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MacBook Pro Speed, Graphics, and Storage Upgraded

Today, Apple silently upgraded processors, graphics cards, and storage options in its MacBook Pro lineup. The improvements are fairly minor and represent incremental upgrades to the lineup based on additional processor releases from Intel. The upgrades cover the 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch models.

The changes have been rumored for several weeks but are more significant in the area of graphics than expected. On the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple bumped the dual-core processors up 100MHz in each case. The previous 2.3GHz dual-core Core i5 in the entry-level model has been upgraded to a 2.4GHz dual-core Core i5. The higher-end model featuring the 2.7GHz dual-core Core i7 has been upgraded to the latest 2.8GHz dual-core Core i7 processor. The previous 320GB (entry-level model) and 500GB (higher-end model) hard drives have been upgraded to 500GB and 750GB in their respective models.

For the 15-inch models, the quad-core Core i7 processors have been upgraded by 200MHz in each case. The previous 2.0GHz quad-core Core i7 has been upgraded to a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor and the previous 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 has been upgraded to a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i7 processor. The custom build-to-order option on the higher-end model of the 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 has also been upgraded to a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 processor.

The discrete graphics have been upgraded on both 15-inch models from Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB of memory and Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB of memory to Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB of memory and Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB of memory. The storage option of a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive has also now been upgraded to a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro has also seen similar upgrades. The processor has been upgraded from a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 to a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i7. The build-to-order option of the 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 has similarly been upgraded to a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 processor. In addition, discrete graphics have been upgraded from Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB of memory to Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB of memory. Just like the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the previous 500GB 7200RPM hard drive option has been upped to a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive.

The changes can be summarized based on model as:

13-inch entry-level MacBook Pro:

  • 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 ➝ 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 320GB 5400RPM hard drive ➝ 500GB 5400RPM hard drive

13-inch higher-end MacBook Pro

  • 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 ➝ 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
  • 500GB 5400RPM hard drive ➝ 750GB 5400RPM hard drive

15-inch entry-level MacBook Pro

  • 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ➝ 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256MB ➝ AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512MB
  • BTO 500GB 7200RPM hard drive ➝ BTO 750GB 7200RPM hard drive

15-inch higher-end MacBook Pro

  • 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ➝ 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB ➝ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 1GB
  • BTO 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ➝ BTO 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • BTO 500GB 7200RPM hard drive ➝ BTO 750GB 7200RPM hard drive

17-inch MacBook Pro

  • 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ➝ 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB ➝ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 1GB
  • BTO 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 ➝ BTO 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • BTO 500GB 7200RPM hard drive ➝ BTO 750GB 7200RPM hard drive

All of these changes represent incremental changes to the product lines but the graphics upgrades are likely to have the greatest effect on real-world performance. These upgrades are a great value since the systems have not increased in price. Although not yet available, the upgraded models will be listed on Amazon.com shortly.

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