Apple MacBook Pro notebooks go Intel Core 2 Duo; up to 39-percent faster

Apple today announced that its entire MacBook Pro line of notebooks now includes the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor and delivers performance that is up to 39-percent faster than the previous generation. All MacBook Pro models now offer double the memory and greater storage capacity than the previous generation, as well as a FireWire 800 port for connecting to high-speed peripherals. The new MacBook Pro’s lightweight, aluminum enclosure is just one-inch thin, available in 15- and 17-inch models, and features a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing on-the-go.

“With an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, greater storage capacity and FireWire 800 connectivity, the new MacBook Pro delivers unprecedented performance and mobility in an incredibly thin and light design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. “We are thrilled that our notebook sales are growing twice as fast as the overall notebook market, and we hope these new MacBook Pro models continue that success.”

Every MacBook Pro features the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of shared L2 cache, which is up to 39-percent faster than the previous 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro and more than seven times faster than the 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 running industry standard benchmarks. Apple has enhanced Mac OS X to take advantage of the technology advances from Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, resulting in increased performance in professional applications like Aperture 1.5, Final Cut Pro 5 and Logic Pro 7.

Ideal for business and creative professionals, MacBook Pro delivers advanced performance including 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable up to 3GB, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics with up to 256MB of dedicated GDDR3 graphics memory, and a double-layer SuperDrive for burning professional-quality DVDs. With the latest high-performance connectivity options, every new MacBook Pro includes built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), a FireWire 800 and a FireWire 400 port, combination analog and optical digital audio input and output ports, an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot, and a DVI video output to connect up to a 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display.

MacBook Pro comes with Apple’s MagSafe Power Adapter that magnetically couples the power cord to the MacBook Pro and safely disconnects when there is strain on the power cord, preventing the notebook from falling off its work surface.

Apple now offers a new MagSafe Airline Adapter that makes using the MacBook Pro on an airplane even more convenient by connecting to in-seat power ports for continued productivity throughout the duration of a flight. The Apple MagSafe Airline Adaptor is shipping today for a suggested retail price of US$59.

MacBook Pro also includes an illuminated keyboard, Apple’s Sudden Motion Sensor that is designed to protect the hard drive in case of a fall, and a Scrolling TrackPad to easily scroll through long web pages or pan across large photographs.

MacBook Pro comes with iLife ’06, the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications featuring iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb, the latest iLife application that makes it super-easy to create amazing websites with photos, blogs and podcasts and publish them on .Mac for viewing by anyone on the Internet with just a single click. Every MacBook Pro also comes with the latest release of the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X version 10.4.8 Tiger including Safari, Mail, iCal, iChat AV, Front Row and Photo Booth, running natively on the Intel-based notebook.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is shipping today, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro will ship next week, and every model will be available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 2.16 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro (US$1,999):
• 15.4-inch widescreen 1440 x 900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
• 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
• 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
• 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor
• a slot-load 6x SuperDrive(TM) with double-layer support (DVD+RDL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive
• PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory
• DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately)
• built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display
• built-in iSight video camera
• Gigabit Ethernet port
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot
• two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port
• one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio
• Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard
• the infrared Apple Remote
• 85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter

The 2.33 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro ($2,499):
• 15.4-inch widescreen 1440 x 900 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
• 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2Duo processor
• 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
• 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor
• a slot-load 6x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive
• PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory
• DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately)
• built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display
• built-in iSight video camera
• Gigabit Ethernet port
• built-in Airport Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot
• two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port
• one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio
• Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard
• the infrared Apple Remote
• 85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter

The 2.33 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro ($2,799) includes:
• 17-inch widescreen 1680 x 1050 LCD display with 300 cd/m2 brightness
• 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
• 2GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 3GB
• 160GB 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
• PCI Express-based ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3 memory
• DVI-out port for external display (VGA-out adapter included, Composite/S-Video out adapter sold separately)
• built-in Dual Link support for driving Apple 30-inch Cinema HD Display
• built-in iSight video camera
• Gigabit Ethernet port
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot
• three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one FireWire 400 port
• one audio line in and one headphone out port, each supporting optical digital audio
• Scrolling TrackPad and illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor
• the infrared Apple Remote
• 85 Watt Apple MagSafe Power Adapter

Additional build-to-order options for the MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to a 200GB (4200 rpm) or a 160GB (5400 rpm) hard drive, up to 3GB DDR2 SDRAM, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter, Apple USB Modem, glossy widescreen display, and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

See the new Apple MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo processors here.

69 Comments

  1. I’m very tempted to buy one of these to replace my Powerbook. I was going to get an iMac since it’s primarily for at home but one of these with another screen would cover that, plus with a copy of XP I could use it at work. Decisions, decisions.

  2. Just compared a similarly equipped top of the line Dell with a similarly equipped top of the line MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo 2.33, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HD, Super Drive, 17″ Standard Display, 3-year support). The Dell uses a NVIDIA® Quadro FX 1500M, 256MB where Apple uses a ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB GDDR3. The Dell ships with XP, whereas the Mac ships with OS X. The Dell lacks niceties like the Mag-Safe plug, the Sudden motion sensor, the iSight camera, etc.

    Apple Mac Book Pro $3,148
    Dell Precision M90 $4,034

  3. FINALLY – Assuming the high temps have been tamed (and hopefully the battery life is back up to PowerBook levels too), this is a Macintel I can get on board with.

    Bringing back FW800 and dual layer burning is great – overdue, but at least Apple is listening and changing course when they screw up. Though I would point out how, even with 64bit CPUs, these computers – like the iMac – are stuck with 3GB memory maximums. This is, I think, an indicator of how Intel’s 64bit technology is having problems utilizing the bigger chunks of memory it should be able to (this problem has cropped up on the MacPro too, even though you can get more memory installed on it). Even so, 3GB isn’t bad for a laptop.

    I also find it hilarious that Apple is still pushing how the discontinued PowerBooks measure up (or don’t) as a selling point. You would think, what with a dual core 64 bit processor running almost a full gig faster (let alone SATA and PCIe graphics), it would be sort of self evident. Apparently Apple has recognized that the professional community wasn’t as enamored with the Intelized MacBook Pro as the general public was. The lack of native Adobe apps – especially Photoshop – has been a big part of that issue. I’ve used it on both types of machines, and PPC has absolutely trounced the Yonah based computers across the board with anything forced to run through Rossetta.

    I guess we’ll have to see how much the gap has closed with this new hardware. Although … I’d be interested to see how much IBMs Power6
    widens the gap again. Maybe some enterprising person will hack something together … someday …
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  4. OK, definitely a new MacBook Pro purchaser here by the end of the night, but got a question:

    Should I opt for the glossy screen? My sister got a MacBook (which has the gloss) and the colors really do pop out.

    I’m in school for a graphic-intensive industry, so I need the balance of color and ‘not-so-much-shininess’.

    Any suggestions?

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