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'Mid 2012' Apple Laptops and Towers

Originally posted Tuesday, June 12th, 2012, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

As is our custom, we'd like to highlight the PERFORMANCE enhancements offered by each new Apple hardware product. This is our reaction to the Apple laptops and towers that showed up at the Apple Store on June 11th, 2012.

Updated MacBook Air
1. Ivy Bridge CPU replaces Sandy Bridge CPU. Top model is a Dual-Core i7 with core frequency rising from 1.8GHz to 2.0GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz).
2. Onboard memory goes from 1333MHz to 1600MHz. And you are no longer limited to 4GB. There is now an 8G DDR3L SDRAM CTO option.
3. The Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics processor is replaced with an Intel HD 4000.
4. Flash storage options no longer max out at 256GB. You can order CTO optional 512GB.
5. Two USB 2.0 ports have been upgraded to two USB 3.0 ports with downwards compatibility.

Updated MacBook Pro
1. Quad-Core Ivy Bridge CPU replaces Sandy Bridge CPU. Top model is Quad-Core i7 running at 2.7GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz).
2. Memory goes from 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM to 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM with 16G CTO option.
3. The top GPUs go from Radeon HD 6770M to GeForce 650M -- both with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory.
4. Dual USB 2.0 ports become USB 3.0.

Hot New MacBook Pro "Retina"
1. 15.4" LED-backlit IPS Retina display (2880x1800) -- versus 1440x900 in "regular" 15.4" MBP.
2. Best CPU option is Quad-Core 7 Ivy Bridge running at 2.7GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz).
3. Fast 1600MHz memory with 16G DDR3L SDRAM option
4. Dual USB 3.0 and Dual Thunderbolt ports + HDMI port
5. Thinner (.95" vs .71") and lighter (5.6 lb vs 4.46 lb) than "regular" MacBook Pro 15". This is partly due to the absence of the slot-load SuperDrive.

"Freshened" Mac Pro
Good News:
1. Lower priced 12-core ($3800) and faster top 12-core (3.08GHz)
2. More standard memory (12G vs 6G).
3. Apple didn't discontinue the Mac Pro.

Bad News:
1. No Intel E5 or E7 family Xeons. We were hoping for something like the Intel¨ Xeon¨ Processor E5-2690 (20M Cache, 2.90 GHz, 8.00 GT/s). Two of those gives you 16 cores (32 threads). Instead, we get "freshened" 5000 Sequence Xeon CPUs -- E5645, X5650, X5675 -- circa 2010.)
2. Because of #1, no faster quad-channel 1600MHz 51.2 GB/s memory bus. Same triple-channel 1333MHz 32GB/s memory bus as the 2010 Mac Pros.
3. No new GPUs. Same Radeon HD 5770 and 5870 options as the 2010 Mac Pro. We were hoping for CTO Radeon HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 690 CTO options. If you are a Premiere Pro CS6 or After Effects CS6 user, you may want to grab the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac while the upgrade kit is still available.
4. No Thunderbolt.
5. No USB 3.0.
6. No internal 6Gb/s SATA

I suppose if your business needs more Mac Pros or you are replacing your aging Power Mac or Mac Pro, and/or don't own a Mac Pro, it's nice to know the Mac Pro still exists. But we Mac Pro lovers would like to see a "real" upgrade.

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copyright 2012 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"