17″ MacBook Pro (Mid 2010)

The 15″ and 17″ Mid 2010 MacBook Pro models have lower clock speeds than the models they replace. However, because they use the mobile Intel i5 and i7 CPUs instead of the older, less efficient Core 2 Duo chips, they are more powerful despite lower clock speeds. These CPUs brings something new to Apple’s portable line, hyperthreading, which lets the dual-core CPU appear to the operating system as four cores.

Unibody 17" MacBook ProA further advantage of Intel’s “i” family of CPUs is that they can overclock themselves by 25% or more depending on the number of cores and processes in use. For instance, a 2.53 GHz i5 may outperform a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo. You can’t compare the new i5 and i7 models with previous ones by looking at clock speed, as they are not single clock speed chips.

The other big change comes in the graphics department: These are the first Macs to use Intel HD Graphics – and the first to use Nvidia’s automatic switching GeForce GT 330M GPU. The Intel GPU uses 256 MB of system memory, while the Nvidia GPU has 512 MB of dedicated video memory.

The new 17″ MacBook Pro retails at $200 less than the previous model, and you can get an antiglare display for an additional $50.

Apple has also improved overall field time – the 95 Watt-hour battery is rated at 8-9 hours of wireless productivity, a big improvement from 8 hours in the 2009 model. Only the new 13″ MacBook Pro beats it.

As before, 4 GB of RAM is standard, and it officially supports up to 8 GB of RAM. This is the only current Mac notebook with ExpressCard/34.

Apple uses a true 24-bit display on all 17″ Unibody MBP models.

This is the oldest MacBook Pro to officially support macOS Sierra.

Editor’s note: The next paragraph is from the profile of the previous version of the MacBook Pro. At this time we do not know if it applies to the new model.

Unlike pre-2007 models, where every USB port could provide 500 mA of power, only a single high-powered device can be attached to the USB ports, and software will enable one of its downstream ports to supply 500 mA of power. If a second high-powered device is attached, it will behave like a normal bus-powered hub and only provide 100 mA per downstream port.

The Apple Remote is a US$20 option.

Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.

Details

  • introduced 2010.04.13 at US$2,299; add $200 for 2.66 GHz i7 build-to-order option; add $50 for anti-glare option; replaced by Thunderbolt model 2011.02.24.
  • Part no.: MC024

Mac OS

  • requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard or later
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 64-bit operation is supported.
    • OpenCL is supported.
  • OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is not supported.

Core System

  • CPU: 2.53 GHz i5 or 2.66 GHz i7, soldered in place, no upgrade options
  • Level 2 cache: 3 MB shared cache on i5; 4 MB on i7
  • Bus: 1066 MHz
  • RAM: 4 GB, expandable to 8 GB using DDR3 SO-DIMMs
  • Performance (2.53/2.66 GHz)
    • 64-bit Geekbench: 5524/5781
    • Speedmark 6.5: 137/

Video

  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics and Nvidia GeForce GT 330M with automatic graphics switching
    • VRAM, Intel HD: used 256 MB of system memory
    • VRAM, 330M: 512 MB
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort (VGA and DVI video supported with optional adapters)
  • display: 17″ (43 cm) 1920 x 1200 133 ppi color active matrix
  • supports 1920 x 1200 (native), 1680 x 1050, 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 640, and 800 x 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1280 x 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio; 1280 x 1024 pixels at 5:4 aspect ratio stretched; 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 x 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched; allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode

Drives

  • Hard drive: 500 GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA standard; 7200 rpm SATA drive and 128 GB and 256 GB SSDs optional on 3 Gbps SATA bus
  • optical drive: 8x dual-layer SuperDrive writes DVD±R at up to 8x, DVD±RW at up to 4x; reads DVDs at 8x (double-layer at 6x), writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 10x, reads CDs at 24x on 3 Gbps SATA bus
  • floppy drive: external USB only
  • expansions bays: none

Expansion

  • USB: 3 USB 2.0 ports, only 1 high-powered device device allowed
  • FireWire: 1 FW800 port (no FW400 port)
  • drive bus: SATA 2 (3.0 Mbps)
  • IR port: none
  • IR receiver: supports Apple Remote
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • Modem: No longer offered by Apple
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
  • Bluetooth: BT 2.1 built in
  • ExpressCard/34: 1 slot

Power

  • battery: 95 Watt-hour, 8-9 hours of wireless productivity
  • AC adapter: 85W MagSafe

Physical

  • size: 10.51 x 15.47 x 0.98″ (267 x 393 x 25 mm)
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds (2.99 kg)

Online Resources

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