Apple could be on the way to release a couple of new MacBook Pro laptops according to two configuration files in the latest build of OS X, version 10.6.2, that carry the references MacBook Pro 6.1 and the MacBook Pro 6.1b.
The last time Apple launches laptops was back in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference but the findings, by a user from a Spanish Mac forum, indicate clearly that Apple will likely refresh the very top end of its laptop range.
Apple Insider reckons that the new MacBook Pro will come with AMD/ATI 45xx Series together with Intel's latest Core i7 processor, which is a Quad Core model. Currently, the high end Mac. The 17-inch version currently has a starting price of $1899 with a Core 2 Duo processor that can be upgraded to a 3.06GHz model.
Selected models are also capable of running the Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT GPU. Moving to ATI would be a significant blow for Nvidia whose chips have been used in most of Apple laptops for a few years already.
Apple Insider reckons that the Mobile Nehalem-based Core i7 processors, otherwise known as Clarksfield, will offer much better performance in multi-threaded applications with dynamic clocking allowing the CPU to reach much higher speeds on demand.
Reports of 32nm Clarksfield have emerged at the beginning of the year already and will be expected to come with at least 6MB L2 Cache size and a TDP of only 45W (even with a 45nm manufacturing process).
Speed wise, Intel has already confirmed that the base clock speed of the processors will be 1.6GHz and they will have Hyper-Threading enabled by default.
It will be interesting to see how Apple will differentiate the new laptops from the old ones and the desktops. The new Clarskfield Nehalem chips are extremely powerful, almost on par with their desktop counterparts. True, the new 27-inch model comes with a 2.8GHz Core i7 Processor but then, they don't offer the same level of mobility as a laptop.