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Big Kahuna: The new 17" MacBook Pro


Those who need a mobile studio and have very strong backs may be inclined to consider the Big Papi of Apple laptops, the 17" MacBook Pro. Today's update adds even more brawn to Apple's beast. Here are the details.

There is one main configuration, featuring the 2.53GHz Intel Core i5; the 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 CPU is a build-to-order option. As with the other models, the 17" starts off with 4GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB), and comes standard with a 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive, with the following upgrade options:

  • 500GB Serial ATA Drive (7200 rpm)
  • 128GB Solid State Drive
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
That huge, high-resolution display is available with either a glossy or anti-glare finish (for an additional US$50). But this machine's real appeal is in its performance.

The customer who buys a 17" MacBook Pro typically needs to run processor- and graphics-intensive apps in the field, so performance is very important in this machine. The addition of the i5 and i7 chips help to realize that need. For example, the Turbo Boost feature will dynamically boost the speed of both cores while using the processor-intensive apps that these machines typically run.

Additionally, the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics processor cooks with 48 processing cores and (up to) 512MB of dedicated video memory. Yet, it's even more energy efficient than previous GPUs.

It looks like a worthy upgrade if you ask us. The 17" MacBook Pro starts at $2,299 for the 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 and goes up from there. If you get one of these monstrosities, have fun. It looks like a fantastic machine.

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