MacBook Pro (Early 2011): a great little computer

Very decent graphics and more than mediocre outdated CPUs were replaced by the opposite combination. In the advanced version of the model used fastest mobile dual-core processor from Intel and graphics… In a press release, graphics performance the new MacBook Pro modestly and vaguely called “more productive”. Compared to previous incarnations of integrated graphics from Intel, Intel HD Graphics 3000 looked good. But not on a global scale, alas.

Phil Schiller is not a poet, Steve jobs was unavailable – so Phil penned the slogan about “three big jumps” past the public. The slogan would be nothing if not for a horrible aftertaste from the Chinese “great leap forward”.

Graphics in C grade, press-release and promotion – unsatisfactory.

But in all other respects, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is shiny and impressive. Despite the problems identified in the process of exploitation – but the ideal technique exists only in the ideal imaginary world, and they were not so much…

This is the fifteenth part of a series about the MacBook Pro, the previous part of the series here:

The first part: The second Intel Mac;
Second part: MacBook Pro: debut;
Third part: April 2006: MacBook Pro 17” and “school of the young fighter”;
The fourth part: the Regular MacBook Pro, as always in October;
Fifth part: MacBook Pro “Santa Rosa”: this is a speed-bump?;
Sixth part: update the MacBook Pro, February 2008;
Seventh part: MacBook Pro (NVIDIA) – from a solid block of aluminium;
Eighth part: 17” MacBook Pro and the latest MacWorld…;
Ninth part: MacBook Pro (Mid 2009) 13-inch…;
Tenth part: MacBook Pro (Mid 2009) 15 – inch and 17-inch…;
Eleventh part: MacBook Pro (13”, Mid 2010) and echo someone else’s war…;
The twelfth part: Another mobile breakthrough 2010…;
Thirteenth part: 15 – inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2010), Core i5/Core i7;
The fourteenth part: MacBook Pro (Early 2011): three great breakthrough and a little about Leo.

The CPU and memory

Processors Sandy Bridge, read more about used 8,1 modifications will be told in the section on options, they are quite different. But overall they have a lot, just stick to it.

In all of “generation three jumps” only 8.1 was used 2-core SNB (this is not a typo, this is the official abbreviation, “because SB is South bridge”).

The architecture of the new generation, the technology of 32 nm, a soup of acronyms and trademarks indicating the supported processors technology, almost each of them deserves separate consideration, but do not worry, I will not.

Thanks to HyperThreading, the two physical cores, in reality, acting like a four, but because of Turbo Boost 2.0 clock speed of cores varies depending on load and other factors. Have 2-core CPUs are now three clock-frequency: basic, turbo per processor and turbo to two. The old Turbo Boost turbo corresponds to a single processor.

The processor responds to all these factors dynamically and very quickly, and although it’s like acrobatics under the big top, actually increases performance and works like a clock.

DMI, with a capacity of 5 GT/s.

The basic kit all MacBookPro8,1 – 4 GB PC3-10600 (1333 MHz) DDR3 SDRAM, placed in 2 slots. A maximum of 16 Gigabytes, at least according to the official version in the online store is only 8.


Screen with a diagonal of 13.3 inch (33.8 cm), led backlight and a resolution of 1280×800, and a dozen additional. Glossy, the option “matte screen” 13-dujmovi was not supposed to. Even the 11-inch MacBook Air resolution more.

Intel HD Graphics 3000, despite the superiority of the NVIDIA GeForce 320M in technical and marketing documentation Intel, is markedly inferior to him. Differing, thus, an enviable appetite: while the total size of RAM less than 8 GB, it took her at least 384 Megabytes. Starting with 8 Gigabytes Is 512 Megabytes. In addition to memory, he closed a part of the cache of the third level.

The embedded processor located on the CPU chip, and despite all the bad things I said about him, for all that is not related to particularly intense graphical evolutions it was a good fit.

The external display resolution up to 2560 x 1600. Connection via the Thunderbolt port. Although Thunderbolt displays in the world, it was not much (if at all), no problems: geometrically port was identical to the Mini DisplayPort, and is technically compatible with them. With DVI, VGA and dual-link DVI too, with the appropriate adapter.

In many reviews claim that Thunderbolt didn’t support HDMI. There is information that in the presence of the adapter (in the Apple online store it is not sold) HDMI supported, but I have not tried – if anyone know, please write in the comments.


Drives and optical drive were connected, according to the sources: (a) two SATA III (6GB/s) or (b) drive to SATA III optical drive to SATA II (3GB/s). Right and those and others. In different batches MacBookPro8,1 meet both. Information about this Apple is not considered important, and not something to hide from customers, but do not advertise. The difference, in case of the bus that the optical drive actually connected to the optical drive, really no.

In our day to the bus for the optical drive, usually connected SSD. But who knew that this would happen with optical drives?

Wired and wireless communications

If we forget about the replacement of the Mini DisplayPort for Thunderbolt (and it was easy to forget: this port was identical, and was at the same place, and if not “sign Harry Potter” near the connector, the tiny lightning connector around, no one would have guessed), everything was in place: 2 USB 2.0 ports, Firewire 800 port, Ethernet port 10/100/1000Base-T and some others. The same as before.

Slot SDXC.

Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and AirPort Extreme (802.11 a/b/g/n) built – in. Informally, 802.11 n supports speeds up to 450 Mbps.


Two of them, 1 for $ 199 and 1 499.

The first used Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz (i5-2410M) “Sandy Bridge”, cache third level 3 MB.

Clock frequency:

the base 2.3 GHz;
— SC turbo (one core) to 2.9 GHz;
— DC turbo (for two cores) and 2.6 GHz.

Installed hard drive capacity of 320 GB (5 400 rpm), which for a fee can be replaced by:

— HD with a capacity of 500 GB (5 400 rpm) for $ 50;
— HD 750 GB (5 400 rpm) for $ 150;
— SSD volume of 128 GB for $ 250;
— SSD 256 GB for $ 650;
— SSD 512 GB for $ 1,250.

The second used Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz (i7-2620M) “Sandy Bridge”, cache in the third level 4 MB, the highest performing 2-core mobile processor from Intel at that time.

Clock frequency:

the base 2.7 GHz;
— SC turbo (single core) – 3.4 GHz;
— DC turbo (for two cores) and 3.2 GHz.

Installed hard drive capacity of 500 GB (5 400 rpm), which for a fee can be replaced by:

— HD 750 GB (5 400 rpm) for $ 100;
— SSD volume of 128 GB for $ 200;
— SSD 256 GB for $ 600;
— SSD 512 GB for 1 $ 200.

To be continued

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