An Applesana forum poster (via Applesfera) is reporting that the new Mac OS 10.6.2 OS build 10C531 contains the following references to new MacBook Pros:

Current MacBook Pros are Version 5_5. 

Separately, we’ve heard that Apple Store Geniuses are being trained on new Quad-Core (possibly Core i5 and i7) processor MacBook Pros and they expect to take delivery of the new machines at the same time that the new high-end Core i5 and Core i7 iMacs hit stores in November. That would probably be timed right with a 10.6.2 release.

Apple has traditionally used the same processors in iMacs and high end MacBook/Powerbooks with the exception of the G5 iMac.  iMacs and MacBook Pros were also the first Macs with Intel chips, introduced simultaneously in 2006.

The difference between Core i5 and Core i7 processors is that Core i7 do hyper-threading while Core i5 do not.  That means Core i7s could actually show up as Octo-Core MacBook Pros!  On the other hand, Intel states that these processors take 95 Watts of power, while current MacBook Pro Processors only need 35-50 Watts. 

There is a new 32nm Dual Core i7 called Arrandale that is supposed to arrive this quarter or next (Apple often gets Intel chips early).  Even though it only has two real cores, the Hyper-Threading would register like there are four.  This chip also has Turbo Boost, the capability to power down one core while simultaneously overclocking the other core in situations where it is beneficial.

We haven’t heard anything about outer design changes which would be unlikely – the current MacBook Pros were updated earlier this year with SD cards and enclosed batteries.  We also expect these things to top out at 8GB of RAM.  The iMacs can go to 16GB but that is with four RAM slots.

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