Twitter is ablaze on news that Apple has introduced new 15-inch models of MacBook Pro and a lower price version of its critically acclaimed 5K iMac, but while we read heavily reprised versions of the press release everywhere here’s a few details you may not have seen anywhere.
The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is full of improvements, but one that’s going to make a big difference to professional users will be the hugely impressive improvement in throughput. These new Macs offer 2.5 times the throughput you’ll be used to, so you can anticipate an impressive 2GBPs – that’s incredibly powerful and in combination with the all-new AMD Radeon RP M370X graphics processor you can expect amazing performance from these Macs. The one thing that isn’t clear just yet is if Apple is deploying its much rumored home made graphics processor inside these Macs, because if it is then this could account for the significant performance gain. And Force Touch is going to be everywhere pretty soon, I imagine. Even on iPhones.
Faster flash in the new 15-inch ‘Pros is matched by the disappearance of flash in the new lower cost iMac model. You see, while you can now enjoy the delights of the 5K iMac display for a lower cost of entry ($1,999), Apple has had to make one compromise to keep costs low – in this case the lower cost model uses a conventional 1TB hard drive, rather than the SSD-based Fusion Drive. If you want the speed and performance of a flash drive you’ll need to purchase the top-of-the-range (and now a little bit cheaper) 5K iMac model for $2,299. (Or $200 less than it originally cost).
But still on Haswell…
It is interesting that the refreshed Macs remain stuck with Intel’s Haswell chipset. Most industry watchers had expected the new models would use Intel’s updated Broadwell architecture. This didn’t happen. Even MacRumors now is asking why…
AMD replaces NVIDIA
The new MacBook Pro deploys an AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics chip “up to 80 percent faster” than the NVIDIA chip in the previous generation. What makes this much more exciting is that this chip can power “incredibly high resolution displays”…. “Support for up to 5120-by-2160 resolution at 60Hz on a single external display (model with AMD Radeon R9 M370X only),” the company says (Hat tip: Owen Williams). This raises the question – is Apple setting the stage for a new 5K external display? There’s a case to introduce one to accompany the upcoming Apple TV refresh, particularly now Apple television plans have been shelved. Allegedly.
Blink and you’ll have missed it but Wired spotted a stealthy Apple release of a Lightning dock for the iPhone, a $39 accessory for your smartphone and the first time Apple’s shipped one of these since the new interconnect became iOS standard.
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