The authentic application performance was humbly improved, reflecting what you noticed in Windows laptops that changed to Ivy Bridge. If you get the $2,199 base model Retina MacBook Pro, you will get the same chip, and essentially the same show, with some slight improvement in some tests, thanks to the Retina Pro’s solid-state hard drive.
There has been a big change in graphics from the previous year. However, a recent Nvidia GeForce 650M replaced last year’s AMD Radeon HD 6750M. In an admittedly out-of-date gaming benchmark Call of Duty 4 Mac, it got 69.6 frames per second at the native 1,440 by 900 pixel res, which was a lot better than last year’s 41.3 frames per second. Of course, we would expect that from a faster, newer processor and video card. The GPU here is the 512MB version of the 650M. You can get a 1GB version, but only with the extra expensive 15-inch Pro pedestal model.
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch Average watts per hour (Summer 2012)
Raw kWh 47.80
Load (5 percent) 54.77
Idle (25 percent) 9.93
Sleep (10 percent) 0.68
Off (60 percent) 0.28
Annual energy cost $5.43
No big improvements to battery life were expected with the move to Intel’s latest generation of CPUs, and this model’s run time of six hours and fifty-four minutes in our video playback battery drain test is exactly the same result as last year’s Pro which was similar to the iteration before that. It is also about what you will get get from either the 15-inch Retina Pro or the 13-inch Pro. We have settled into a comfortable level of battery life with MacBook Pro laptops. It is impressive, but I am looking forward to moving the goal posts again for the next generation.
Apple embraces a one year warranty on parts and labor, but just 90 days of telephone support. Improving to a complete three-year arrangement under AppleCare will outlay an additional $349 and is quite much a must-buy, bearing in mind the proprietary nature of Apple products and their sealed bodies. Support is also accessible through e-mail with customer service, video tutorials, well-stocked online knowledge base, or via in-person stopover to Apple’s retail store Genius Bars, which, in own experience, and as heard from others, is generally a frustration-free experience.
This revision to the 15inch MacBook Pro looks minor from the outside, with nothing new to report design-wise. But inside, sure, there are new Intel CPUs, but the Nvidia graphics and USB 3.0 may be a bigger deal. It is the most universally useful laptop you can buy. That title now has to be split with the Retina version, and honestly, if you buy this, there may always be a twinge of remorse that you did not make the jump to the Retina model, budgets be damned.