There has been a lot of speculation and a lot of waiting for Apple users as they await the new i7 based Macbook Pros. The Line is due for a refresh and Apple usually gets the new hardware from Intel first before most of the other computer manufactures but with the i7 this doesn't seem to be the case. The reason? Performance, Heat and Video issues.
There is an issue right now with Nvidia and Intel that they are working our in court regarding the integration of video processors. The Mobile Nehalem processor was designed with an integrated graphics chip onboard, due to changes in Intel's chipset. Basiclly put that prevents Nvidia from directly connecting the GPU. So to fix that Nvidia basiclly runs the card on a 16X PCI-E bus. For more information you can go to the PC Perspective website.
What does this mean for Apple users? Well it means that for the best battery life and highest performance you might be waiting a while. I would even bet we won't see a new Macbook Pro until late summer maybe fall but definately not before the end of April. I'm sure that Apple and Nvidia are working around the clock to get the bugs with Optimus worked out. So we know Apple will be sticking with Nvidia for their graphics, I'm a fan of the new 5000 series Radeon but for the Mobile market I can't disagree with going with Nvidia. That leaves Intel. What mobile processors could Apple be putting in there top of the line laptops? Well right now they will only release these laptops with the i7 line of processors.
On the entry level 13" MacBook Pro - Intel® Core™ i7-620UM Processor (4M Cache, 1.06 GHz min - 2.13 GHz max) Dualcore
13" MacBook Pro (Upgrade) - Intel® Core™ i7-640UM Processor (4M Cache, 1.20 GHz min - 2.266 GHz max) Dualcore
15" MacBook Pro (Entry Level) - Intel® Core™ i7-620LM Processor (4M Cache, 2.00 GHz min - 2.8 GHz max) Dualcore
15" MacBook Pro (Mid Level) - Intel® Core™ i7-640LM Processor (4M Cache, 2.13 GHz min - 2.93 Ghz max) Dualcore
15" MacBook Pro (High End) - Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Processor (6M Cache, 1.60 GHz min - 2.8 Ghz max) Quadcore
I'm sure there will also be an option to upgrade to the Intel® Core™ i7-820QM Processor (8M Cache, 1.73 GHz min - 3.06 GHz max) Quadcore
The Mobile Nehalem processors have a minimum and maximum clock speed depending on what your doing so if your surfing the web your processor is suppose to run at the lower and if your doing 3D rendering then your suppose to get the full clock speed (called . Both the Nvidia and Intel Technologies is designed to conserve battery life. How much battery life will be saved in the first Gen of the new MacPro Laptops remains to be seen.
This brings us back to the question should I buy a new MacBook now? Well I would say Yes. Today's Apple laptops have the dedicated video card and are well performing work horses. If the new tech that is coming out in the new MacBooks are good you would want to wait till the second generation anyway, the first gen like the first MacPro Towers had bugs that need to be ironed out. It is an exciting time to watch all this new tech coming out and it will be interesting to see how well they perform, I'm sure the Second and Third Gen of the MacBook Pros will be much better then this first round. For now I'll stick with the Core2 until the bugs get worked out.