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Intel rolls out faster Haswell CPUs possibly bound for MacBook Pro refresh

Source: CPU World

Intel on Sunday released a batch of new Core i5 and Core i7 Haswell processors for high-end laptops like Apple's MacBook Pro, each boasting the usual speed bumps when compared to prior versions.

The new chip lineup includes three Core i5 and four Core i7 CPUs ranging in clock speed from 2.2GHz to 3.0GHz, reports CPU World. Apple usually launches spec-bumped MacBook Pros twice a year and the latest Intel processors are prime candidates for the next update.

Starting with the top-tier 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, Apple's current late-2013 models feature Intel's powerful quad-core "HQ" chips, including the 2.0GHz Core i7-4750HQ, 2.3GHz Core i7-4850HQ and 2.6GHz Core i7-4960HQ. Existing processors are expected to get a 200MHz boost across the board with the replacement 2.2GHz Core i7-4770HQ, 2.5GHz Core i7-4870HQ and 2.8GHz Core i7-4980HQ chips, respectively.

As for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, current models sport dual-core CPUs with the 2.4GHz Core i5-4258U, 2.6GHz Core i5-4288U and 2.8GHz Core i7-4558U, which are also likely to gain 200MHz bumps with 2.6GHz Core i5-4278U, 2.8GHz Core i5-4308U and 3.0GHz Core i7-4578U silicon.

All "HQ" chips come with 6MB of L3 cache and support up to 8 threads, while the "U" series comes with 3MB for all models except for the 4MB on the 3.0GHz Core i7.

Apple most recently refreshed its MacBook Air products in April, bringing speed-bumped Intel CPUs to the thin-and-light laptop lineup. The launch also came with a price cut that brought sub-$1,000 configurations for both the 11-inch and 13-inch models. In fact, the base-level 11-inch version sells for $899, making it the most affordable Apple notebook ever.

It is unclear when the more powerful, and more expensive, MacBook Pro with Retina display models will benefit from Intel's latest CPUs, though noted KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has forecasts an upgrade sometime before the close of the third quarter.