Random-access memory 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.

Random-access memory 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

Random-access memory Stories July 27, 2014

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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Random-access memory Stories April 3, 2014

Expect faster MacBooks with longer battery-life thanks to DDR4 RAM

Matt Margolis is predicting that Apple will be switching from DDR3 to DDR4 RAM for future MacBooks this year, suggesting faster performance and improved battery-life.

One of Apple’s RAM manufacturer. Micron, says that DDR3 bandwidth tops out at around 17GB/s, while DDR4 aims to double this by 2015:

Since the introduction of the iPhone, the industry has responded with an evolutionary transition from 2.6 GB/s LPDDR1, to 8.5 GB/s LPDDR2, to 17 GB/s LPDDR3, the technology currently is powering today’s high-end devices in volume production. DRAM bandwidth has roughly doubled with each generation to keep pace with demand.

The next generation of low-power DRAM (LPDRAM)—also known as LPDDR4—addresses these constraints by doubling the bandwidth of LPDDR3 while maintaining power neutrality. For example, LPDDR4 targets 34 GB/s of total bandwidth for a x64 memory subsystem, doubling the bandwidth target from LPDDR3

The company has not given specific targets for improved battery-life, but says that it aims to reduce power consumption in both active and standby modes.

Margolis suggests that DDR4 RAM may also make it into future iPhones and iPads.

Random-access memory Stories April 2, 2014

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

Random-access memory Stories December 31, 2013

Following a quick look from Other World Computing last week, iFixit has published its teardown of the new Mac Pro.

Unlike any other Apple product iFixit has reviewed this year, the firm gives high praise to the repairability of the Mac Pro. The system uses no proprietary screws and RAM is accessible without the need for any tools.  Add in the socketed, upgradable CPU originally found in the earlier teardown, the Mac Pro is the most repairable computer in Apple’s lineup by far.

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