Upgrades make Retina MacBook Pro a better bargain

By James Galbraith, Macworld |  Hardware, Apple, laptops

The 13-inch base model's specifications remain unchanged, but its price has dropped from $1699 to $1499. It has a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor with Intel's Turbo Boost technology, which allows the processor to reach speeds of up to 3.1GHz for short periods of high demand. The Core i5 processors in the 13-inch MacBook Pros do not support Hyper-Threading, an Intel technology that allows applications to access two virtual cores for each physical processor. The base model has 8GB of 1600MHz memory, 128GB of speedy flash storage, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.

At $1699, the new high-end 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro costs $300 less than its predecessor. Even with the reduced price, the system comes with a slightly faster processor--a 2.6GHz Core i5, versus the 2.5GHz Core i5 in the previous model. Like the $1499 model, this system comes with 8GB of 1600MHz memory (not upgradable) and Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4000. The $1699 model includes 256GB of flash storage, twice the capacity of the $1499 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

The new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros have 2880-by-1800-pixel resolution, with a slightly lower pixel density--220 ppi--than the 13-inch Retina model. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is actually 0.04 inch thinner than the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and weighs in at 4.46 pounds, about the same as the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The new 15-inch models cost the same as their predecessors ($2199 and $2799), but the base model now has a faster, 2.4GHz Core i7 quad-core processor and supports both Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost. It also features the same 8GB of 1600MHz memory (upgradable to 16GB for $200 more, but only at the point of purchase) and 256GB of flash storage as before, as well as both integrated and discrete graphics in the form of Intel's HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia's GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has a faster 2.7GHz Core i7 quad-core processor, a whopping 16GB of 1600MHz memory, and the same 500GB of flash storage and dual integrated/discrete graphics as the previous high-end standard-configuration Retina MacBook Pro.

All about performance

Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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