MacBook Pro notebooks have yet another small revision coming out. An inside source at Apple gave up the word that a new version of MacBook Pro is coming by the end of the month.
The changes will be minor. Do not expect any phenomenal advances in the line of notebooks. These will be basically the same as the current ones, with only a couple of revisions. Both the 15-inch and 17-inch models will be powered by the Intel Core i7 processors, but the 13-inch model will have the less powerful Intel Core i5 processors.
Most of what Apple sells is the MacBook Pro, in spite of its newer, thinner, and lighter MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is the only notebook that gives video professionals and power users who do not want to be tethered to a desk discrete graphics. It is also the only Apple notebook with a screen size larger than 13 inches, along with the graphics to power the additional screen size. The MacBook Air only comes in screen sizes up to 13 inches.
Intel only recently added four new Core i7 processors to their Sandy Bridge family. These are especially suited to the MacBook Pro, but also signal price reductions on other chips, and a retirement of a few as well.
There are now 2.4, 2.5, and 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7’s, and the ones on their way out are the 2.0, 2.2, and 2.3GHz chips. These older chips are currently powering the 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro notebooks.
Ivy Bridge was originally slated to be released in 2011. However, in May some documents were leaked showing they were going to wait until 2012. Now the date has been pushed back to around April 2012.
The few details Intel has released on the Ivy Bridge processors, due out in 2012, indicate as much as a 60% increase in performance, along with integrated graphics. The Intel GT2 GPU, also called HD Graphics 3000, will power the next generation of MacBook Pros that will also be released in 2012.
The processor swap out is not the only difference anticipated. Apple will also place its new high-speed Thunderbolt data and video port on the notebooks. This month’s nod to the existing MacBook Pro generation, gutted and stuffed with a new CPU, is merely a stepping stone to what lies ahead. After this, the MacBook Pro’s will sport the Intel Ivy Bridge processors.
Certainly this is a surprise to those watching the industry, especially since no signals of inventory reductions in currently active models have been given. However, the thrust of this revision is to assure the public that the MacBook Pro lineup will remain competitive until the Ivy Bridge releases in 2012. Some believe it is a feeble attempt to capture some of the holiday shopping sales.
There is not much of a wait left, since we are half way through the month. The Back-to-School campaign ends September 20th, which is the minimal date these refreshed MacBook Pro’s are due out. The exact time is yet unknown, but it will certainly be before the month’s end.