This 13-inch laptop belongs to the third generation MacBook Pro with Retina display. The first was built on the platform Intel Ivy Bridge and was completed drives with a SATA bus. The second generation switched to Haswell and brought support for PCIe SSDs. This model is mid 2014 for Haswell differ from its predecessors only increased frequency of the CPU in the same thermal package 28 watts. Processors with microarchitecture Broadwell in varieties Broadwell-U started commercial life in February of the current year, and therefore truly new MacBook Pro, we litsezreem only now. By the way, his brother with the 15 inch screen will appear later, after the Quad-core variants of Broadwell, and maybe not even Broadwell and Skylake — Intel has not yet disclosed its plans in this direction.

To the next upgrade of the processor platform Apple coincided with another major innovation: the new “Makbukah” appeared SSD PCIe x4. Finally happened and a slight change ergonomics the MacBook Pro associated with intriguing technology Force Touch, which debuted in a 12-inch ultraportable MacBook. But we begin, as expected, with hardware specs.

Specifications, prices

Overall, the Broadwell architecture is a development of the Haswell architecture, but on the 14 nm process technology and with minimal changes to the nucleus of x86. In the terminology of Intel Haswell refers to the phase of “so” corresponding to the emergence of a new architecture and Broadwell is the “tick” associated with the development of the new process.

Accordingly, significant productivity growth on the beat from Broadwell is not required, although Intel says the increase in IPC (Istructions per Cycle) for 5 % in comparison with indicators of Haswell. The main benefits stem from the change process and a concomitant decrease in operating voltages. MacBook Pro, thanks to a change of the platform with Haswell to Broadwell, acquired a line of three CPU — Core i5-5257U, Core i5-5287U and Core i7-5557U, base frequency which is 100 MHz higher than similar positions in the MacBook Pro 2014. Heat pack is still the same – 28 watts.

The processors have integrated GPU Intel eighth generation to today maximum configuration Iris 6100, including 48 execution units (EU). For comparison: the graphics core Iris 5100 in the MacBook on Haswell contains 40 EU. In addition, the architecture of the GPU in Broadwell has been optimized. According to a statement by Intel, the graphics performance in Broadwell-U increased by 22% compared to the same indicator of Haswell-U.

Along with a fully hardware decoding of video H. 264 is present in part softwaree decoding for H. 265 (HEVC): part of the operations performed on Shader ALU. However, the last feature is hardly available in OS X.

The frequencies of the GPU used in the MacBook Pro, the processors are almost identical (between 1.05 and 1.1 GHz). And by the way, welcome to the long awaited support for resolutions of 3840×2160 at 60 Hz through DisplayPort.

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13″ Early 2015
Display 13.3 inch, 2560 × 1600 IPS
CPU Intel Core i5-5257U (2 cores, the 2.7–3.1 GHz) /
Intel Core i5-5287U (2 cores, -3,3 2,9 GHz) /
Intel Core i7-5557U (2 cores, 3,1 -3,4 GHz)
Chipset PCH-LP on the substrate CPU
RAM LPDDR3 SDRAM, 1866 MHz, 8/16 GB
GPU Intel Iris 6100 Graphics
Drive SSD, PCIe 2.0 x4, 128/256/512/1024 GB
Ports I / o 2 x Thunderbolt 2
2 × USB 3.0,
1 × HDMI,
1 × 3.5 mm TRS (mini-jack),
1 × SDXC
Network AirPort Extreme IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery, W⋅h 74,9
Weight, kg 1,58
Overall dimensions (L × H × d), mm 314 × 219 × 18

The most notable benefits of Broadwell is expected in the area of energy consumption. The chip is the CPU more energy efficient within its TDP. In addition, part of the optimizations occurred in the built-in South bridge. Processors Broadwell-U, relatively speaking, represent a system-on-chip as the South bridge PCH-LP soldered on the same substrate with the CPU. PCH continues to be produced on a 32 nm fabrication process (a small contribution to the total power SoC allows not to pursue a more progressive norm), but has undergone changes that reduced the power consumption of the chip in idle and under a load of 25% and 20% respectively. Due to the updated sound DSP achieves a power reduction when playing music and movies.

Reason Apple specifies the battery life of 10 hours when surfing the web (a whole hour longer than last generation) and 12 hours when viewing videos in iTunes. However, this parameter contributed slightly-larger battery (vs 74,9 71,8 W⋅h).

Second, if not first most important innovation in the new MacBook Pro is the SSD to PCIe x4. The drive is made in General for Macs proprietary form factor and is equipped with a Samsung controller S4LN058A01. It supports PCIe 3.0, but the SoC notebook (how strange to talk about SoC in articles about laptops! — approx. ed.) is limited to version 2.0.

A Samsung SSD with PCIe x4 (photo from iFixit)

At the end of the conversation about the technical characteristics announced prices for the new “MacBook”. In the US the cost of the three configurations having the above CPU and SSD capacity of 128, 256 and 512 GB, respectively, is $1 299, $499 1 $1 799. In the Russian Apple Store, these amounts transformirovalsya 99 990, and 990 115 990 138 RUB.

The package

Set of accessories “MacBook” has not changed. The computer is still charging from the PSU MagSafe power 60W. In addition to it, in the box there is a extension cable, a set of paper and cloth to wipe.

Appearance, ergonomics

Appearance MacBook Pro 2015 can not be distinguished from its predecessors. The model is defined only by the marking on the underside.

Even updated the touchpad Touch Force identical in size and shape with touchpad MacBook Pro the last two years. About it, however, is worth telling in detail.

Clicking on the touchpad, you’ll never guess, it is something different from the conventional mechanical design. Just seems that the platform touchpad is evenly immersed in the case from all angles, making click is easy to perform at any point. Click softer than tachpadom past generations of the MacBook — that makes all the difference. But if you look closely, the platform touchpad although and moves when pressed, but for a tiny distance, but no click, no reaction on click does not occur, if you replace the finger assistant solid object. That is, the touchpad actually detects the touch of a finger electronically and somehow (exactly how is describe below) creates a mechanical impact. But the illusion of pressing real keys that strong, not fading away from this observation.

If after the first click you push harder, it will happen second. It can start some actions like quick searching for selected words in the dictionary. Here again it is impossible to escape the feeling that the finger on the touchpad pushes the plate deeper into the case. All this may seem nonsense and self-hypnosis, but only to the point until you feel the magic of your own fingers. Several of the editorial staff tried and were deceived touchpad Touch Force, skilfully imitating the mechanical key.

The resistance touch panel is adjustable in the settings of OS X. the Author of this article found the most convenient medium stiffness, which simultaneously eliminates accidental pressing and does not require too much pressure on the plate.

The old Arsenal of gestures that are not associated with a new function remain intact. The only change: the option to move (drag) objects with three fingers issued from the primary section of the settings in the touchpad section take advantage of this good ( “Universal access “). If you do not know about it, you might think that this useful feature is missing at all. Click push and hold, of course, has become easier due to the fact that “pushes” any point on the touchpad, but still requires more concentration and physical exertion of the brush even at a low stiffness setting.

The internal structure

Inside the new MacBook Pro looks generally the same as the old one. Of all the components that the user may want to improve, for self-replacements are only available SSD. Everything else is soldered to the system Board.

Inside the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13″ Early 2015 (photo from iFixit)

Colleagues from iFixit disassembled the laptop to the screw penetrated into the secrets of the touchpad Touch Force. Block magnets is attracted to the opposite metal plate, why there is a click and return. But it is possible that a separate coil of the solenoid is actually activated in a complex manner.

Check the pressure on the panel by four electronic sensors in its corners, and the place of pressing is determined by the actual touch-sensitive surface of the touchpad.

Touch pad with pressure sensors (photo from iFixit)


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