The online world of Mac rumor sites is filled with speculation about the expected updates for the MacBook Pro. They’ve even unearthed possible placeholder catalog listings from Best Buy and elsewhere to confirm these stories, with a possible release coming later this week.
I suppose, as speculation goes, this seems reasonable enough. The MacBook Pro had its last upgrade in the spring of 2010. Intel has released a new processor family, Sandy Bridge, that’s supposed to offer the usual enhancements of faster number-crunching capability with improved power management. Integrated graphics, not a strong suit for Intel, are said to be much better at delivering at least adequate frame rates for games.
As you may have heard, the launch of the new Intel parts has been somewhat rocky. Some of the initial production suffered from a hardware bug that might impact long-term performance on certain SATA peripheral ports. With workarounds, and new parts now shipping, that issue appears to involve a trivial delay.
The second brand of speculation is about Light Peak, a brand new fiber optic connection scheme that’s supposed to provide much greater speed for networking and peripherals. Said to have been developed with a huge push from Apple, Light Peak could allow you to connect stuff to your Macs using a single type of cable. On the short term, there will be adapter plugs, I suppose, and the usual glitches until the industry embraces the new protocol.