I originally commented on the CPUs on the new MBPs, so here's a round up of predictions on the new Sandy Bridge processors, assuming the rumour photos are true. Firstly, with the MBP 13": Current MBPs use dual core (2C/2T) P8600 and P8800 2.4 and 2.66 GHz CPUs (about 2.5 years old now) with GeForce 320M integrated graphics. Predictions for the new ones are the dual core (2C/4T) i5-2410M (2.3GHz) and either the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) or the i5-2540M (2.6GHz). I'll go with the i5-2520M as the 1k unit price is $16 cheaper ($225) than the previous high-end model and it is better value than the $41 more expensive i5-2520M chip with only 100MHz CPU increase. So CPU predictions are the i5-2410M (2.3GHz) for the low spec and the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) for the high spec 13 inch MacBook Pro. What does this mean to us consumers? 1) In price: CHEAPER &/ BETTER SPECS The i5-2410M (2.3GHz) is an OEM chip so has no price to compare it to, but for the high spec, the i5-2520M (2.5GHz) is cheaper than the current P8800 (2.66GHz). This is quite significant as the integrated Sandy Bridge (HD 3000) iGP is on the CPU die, not adding to the power requirement or the cost of the laptop. This means that the cost of the CPU/iGP combination is much less than previous due to the current 320M integrated GPUs. This allows for either more expensive and useful components in the rest of the laptop (i.e. SSD, better battery) or overall lower costs (unless there is a redesign, which the photos would prove otherwise for the 13 inch, if they are legit). 2) In Power (TDP): COOLER, MORE BATTERY &/ BETTER SPECS The Current CPUs are at a TDP of 25W with the iGP at ~12W with a total of 37W for CPU/iGP combo. For the i5-2410M and the i5-2520M, they have a TDP of 35W, ~2W less than current. In addition, the power-saving features of the Sandy Bridge processors will help to reduce the TDP when the CPU is not stressed. This will enable (slightly) more power for use elsewhere and/or a longer lasting battery (and hopefully cooler laps). 3) In performance: CPU MUCH FASTER, iGP SAME FOR MOST (BETTER FOR SOME) Undisputedly, the CPUs are much, much faster than the current chips. The low spec P8600 is the same CPU I have in my Late 2008 Unibody MBP, which shows you that Apple haven't done much of a haul on the 13" MBP in the last 2.5 years. This is mostly because of the dispute over integrated graphics usage between Intel and NVIDIA. The new HD 3000 Intel iGPs are a massive improvement over the last Intel HD iGPs, while it is pretty much comparable to the 320M in performance according to latest benches, they could be a bit faster as there are some driver compatibility issues that have shown the Intel HD 3000 up in some areas. Basically it will do anything you needed the 320M to do (playing games on low levels is about its limit). With Quick Sync, you will see massive improvements with supported software in video encoding. If the technology could be extended to other rendering, this could really blow the trash out of the 320M CUDA-wise. The benches for Quick Sync in the desktop HD 3000 show it is more than up to par with even the fastest desktop GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD in video encoding. Secondly, with the MBP 15"/17" Current laptops use the (2C/4T) i5-520M (2.4GHz), i5-540M (2.53GHz), i7-620M (2.66GHz) and i7-640M (2.8GHz) with GeForce GT 330M graphics. The CPUs are all at 35W TDP with the GT 330M has at 23W, 58W CPU + GPU combo TDP. For the predicted chips for the 2C/4T variants, i5-2520M (2.5GHz), i5-2540M (2.6GHz) and i7-2620M (2.7GHz) all at 35W. These would replace the current i5-520M (2.4GHz), i5-540M (2.53GHz), i7-620M (2.66GHz) CPUs. Apple may choose to finally adopt the incredibly fast quad core i7 CPUs. There are the options of the slower i7-2630QM and i7-2635QM (both OEM at 2GHz) the faster i7-2720QM (2.2GHz) and i7-2820QM (2.3GHz), and the blazingly fast i7-2920XM (2.5GHz). All these are 45W TDP apart from the i7-2920XM which is 55W. The 2720QM is about 60% faster than the 2630/35 according to benchmarks, and comes in at $378 for its 1k unit price, $32 more than the current i7-640M chip. With the power savings at lower CPU stresses, it may be plausible to use these quad core chips in the MBPs, maybe only the 17". The 2820QM and 2920XM are way too pricey to ever be included without it being mega bucks to us consumers. The 2635QM has slightly better graphics than the 2630QM, which may be preferred by Apple. My predictions are i5-2520M (2.5GHz), i5-2540M (2.6GHz) and i7-2620M (2.7GHz) at 35W 2C/4T and i7-2635QM (2GHz) and i7-2720QM (2.2GHz) at 45W 4C/8T. It would seem if Apple go with AMD they'll could have the HD 6830M and if with NVIDIA it could be the GT 525M, both at about 25W TDP. The AMD is the much more powerful of the two, both being faster than the previous GT 330M. This would give the dual core CPU/GPU combo TDP of 60W and the quad core combo TDP of 70W. This is a 2W increase for the dual core and a 12W increase for the quad core. If they use SSDs this could reduce TDP to allow for similar or better battery times for both the dual and quad core CPUs. With the Intel iGPs being much faster this time around, this could reduce the power for normal/light use as the power saving benefits of the CPU and using the integrated GPU instead of the discrete GPU would reduce the power required from the batteries. Basically, if Apple don't go with the quad core chips, they'd be stupid, unless they actually can't get rid of the heat efficiently. The i7-2720QM laptop would be the best performance laptop around if they did go with one, which is probably why they won't; Apple never seem the lead the pack in comparison of CPU or GPU performance. To compare it to all of Apple's current CPUs, it is faster than single core versions of all but the fastest Mac Pro 2.66 GHz 6-core "Gulftown" Intel Xeon (X5650) processor and much faster than the iMac 2.8GHz i7-860 processor. So if Apple only go with one Quad core, it'll either be the 2630QM or 2635QM. IN SHORT Basically, I think the refresh will be phenomenal for the 13" models and very good to amazing on the 15" and 17" models depending on if they redesigned and/or get quad core processors.