Friday, February 25, 2011

New MacBook Pros

As rumored, the Apple Store website was down yesterday morning. Within just a few hours, it was back up with the new Macbook Pros. Although it does not boast all the features which were rumored to be implemented, namely a dedicated boot SSD and much better resolution screens, it does come with some notable changes.
Kicking it off is the new chipset inside the Macbooks. If you buy the 15" or 17" Macbook Pro you have the choice of either a Quad Core i5 or i7. However you purchase the 13" you will be given the choice of either a Dual Core i5 or i7. Both a huge speed boost over the last generation, some boasting speeds of 3.4 GHz with turbo boost in use. This means turbo boost will shift the speed of your processor when needed so that you don't see any speed reduction when using your computer. In addition, Apple has made hyper threading standard on every Macbook Pro. Hyper Threading means you have two threads per core instead of one, so you would have eight virtual cores even though you have a quad core processor.

Next up in line is the biggest news of the announcement: Thunderbolt. This is Intel's Light Peak technology renamed to sound cooler. Thunderbolt boasts transfer speeds of up to 10 GB/s. However, you will never reach this speed because the Macbooks are still using copper instead of fiber optic wire. The goal of this technology is to speed up transfer rates. If this goal is reached, you could theoretical sync your iPod in less then a second. You could also transfer huge HD videos in seconds too. When this product reaches its peak, the consumer will be very pleased. Right now, it can be used for Apple's Cinema Dispaly, and also with an external raid drive known as Promis Pegasus RAID. The raid drive allows up to 12 TB of drives, and will allow you to transfer information extremely fast.

Finally, Apple has decided to go full fledge AMD Raedon in this release. For what ever reason, they did not choose Nvidia. The new Raedon in the Macbook's are the up to 3x faster then the last generation, allowing better graphics on games like Half Life 2 and Portal. Yet again, this card is only in the Macbook Pros 15"-17" models. Looks like the 13" was left out on this one.

Overall it is a good release, but not exactly what people wanted to see. Hopefully Apple will add a dedicated boot SSD in the future for the Macbooks. You may want to consider waiting long if you want a Macbook, mostly because the only "new" technology released is Thunderbolt. Plus, Thunderbolt is so new that no one has any products for it yet, so it is useless at the moment. Then again, it is up to you.


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