Alleged Core i7 MacBook Pro Benchmarked

A sharp-eyed MacRumors forum member spotted what is either a hoax or the highly inappropriate use of a next-generation MacBook Pro this weekend.

Processor and memory benchmarks for a computer identified as “MacBookPro6,1″ were posted at Geekbench, but that model identifier does not currently exist in the MacBook Pro lineup, nor does a MacBook Pro sporting Intel’s brand new Core i7 CPU. While Apple’s secretive nature and tight security would suggest these benchmarks are a fabrication, the benchmarks could also be the latest circumstantial evidence supporting an imminent MacBook Pro update.

Intel introduced the new Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs for laptops at CES on Jan. 7, which was followed by announcements of new laptops from companies like Dell and HP. A few days later a leaked memo of an internal incentive program aimed at Intel employees was revealed, one that offered a Core i5 MacBook Pro as a prize. While Intel admitted the incentive program was real, the company asserted the reference to the Core i5 was a typo.

That bring us to the Geekbench results, which appear to be typo-free. The specs for the Core i7 are correct, and the results are in keeping with expected performance gains, about 20 percent, over Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros at the same clock speed. While the most current shipping version of 10.6.2 is build 10C540, 10C3067 conforms to a non-shipping build. The new model identifier has also been noted in recent builds of 10.6.2 as well.

It’s unfortunate that Geekbench doesn’t report GPUs. While the integrated GPU for the Core i5 and i7 is significantly faster than that of the Core 2 Duo, significantly faster junk is sill junk. Specs including a 9800 series GPU from Nvidia would make a good hoax into a great one.

However, true benchmarks or hoax, the launch of the new Core family of CPUs from Intel a month ago and counting is the real pressure on Apple to update the MacBook Pro lineup, that and the launch of the iPad in March. For the MacBook Pros, the update window is closing, and that means the odds of the familiar yellow sticky note at the Apple Store are increasing every day. If you are considering buying a new MacBook Pro, seriously consider waiting just a little longer.

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