The MacBook Pro is imminently due for an update, with a recent rumor suggesting a sooner-than-expected April 23 launch date. Official specs have not been announced, but benchmarking performed by CPU World indicates that the MacBook Pro should feature also significantly improved performance thanks to new Ivy Bridge processors.
CPU World tested the Core i7-3820QM chip which is a 2.7 GHz processor, and a presumed natural replacement for the Sandy Bridge i7-2860QM chip that powers current-model 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro’s.
In a direct head-to-head, the new Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor outperformed an “extreme” version of the Sandy Bridge chip by 9%. Given that the i7-2860QM is not the standard processor for existing MacBooks (its a build-to-order option), and the chip tested was an even faster version of that, the ~10% performance improvement is a considerable underestimate of what the new MacBook Pro processors will achieve.
Arguably more important for power-users and gamers is graphics processing, with the integrated HD 4000 GPU on the Ivy Bridge chips achieving a 32-108% increase in performance over its predecessor, the HD 3000. Despite the significant improvement, integrated graphics do not compare with a dedicated graphics chip and many users will still want to fork out the extra money for this option.
Few details have emerged about the MacBook Pro, but recent reports have indicated a slimmer form factor that will not feature an optical drive, with all models currently in production for a summer release.