Apple Adds Sandy Bridge Processors to MacBook Pro

By Cindy Waxer February 25, 2011

Despite waiting an entire year to revamp its MacBook Pro line, Apple is making up for lost time with laptops that show a marked improvement in processing power, thanks in large part to its new quad-core Sandy Bridge processors.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor or the fastest dual-core processor available — the 2.7GHz Intel Core i7. With Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4GHz, these processors allow the 13-inch MacBook Pro to perform up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

The new 15- and 17-inch models deliver quad-core power. For instance, the 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor — with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4GHz and up to 8MB of shared L3 cache — lets these MacBook Pro models run applications up to twice as fast as their top-of-the-line predecessors.

Another innovation: the introduction of Thunderbolt technology, which promises to connect next-generation, high-performance peripherals to your laptop. According to Apple’s website, “Ultrafast and ultraflexible, the Thunderbolt pipeline is more than 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0, and it offers unprecedented expansion capabilities. It changes what you can do on a notebook.”

As for graphics, the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature the new high-performance AMD Radeon graphics processors. With up to 3x the performance of the previous models, they let you see more frames per second in 3D games, or work on HD video projects with more speed and responsiveness than before.

Apple’s new line-up of laptops also includes the new FaceTime HD camera, which gives consumers three times the resolution of the previous camera, along with improved low-light performance. Users can make 720p HD calls from one new MacBook Pro to another, as well as video calls to other Intel-based Mac computers, iPhone 4, or the new iPod touch.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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