Update MacBook 2007: Apple skips Santa Rosa, sorta

  • Cupertino (CA) – Apple this morning announced an update for its MacBook computers. The company’s mainstream notebook computers are now available with more memory, more hard drive space and faster processors. However, the MacBook will have to rely on the “old” FSB667 Core 2 Duos until Penryn arrives.

    The upgrade of the MacBook goes along with the theme of a Spring refresh and covers slight updates of core components of the notebooks. The entry-level 13” version, which sells for $1100, a 2 GHz processor, now comes with an 80 GB hard drive as well as 1 GB memory in the base configuration. Stepping up to the 2.16 GHz model and a 160 GB drive rings up an extra $400 at the cash register.
    As previous MacBook models, the devices comes with Mac OSX 10.4.9, which includes the Safari browser, Mail, iCal, iChat AV, Front Row and Photo Booth. Also preinstalled is iLife ’06, which includes the applications iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb.

    What is somewhat surprising about today’s announcement is the fact that Apple passed on the recently released upgraded “Santa Rosa” Core 2 Duo processors, which are using a faster front side bus, 800 MHz instead of 667 MHz, and offer features such as flash cache. Given the fact that Intel recently has updated its notebook platform and given Apple’s image to be offering the latest and greatest, we would have expected Apple to move to the new platform and offer lower-end processors for the MacBook and the faster versions in the MacBook Pro (which have not been announced with Santa Rosa processors yet).

    Apple representatives told TG Daily that the “MacBook already delivers key features of the new Santa Rosa platform,” which somewhat takes the value out of the effort to move to a new, slightly enhanced platform. “For example, MacBook already uses the fastest available  memory for notebooks at 667MHz; we have already rolled out next-generation 802.11n wireless networking technology across our entire  line of notebooks; and we've had Gigabit Ethernet as a standard feature for years now,” we were told. On the graphics side, Apple said that “Mac OS X on the MacBook already delivers outstanding graphics quality for Front Row and iLife applications such as iPhoto and iMovie HD.”

    Apple did not say whether it will be moving its MacBook to Santa Rosa later this year. However, it appears to be very unlikely that the company will be redesigning its hardware once again before the new 45 nm processor generation arrives later this year.

    ources indicated that Apple will not be entirely skipping the Santa Rosa upgrade, but could be using the new processors, for its top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. It is unclear at this time whether features such as the Robson flash cache (“TurboMemory”) will be supported on the Apple platform, which may not use Intel’s Crestline chipset.

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