Apple has launched the MacBook Pro late 2011 hardware specifications refresh across the whole line of the Intel “Sandy Bridge” powered laptops. The updates include faster processors, more powerful graphics, and new data storage options.
The new 13-inch models are the lower-end MD313LL/A and higher-end MD314LL/A, featuring 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 and 2.8GHz dual-core i7, respectively, instead of the previous 2.3GHz and 2.7GHz chips. Another upgrade on the 13.3-inchers is an increased hard drive capacity from 320GB and 500GB to 500GB and 750GB, respectively.
In the 15-inch line, the 2GHz and 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chips in the old models have been replaced with 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz parts, used in the MD318LL/A and MD322LL/A. Prior to the update, the optional CPU upgrade on the higher-end model was 2.3GHz and now its 2.5GHz. In discrete graphics department, the AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256MB and Radeon HD 6750M 1GB video cards in low- and high-end configurations have been replaced with 6750M 512MB and Radeon HD 6770M 1GB, respectively. Storage upgrade option is now 750GB HDD at 7,200rpm, instead of 500GB at the same rotation speed.
The largest MacBook Pro now is the MD311LL/A with a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, replacing the older 2.2GHz CPU. The upgrade option on the 17-incher has been bumped from 2.4GHz to 2.5GHz, while its graphics refresh includes Radeon HD 6770M 1GB, whereas the older model had featured 6750M 1GB. The 17″ MacBook Pro has got the same hard drive upgrade as the 15″ top-of-the-line model.
Regardless of hardware upgrades, all MacBook Pros have the same prices as their previous-gen counterparts have had, ranging from $1,199 to $2,499. However, we can expect price drops for the older models.
Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs Used in 2011 MacBook Pro Laptops – PassMark Benchmark
In the chart below, you can see PassMark’s benchmark comparison of Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with clock speeds and number of cores used in the 2011 MacBook Pro laptops. Since Apple doesn’t provide info on names of CPU models used in their systems, we have listed all Core CPUs which could be used in MacBook Pros, considering their clock speeds and number of cores.
As you can see, performance differences due to 0.1GHz clock increase aren’t big.
* Our experience is that PassMark benchmarks are pretty accurate, but some of the results looked weird, so we put these CPUs uncolored in the chart. Please note that these scores are recorded under Windows, so there could be some differences in performance score ratios under Mac OS X.
AMD Radeon Video Cards Used in 2011 MacBook Pros – Passmark Benchmark
According to the benchmark results, it looks like that the basic 15″ MacBook Pro MD318LL/A model has got the biggest graphics performance improvement, with almost doubled speed.
* The same benchmark notice as for the CPUs is that the systems in the PassMark database are tested under Windows, so there could be differences in performance ratios under Mac OS X.