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Speed Bumps

July 29, 2014 - Dave Hecei
mbp lineIt was only last week that Intel released a new batch of Haswell-based processors. This week, Apple released updated MacBook Pros. This is only a speed bump update, but it is welcome nonetheless. Apple has also kept one legacy MacBook Pro non-Retina, which is the only one with a built-in DVD/CD drive.

There are a few other specs that have changed in the mid-2014 MacBook Pros (MBP). Mainly it’s the RAM. The base MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch used to come with 4GB of RAM. The new base model now has 8GB. Since this RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, it cannot be upgraded later on. This may not bother some, but to safeguard against obsolescence you will want to get a MBP with as much RAM as you think you will need in the next two or three years.

The base 13-inch MBP Retina now has a dual-core Intel i5 running at 2.6 GHz, 8GB of RAM, 128GB flash-based storage, and Intel Iris Graphics. The starting price on the 13-inch Retina models is $1299. For a little more you can get one with 256GB or 512GB of flash-based storage. Pricing is $1499 and $1799 (this last one has a 2.8GHz i5). The 13-inch model can be custom configured, at the online Apple Store, with a faster 3.0GHz Intel Core i7 processor and up to 16GB of RAM.

There are two retail 15-inch MBPs. The base 15-inch MBP Retina now has a quad-core Intel i7 running at 2.2GHz. It also comes standard with more RAM. The base 15-inch model comes with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of flash-based storage, and Intel Iris Pro graphics. The top-end model has a quad-core Intel i7 running at 2.5GHz, 16GB or RAM, 512GB of flash-based storage, and both Intel Iris Pro graphics along with NVIDIA GeForce 750M video card with 2GB of VRAM. The base 15-inch model is priced at $1999 and the top-end model is $2499.

Apple has also kept a single non-Retina MacBook Pro. It's the 13-inch base-model. It hasn't changed except for the price. It has dropped $100 down to $1099. This model has an optical drive that can burn CDs and DVDs. It also has a spinning hard drive with 500GB of storage space.

Intel is working on the next generation of processors codenamed Broadwell. These processors were slated for release this fall, but that has slipped a few times and will likely not be in any Macs until early 2015.

This is just a nice speed bump and price adjustment for the MacBook Pros. Both the 13- and 15-inch models are available today.


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