Apple releases MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3 for mid-2010 models

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 03:41
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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On Tuesday (literally the same day the company released its updated MacBook Pro notebooks), Apple released Software Update 1.3 for the mid-2010 MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, a 258.3 megabyte download, is recommended for all 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro mid 2010 models and contains improvements for graphics stability for high-performance video and gaming applications as well as various bug fixes.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run and is available for free.

If you’ve tried the fix and noticed any changes, please let us know.

Apple releases updated MacBook Pros featuring Core i5, i7 processors, boosted graphics cards

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 07:31
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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The rumors were true and Apple released its long-awaited MacBook Pro notebooks on Tuesday. Per Macworld UK, the new notebooks boast faster processors, NVIDIA graphics and longer battery life.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro now features the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor for up to 80% faster graphics and 10-hour built-in battery. The GeForce 320 features 48 processing cores and is billed as the fastest integrated graphics processor on the market.

New 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models meanwhile, feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology that toggles between powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD Graphics processors.

Apple claims the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops are up to 50% faster. Using Intel’s 32 nanometer process, Intel Core i5 and i7 processors integrate the memory controller and Level 3 cache for faster access to system memory.

Hyper-Threading technology improves data throughput by creating virtual processing cores, while Turbo Boost optimises performance between the two processor cores, accelerating the system from 2.66 GHz to 3.06 GHz for intensive dual core tasks, and up to 3.33 GHz for single core tasks.

Apple notes, all 15-inch and 17-inch models include two graphics processors, the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M for peak performance and Intel HD Graphics for better energy efficient operation.

Apple adds, the MacBook Pro glass Multi-Touch trackpad now supports inertial scrolling, an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites. All MacBook Pros feature LED-backlit wide-angle displays with a broad color gamut.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a high resolution 1920 x 1200 display, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro is now available with an optional high resolution 1680 x 1050 display.

Customers can also upgrade their MacBook Pro with new 128GB, 256GB and 512GB solid state drives.

Apple has released the following MacBook Pro specs and pricing details:

The 2.4 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,199, includes:
• 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
• 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
• 1066 MHz front-side bus;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
• 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight® video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• SD card slot;
• combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 60 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

The 2.66 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,499, includes:
• 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
• 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
• 1066 MHz front-side bus;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
• 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• SD card slot;
• combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 60 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 13-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a 320GB 5400 rpm or a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

The 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,799, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;
• 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.53 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,999, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.66 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$2,199, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 with 4MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 15-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a high resolution 15-inch 1680 x 1050 display in glossy and antiglare, a 500GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

The 2.53 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$2,299, includes:
• 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display;
• 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• three USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 17-inch MacBook Pro include a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, a 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, antiglare display, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Full details can be found on the Apple Store web site.

If you have two cents to hurl in on the new machines, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Updated MacBook Pro could surface as early as April 13th

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 9th, 2010, 03:22
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

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Following the iPad coverage and hype, you’re still hankering for updated MacBook Pro news. Per Australian Macworld, a source has stated that updated MacBook Pro units featuring Intel’s new Core i5 and i7 processors could be seen as early as Tuesday, April 13th.

There’s no word as to exact specifics but the Best Buy web site seems to be adding some fuel to the fire, first by showing a proverbial mark of death in its database last month, and now by making the 15-inch model unavailable on BestBuy.com.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve heard anything on your end, please let us know.

Toshiba rolls out 750GB, 1TB notebook hard drives

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 25th, 2010, 05:26
Category: hard drive, Hardware

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Electronics manufacturer Toshiba announced the release of its MK7559GSXP (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) notebook drive Wednesday night. Per Electronista, the 2.5″ notebook drive is the first to hold 750GB but reach the same 9.5mm height as most slimmer notebook hard drives. As such, it can provide the capacity expected of a desktop hard drive but fit into thin-and-light notebooks like the MacBook Pro as well as all-in-one desktops and digital media hubs.

Despite featuring about 17% more capacity, the new SATA II drive consumes about 14% less power than the 640GB predecessor it’s set to replace and could extend the theoretical battery life. The units spins at just 5,400RPM, but its very high density, two-platter design may compensate for the perceived drop in access speed.

In tandem with the thin drive, Toshiba is rolling out the MKxx59GSM line, which brings 750GB and 1TB drives but in a taller three-platter, 12.5mm profile more suited to desktop replacement notebooks and other computers where thinness isn’t an absolute priority. Either rotates at the same speed but is slightly less energy-efficient.

All three of the disks are due to start sampling for system builders in April and should enter mass production soon afterwards.

Regarding processor constraint rumors, Jobs Replies “Not to Worry”

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010, 05:14
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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Following up on yesterday’s story about possible shortages of Intel’s new Core mobile processors contributing to the delay in the new generations of MacBook Pro notebooks, a user, according to MacRumors, e-mailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs with the following message:

“I recognize the need for secrecy etc but I am really losing heart in the lack of vision for the MBP and Mac Pros. Not expecting a response but as someone who has personally switched dozens of people onto the mac way this is a sad email for me to compose.”

Jobs got back to the reader with a short reply that simply said “Not to worry.”

It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

Rumor: Intel may be short on next-gen MacBook, MacBook Pro processors

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 22nd, 2010, 03:05
Category: MacBook, MacBook Pro, Processors, Rumor

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Intel may be struggling to meet demand for its new family of Core mobile processors that are expected in the next generation of Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.

Per DigiTimes, sources close to the story have cited that Intel’s latest Core i7/i5/i3 series notebook chips are currently facing tight supply thanks to a hefty order from Acer, which “optimistic about the upcoming demand” for its related portables.

The brief report, which doesn’t specifically name Apple, claims that Intel is giving priority to major clients, which should include the Mac maker, leaving second-tier and smaller notebook makers in the waiting line.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

How-To: Maximize RAM Usage on 15″, 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 4th, 2010, 06:37
Category: How-To, MacBook Pro

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Ok, I’ve never heard of this before and it could be interesting.

Per CNET, a number of 15″ and 17″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook owners have run into problems when they ran out of available RAM more than expected, especially when running programs that can reserve large amounts of memory. These include graphically intensive applications such as Adobe Creative Suite, and applications that use a lot of RAM such as virtualization solutions.

Even though no one’s really had to manage how their RAM has been portioned out since the days of Mac OS 9, the piece offers the following tips to maximize what’s there:

Checking and managing RAM:
Running low on RAM can make your system run slowly, and you can check your RAM usage with Activity Monitor, and see what applications are using the most by clicking the “Real Mem” column in the main Activity Monitor window (shown by pressing command-1). If there are user applications that are using large amounts of RAM, they will be at the top of the list, and you can try quitting or relaunching them to free up more RAM.

Turn on higher performance graphics:
If the system seem to be using more RAM than usual, you may have the dedicated graphics processor in the MacBook Pro disabled. In unibody MacBook Pro machines, you have both chipset-based and dedicated graphics processors. If you set the system to have better battery life in the “Graphics” section of the Energy Saver system preferences, the system will turn off the discrete graphics processor, leading to significant battery savings. However, doing this will result in more system memory usage since the onboard graphics chip does not have its own video memory.

Select this option to turn on the dedicated graphics processor, and offloading video information from the system RAM.

Usage of applications like Photoshop, games and virtual machines that require large amounts of RAM devoted to graphics will be able to use the onboard graphics capabilities to handle more of the tasks at hand. As a result, users can usually see the “kernel_task” process using more RAM. In contrast, if you are using the dedicated graphics, applications will be using the 512MB of available video RAM for the graphics card instead of the system RAM. This will result in more available system RAM, especially during heavy graphics usage (even though this option is only available in the 15-inch and 17-inch “Pro” models of unibody aluminum MacBook. The 13-inch and non-Pro versions only have one graphics processor and do not have these options).

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

Rumor: Apple Looking to Bring HDMI Ports to Various Macs

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Date: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010, 05:20
Category: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, Rumor

Because the rumor mill’s fun, sources have stated that Apple plans to introduce HDMI ports on some of its systems this year, embracing a current trend among its competitors.

According to AppleInsider, a prototype of the Mac Mini has been seen with an HDMI port by two sources close to the story. The port sits besides mini DisplayPort connector and marks the first instance of full-featured HDMI connectivity on a Mac. It also represents only the second Apple product to feature the port outside of the company’s fledgeling Apple TV streaming media device. Cosmetically, the Mac mini is otherwise said to look identical to existing models, with no other visible changes to its enclosure.

At least one of the Mac mini prototypes described by those privy to the hardware is said to include Nvidia’s MCP89 chipset, which is the successor to the existing MCP79 (or GeForce 9400M) chipset found alongside Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors across the majority of Apple’s existing Mac product line.

However, an ongoing Intel licensing dispute with Nvidia will prevent Apple (and other PC makers) from using the MCP89 supporting chipset alongside its latest generation of Nehalem-based Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. As a result, Apple may continue to rely on existing Core 2 Duo (pre-Nehalem) processors as part of its upcoming Mac mini revision.

Alternatively, the Mac mini prototype in question could have been in development before Intel’s disagreement with Nvidia came to a head, meaning successive prototype revisions that forgo the new Nvidia chipset in favor of Intel’s may have since emerged, though there’s no evidence thus far to support that theory.

Click the jump for the full story…

Rumor: NVIDIA May Bring Changes to Dual Graphics Architecture for Future MacBook Pro Notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 19th, 2010, 08:50
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

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Apple may be planning an enhancement to its next-generation MacBook Pros that will allow for automatic switching between integrated and discrete graphics processors based on whichever is the more optimal technology (power consumption vs. performance) at any given time.

Per AppleInsider, Apple, which has offered two NVIDIA graphics processors in its 17″ and higher-end 15″ MacBook Pro models, one discrete processor and one integrated processor. Users of these machines have been able use the Energy Saver pane in System Preferences to select whether they prefer “better battery life” with the integrated graphics or “higher performance” with the discrete graphics, although switching between the two requires users to log out of their accounts temporarily.

A current rumor states that NVIDIA may bring its Optimus technology to the MacBook Pro, which would allow for seamless switching between graphics processors based on automatic software settings. NVIDIA reportedly developed the technology in response to a dispute with Intel over NVIDIA’s ability to build chipsets for Intel’s latest processors, a dispute that has led to NVIDIA exiting the chipset business. NVIDIA’s Optimus technology offers computer manufacturers a means of pairing NVIDIA’s well-regarded discrete graphics processors with integrated processors provided by Intel as part of its chipsets.

The report notes that the source is not 100% certain that the change will be made in time to appear in Apple’s next-generation MacBook Pro, which is widely expected in the near future. Apple’s pressing need for a solution to the situation presented by the Intel-NVIDIA dispute, however, makes it very likely that the technology will be included in the forthcoming models.

Alleged MacBook Pro Prototype with Red Motherboard Found on eBay

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2010, 04:58
Category: Fun, MacBook Pro

Ok, this is interesting.

An alleged prototype of a 17-inch MacBook from the previous generation without an aluminum housing, has appeared for bidding on eBay. According to MacNN, the device allegedly integrates a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, indicating that it may have been a prototype for the MacBook Pros released early in 2008.

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Although pictures of the prototype device do not show a housing dissimilar to the MacBook Pro design that was chosen for production, the EMC number has been left blank.

The seller claims the device was purchased from a Craigslist ad posted by a “guy in San Jose.” After taking the MacBook to an Apple Store for servicing, the staff reportedly told the owner that the MacBook “doesn’t exist” and the red motherboard indicates a prototype instead of a production model.

Although it is uncommon for prototype products to surface on the market, it is routine for Apple to distribute such devices to certain employees. Possessors are typically prohibited, however, from selling the device or attempting to have it repaired.

The unit has a US$255 reserve which has yet to be met, so you could take home a cool piece of history if you wanted to…