Bought a new 17″ MacBook Pro!

I took the plunge after Apple finally updated their (300 day old!) MacBook Pro line. I’m excited on many levels: this is the first laptop I’ve ever bought for myself first off. I’ve always had access to desktops that I built myself or with my dad as a kid. My most recent machine is the 4-core i7 from last year with HT, 8 processors showing up in Win7. Its been my beast but I haven’t had a whole lot to use it for. I packed it with an insane (at the time) amount of RAM, and a high-end video card to play games with. To my astonishment I ended up playing games from yester-year via Steam; Unreal Tournament, Descent 3 or games that didn’t require a whole lot of graphics complexity. Soon after my attention began to shift.

In March I picked up a Dell Mini 9 on a one-day sale for super-cheap. I’d become interested in iPhone AppDev and needed a machine at home to do it on. The Mini9 became the perfect Hackintosh for me to learn, love and eventually decide I wanted to try this for real. Everything was good until the pre-release SDK of the iPad which ran in a simulator that was larger than my entire display. So, I began waiting for Apple to refresh their line. In early January I made some predictions about what chips would actually be used. Let’s take a look shall we?

Most of the geeks I know and around the web seem to think that the Arrandale chips are destined to be in the next MBP’s. Based on what I’ve seen so far of package sizing, I’m projecting the following:
17? MacBook Pro Core i7-620M (2.66 Ghz -> 3.33 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
15? MacBook Pro Core i5-520M/540M (2.4/2.53 Ghz -> 2.93/3.06 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
13? MacBook Pro Core i3-350M (2.26 Ghz No Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack

I was definitely right about the 17″ and 15″s and power consumption requirements. The 13″ sadly did not see an upgrade, but I’m surmising that’s due to the high power consumption with the i3 chips and maybe even no real reason to go further. I also have this hunch that we’ll see the end of the 13″ MBP; it should have remained just a standard MacBook.

So back to my config:

2.66GHz Intel Core i7
4GB 1066MHZ DDR3 SDRM – 2X2GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400
SuperDrive 8X DL
MBP 17″ HR Glossy WS Display

I figure once I get Logic Pro installed I’ll be using an eSATA card on the EC slot and dumping my media there. I’m really excited; I can’t wait to see this thing on Wednesday!

Intel Arrandale Reviews

Seems to be quite a few Arrandale reviews popping up around the ‘Net– most reviewers got their hands on the Arrandale Core i5-6XX units it seems. Early results are really promising; same power usage as the Core 2 Duo and insane gains in calculations per second. Just…nutty.

It’s almost a guarantee that Apple will announce new MacBook Pro’s at the end of the month. Most of the geeks I know and around the web seem to think that the Arrandale chips are destined to be in the next MBP’s. Based on what I’ve seen so far of package sizing, I’m projecting the following:

  • 17″ MacBook Pro Core i7-620M (2.66 Ghz -> 3.33 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • 15″ MacBook Pro Core i5-520M/540M (2.4/2.53 Ghz -> 2.93/3.06 Ghz Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • 13″ MacBook Pro Core i3-350M (2.26 Ghz No Burst) @ 35 watts in the rPGA pack
  • I’m basing this on two theories: First, that Apple isn’t going to want to change their architecture around too much. I’m betting every MBP motherboard will support rPGA pin arrangement to make things easier. Considering there’s only one rPGA processor listed coming out this month in that pack, I’m assuming they’ll go the same way with the 15″ and 13″. Secondly, there are some lower powered (25 watts) processors that would be suitable for inclusion in a revised MacBook Air. My only problem with this theory is that the integrated IGP units that are now on the same die as the main processor apparently suck. Like, majorly suck. They get remotely close to the last gen’s Nvidia 9440GM chipset but apparently don’t exceed it. Not good news. No one wants to buy a “new” machine that has weaker graphics than the last one.

    CES is nearly upon us, with the Ballmer keynote kicking off tomorrow night at 6:30 PM PST. I’ll post my predictions of the coming show this year tomorrow before everything kicks off. The Net is abuzz with all kind of gadgets coming out this year…anyone see the hovering drone thing on Engadget?