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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Intel Core i5/i7 MacBook Pro

Intel Core i5/i7 MacBook Pro
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Apr 13, 2010, 08:42 AM
 
The new Intel Core i5/i7 MacBook Pro has just arrived.



The 15" and 17" get Core i5/i7. The 13" remains Core 2 Duo.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 08:51 AM
 
13", 2.4 GHz C2D, 4/250, Nvidia 320M, $1199
13", 2.66 GHz C2D, 4/320, Nvidia 320M, $1499

15", 2.4 GHz i5-520M, 4/320, Nvidia 330M/256, $1799
15", 2.53 GHz i5-540M, 4/500, Nvidia 330M/256, $1999
15", 2.66 GHz i7-620M, 4/500, Nvidia 330M/512, $2199

17", 2.53 GHz i5-540M, 4/500, Nvidia 330M/512, $2299
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 08:54 AM
 
So how do these compare with the previous models?

Would they have these at Apple Stores today? I'm going to be going this evening. I don't think I'll be buying anything, assuming I'm able to get my current MBP repaired for a reasonable price, but I'd still like to see them.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 08:57 AM
 
BTO options for
• 7200 rpm HDDs (15", 17")
• SSDs up to 512 GB (15", 17")
• Glossy, Hi-Res Glossy, Hi-Res Antiglare Glossy (15")
• Hi-Res Glossy, Hi-Res Antiglare Glossy (17")
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 08:57 AM
 
The 15" and 17" models ship within 24 hours.

The 13" model (and 15"/17" BTO models) ships within 2-4 days.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:00 AM
 
If you're getting a 13" MBP it seems the low-end model is a no-brainer.

$300 extra buys you 10% CPU clock and 70 GB HDD. For $300 you can get a massive SSD upgrade from a third party.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:03 AM
 
Any benchies up for comparison of the new 320 to... anything?
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:04 AM
 
No new MB Air - how disappointing
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:05 AM
 
Personally I find it very disappointing that Apple did not include 3G wireless in the Pro line. Space required is nearly zero and it seems only logical that a laptop has this capability...

I'll stick with my 2007 MPB for now and wait what 2011 brings!
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:28 AM
 
The $200 i7 upgrade is expensive on the 15".
The 1k price difference between the 17-620M and the i5-540M is $75. All Apple adds is another 256 MB VRAM.

Hi-res is quite a nice deal though. An extra $100 buys you 33% more pixels. Not sure if you'll see much on that display though as long as we don't get a resolution-independent GUI though.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:37 AM
 
A 3G option would have been nice.

I find keeping the optical worse though. I would have so loved to see that huge drive finally get kicked out freeing up space for another SSD or more battery or just less weight.

Bummer that the MBA wasn't updated. Core i7-UM at 18W TDP are available.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:38 AM
 
You gotta be kidding me! The 13" model retains the Core 2 Duo
Do I really have to wait another year? With faulty VRAM?
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:41 AM
 
Thanks for the cleanup, Oreo.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:48 AM
 
Gladly. So, Simon, are you getting one?
I was so ready to spend ~€2k on a new machine, I already got a new monitor (an Eizo 22"), but I'm not really convinced now. If it weren't for the faulty VRAM and the anemic amount of RAM my system has, I'd wait for another year.
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:53 AM
 
Well my department will definitely be buying me a new 15". Along with maybe two more for other people.

I'll likely be ordering the i7 hi-res 15" for myself. There's been some talk about budget though. If I have to shave off a bit, I'm not so sure what I'll do. Drop the i7 or the hi-res option? Hmm.

I just ordered a new 13" MBP for my g/f. She needed a new one anyway. Her old CD BlackBook is literally falling apart. The low-end 13" at €1012 is quite a sweet deal.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 09:59 AM
 
Battery life on these MBPs sure is awesome. 10h on the 13", 8/9h on the 15"/17".

     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:03 AM
 
...and I just bought the low-end 13" MacBook Pro a week ago. Something in the back of my mind told me to hold off for a minute. But from some of the criticisms here, there isn't much change from the previous 13" model to the new one?
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:05 AM
 
The new chipset must have really cut down on power consumption. Darn!

The 13" went from a 58Wh battery to a 63.5 Wh battery. That's a 9% increase. But battery life increased 43% from 7 to 10 hours.
The 15" went from a 73Wh battery to a 77.5 Wh battery. That's a 6% increase. But battery life increased 14% from 7 to 8 hours.
The 17" retains the previous battery. Battery life goes from 8 to 9 hours (+13%).
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by himself View Post
...and I just bought the low-end 13" MacBook Pro a week ago. Something in the back of my mind told me to hold off for a minute. But from some of the criticisms here, there isn't much change from the previous 13" model to the new one?
The same money now buys you:
+ 2 GB RAM
+ 90 GB HDD
+ 140 MHz CPU clock
+ Nvidia 320M vs. 9400M
+ 3 hours battery

If I were you I'd return it and get a new model. For the extra battery life alone. With Apple you have 14 days from the date of purchase to return it (BTO excluded).
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Battery life on these MBPs sure is awesome. 10h on the 13", 8/9h on the 15"/17".

Yeah, that's pretty impressive. That's like a 2-3 hour increase from the last models?

I'm a little tempted by the low-end 13" model, even if it is still Core 2 Duo.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:14 AM
 
Has anybody else noticed that Apple's now advertising a Mini DisplayPort->HDMI adapter on the new MBP spec pages?

The adapter doesn't show up yet in the store though. Any idea if they now support audio over MDP? Or are they just talking about routing digital video from the MDP port to an HDMI plug?
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The same money now buys you:
+ 2 GB RAM
+ 90 GB HDD
+ 140 MHz CPU clock
+ Nvidia 320M vs. 9400M
+ 3 hours battery

If I were you I'd return it and get a new model. For the extra battery life alone. With Apple you have 14 days from the date of purchase to return it (BTO excluded).
Thanks for the clarification. I planned on calling the Apple Store to inquire about an exchange anyway, but now it's a done deal.
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
WI'll likely be ordering the i7 hi-res 15" for myself. There's been some talk about budget though. If I have to shave off a bit, I'm not so sure what I'll do. Drop the i7 or the hi-res option? Hmm.
Same here. I definitely want a Core i[something] cpu, so the 15" seems like a natural option. And spending €100 extra for a better screen is a no-brainer for me.

But I'm still not convinced, I really like the size and weight of the 13" ProBook. The added battery life is a plus, too. I'll have to think this over … 
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:32 AM
 
What surprised me the most was that Apple is selling them with adequate RAM and HD! After selling laptops for so many years with laughably minimal RAM and HD, that's a real departure from Apple's chintzy past.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
If I were you I'd return it and get a new model. For the extra battery life alone. With Apple you have 14 days from the date of purchase to return it (BTO excluded).
Oh good. A coworker just bought himself the low-end 13" model last week, and I couldn’t remember whether te exchange policy applied to units that actually got opened and used. Now I won’t feel bad telling him it was just replaced by a fancier model.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You gotta be kidding me! The 13" model retains the Core 2 Duo
Do I really have to wait another year? With faulty VRAM?


I was really hoping for a Core i-based 13" model, even if it was going to just be an i3 or something. I need the portability. The video chipset upgrade is nonetheless unexpected and a nice bonus, but man, buying a 13" laptop in that price range with such a dated CPU is

Well, can't wait to see the benchmarks for the new models. I wonder how much of an improvement the 320M makes over the 9400M.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by simonjames View Post
No new MB Air - how disappointing
I'll second that!

But I think the Air has really different issues (that need upgrading) and probably different possible solutions.

4GB Ram is critical in my book. More pixels, too.

Dare I wish for larger SSD? longer batt life -as with the new MBPs?

I worry that they have slowed attention to a crawl for the Air, being such a small part of their overall picture -- but at just twice weight of an iPad, it's exactly what I need for nimble travel.
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:39 AM
 
Also, the new 13" has a minor graphics update.

I was wondering if I should upgrade my current one; anyone have any insight? (Sometimes bogs down with the rare iTunes, Suitcase, Photoshop-InDesign-Illustrator trifecta (and Lightroom), Safari, iChat and Mail, etc. going strong; also driving the external 23", FW + USB drives, etc., BT, Ethernet & Airport). Will I benefit more from a CS4 upgrade? Please feel free to PM if it may appear to clutter the thread.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:40 AM
 
….....................
Originally Posted by simon
The $200 i7 upgrade is expensive on the 15".
The 1k price difference between the 17-620M and the i5-540M is $75. All Apple adds is another 256 MB VRAM..
Comparing the i7-620M and the i5-540M:
2.66ghz vs. 2.53ghz
3.33ghz vs. 3.03ghz max Turbo
4MB cache vs. 3MB cache

But is that all that the i7 adds? Both have Hyperthreading?
Anyone know any speed tests between these two chips?
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:53 AM
 
Some nice new features and options. Glad to see the matte option for the 15". Also the tech specs page mentions "HDMI output using Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (optional)" which is worded to make it seem like you can buy such and adaptor from Apple, but I don't see one.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:57 AM
 
I want to see performance numbers on these before I buy. I love the 13" form factor, but I was hoping for an i5. However, it will be interesting to see the 2.66ghz C2D vs the 2.4ghz i5. i5 is supposedly about 20% faster clock for clock, but there is a 10% clock speed advantage on the C2D. Obviously the 15" has faster graphics, but that isn't really a deal breaker for me (I'm upgrading from a GMA950 on my 13" macbook).

If I go 15", it is tempting to consider an upgrade to the i7 and the high-res screen (of course that would be almost $1000 more than I had budgeted)...
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by WizOSX View Post
But is that all that the i7 adds? Both have Hyperthreading?
In terms of CPU architecture, there is no difference between the Core i7 Arrandale and the Core i5-500 series Arrandale apart from the 1 MB of L2 cache. So the entire difference boils down to that and the difference in clock.

The Core i5-400 series OTOH has a reduced turbo. Apple has chosen not to use this CPU.

Core i7 Arrandale is essentially a mobile version of Clarkdale.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Also the tech specs page mentions "HDMI output using Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (optional)" which is worded to make it seem like you can buy such and adaptor from Apple, but I don't see one.
See my post above.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
What surprised me the most was that Apple is selling them with adequate RAM and HD! After selling laptops for so many years with laughably minimal RAM and HD, that's a real departure from Apple's chintzy past.
That's because they are offering laughably minimal CPUs at premium prices.

I, for one, will hold out with my White Core Duo 2GHz until it literally falls apart. After 3 years, eleven months, it developed some cracks in the bottom case*, but I am sure it will hold up for another 365 days.

I vow that I will not buy another plastic notebook. Aluminum 13" i5 or nothing, unless the upcoming benchmarks prove that 2.5 GHz C2D is less than 15% slower than the 2.4GHz i5.

In the "Performance" page footprints, it reveals that 10 hours are attained with the 13" 2.66GHz configuration. Does it mean that the 2.4GHz 13" will have less or more battery life?
http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/performance.html
( Last edited by The Godfather; Apr 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM. )
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 12:52 PM
 
Gizmodo has the i7 MBP benchmarks
MacBook Pro 15-inch Core i7 Benchmarked: It's So Fast - Macbook pro core i7 benchmark - Gizmodo
I may have to compromise and choose 15" over 13".
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Has anybody else noticed that Apple's now advertising a Mini DisplayPort->HDMI adapter on the new MBP spec pages?
It does look like Apple is now selling that adapter. But it'll likely cost $29 when Monoprice's adapter is $8.55.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 02:17 PM
 
argh. i moved from a 12" powerbook to the 13" macbook (first gen aluminum); have been waiting for the new mbp's. and here they are, and, once again, the 13" gets no respect.

just wondering, why can't apple make it's pro notebooks (there! i used the word 'notebook'! - in your face, steve jobs..)
"pro" across the line? having a smaller footprint shouldn't automatically mean having a lesser machine...
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Apr 13, 2010, 02:23 PM
 
Damn.... talk about a price hike!! They seem to be approx. 300-400GBP more expensive then equivilent models 2 years ago!
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Apr 13, 2010, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by richwig83 View Post
Damn.... talk about a price hike!! They seem to be approx. 300-400GBP more expensive then equivilent models 2 years ago!
That's because in the meantime your currency has gone to hell.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 02:39 PM
 
Wowzers.

     
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Apr 13, 2010, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
It does look like Apple is now selling that adapter.
I still can't find it at the Apple store.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 03:00 PM
 
Time for me to call the local Apple Store and see if they have them in stock....

And if I need to show any sort of Teacher ID to get it... which I don't have...

(Gotta love $200 off for the educational discount.)
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 03:31 PM
 
Ahhhh screw it.

I just ordered the high end 15in with the "high res" screen.

Now time to throw this computer up on ebay... along with a few other things... and maybe my cat...
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The new chipset must have really cut down on power consumption. Darn!

The 13" went from a 58Wh battery to a 63.5 Wh battery. That's a 9% increase. But battery life increased 43% from 7 to 10 hours.
The 15" went from a 73Wh battery to a 77.5 Wh battery. That's a 6% increase. But battery life increased 14% from 7 to 8 hours.
The 17" retains the previous battery. Battery life goes from 8 to 9 hours (+13%).
The 15" I can understand - Arrandale shuts down so much when it's not used, the boost isn't huge, and anyway the 15"ers used rather powerful CPUs to begin with - but how they can squeeze out a massive improvement out of the 13" is more than I understand. There is no way that the chipset alone can explain that when it also improved GPU performance by 200% or so. They must have saved energy somewhere else. Medium-voltage CPU is a likely improvement (25W instead of 35W) but I still don't see it. The display panel?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 04:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You gotta be kidding me! The 13" model retains the Core 2 Duo
Do I really have to wait another year? With faulty VRAM?
I have no doubt that the C2D+320m is a better value than the i3.



Granted, these are older games. I play UT3 in bootcamp with the 9400m and performance is great. I am tempted to sell my current 13" (2GHz, no FW) and upgrade to the new one.
( Last edited by lpkmckenna; Apr 13, 2010 at 04:22 PM. )
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 04:09 PM
 
Core i3 has low clock speeds and no turbo. It would have been very hard to market to t3" crowd. Also, its IGP runs at a lower clock speed than on i5/i7.

I would have liked to see the 13" MBP updated to Core i5, but I'm glad Apple has chosen to skip Core i3.

The 320M will be substantially better than Arrandale IGP in pretty much every benchmark.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 04:34 PM
 
BTW, it appears that the new MBPs are not using nVidia Optimus, but their own solution that does the same thing: live-switching between the Intel IGP and nVidia graphics. Nice.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by simonjames View Post
No new MB Air - how disappointing
I don't know if Apple will continue the MacBook Air line now that the iPad is out there.

Frankly, I don't even know if the non-Pro MacBook has much of a future. I think they only kept it for the education market, and if education decides to go with iPads equipped with ebook textbooks, even that could be doomed.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Love Calm Quiet View Post
I'll second that!

But I think the Air has really different issues (that need upgrading) and probably different possible solutions.

4GB Ram is critical in my book. More pixels, too.

Dare I wish for larger SSD? longer batt life -as with the new MBPs?

I worry that they have slowed attention to a crawl for the Air, being such a small part of their overall picture -- but at just twice weight of an iPad, it's exactly what I need for nimble travel.
Me too. I've been waiting for this update and now I just don't know what to do. My wife needs a laptop and I was going to hand her down my old Macbook and get the Air. I really don't need a lot of power, but I'd feel silly buying it now after waiting so long and with an update presumably still on its way.

Frustrating. The Air is now so overdue; I can only assume that it is what others have alleged, a case of neglect from Apple.
     
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Apr 13, 2010, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
I don't know if Apple will continue the MacBook Air line now that the iPad is out there.

Frankly, I don't even know if the non-Pro MacBook has much of a future. I think they only kept it for the education market, and if education decides to go with iPads equipped with ebook textbooks, even that could be doomed.
Have you used the iPad? It's a toy. That keyboard is useless for real work--it works like the iPhone's, with punctuation and things like that tucked into a subkeyboard. The plain jane Macbook is Mac's most successful computer. I see those little suckers everywhere. In my grad class, five of the eleven people have white Macbooks and they weren't institutional purchases.
     
 
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