WHAT'S SO HOT ABOUT THE NEW 2011 MACBOOK PROs?
1. The top model has a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with 8MB shared L3 cache (with Turbo Boost taking it up to 3.4GHz if only one or two cores are active). Memory bus speed is upped from 1067MHz to 1333MHz.
2. The best model has the AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
3. Choices of storage include HDD 750GB 5K, HDD 500GB 7K, and SSDs up to 512GB. (Unless Apple is using a SandForce based SSD, I recommend ordering with the cheapest HDD and replacing it with an OWC Mercury Extreme or OCZ Vertex 2 SSD.)
4. The Mini DisplayPort has been replaced with a Thunderbolt port. Two 10-Gbps channels on the same connector mean you can daisy-chain multiple high-speed devices and a display, without using a hub — and without reducing performance.
5. The 13" and 15" models' SD slot has been replaced with an SDXC slot.
NEWS FLASH: It's been confirmed that the internal SATA port on the 2011 MacBook Pro is 6 gigabit. One reader installed a Crucial C300 and got 362MB/s average read speed for large sequential transfers. We're looking forward to testing the Intel 6Gb/s 510 SSD and OCZ 6Gb/s Vertex 3 which should be even faster.
Want to see some initial performance testing results? Check out our "Last Year versus This Year" page.