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MacBook Pro

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The MacBook Pro is a line of Macintosh notebook computers developed by Apple for the professional market. First announced on 10 January 2006 at the Macworld Expo by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, the MacBook Pro was immediately available for pre-sale at online Apple Stores worldwide, with deliveries beginning in mid-February 2006. The MacBook Pro was the successor to the 15-inch and 17-inch models of the PowerBook G4 series, and was the first Macintosh laptop to be powered by the Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors.

The MacBook Pro is currently available in two size configurations: a 15.4-inch model first introduced on 10 January 2006 and last revised on 24 October 2006, and a 17" model first introduced on 24 April 2006 and also last revised on 24 October 2006.

Alongside the iMac Core Duo, the MacBook Pro represents Apple's first computers to feature Intel processors instead of PowerPC processors, a transition that completed on August 7, 2006. Since the introduction of the MacBook Pro, other lines have followed, including the introduction of the Intel Core powered Mac mini on 28 February 2006 and the consumer line of laptop computers, the MacBook on 16 May 2006.


[edit] Specifications

The MacBook Pro is available in three standard configurations, last revised on October 24 2006 to include an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the addition of a FireWire 800 port for the 15.4-inch model: The 15.4-inch model comes in 2.16 GHz (US$1999) and 2.33 GHz ($2499) configurations while the 17-inch model comes with a 2.33 GHz ($2799) processor. The latest Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro appears outwardly similar to its predecessor, and though Apple claims a 39% performance increase, real-world results, as always, have varied.

All three configurations feature an Intel Core 2 Duo processor; a 120 GB, 160 GB (5400 RPM), or 200 GB hard drive (4200 RPM); an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card (128 or 256 MiB GDDR3); a glossy or matte widescreen LCD (16:10 aspect ratio); up to 3 GiB of RAM; and a built-in iSight camera.

The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro comes standard with two USB ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, an ExpressCard/34 expansion slot, DVI and VGA connectivity (VGA via included adaptor), optical S/PDIF and analog sound output and inputs, gigabit ethernet plus AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 wireless capabilities. The basic model comes with 1 GiB of DDR2 SDRAM at 667 MHz. The other two models come with 2 GiB. The 17" model also adds a third USB port.

Running Mac OS 10.4, bundled with the machine is an Apple Remote with Front Row, Photo Booth, and iLife '06. The MacBook Pro also features MagSafe, a magnetic power connector designed to detach easily when yanked to prevent the laptop from being pulled off a surface. The MacBook Pro features a backlit keyboard and a scrolling trackpad standard across the line.

Accessories available for the MacBook Pro include a MagSafe airline power adapter, an external Apple USB modem (the MacBook Pro no longer includes an internal modem) and a DVI to S-Video/composite TV-out adapter (the same one used for the Mac mini and Power Mac G5).

[edit] MacBook Pro 15.4"

[edit] January/May/October 2006

The 15.4-inch model features a 15.4-inch display with a native resolution of 1440 × 900 and weighs 2.54 kg (5.6 pounds). This is slightly thinner than the 15.2-inch PowerBook G4 as well as thinner than the last 17-inch PowerBook; with a thickness of 2.54 cm (one inch). Differences from the 15.2" PowerBook G4 include a lack of internal modem and S-video port. The video resolution was reduced by 60 vertical pixels, to 1440 × 900.

At launch on January 10, 2006, the MacBook Pro was announced at speeds of 1.67 and 1.83 GHz. This was upgraded before shipping to 1.83 and 2.0 GHz, respectively, on February 14, 2006 and an additional build-to-order option with an 2.16 GHz processor, the fastest Intel Core Duo chip at the time, became available. With the release of the consumer MacBook line of portables on May 15, 2006, the MacBook Pro line was upgraded to feature 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz models only; the 2.16 GHz Core Duo became a standard feature on the top model rather than a build-to-order option.

  • Processor:
    • Originally, a 1.67 GHz or 1.83 GHz 32-bit Intel Core Duo processor was announced.
    • On February 14, 2006, Apple upgraded the processors to 1.83 GHz and 2 GHz, adding a 2.16 GHz build-to-order option.
    • On May 16, 2006, the 1.83 GHz model was discontinued, and 2.0 GHz and 2.16 GHz became the two standard (and only) CPU speeds.
    • On Oct 24, 2006, the processors were upgraded once again. As was the case earlier with the iMac, Apple introduced the faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor to replace the Intel Core Duo processor in the MacBook Pro. Processor speeds were also upgraded, now offered at either 2.16 GHz or 2.33 GHz, with Apple touting a 39% increase in processing power. A Firewire 800 port was also added to this model.
  • Memory: 1 GB to 3 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (two SO-DIMM slots). The hardware in the Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro supports up to 4 GiB of RAM and the operating system will display 4 GiB of memory installed, however the operating system will not actually use more than 3.2 GiB of RAM on this platform. The system will use the "Dual Channel" feature if memory is installed in exact pairs, which will result in higher performance if both memory chips are exactly the same.
  • Display: 15.4-inch (diagonal), 1440 × 900 resolution, TFT LCD widescreen, 300 cd/m² brightness. There is also a choice of a glossy or matte widescreen display for no additional charge.
  • Battery: 60 watt-hour lithium ion polymer battery, charged by 85 watt power adapter with MagSafe port
  • Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 128 MiB or 256 MiB of GDDR3 SDRAM and dual-link DVI
  • Video: Built-in USB 2.0 iSight camera (1.3 megapixels), DVI output, VGA (DVI to VGA adapter included), Dual-Link DVI, composite and S-video output (with DVI-video adapter)
  • Audio: Combined optical digital input/audio line in, combined optical digital output/headphone out, stereo speakers, microphone
  • Hard disk drive: 120 GB, 160 GB or 200 GB Serial ATA/150; 5400 RPM (Option of 200 GB, 4200 RPM drive), with Sudden Motion Sensor
  • Optical drive: Core 2 Duo: 6x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Ethernet: Built-in 10/100/1000 (Gigabit)
  • Wireless: Built-in 54 Mbit/s AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g); built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. The hardware is different between the MacBook Pros that have Core Duo processors and those that have the newer Core 2 Duo processors; the latter laptops support the draft 802.11n wireless mode, but an enabler (which is available for purchase from Apple, or ships for free with the new 802.11n-supporting Airport Extreme) is required to activate it.
  • Modem: Sold separately (Apple USB Modem)
  • Other I/O: Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, IR sensor
  • Expansion: ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Weight: 2.54 kg / 5.6 pounds
  • Footprint: 35.7 × 24.3 cm / 14.1 × 9.6 inches
  • Thickness: 2.59 cm / 1.02 inch
  • Firmware: Extensible Firmware Interface

[edit] MacBook Pro 17"

[edit] April/October 2006

Introduced on April 24, 2006, the 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 17-inch display with a native resolution of 1680 × 1050 and weighs 3.08 kg (6.8 pounds). At the time of release, the 17-inch featured the Intel Core Duo processor at 2.16 GHz; similar to the 15-inch, the 17-inch MacBook Pro had an upgrade on October 24, 2006 that gave way to the faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor clocked at 2.33 GHz.

In addition to the standard features of the 15.4-inch model, the 17-inch MacBook Pro also features an additional USB 2.0 port and an 8× SuperDrive as opposed to the 6× SuperDrive of the 15-inch. Its ATI Radeon X1600 GPU also comes standard with 256 MiB of GDDR3 memory.

The 17" MacBook Pro replaces the 17-inch PowerBook G4 and has features very similar to those found in its immediate predecessor. It is, however, slightly thinner at 2.59 cm (one inch).

The 17" MacBook Pro has identical specifications to the top 15.4-inch model, except for the following:

  • Display: 17-inch (diagonal), 1680 × 1050 resolution.
  • Battery: 68 watt-hour
  • Hard disk drive: 160 GB, 5400 RPM drive (optional 100 GB, 7200 RPM drive or 200 GB, 4200 RPM drive)
  • Optical drive: Pioneer-D150A 8× SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) double-layer read, DVD+R DL write
  • Other I/O: Three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, IR sensor
  • Weight: 3.1 kg / 6.8 pounds
  • Footprint: 39.2 × 26.5 cm / 15.4 × 10.4 inches

[edit] Hardware

  • The MacBook Pro uses an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Intel's 64-bit dual-core processor designed for laptop computers (developed under the code-name "Merom"). Features of this processor include SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets, 4 MiB of shared L2 Cache and Vanderpool virtualization technology.
  • Unlike the iMac, the MacBook Pro's processor is soldered onto the logic board and is impossible to replace.
  • While the MacBook hard drive can be user-replaced under Apple's warranty, the MacBook Pro hard drive cannot. However, a step-by-step guide to removal is provided by iFixit.

[edit] Issues

Users have reported numerous issues with some of the MacBook Pro Core Duo and Core 2 Duo laptops. These include:

  • A hissing noise often described as a whine, found to be caused by an idle processor. Software workarounds and the effect of screen position and power source on the issue have been reported, and a replacement mainboard has fixed the "whine" issue for some users.
  • A claim of excessive heat generation, which was initially speculated to be caused by the application of excessive quantities of thermal grease on the processor during manufacturing. Subsequent tests have challenged this explanation of heat issues.
  • Some early models (serial numbers starting below W8610) had a screen hum emitting from the right side of the machine present when display brightness was set somewhere between maximum and minimum brightness.
  • In some early models the supplied battery is faulty, and may eventually start swelling while losing capacity. Due to very limited clearance above the battery this can cause permanent damage to the touchpad if left unfixed. Apple eventually addressed the problem and issued a somewhat "silent recall" of the batteries that were used in certain models of the 15" Macbook Pro. The batteries did not pose a safety risk and were recalled due to the failure to meet Apple's "high standards for battery performance."
  • Peeling and flaking paint on the case area located just under the bottom row of keys of the keyboard.
  • Although no formal test results have been published, many users are reporting that some of these issues were fixed in later models (week 11 and onwards).
  • There have been reports of unsatisfactory display quality in the Macbook Pro 15", including uneven backlighting, grainy display, very narrow viewing angles, and failing backlight.*French rumour site Macbidouille posted an article claiming that Apple had temporarily stopped the production of the Macbook Pro probably in response to the display issues.
  • In some models, the built in LCD's color depth has been revealed to be limited to 18 bits, or 262,000 colors (screen models 9C60, 9C61 and 9C62), resulting in color banding and less accurate gradient rendering.
  • There have been complaints about the MagSafe power adaptor breaking at its magnetic connector head, and in some instances melting whilst the wire is exposed.
  • If a Mini disc is inserted, it can not be ejected.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

This article was started using a Wikipedia Pro article


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