Apple quietly bumps MacBook Pro processors, graphics

Softly, softly—Apple on Monday quietly updated its MacBook Pro line, bringing ever-so-slight bumps to processor speeds, as well as larger hard drives and a new high-end graphics card. Prices remain unchanged across the line-up.

The $1,199 13-inch model now sports a 2.4GHz dual-core Core i5 with a 500GB hard drive, while its $1,499 counterpart has a 2.8GHz Core i7 with a 750GB hard drive; that’s up from the models shipped in February, which featured a 2.3GHz Core i5 with 320GB of storage and a 2.7GHz Core i7 with a 500GB hard drive.

Going up a size, the 15-inch options now start at a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 system with a Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory for $1,799, followed by a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i7 with the new AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory for $2,199. Previously, those models featured 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz quad-core i7 processors respectively; the earlier low-end 15-inch model had a Radeon HD 6490M, while the faster model had a Radeon HD 6750M graphics processors. Storage remains unchanged for the 15-inch MacBook Pros, with 500MB and 750MB hard drives respectively.

The $2,499 17-inch model sees an upgrade from a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor to a 2.4GHz version of the same. It also now features the more powerful Radeon HD 6770M discrete graphics processor, with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.

Speed demons can upgrade the 2.4GHz Core i7 chip on the high-end 15-inch or the 17-inch model to a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 chip for $250.

On the storage side, the low-end 13-inch and low-end 15-inch models can upgrade to 5400-rpm 750GB hard drives for an additional $100; the high-end 15-inch and the 17-inch model can go from a 5400-rpm 750GB hard drive to a 7200-rpm 750GB hard drive for an additional $50.

Solid-state drives are also available as options across the line; 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB SSDs cost $100, $500, and $1,100 respectively, on the high-end 13-inch, high-end 15-inch, and 17-inch models. On the low-end 13-inch and low-end 15-inch models, those prices go up by $100 each.

All other features and options remain the same as the early 2011 MacBook Pros.

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