The new 15- and 17-inch models bring i7 quad-core power which Apple claims to be twice as fast as the top of the line Macbook Pro in the previous model. The 13 inch features a 2.3 and 2.7 GHz dual-core i5 and i7 respectively.
For Photographers though the big change also comes in graphics with The integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor — now included across the MacBook Pro lineup. Apple state it can encodes video quickly, making HD video calls with FaceTime possible. Another beneift of this encoding is longer playback time for DVD's and iTunes content .
Apple testing indicates that Aperture runs 1.6x faster on the new Macbook Pro . This because of a feature called Turbo Boost 2. Turbo Boost is a dynamic performance technology that automatically increases the speed of the active cores — up to 3.4GHz. Turbo Boost 2.0 is even more dynamic and efficient. By shifting core frequency in smaller increments than before, it allows the processor to manage performance without sacrificing efficiency. All this takes place behind the scenes, so your work just goes smoother and faster.
For graphics-intensive applications, the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models automatically switch to new high-performance AMD Radeon graphics processors. This boast of up to 3x the performance of the previous models.So if you work with HD video you should see some real improvement in your work flow. No doubt some of these benefits will also be felt in top end photo ending and work with Raw files.
As is their want at times Apple has chosen to let the USB 3 train pass them by. In this generation of Macbook Pro's they introduce Thunderbolt a new I/O technology from Intel.
The Thunderbolt port is not however just for connecting hard drives and card readers. It is also the display port so the MacBook Pro now gives you access to a world of high-resolution displays and high-speed peripherals with one compact port. That’s because Thunderbolt is based on two fundamental technologies: PCI Express and DisplayPort.
Thunerbolt can perform transfers at up to 10 Gbps almost twice the USB speed of 5Gbps.
One down side of Thunderbolt is the lack of Thunderbolt enabled ad ons. Lacie has been first to announce a Thunerbolt drive with its Little Big Disk range. Though it will not be on sale until later this year.
Apple reports battery life of 7 hours of wireless web surfing. Of coure if that is replicated in the wild is yet to be seen.
Another upgrade photographers should like is that the SD card slot is now based on the SDXC standard and can read up to a 64gb SD card.
The base model 13 Inch starts at $1,399 and the range tops out with the 17 inch model for $2,899.