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Apple bumps MacBook Pro processors across the line

Dan Moren | July 30, 2014
The update to the company's professional laptop line brings faster chips to the whole category, and a few more modest changes.

15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

Been holding out for the latest update to the MacBook Pro line? Hold out no longer: Apple on Tuesday quietly issued a small speed bump to its professional notebook line, bringing new processors to the laptops.

The upgrades see the intro-level and mid-range 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros going from a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with a Turbo Boost of up to 2.9GHz to a 2.6GHz dual-core i5 with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.1GHz; the high-end 13-inch meanwhile goes from a 2.6GHz dual-core i5 to a 2.8GHz dual-core i5 (its Turbo Boost, which previously reached 3.1GHz, now gets up to 3.3GHz). The entry-level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro also now starts with 8GB of RAM, like the mid-range and high-range models, instead of 4GB. Storage remains the same for all three models at 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of flash storage, respectively.

Build-to-order options for the 13-inch line include $100 for a 2.8GHz i5 chip and $300 for a dual-core 3.0GHz i7 chip for the entry-level and mid-range models; on the high-end 13-inch, the 3.0GHz i7 costs just $200. Doubling the RAM to 16GB costs $200, and the high-end model also lets you upgrade to 1TB of flash storage for $500.

The 15-inch models have received commensurate updates. The entry-level version now features a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz, up from a 2.0GHz chip with Turbo Boost of 3.2GHz; its starting RAM has been doubled from 8GB to 16GB. The high-end 15-inch now sports a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz, an improvement over the old 2.3GHz model with a 3.5GHz Turbo Boost. Other stats remain unchanged: The 15-inch models feature 256GB and 512GB of flash storage, respectively, and the high-end model has not only Intel's Iris Pro integrated graphics, but also a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT750M.

On the 15-inch entry-level machine, you can upgrade to a quad-core 2.5GHz Core i7 for $100 or a quad-core 2.8GHz Core i7 for $300, as well as double the flash storage to 512GB for $300, or quadruple it to 1TB for $800. The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro has the 2.8GHz Core i7 for $200, as well as an option for 1TB of flash storage for $500.

Most of the MacBook Pros remain at the same price, with the 13-inch models at $1299, $1499, and $1799, and the entry-level 15-inch notebook at $1999. However, in accordance with Apple's recent price-dropping, there were two slight downticks: The high-end 15-inch model now starts $100 cheaper, at $2499, and the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro--whose specs were unchanged--is also down $100 to $1099.


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