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Apple’s flagship MacBook Pro laptops may be in for a refresher this month, thanks to new Sandy Bridge processors from Intel, reports AppleInsider.

If true, the news is a bit surprising, since Apple wasn’t expected to offer new MacBook Pro models until next year. But the refreshed hardware is likely necessary for Apple to keep the MacBook Pro competitive with others sporting Intel’s new chips.

Sources tell AppleInsider that the new models will offer no other upgrades beyond the slightly faster chips.

Last week Intel introduced new models of its current-generation Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors, including quad-core 2.4 gigahertz, 2.5Ghz and 2.7Ghz chips. They could replace the 2Ghz to 2.3 Ghz chips currently included in Apple’s 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros. Additionally, a Core i7 dual-core 2.8Ghz chip could spruce up the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro currently running at 2.7Ghz.

Apple was previously thought to be waiting for Intel’s updated Ivy Bridge processors before it revamped its MacBook Pro lineup, but those processors are now expected to show up early next year.

Apple last updated the MacBook Pro in February with Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt ports, and FaceTime HD cameras.

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