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Apple gives MacBook Pro with Retina more power, more memory

apple-macbook-pro-with-retina

If you’ve been itching to buy a MacBook Pro with Retina but have so far resisted the  call, maybe now’s a good time to buy.

Today Apple announced that it’s giving a decent spec bump to all MacBook Pro with Retina models, with the most notable improvement being double the RAM.

According to Apple’s press release:

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features dual-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz and 8GB of memory, up from 4GB in the entry-level notebook. The 13-inch model can also be configured with faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.0 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz. The top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz, 16GB of memory, up from 8GB in the entry-level notebook, and can be configured with quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.0 GHz.

All of the updated models get new Haswell-based Intel chips, and the breakdown on price looks like this:

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina:
$1,299: 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB flash storage
$1,499: 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB flash storage
$1,799: 2.8 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB flash storage

(Configure-to-order options include dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.0 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, up to 16GB of memory, and flash storage up to 1TB.)

15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina:
$1,999: 2.2 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB flash storage
$2,499: 2.5 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB flash storage

(Configure-to-order options include quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.0 GHz and flash storage up to 1TB.)

So does this update change the landscape at all with regards to how MacBook Pros with Retina compare to their thinner and lighter MacBook Air stable-mates?

Let’s do a quick compare:

At the entry level, $1,299 gets you a 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina and the following specs: 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB flash storage.

Whereas $999 gets you a 13″ MacBook Air configured with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage.

So, for $300, you get the Retina display (almost worth the price of admission on its own in my opinion), double the RAM, and just shy of double the speed.

In typical Apple style, the price difference does seem to be justified by the strength of the upgrades, but it probably won’t sway anyone who values the extra portability of the MacBook Air.

Still no word on when Apple will start using Intel’s next-gen Broadwell chips on the MacBook Pro line, though the rumours suggest this might not happen until 2015.

The new models are available for order right now on Apple’s website or at their retail locations.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

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