Upcoming Core i5 and i7 MacBooks will be speedy, a benchmark

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Old 16-Jan-2011
Upcoming Core i5 and i7 MacBooks will be speedy, a benchmark

Apple’s MacBook family of notebooks is overdue for a hardware refresh. A benchmark posted last week suggests the 17-inch MacBook Pro might run the top-of-the-line Intel Core i7 M620 processor and the score suggests a favorable jump in performance over the existing line of the Core 2 Duo-based MacBooks. More precisely, the unreleased MacBook Pro model garnered a score of 5260 versus the scores of 4620 for Apple’s most powerful MacBook Pro equipped with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and a score of 3700-4000 for an identically clocked 2.66GHz model.
The credit for this one goes to a MacRumors forum member who spotted a Geekbench benchmark allegedly representing Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro fitted with Intel’s speedy Core i7 processor. The benchmark that appeared on the Geekbench site listed an unreleased notebook fitted with a 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 M620 processor with 4MB L3 cache, a 4.8GHz front-side bus, and 4GB of 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM.
The system ran an unreleased version of Mac OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard (build 10C3067) and was designated as “MacBookPro6,1″, indicating a major hardware revision. According to Intel’s description of the Core i7 M620, it has 4MB of L3 cache versus 3MB of L3 cache on Core i5 models, and features both Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost technology that shuts down idle cores or overclocks them, depending on the system load.

It’s no secret that Apple is in the process of re-engineering its notebook lineup with Intel’s 2010 Core family of CPUs. Intel itself inadvertently leaked a possible Core i5 MacBook revision in its marketing materials. First rumors of Arrandale-based quad-core MacBook Pros surfaced last October. Although multiple versions of the Core i3, i5, and i7 are in Intel’s 2010 release schedule, Apple is thought to be focusing on the high-end Core i5 and Core i7 models for the MacBook and MacBook Pro, respectively.
AppleInsider speculated that Apple will put “the 2.26GHz (430M) or 2.4GHz (520M) Core i5 variants on the low end, stepping up to 2.53GHz (540M) Core i5 on the mid-range model, and maxing out with the 2.66GHz 620M Core i7 on the high-end offerings.” Meanwhile, a source “close to Apple” has just tipped NowhereElse.fr (original in French, Google translation) that Apple might unveil a refreshed MacBook family today at the MacWorld Expo 2010.

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