Apple have released an updated version of the venerable all aluminium unibody MacBook Pro series of laptops. While it is hard to improve on an already great product, Apple have changed the logic board, processors. memory speed and added a futuristic high bandwidth Thunderbolt port to the range.
The processors have been upgraded to Intel's Sandy Bridge second generation Core processors. Sandy Bridge brings with it enhancements to integrated graphics, architecture improvements to process more information per cycle and efficiency gains that give you more bang for your watt. Video transcoding and DVD ripping are blazingly fast on the new quad core processors. In fact they are so fast at ripping a DVD, the super-drive is the limiting factor when ripping straight from the disc!
Same goes for iTunes music ripping, the super-drive let's the team down by not being able to spin the bytes off the CD quick enough to even mildly stress one core of the quad core processor.
Thunderbolt is a new technology from Intel that has first shown up on Apples MacBook Pro line. While there are currently no devices capable of utilising the technology, this will be shortly rectified as main stream accessory companies begin to release a wide array of compatible products.
Benefits of the Thunderbolt technology include a bandwidth of 10 Gb/s per channel and 2 channels per connection. Compare this to USB 3.0 standard 6 Gb/s and it is clearly a much faster connection. The ability to daisy chain multiple devices from the one small port means that the days of having 5 different USB cords coming out of your laptop are numbered. One Thunderbolt port can link up to 6 devices with two of those devices operating at full 10Gb/s simultaneously.
With prices for the quad core i7 15" models starting from AUD$2099 and 17" starting from $2899, you are well future proofed with these new performance beasts.
Picture from Apple site.
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