updated 09:55 am EST, Wed January 13, 2010
Intel may have spoiled imminent MBP update
Apple may be on the verge of launching its first Core i5 MacBook Pros, the leak of an Intel Retail Edge promo shows. An e-mail copy sent to AppleInsider tells resellers of a January prize draw for a MacBook Pro with a Core i5 inside. There are no clear release dates or other specifications, though holding a drawing implies the systems may appear this month.
Naming the Core i5 provides a clue as to likely performance traits of the chip, as just three mobile Core i5 chips are available so far: the 2.26GHz, 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz models roughly correlate to what Apple already uses for clock speeds on Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros. A dual-core 2.66GHz Core i7 is also an option, but quad-core chips are likely off-limits as the 45W power draw would consume more battery life and generate more heat than Apple has used in recent memory.
While base clock speeds are typically flat or lower with Core i5 and i7 versus the older processors, they should represent a major speed boost for Apple's portables through the new architecture. Turbo Boost ramps the Core i5 up to 3.06GHz when one core isn't needed, and Hyperthreading on the chips will potentially give them the performance of a quad-core processor with optimized apps.
Apple is widely rumored to be holding a January 27th event that most assume will center around a multi-touch tablet, but some rumors have said it will primarily focus on mobile and could leave a window open for a MacBook Pro update at the same time.
Intel hasn't commented on the accuracy of the e-mail.