Intel Core Stories May 19, 2015

mbp-15

Yesterday’s report of a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch trackpad, together with a new 27-inch iMac, have been confirmed via an official announcement by Apple.

Apple today updated the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, longer battery life and faster discrete graphics, delivering even more performance and capabilities to the MacBook Pro line. Apple also today introduced a new $1,999 configuration of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display featuring a breathtaking 14.7 million pixel display, quad-core processors and AMD graphics, and lowered the price of the top-end iMac with Retina 5K display to $2,299.

While the upgrade to the latest Broadwell Haswell processor doesn’t show a speed-bump, Apple says that the flash storage is 2.5 times faster and greater power efficiency provides an extra hour of battery-life …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories April 22, 2015

Screenshot 2015-04-22 12.15.37

Apple has started to charge the credit cards of customers who ordered the highest-end 1.3GHz version of the 12-inch MacBook, according to emails from 9to5Mac readers. The customized, built-to-order MacBook went on sale earlier this month with 3-4 week shipping times for even the earliest orders, and Apple originally promised a delivery timeframe of May 8th to May 15th. As we saw with Apple Watch credit card charges earlier this week, it seems plausible that Apple already charging customers for the 1.3 GHz MacBook could indicate that shipments of the new laptop will begin occurring sooner than originally expected. However, readers have yet to report any signs of UPS or FedEx tracking numbers, or their Apple Online Store status pages moving from “Processing” to “Preparing for Shipment.”

Update: Several readers reporting that their MacBooks are now preparing to ship, several weeks early:

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Intel Core Stories July 30, 2014

imac27-mid2014

The same Bootcamp support page that either reveals an upcoming Mac mini refresh or a misprint also listed an iMac 27-inch mid-2014′ model before the page was updated – spotted by French site Consomac.

The model was listed above the 21.5-inch mid-2014 iMac released last month. That model was a low-end one, with a 1.4GHz dual-core i5 processor and 500GB hard drive. That might suggest a new entry-level 27-inch iMac is on the way – though Apple doesn’t generally offer a low-spec version of the larger iMac …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories July 29, 2014

Apple Store refurbished Retina MacBook Pros dip to lowest prices ever, now start below $1,000

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple quietly released an updated lineup of Retina MacBook Pros earlier this morning and as a result, previous generation (which, let’s be honest, aren’t a big step down) refurbished models have received notable price drops.

At the low end, the October 2012 (first generation) 13-inch model has dropped $59, which has made it the first refurbished Retina MacBook Pro with a 1 year Apple warranty to dip below $1,000. This pricing isn’t completely unprecedented as we have tracked new models at $999.

A best bet: Prices for the 2013 Haswell model now start at $1,019. That’s down from $1,099 (that $20 extra will go a long way on battery life alone).

You can browse Apple’s entire refurbished offerings, but keep in mind quantities are extremely limited and popular models tend to sell out quickly. Be sure to check back frequently because inventories are constantly being replenished. Apple refurbished products have a reputation for being nearly as good as new and are still eligible for AppleCare.

Best Buy continues to be the best place to buy a new MacBook for anyone with access to an .edu email address. The big box retailer offers students an additional $100 off already discounted MacBook prices. All other buyers should follow our buying guides and 9to5Toys to keep up with the best Mac deals.

Intel Core Stories July 28, 2014

macbooks

The unverified photo from a Chinese Apple Store appearing to show a slight refresh to the Retina MacBook Pro launch is accurate, claims French site MacG, citing a reliable source. The site claims that the refreshed models will go on sale tomorrow.

The refresh is a minor one, with a modest speed boost of 200MHz and an increase in RAM across the range to 16GB. Apple is also, for the first time, offering a 1TB SSD in a standard model …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories July 27, 2014

macbook

An image posted on a Chinese forum, claimed to have been taken inside of Apple’s new Paradise Walk store, indicates that Apple could be preparing to release an updated line of Retina MacBook Pros in the near-future. The image appears to be from one of Apple’s iPad Smart Signs within the store, and the sign advertises 15-inch MacBook Pros with technical specifications and features not found in the current lineup.

The first possibility is that this image is faked, but the other likely possibility is a system error on Apple’s part. There’s also room for this image to indicate an actual MacBook Pro lineup update coming in the near-future. The rumored specifications indicate that Apple will be bumping the standard 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line from two models to three, and all will include 16GB of RAM as a standard option. Here are all the purported models:

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.4GHz), 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.7GHz), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics & NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 4.0GHz), 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory

For comparison, here is the current MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup:

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Intel Core Stories June 3, 2014

mba

Rumors of a fanless 12-inch MacBook have been doing the rounds for quite some time now, and Intel’s announcement last night of a new 14nm Core M Broadwell processor could make it a reality.

The Intel® Core™ M processor will deliver the most energy-efficient Intel Core processor in the company’s history. The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless …

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Intel Core Stories May 30, 2014

mbp17

Many of us were deeply disappointed when Apple discontinued the MacBook Pro 17. While the Retina MacBook Pro 15 introduced at the same time offered higher resolution, sometimes there’s just no substitute for physical screen size. Photographers and videographers in particular loved the combination of the sheer size and the option of a matte screen.

I loved mine enough to immediately sell the three-year-old one I owned at the time in order to replace it with the last model made, to maximize its useful life. I still love it enough that I’ve just laid out a thousand bucks on a 2.5-year-old machine to fit 2TB of SSDs, giving it the best of both worlds: lightning-fast performance combined with huge storage that allows me to have all my files with me when I travel.

There may not be too many others who’ll follow my admittedly extravagant example, but I do think it’s time for Apple to revisit its decision and bring back the mobile professional’s workhorse …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories April 10, 2014

Next-gen faster Haswells chips out as soon as next month, could find their way into upgraded MacBook and iMacs

Intel’s next generation of its Haswell CPUs could be out as soon as next month, according to sources cited by TechPowerUp (via TonyMacx86).

According to sources in the IT retail, Intel could launch these new chips, led by the Core i7-4790K, on May 10th in most markets […]

 Intel Core “Haswell” Refresh processors offer marginally better performance over current Core “Haswell” chips, at existing price points (i.e., they will displace existing chips from their current price-points).The 9-series chipset offers features such as M.2 SSD support, making you ready for a tidal wave of 1000 MB/s SSDs that will launch around Computex.

Apple now uses PCIe SSD interface  even in its base model MacBook Air so the mSATA improvement will only benefit PC users and Hackintoshers but the mildly improved performance might find its way into updated iMac or MacBooks due ’round WWDC.

Intel Core Stories April 2, 2014

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You may still be waiting for your Mac Pro to arrive, but OWC is ready to sell you a CPU upgrade once it does. The company offers a choice of four E5 2600-series processors, ranging from an 8-core 2.6GHz chip with 20MB cache for $950, to a 12-core 2.7GHz processor for $1480.

We first confirmed that CPU upgrades were possible last December. The company says the upgraded processors offer speed gains ranging from 25 percent to 46 percent over Apple’s base model 4-core 1600-series processor. You can get rebates of between $100 and $750 for trading in the processor supplied with your Mac Pro, and also have the option of boosting the RAM from Apple’s maximum of 64GB to 128GB …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories January 31, 2014

hac

If you’ve decided you’ve waited long enough for Apple to update the Mac mini with a Haswell processor, you can always create a Hac mini.

A user posting on the Hacintosh site tonymacx86.com has documented his successful squeezing of an Intel DH61AG motherboard with i3-3225 CPU (55w TDP), 4GB Ram, 128GB mSATA SSD, half mini PCIe Wifi and an external Dell laptop power supply into a 2010 Mac mini case …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories December 2, 2013

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Photo: anandtech.com

I guess you could call me something of a fanboy where Apple laptops are concerned. I bought the very first one, the Macintosh Portable, in 1989 (and actually still have it tucked away in a cupboard even now). This was followed by a series of PowerBooks before the MacBooks came along, and I currently have both a MacBook Pro 17 and MacBook Air 11.

The split between the Air and Pro ranges made sense for a whole bunch of reasons up to now. The Air has performed two important roles for Apple. First, the cachet of producing the world’s slimmest notebook further boosted Apple’s style credentials. Even today, after it lost the slimmest notebook crown and has seen the wedge design copied by others, it remains a style icon, getting admiring glances every time you pull it out in a coffee shop …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories August 15, 2013

pro

There was much disappointment back in June when the new Mac Pro‘s CPU – the 12-core Xeon E5-2697 – delivered a surprisingly low Geekbench score of 23,901. It had been widely expected to break 30,000.

Some cautioned then that the score, based on a 32-bit build of Geekbench running on an early pre-release version of the CPU with a beta version of Mavericks, might not tell the whole story, and new tests by Tom’s Hardware on V2 of the chip appear to confirm this …  expand full story

Intel Core Stories March 5, 2013

Apple introduces $1,099 21.5-inch iMac for education with 4GB RAM, 500GB HD & 3.3GHz dual-core i3

As noted by MacRumors, Apple has recently introduced a new model of the low-end 21.5-inch iMac to educational institutions that brings slightly downgraded specs and shaves $200 off the price of the entry-level iMac available to consumers.

Replacing the old $999 iMac for education option, the new $1,099 21.5-inch iMac (ME699LL/A) offers 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and a 500GB hard drive. That’s compared to the 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive Apple includes in the regular entry-level model. Apple is also including a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU in the machine instead of the usual 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5.

The new education model offers most of the usual built-to-order options, including the ability to upgrade to a 1TB Fusion Drive and up to 16GB of RAM.

Apple just recently dropped shipping times from 1 to 3 days down to “within 24 hours” for the new iMacs in its North American online stores, but the new iMac for education is shipping in 5 to 7 business days.

Intel Core Stories February 21, 2013

Google’s new Chromebook Pixel Thinks Different about vertical touch surfaces, puts touch on the display

The rumors were true: Google just announced the Chromebook Pixel. It’s a 12.85-inch touchscreen Chromebook with a 2,560-by-1,700 display that packs in “the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today.”

Let’s start with the screen. This Chromebook has the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today. Packed with 4.3 million pixels, the display offers sharp text, vivid colors and extra-wide viewing angles. With a screen this rich and engaging, you want to reach out and touch it—so we added touch for a more immersive experience. Touch makes it simple and intuitive to do things like organize tabs, swipe through apps and edit photos with the tip of your finger.

Go to 9to5Google for all the details.

As for the chances of Apple ever making a touchscreen notebook, Steve Jobs made it very clear at the 2010 MacBook Air refresh event that Apple did “tons of user testing” and concluded “it doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible.”

We’ve done tons of user testing on this and it turns out it doesn’t work. Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives great demo. But after a short period of time you start to fatigue, and after an extended period of time your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible. Touch surfaces want to be horizontal. Hence, pads.

Intel Core Stories February 5, 2013

From 9to5Toys.com and 9to5Mac Product Pages comes a special deal from MacMall for our readers who are looking for MacBook Airs at the lowest prices. Across the board, Macmall has the lowest prices when coupled with additional 3% off 9to5Mac promo code NTFMMWB38592 

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 1.52.54 PM.

MacMall goes beyond lowest prices: Until Friday at 9:15PM ET, readers will get free overnight shipping and a free copy of Parallels Desktop with every order. MacMall also offers financing and/or no payments for 6 months and accepts payments with Paypal or Amazon as well as major credit cards. This week’s MacMall specials include half off Quickbooks 2013 for Mac, iPad  SmartCovers starting at $26.99 and other Blowout deals on peripherals.

MacMall has additional MacBook Air 8GB BTO configurations that knock an additional 3% off the already lowest prices we could find: expand full story

Intel Core Stories December 29, 2012

Apple drops prices on refurbished Mac Minis by $50, now start at $469

From 9to5Toys:

Apple has taken an additional $50 off the refurbished 2011 Mac mini this afternoon on its online Certified Refurbished Store. Apple now offers the Intel Core i5 starting at $469 for the 2.3GHz model with 2GB of RAM. As it does with the entire refurb store, a 1 year warranty is applied just like new models.

Intel Core Stories December 17, 2012

Apple releases iMac EFI Update 2.0 bringing general fixes to sleep and Thunderbolt

Apple has released an update to the late 2012 models of the iMac, that owners will sure want to grab. The iMac EFI Update 2.0, weighing in at 4.32MB, brings general performance fixes to sleep and Thunderbolt, and additionally improves the compatibility when using 5GHz band Wi-Fi. As always you can grab the update directly from Apple or via Software Update. [Apple]

Don’t miss: Apple releases Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0 improving 5GHz band compatibility

Intel Core Stories December 12, 2012

haswell-2013-roadmap

A report from VR-Zone (via Engadget) claimed to show Intel’s plans for its fourth-generation Haswell processors. These are expected to be released in the second quarter of next year and are the likely follow-up to Ivy Bridge for Apple’s next round of Mac refreshes (unless Apple switches to AMD, ARM, or something). Previous leaks showed Intel plans to release the Haswell processors between March and June 2013, and today’s leak, if accurate, gives us a look at all 14 new desktop CPUs expected in the Haswell launch.

The top of the lineup CPU in the Haswell lineup is a 3.5GHz Core i7, 3.9 with Turbo Boost, with a 8MB cache and a TDP of 84W. The low-voltage 35W end of the lineup goes down to a 2.9GHz Core i5. The roadmap also makes a reference to integrated graphics, listing Intel HD 4600 with built-in visuals for all CPU variations. Here is the full first wave of 14 standard and low-voltage CPUs, according to the leaked image:

Standard voltage 84W:Core i7-4770K, Core i7-4770, Core i5-4670K, Core i5-4670, Core i5-4570, and Core i5-4430.

Low-voltage: 35W Core i7-4765T, Core i5-4570T; 45W Core i7-4770T, Core i5-4670T; 65W Core i7-4770S, Core i5-4670S, Core i5-4570S, Core i5-4430S.

Intel Core Stories December 1, 2012

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Apple’s entry level configuration of the new 21.5-inch iMac is now shipping in 7-10 business days from Apple’s online store. That shipping time is up from the 1-3 business days that the product was quoted as shipping in yesterday. The 27-inch iMacs were initially said to ship in 2-3 weeks, but they have since been pushed back to 3-4 weeks for new orders.

Notably, 3rd party vendors like Amazon are still guaranteeing delivery by December 4th while MacMall says 5-7 days. Check for lowest prices/ship times on our iMacs product page.

Update: Both 21.5-inch iMacs are now up to 7-10 days for shipping.

Thanks @TLDToday! 

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21.5 iMac teardown late 2012

While we had some pictures of a brief teardown earlier this week, iFixit has now completed its ritual teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac that officially went on sale on Friday.

Unfortunately, iFixit described the process as an “exercise in disappointment,” noting the iMac’s new thinner design introduces new hurdles for repairability. Most notably, the device’s glass and LCD are now glued directly to the iMac’s frame, while accessing the RAM, CPU, and hard drive will now mean having to remove the entire logic board:

The late 2012 iMac 21.5″ — code-named EMC 2544 — is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.

A few things noted in iFixit’s highlights: a new rubber housing that “dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive,” a new single fan layout, dual microphones, and a 5mm thinner LG made display. Those are some of the highlights of Apple’s new design, but iFixit is scoring the new iMac as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year) due to the many issues with repairability. Here are just a few:

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Intel Core Stories November 27, 2012

After being unveiled in late-October, Apple has officially announced that the 21.5-inch iMac will become available this Friday, Nov. 30. The latest iMac is the eighth generation and “is the most beautiful iMac we have ever made,” according to Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. It features a 5mm edge, edge-to-edge glass, LED-backlit display with IPS technology, a FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, OS X Mountain Lion, Bluetooth 4.0, and more.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two versions. The 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) is available for $1,299, featuring 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, 1 TB (5400-rpm) hard drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. The 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 model (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) is available for $1,499, featuring similar specs, except a 1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive that can be configured into a Fusion Drive.

Apple also has a 27-inch version iMac on its way. As we reported earlier this month, the 27-inch version is still set to launch sometime in December, according to Apple. CEO Tim Cook has already discussed that the company is expecting shortages of iMacs. Our sources have indicated that the new iMac is in relatively short supply, mainly outside of the United States. Check out Cook’s comments below:

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Intel Core Stories November 15, 2012

New last-gen MacBook Air: $699

From 9to5Toys.com:

MacConnection offers the base model MacBook Air that was replaced this summer, new in box, for $699. This Air includes an Intel Core i5-2467M 1.6GHz Sandy Bridge dual-core processor, 11.6″ 1366×768 LED-backlit display, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, AirPort Extreme (802.11n wireless), Bluetooth 4.0, Facetime camera, Thunderbolt port, and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Ground shipping is free.

Intel Core Stories October 24, 2012

OWC offering RAM upgrades for new Mac minis: $50 (8GB), $85 (12GB), $115 (16GB)

Apple’s new Mac mini lineup that unveiled yesterday comes with 4GB of RAM stock for all three models, but it now allows for up to 16GB of RAM across its two slots. Today, OWC announced some pretty attractive RAM upgrades that offer big savings on factory upgrades and one configuration not available through Apple. OWC sells similar RAM upgrades for iMacs. Unfortunately, though, the new 21-inch model does not provide user accessible memory.

OWC Memory Upgrades for 2012 Mac mini 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.6GHz Intel i5 or i7 models:

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 8GB total memory at 50 percent lower cost vs. same sized factory 8GB option costing $100 

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 12GB total memory. This kit offers 50 percent more RAM at 14 percent lower cost vs. factory 8GB option costing $100.

Upgrade not available as a factory option.

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 16GB total memory at 67 percent lower cost vs. same sized factory 16GB option costing $300.

OWC has full details here.

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