs. Personally I think they'd be more attractive getting rid of the dumb dual graphics and just going with a good low high end chip. The last time Apple used anything close to high end in their Pro line was at the end of the Powerbook G4s and that was a 9700 Pro when everyone else had 9800s. So still, Apple went with a lower power chip. But at least it was in the 256bit area instead of these 128s.

Apple is notorious with underclocking the GPUs and not advertising it. I'd suspect they are continuing that with these NV chips after what happened with the last gens from the big NV defect fiasco. In fact, amazing they are still using NV with all the complaints customers had about them overheating. But then Apple does swing between chipmakers a lot over the years. Wouldn't be surprised if Intel had some say in it, which is why we're seeing their craptacular graphics returning.
As a business decision, Intel would rather nVidia not provide the graphics. They want AMD around because it prevents (most) potential anti-trust scuffles, while at the same time not taking up much market share, thus they're not much of a threat to their business. nVidia, on the other hand, could easily trample Intel's chipset business given the proper licenses. Tegra also competes (or will compete) with Intel on the mobile front in smartphones-to-come.

As for the nVidia deal, that was an issue with bad solder rather than a chip design defect, so as much as I am not a fan and was really hoping for an HD5K, there's nothing particularly wrong with the nVidia chips. Besides, Apple has more mature drivers for them right now anyway. I suspect the main reason they didn't go AMD this round is because of Optimus, and Apple is all about keeping things simple. That, and they needed something to balance out the increased wattage of the i5/i7 chips. The transition will happen when/if AMD decides to step it up and make its mobile graphics play nice with the other team. AMD mobile CPUs suck, despite the strength of the overall platform. Apple wants them, as evidenced by the current high-end iMac and previous experience on the mobile front during the 9K era, but they're just not giving them as good of a deal as nVidia is right now from a tech perspective.

On the battery issue, I'd like to go ahead and put it out there that I've had very good experiences with Apple notebooks in the past, including those with dedicated graphics. All manufacturers overestimate battery life, but this really is one of the more efficient ones out there. While there's no way of telling how they measured it, I would go out on a limb and peg the tests at about 50% brightness, which is what is set by default when you unplug the AC. Being an LED screen, it doesn't make a huge amount of difference anyway, so that would be the least of my suspicions.

With all of that said, ASUS ftw! If ASUS designed a connector for their laptops similar to Apple's MagSafe, I would be all over their notebooks. Windows 7 did wonders for Microsoft's image and overall usability issues, and ASUS has the best warranty and support in the business as far as I'm concerned, not to mention the advantage of actually producing most of the hardware in the units. Having used a MacBook Pro with the MagSafe connector though, I gotta say, the smallest things make all the difference in the world.

[EDIT]

Apple citation for the battery life test is as follows:

"The wireless productivity test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing various websites and editing text in a word processing document with display brightness set to 50%."

So basically what you would get sitting in a library doing homework, though personally I would aim for 70% brightness in most situations.

[/EDIT]
 
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#16
Gotta love Intel in these moments. They usually supply Apple at the last moment. Good job Apple for still using core 2's with DDR3 lol! :roll:
 
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#17
Why would people buy this crap when they could have this.
Good poi- BATTERY LIFE.

Seriously though. I think this depends on what you want in a notebook. If I want power, I use a desktop. If I'm on a laptop, the primary goal is to be as portable as possible. When I use a laptop, I have no need for all that power. I use a laptop to take notes in class, surf the web, email, etc. Do I really need a grapihcs card to with GTX in its name to do that? I also don't see the appeal of gaming laptops. You're going to spend all that money so you can play games everywhere you go? Pass.

Gotta love Intel in these moments. They usually supply Apple at the last moment. Good job Apple for still using core 2's with DDR3 lol! :roll:
How is this bad? Core 2 has very little competition, which is why Intel has been using it for like three or four years now.
 
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#18
Good poi- BATTERY LIFE.

Seriously though. I think this depends on what you want in a notebook. If I want power, I use a desktop. If I'm on a laptop, the primary goal is to be as portable as possible. The times that I do use a laptop, I have no need for all that power anyways.


How is this bad? Core 2 has very little competition, which is why Intel has been using it for like three or four years now.
Its not at all bad for Intel, but as I recall the chip set that utilized ddr3 made no difference because it was not properly utilized like Nehalem or Deneb. So its a another way for Apple all these years to jack up the price.
 
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#19
Wow... Apple is actually recycling the 3-year-old 9600M GT for their laptops? Again?!

How come the title says "next gen graphics"?
The GT320M is just a rename of the old-as-hell 9600M GT (= desktop 9500 GT, 32 thirty-piss-poor-two shaders) and the GT330M is a rename of the desktop GT220 with 48 forty-misery-eight shaders.

And only the two most expensive models have more than 256MB of graphics ram? WTF is RAM that expensive for Apple?!?


There are now 800€ laptops being sold with the Mobility HD5650 1GB, a 400-shader GPU wich has about 3-4 times the performance of the "new" GT320M.


6 months after the first DX11 card being launched and 3 months after the first DX11-enabled laptop being in the market, it takes a lot of nerve to say the new crApples have "next-gen graphics". One is DX10 which it's been around for 4 years and the other is DX10.1 which came out 3 years ago.
 

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#20

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#21
ack, they're just way too expensive... $1500 USD and only 1280x800?
 
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#22
Why refresh? The only spec most mac buyers look at is screen size.
 

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#23
Meh. Their laptops are still overpriced. I'd rather grab an Asus, and put Hackintosh on it.
 
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#24
Yeah, next gen...with DirectX 10....
 

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#25
next gen card :wtf:

maybe they meant the next rename card