A newly discovered Geekbench test appears to have confirmed the upcoming launch of MacBook Pros running Intel’s Arrandale platform. The system carries the same MacBookPro 6,1 identifier as seen in a pre-release Mac OS X 10.6.2 build and is listed as running a 2.66GHz Core i7-620M with 4GB of RAM. The processor is Intel’s fastest dual-core processor and would be Apple’s logical choice for a mid- to high-end MacBook Pro.
The test itself is consistent with the upgraded performance and produces a score of 5,260, or just over 32 percent faster than the better scores with a Core 2 Duo. Apple would be helped by Turbo Boost, which can clock the Core i7 as high as 3.33GHz when only one core is needed; Hyperthreading may also play a part, as the feature can at times mimic the performance of a quad-core processor. Our Core i5 iMac with a true 2.66GHz quad-core processor scored 6,547 but was also helped by its use of desktop-level parts.
The testing suggests that Apple is close to an expected refresh of its high-end portables now that Intel’s Arrandale lineup is more widely available and could include the Core i5 as well. Although Intel has since claimed it was a mistake, one of its dealer newsletters alluded to a Core i5 MacBook Pro that would occupy the lower end of the range. These processors peak at 2.53GHz and have slightly less L2 cache (3MB versus 4MB) but have the same Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading features.
In addition to the new benchmarks, non-US resellers have also begun to mention tightened supply constraints. While Apple’s own European online stores still show a regular 24-hour ship date, and other issues can create supply problems, third-party shortages are usually the first sign of a new model as Apple clears out stock to make room for replacement models.