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Speed-Bumped MacBook Pros Released

Apple released some updated MacBook Pros today. There’s not much new about them, except that they’re sporting some faster processors. The 13” model now has the option of a dual-core 2.8GHz Core i7 or a 2.4GHz Core i5 dualie. The 15” model has stock options of quad-core i7 processors in 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz, with a 2.5GHz option available as a custom configuration. The 17” model now comes stock with the aforementioned 2.4GHz i7 quad-core processor, but also has a 2.5GHz option available.

Other than the processor boost, a faster graphics card on the 15” and 17” models, and  a small bump in stock hard drive size on the 13” to a minimum of 500GB, the specs on these MacBook Pros are effectively the same as the models that came out earlier this year.

That means that all the upgrades, compatibility, and installation videos for the Early 2011 MacBook Pros should be equally as valid for the Late 2011 models.

As for the other issues that have popped up around the 2011 Macbook Pros, we’ll be checking those when the new ‘Books come in tomorrow, and will post our findings as we get them.


M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • I just finished setting up my brand new 17″ “Late 2011″ MacBook Pro with the Quad Core i7- 2.5GHz. I wanted an anti-glare, so I was forced to go with the 2.5GHz CPU. I would never have done it, if I hadn’t gotten an improbable insane deal that I would have been stupid to turn down.

    My hope here is that the problematic SATA III 6Gbps bug/issue is fixed as part of this update and it just may be. I am writing this from my new MBP and I already have the hard drive (750GB 7200rpm) and optical drive replaced with my two OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD’s.

    In fact, I didn’t even bother to re-install the OS at least and just tossed the existing RAID 0 configuration from my early-2011 15″ MBP into the new 17”. It works so far and I did get BOTH SATA III (6Gbps) ports, one in the main hard drive bay as well as the optical drive bay. I’ll be doing benchmarks and other tests shortly and post the pics that I took of the before, during, and after (the dual-SSD installation) pictures of the inside as well.

    Besides the insane CPU, the AMD 6770M chip is pretty sick, too. It runs quite a bit faster (1600MHz) compared to the 6750M (900MHz) and my first impression is that it appears to run cooler than both the early-2011 15″ MBP 2.2GHz and early-2011 17″ MBP 2.2GHz that I had before.

    P.S.: Can someone pleas recommend the best eSATA card for this baby? I have a few external storage solutions that run extremely fast, compared to FW800. Thanks. :-)

    • Desmond, thanks so much for your post. I had pretty much ‘worst-case-scenario’ issues with the 6G capabilities with my recently purchases (and promptly returned) early 2011 17-inch. I was lucky to have just gotten in under the 30 day grace period and was able to swap my machine for a brand new late 2011 17-inch, which I’m impatiently waiting to arrive any day now.

      I could never get the OWC 6G SSD to work, after 3 weeks of spending several hours a day trying to get it to function as expected. I must’ve opened up the machine 25 times, along with 10 or more fresh installs, upgarde/downgrades of EMI firmware, you name it, I tried it multiple times to no avail. It was one of the more frustrating things I’ve ever dealt with. So I’m DELIGHTED to hear that it seems as if Apple (in its typical hush-hush fashion) has properly addressed these issues in the late 2011 17″ models.

      As far as a good eSATA expresscard, I’m quite fond of Sonnet’s single-port model, it’s the kind that sits flush with the edge of the case so you can just leave it in. I use it daily with an OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini. My only complaint is that occasionally it can take quite a while to mount. But, the card was reasonably priced at around $25 from Amazon and Sonnet makes pretty good stuff, as far as I can tell. If only they’d release a single-port flush USB 3.0 card (they have a Mac-friendly 2-port version), then we’d be able to really take advantage of the full speed capabilities of the slot and not have a big port sticking out of our machines, which I’m not too fond of.

      That’s what I got, thanks again for your early report. Can’t wait to hear how the 6G drives continue to perform. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Which means the previous rev of thunderbolt equipped MacBook Pro’s will be on the refurb list at a cheaper price. ;-)