Apple Adds Improved CPUs, Keyboards to MacBook Pro

Apple expanded CPU options for both the 13- and 15-inch models of its MacBook Pro laptops, the second update since their initial release in July 2018. Apple also has made improvements to its butterfly keyboards that have seen some widely-publicized hardware failures since launch.

Expanded CPU Options

The biggest news with the updated MacBook Pros is the addition of faster newer-generation Intel CPUs while maintaining the same price point.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro model now features Intel’s 9th generation CPUs, and higher-end specifications bring 8-core processors to the product line for the first time:

  • The $2399 option features a 2.6GHz, 6-Core, 9th-generation Core i7 processor with turbo boost up to 4.5GHz.

  • The $2799 configuration ships baseline with a 2.3GHz, 8-Core, 9th-generation Core i9 with turbo boost up to 4.8GHz.

  • The highest-end option available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro is a 2.4GHz, 8-Core, 9th-generation Core i9 processor with turbo boost up to 5.0GHz.

These 8-Core processors replace the 6-Core options available on previous models. While the clock speeds are lower than the older CPUs, the addition of two more cores should lead to significant performance improvements in multithreaded tasks such as CPU rendering.

The new options for the 13-inch MacBook Pros are a bit more tame, but still pack some additional computing power. The following CPU specs are available at both the $1799 and $1999 price points:

  • 2.4 GHz, quad-core, 8th generation Core i5 with turbo boost up to 4.1GHz (baseline)

  • 2.8GHz, quad-core, 8th generation Core i7 with turbo boost up to 4.7GHz (for an additional $300)

While these CPUs are still 8th-generation quad-core processors as in previous models, the turbo boost speeds are up to 300MHz faster than before, bringing even greater speeds to the smaller MacBook Pros.

Butterfly Keyboards

Apple also announced improvements to its butterfly keyboards, which continued to plague users with hardware problems even with the third generation included in the 2018 MacBook Pro release. Apple has changed the material used in the keyboard construction, which should help resolve issues with keys double-typing without user input or failing to type at all.

As a show of good faith, Apple has also expanded its repair program for the butterfly keyboards to include third generation models from 2018; it had previously only covered the first two versions. The repair program offers free repair or replacement of failed keyboards for its duration. Apple also claims to have improved its repair procedure, resulting in a faster turnaround time on repair requests.

If you have questions about the new MacBook Pro offerings from Apple, or need assistance selecting the right system for your needs, Nodal can help! For more information on the new systems, check out Ars Technica’s coverage here, as well as Apple’s official announcement.