Price and higher graphics performance motivated Apple to keep the 13 ″ MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo chip

Price and higher graphics performance motivated Apple to keep the 13 ″ MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo chip

For those who didn't believe Steve Jobs' email about the reasons that led Apple to maintain a MacBook Pro with (now old :-P) Core 2 Duo processors, the Ars Technica made an interesting analysis that explains the reasons for this by comparing the internal hardware of Ma's professional notebooks. Many wanted _all of them_ to be updated with the latest chips from Intel, but in the case of 13-inch models, it is clear that this was not possible due to costs and, mainly, maintenance of a respectable level of graphic performance.

MacBooks Pro aside, focused on game performance

Only to agree with those who hated Apple's initiative, a fact that equipping a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Core i3 or i5 processor is possible. The problem is that, in this case, his entry price would be much higher than the users were used to paying in the past, it will be agreed that this notebook model is in the thick, but a good gateway for professional users due to the options of memory (up to 8GB) and storage (up to 512GB via SSD) that it offers.

With regard to graphics performance, the choice of Core 2 Duo emerges as another benefit. Through it, Apple has been able to offer integrated high-performance graphics to its users since the end of 2008, when it first adopted the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. Now, with its successor (320M), the performance of these machines for games and tasks that make heavy use of the GPU has become much higher (as already reported) and greater battery life has been guaranteed for up to ten hours.

If Apple migrated the 13 ″ MacBooks Pro to an Intel processor within the Core i3, i5 lines, the integrated graphics would necessarily be limited to those of the processors themselves and everyone knows that Intel does not match NVIDIA in this regard. Due to the judicial war that the two have been upholding in justice for months, it is not possible to use an integrated GPU without the requirements that the CPUs require, which would be a solution for the case of Apple.

Ah, but Apple could have put a dedicated GPU, as in other MacBooks Pro! Well, if she could do that, we’ll have 13 ″ MacBooks Pro with two GPUs a long time ago. But there needs to be no electronics expert to conclude that, based on the internal layout of the previous generation of the laptop, there is no room for that.

MacBook Pro cards, with the Core 2 Duo processor highlighted in red and the 9400M and 9600M GT GPUs in green and blue. All of them were produced in 2009.

The new Intel chips with integrated graphics are bigger than the Core 2 Duo, so they fit well in the 15 ″ and 17 ″ MacBooks Pro when replacing the NVIDIA integrated GPU and maintaining a dedicated one for higher performance. However, in the case of the 13 ″ model, even its previous generation was compacted to the limit; that way, it would be impossible to add another GPU to its internal layout unless Apple enlarged its motherboard and ignored the possibility of offering a ten-hour battery to its users, but that would not please either, right?

That's it, folks: when it comes to computer engineering, there's no way to work miracles. On the other hand, I wouldn't regret buying the smallest of MBPs at all: with the possibility of configuring it with an SSD and up to 8GB of memory, all the professional apps I use on a daily basis would be much faster than I'm used to noticing on a white MacBook which I have no intention of dropping for now.