Home > Apple > Apple Releases New MacBook Pros with LED Backlit Displays Apple Releases New MacBook Pros with LED Backlit Displays Submitted by Alexandros Roussos 2007-06-05 Apple 58 Comments Apple updated its online stores today and released updated MacBook Pros with speed, storage, ram and graphics improvements. The 15 inch models also benefit from a LED backlit display while the 17 inch adds higher resolution display option. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 58 Comments 2007-06-05 3:02 pm diegocg There was a time when people always blamed Apple for not putting enought ram…now those times are behind, 2 GB of ram is OK 2007-06-05 3:03 pm UFOGoldorak But still using DDR2 667 instead of 800 is not. 2007-06-05 3:23 pm Kroc It is only a Laptop… Every other “high spec” laptop I’ve seen is about three inches thick and radiates more heat than the Death Star. DDR2-667 is fast enough – especially considering that the real bottleneck is the hard disk. 800 RAM with a 5400RPM disk would make near enough no difference to overall performance other than a few extra FPS in a game. 2007-06-05 3:40 pm UFOGoldorak Going by that logic why even go with the SR platform with faster bus speeds?? Hardrives will always be “the” bottleneck. Anyone shellling out this kind of money for a high end notebook and does not switch out the HD for a faster one 7200+ before even booting for the first time has got to have a screw loose. More ram you have, less HD access you have, faster system performance you have. These are high end pro machines with matching “pro prices” with the latest and greatest. DDR2 667 is not the latest nor the greatest. 2007-06-05 4:27 pm ntl_ According to a lot of the test I’ve seen, 7200rpm drives don’t perform noticeably better for random access IO. 2007-06-05 4:30 pm lazywally Anyone shellling out this kind of money for a high end notebook and does not switch out the HD for a faster one 7200+ before even booting for the first time has got to have a screw loose. So, * Everyone who do not have the technical inclination to replace the HD is crazy. * Everyone who do not want to spend extra money for 1800 more RPMs is crazy. * Everyone who simply lack the desire to do so are crazy. * . . . 🙁 What a terrible thing to say. And also, in technical aspect, sufficient RAM will minimize thrashing so a jump from 5400 to 7200 RPM will make a very small difference if RAM size is 2GB. 2007-06-06 3:55 am aliquis Also a 7200 rpm harddrive will use more electricity and be warmer than a 5400 rpm one. 2007-06-05 4:55 pm Laurence “ More ram you have, less HD access you have, faster system performance you have ” This post has no relevence to the point you’re arguing against as faster RAM != more RAM 2007-06-05 5:02 pm UFOGoldorak How do you figure my post has no relevance when the previous poster says 677 + 5400 is enough and that HD are the bottlenecks?? If HD is slow then having more RAM is going to help you out the less you access said slow device. How is that irrelevant? 2007-06-05 5:19 pm Laurence “ How do you figure my post has no relevance when the previous poster says 677 + 5400 is enough and that HD are the bottlenecks?? If HD is slow then having more RAM is going to help you out the less you access said slow device. How is that irrelevant? ” Because you are bascially arguing that the RAM is not fast enough because a slower HDD needs more MB of RAM to cache the data. RAM Speed is not the same as RAM storage capacity. 2007-06-05 5:46 pm UFOGoldorak OK maybe I should just retype everything into a single post since you can’t seem to make sense of anything. All I was arguing is that they should have used 800 instead of 677, I did not bring up storage. Then someone said that “it’s only a laptop so 677 is plenty fast because the hard drive is the bottleneck”. I merely stated that you could help yourself out by increasing the amount of ram installed. I was not talking about ram speed anymore but amount. Anyhow if you want to justify your $2500+ with “good enough” or “fast enough” when you could have gotten more bang for your buck then that’s your business. All those spec sheets for the SR platform came out way before DDRII800 was out so no one knows but I’d like to think that apple would stay on top of this stuff and “know” these things. Still a great machine and I’m ordering my 15″ 2.4 tonight then hopping over to crucial and getting me some DDRII-800 x 4GB 2007-06-05 5:56 pm Laurence “ OK maybe I should just retype everything into a single post since you can’t seem to make sense of anything. ” You say that yet you then go on to repeat exactly what I had said you said again: “ All I was arguing is that they should have used 800 instead of 677, I did not bring up storage. Then someone said that “it’s only a laptop so 677 is plenty fast because the hard drive is the bottleneck”. I merely stated that you could help yourself out by increasing the amount of ram installed. I was not talking about ram speed anymore but amount. ” Anyway, none of this matters as most people would wage battery life above RAM speed and HDD rpm. 2007-06-05 8:55 pm sultanqasim Mr. UFO, you don’t get the point. Even SANTA ROSA DOES NOT SUPPORT DDR2 800!!! How could they have included it if it doesn’t even support it???? 2007-06-05 5:13 pm rayiner As people have pointed out, nobody is shipping DDR2-800 in notebooks, and it’s not even clear that Santa Rosa supports it. Moreover, the loss in battery life probably wouldn’t be worth it anyway in a laptop (DDR2-800 is notoriously power hungry). As for the drive, the 160 5400 RPM model is quite reasonable given the price point. Dell seems to be shipping a 80 GB 7200 RPM disk by default on its high-end machine (M1710), but the 160 GB 5400 RPM disk is actually a $100 upgrade. And again, I’d rather have the extra battery life in a laptop, especially one with 2GB of RAM. It’s interesting to compare Dell’s prices to Apple’s in this case. A tricked-out E1505 is less than $200 cheaper than the lowest-end MBP, but has a 200 MHz slower processor, the older 945M chipset, no LED backlighting, and a much slower graphics card (Radeon X1400 versus GeForce 8600M). At the super-high end, the M1710 is $600 more than the top-end 17″ MBP, and you still get a slightly slower processor, no LED-backlighting, and a substantially slower graphics card! Edited 2007-06-05 17:15 2007-06-05 8:03 pm Lambda It’s interesting to compare Dell’s prices to Apple’s in this case. Except nobody with a clue pays Dell list prices. You sign up for the Employee Pricing Program and get the coupons over at Notebookforums.com or just ask Dell for them. My Inspiron 9300 ended up being 42% off what Dell’s list price. These new MacBook Pros are enticing though. Nice video cards, and finally 1920×1200 for the LCD. But let’s not kid ourselves, you’re still paying the Apple hardware tax. 2007-06-05 8:26 pm Jules @Lambda Actually, you’re paying for the engineering of the hardware (as well as some for the sofware, I suppose) so the word ‘tax’ is not appropriate because it would suggest that Apple’s hardware doesn’t have any added value compared to a similarly spec’d notebook from another vendor. It does however have the added value of better engineering. This is why, for instance, their notebooks are thinner, quieter yet very rugged. (let alone the fact that the aren’t many similarly spec’d notebooks to be found in the wild yet) Edited 2007-06-05 20:27 2007-06-05 10:05 pm Lambda Actually, you’re paying for the engineering of the hardware (as well as some for the sofware, I suppose) so the word ‘tax’ is not appropriate because it would suggest that Apple’s hardware doesn’t have any added value compared to a similarly spec’d notebook from another vendor. I don’t buy into that superior hardware engineering, so I’ll use the term hardware tax. I buy an Apple for OSX, not the “superior hardware”. They’re just PCs, but if your buying into the reality distortion field then have at it. 2007-06-05 10:12 pm Jules @Lambda I do, and I’m very happy with their products But seriously, tell me what other vendors come even close to Apple’s notebooks in terms of design and features per cubic inch? 2007-06-05 10:39 pm Lambda But seriously, tell me what other vendors come even close to Apple’s notebooks in terms of design and features per cubic inch? I don’t use my computers as a decoration piece. Apple’s features per square inch are no different than any other PC notebook. 2007-06-05 11:04 pm Jules @Lambda But per cubic inch they are.. Sigh.. But whatever. My reasons for using a Mac don’t have anything to do with their alleged decorative quality. I find it quite condescending from you to suggest so. By the way: there are as many ways to prove that Macs are cheaper as there are ways to prove they are more expensive than comparatively spec’d PC’s. I’m not even going in to this, because my original point was that Apple doesn’t charge a so called hardware tax. The only figure that matters in this debate is if Apple makes absurdly high margins on their hardware they obviously charge a “hardware tax”, well they don’t. (though they make good money). I agree that Apple hardware might be somewhat more expensive (they don’t [want to] compete on the low end) , but I dare you to find me a PC notebook with similar specs and price as the new MBP’s. 2007-06-06 4:18 am aliquis but I dare you to find me a PC notebook with similar specs and price as the new MBP’s. One day ago it would have been very easy to find a PC notebook of waaay better value (specs/price) than a MBP. Sure this one is decent now, in 2 months no, in 6 months it’s f–king insanely expensive. 2007-06-06 5:10 pm rayiner So just buy when the getting is good! 2007-06-06 5:54 am Lambda But per cubic inch they are.. Sigh.. A sigh doesn’t prove anything But whatever. My reasons for using a Mac don’t have anything to do with their alleged decorative quality. I find it quite condescending from you to suggest so. You’re the one that brought up “design”. By the way: there are as many ways to prove that Macs are cheaper as there are ways to prove they are more expensive than comparatively spec’d PC’s. I’m not even going in to this, because my original point was that Apple doesn’t charge a so called hardware tax. Actually, there’s only one objective way. And I already know that a similarly equipped Dell is less expensive than the same PC MacBook. That’s just fact. I’ll pay more to be able to use OSX, but I’m not going to lie to myself and others about what’s going on. The only figure that matters in this debate is if Apple makes absurdly high margins on their hardware they obviously charge a “hardware tax”, well they don’t. (though they make good money). You pay more for the hardware in order to have the pleasure to use OSX. There’s nothing wrong with that, but let’s be honest. I agree that Apple hardware might be somewhat more expensive (they don’t [want to] compete on the low end) , but I dare you to find me a PC notebook with similar specs and price as the new MBP’s. If we’re just talking hardware, then Dell will beat Apple everyday by a large margin. I’m not talking Dell list price here. Listen, coming from a Unix background, I like OSX. It gives me something that Linux (Gnome/KDE) will never be able to do. But I’m not entering the reality distortion field just because I use OSX. 2007-06-06 6:32 am Jules @Lambda. You know as well an anyone that Apple’s notebooks are thinner than any other. Hence the “more features per cubic inch”. What’s there to prove? Considering “design”. In my native language (dutch) the word means slightly more than just good looks, it also means better function beacuse of choices made by Apple other than what hardware has been picked from Intel’s and Nvidea’s the shelves. Cost: You are forgetting TCO. As far as I know that’s one of the other ‘objective’ ways. 2007-06-06 9:44 am Lambda And you still fail to consider objective measurements. Hint – factor in OSX and you might have a chance. 2007-06-06 4:52 pm Jules What’s not objective about the features per cubic inch part? What’s not objective about the TCO part? How can I factor in the OS X experience, as you suggest, and at the same time remain objective? (these are rhetorical questions, you don’t need to answer them) By the way, I really don’t like your condecending tone, again. I’m not stupid. Anyhow, as far as I can see, you are the one who fails to prove that Apple charges a hardware tax. You just take it as a fact. As far as I know, you are supposed to prove your stance, I only need to raise considerable doubt Edited 2007-06-06 16:53 2007-06-06 4:10 am aliquis IBM doesn’t come close to Apple in design and features per cubic inch, they offer way more ;D 2007-06-06 5:55 am Lambda IBM doesn’t come close to Apple in design and features per cubic inch, they offer way more ;D I always liked my old Thinkpad 380ed that lives under the bed…especially the trackpointer. But last time I checked Thinkpad prices, they were outrageous. 2007-06-06 2:11 am rayiner Press on the case of an E1505 and on the case of the 15″ MBP and tell me about superior hardware engineering. I’m not going to claim that the insides of the Apple are any better than that of the Dell (aside from the whole LED thing), but for laptops, cases count for a lot. 2007-06-06 5:46 am Lambda My Dell case is holding up just fine. Try again. 2007-06-06 1:28 pm rayiner The last laptop I owned as a Dell. I cringed every time I had to grab it by one hand, the case flexure was so bad. They’ve gotten better lately, but none are in the same league as the MBP’s aluminum shell, IBM’s composite shell, or even the MacBook’s polycarbonate one. 2007-06-06 4:06 am aliquis Better engineering my ass. I would rather take a Lenovo than an Apple if it was delivered with OS X. But yes, you get the software. I won’t argue if it’s more worth or not than Vista thought. 2007-06-05 8:50 pm sultanqasim 99.9999% of the world are not dell employees. Using employee discounts if you are not an employee is wrong. 99.99999% of the world can’t be clueless. Dell fanboy. 2007-06-05 10:02 pm Lambda 99.9999% of the world are not dell employees. Using employee discounts if you are not an employee is wrong. 99.99999% of the world can’t be clueless. Dell fanboy. 99.9999% of the world might not be clueless, but you are. The EPP has nothing to do with being a Dell employee. 2007-06-06 3:54 am aliquis For the HDD, is it better to do it in Apple store or does a 160GB 7200 rpm disk cost less if you just buy it yourself? What 7200 rpm 2.5″ discs are the fastest currently? 2007-06-05 3:42 pm CrimsonScythe Intel makes the chipset, not Apple. According to  the chipset supports DDR2 533 or DDR2 667, unfortunately not DDR2 800. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until Penryn before we’ll see DDR2 800.  http://download.intel.com/design/mobile/datashts/31627301.pdf Edited 2007-06-05 15:48 2007-06-05 4:17 pm kamiko i’m sorry, but several sources have stated today, that the new macbook pro is using the intel “santa rosa” platform, which indeed supports DDR2-800. 2007-06-05 8:41 pm CrimsonScythe Did you see the pdf document I linked? If not, check it out. It is the datasheet for the Santa Rosa (i.e. Mobile Intel 965 Express) chipset, in which is states that only DDR2 533 and DDR2 667 are supported. We can hope, however, that the chipset indeed supports higher speed memory than Intel says, but don’t bet on it. If you’re going to go by any source today, I suggest believing Intel on this one 😉 2007-06-06 3:51 am aliquis Depends on if there are no speed improvement or not, I guess the FSB on the Intel CPUs and their external memory controllers are to slow anyway… Or something, or 800MHz just cost more. 2007-06-05 3:30 pm midoriconcept … I was really afraid this moment would have come. I bought mine 4 or 5 months ago.. and terrible rumors (for me) came after.. “the new MacBookPro will be faster, ligher, will have a touch screen…” Ok, actualy is faster.. not so much, it has the new led display that probably is better.. and more ram.. but nothing really revolutionary I feel safe. I can start waiting for the next announcemnt (with terror) 2007-06-05 3:36 pm tshehan eh – the new screen apparently will only extend your battery time, and unless your are a design/production professional where every tick of the clock brings you closer to a deadline, you probably aren’t missing out on anything important. (i bought my MBP last October and while the geek in me would like the latest/greatest… I feel pretty content) Look at it this way, a year from now you will see bigger improvements in all aspects of the machine – you can sell your current one and look forward to your new beauty. 2007-06-05 4:04 pm evangs I know that feeling. I bought a Macbook in August 2006. I lived in fear for months hoping they wouldn’t update the laptops I know, I know, it’s sad and I should get help for it … But so do you! And probably everyone who reads this site. 2007-06-05 4:29 pm dtravis7 http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070509-intel-launches-new-sa… Read that carefully. http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/09/intels-centrino-duo-and-centrino… Also this toward the bottom. Edited 2007-06-05 16:35 2007-06-05 5:25 pm FunkyELF I was waiting for Leopard to come out thinking that would be the time that they’d update their laptops. Nice to see them update them ahead of time. I should be ready with my decision the day Leopard comes out to see if I’ll go Dell or Apple. I’ll probably spend most of my time in Linux with a little bit every now and then in Windows. OSX would just be a bonus, I’ve never used it before but if I’m going to get an Apple I might as well wait for Leopard to get it for free. I was thinking about the regular macbook because I don’t like ATI graphics, not that Intel’s is better, but if I’m going to be paying extra for dedicated graphics I want it to be NVidia for better Linux support. Now that their Pro’s have NVidia I think I’ll need to start comparing the Pro’s against Dells. The regular Macbook was about even with Dell as far as what I could get for the money, time to start comparing 15″ Dells against the Pro’s now… 2007-06-05 9:29 pm rain OSX would just be a bonus, I’ve never used it before but if I’m going to get an Apple I might as well wait for Leopard to get it for free. Well, there’s always something to wait for. By the time Leopard is released, you will probably be half way to a MBP update, so why not just wait until then? If you want a MBP, then buy it now since it’s been recently updated, that way you’ll get the most out of your money. Don’t play the waiting game. It’s not worth it. Well that’s what I think anyway. 2007-06-05 9:56 pm Jules Unless the added value of Leopard is worth more to you than the longer-in-the-toothedness of the MBP at that moment, of course 2007-06-06 4:02 am aliquis Thought of course ATI/AMDs driver will get better now, so both would probably be ok in the future. Intel 965 GM or whatever it’s called is slooow, thought 70% faster than 945. 2007-06-05 6:28 pm Xaero_Vincent An LED backlight is an interesting idea. It improves the life of the display dramatically. Qaulity LEDs are known to last in excess of 100,000 hours. That is over eleven years of continous 24/7 operation. Since most people dont leave their laptop screens running 24/7, the backlight can very well last many decades. The liquid crystals would wear out before. 😛 Wouldn’t it be cool if they could adopt LEDs for DLP TVs? Edited 2007-06-05 18:32 2007-06-05 6:51 pm tyrione Nice. 2007-06-05 7:12 pm tony Dear Steve, You’re awesome. However, I must take exception to your choice of monitor resolutions for your laptops. 1440×900 for a 15 inch screen? That’s hardly enough for your target market. We need 1680×1050 at least for the 15″, and perhaps an option for 1920×1200 for those of us who are really crazy. Your devoted fanboy, Tony 2007-06-05 7:52 pm ThanhLy I did a quick search for “15 inch LCD native resolution” and the most common native resolution is 1024×768. There’s one 1280×800 which I guess is widescreen. So the MBP’s 1440×900 isn’t so bad. Apple is able to increase the specs and keep the prices roughly the same as last rev. I don’t think they could have done that *and* put in better LCD panels. 2007-06-05 8:01 pm polaris20 I did a quick search for “15 inch LCD native resolution” and the most common native resolution is 1024×768. There’s one 1280×800 which I guess is widescreen. So the MBP’s 1440×900 isn’t so bad. Apple is able to increase the specs and keep the prices roughly the same as last rev. I don’t think they could have done that *and* put in better LCD panels. It’s not bad, but not spectacular considering I had a Dell D800 (about 3 years old) that had 1920×1200 native on a 15.4″ widescreen. It was small, but wow….once you got used to it, that kind of real estate on a 15″ is NICE! 2007-06-06 5:25 am re_re While for me personally I would mostly agree as my eyesight is quite good, many (if not most) people would really struggle with reading text at 1920×1200. What would sell me would be to keep the existing resolution, but to make it possible to run 2 external monitors spanned in twinview (or whatever nvidia calls it for mac)> Don’t get me wrong, they already have my business, I have a 1.83 core duo mbp, but if they offered that feature I would buy a new one anyway. I must admit though that I am in a somewhat unusual situtation where I use my laptop for very elaborate media presentations where I must plug into external video mixers with multiple video / camera feeds and what not. i my situtation an adaptor that would allow me to run dual external monitors off of the existing dvi port would be fantastic. Edited 2007-06-06 05:39 2007-06-05 8:03 pm tony It’s certainly better than 1280×800, which is standard for 15 inch displays, but these are professional grade laptops, and most professionals I know who have the option go for the higher resolution (Dell, Lenovo). I’m crazy about desktop real estate, and I hunger for more. Pixels! Pixels!!! 2007-06-06 12:31 am Dark_Knight While the specs seem nice I’ll wait for a full review before passing judgment. I bought the 17″ MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo a few months back and it works great with the current resolution and software such as Maya 8.5 though I wish the battery charge would last longer. 1080p HD resolution on the MacBook Pro would definitely be a bonus for mobile broadcast editors and those working on remote film locations. I’d like to know if the GPU Geforce FX 8600 is upgradable like competitor offers or is it another GPU soldered to the motherboard? Did Apple improve the security lock port as the one on the current MacBook is easily damaged with it’s plastic housing? When will Apple release a quad core 64-bit MacBook Pro? As an Artist I wish my extended Apple Care offered free upgrade to the new MacBook Pro. 2007-06-06 3:50 am aliquis Subject says it’s all. Cheap stupid Apple, but nice upgrade anyway. I won’t pay 4000 SEK extra for 128MB vram thought… To bad because I still want 256 2007-06-06 12:36 pm chrish Hey Apple, why are prices in the Canadian store ~10% higher than in the US store? The exchange rate isn’t 20% anymore, you know. *shakes fist* – chrish 2007-06-06 7:16 pm bousozoku Prices in the U.S. don’t include taxes and import tariffs.