Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with updated keyboard, 8-core 9th-gen Intel CPUs

Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with updated keyboard, 8-core 9th-gen Intel CPUs

Enlarge / The 2017 and 2018 15-inch MacBook Pros side by side. Each has a butterfly keyboard. (credit: Samuel Axon)

In the second update to the current crop of MacBook Pros since they were released in July 2018, Apple this week has expanded the available CPU options for both the 13-inch and 15-inch models. The 15-inch MacBook Pro has moved to Intel’s 9th generation CPUs and offers 8-core options for the first time in the product line’s history. The 13-inch saw a more modest CPU specifications bump. The MacBook Pro’s price points remain the same.

Just as importantly, Apple has made another update to its butterfly keyboards in the MacBook Pro. This marks the fourth generation of the butterfly keyboard that has divided users and seen some widely publicized hardware failures that resulted in an ongoing repair program from Apple. Apple claimed significant improvements to reliability in the third generation

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AMD to launch new 7nm Navi GPU, Rome CPU in 3rd quarter

AMD to launch new 7nm Navi GPU, Rome CPU in 3rd quarter

Enlarge / AMD CEO Lisa Su, holding a Rome processor. The large chip in the middle is the 14nm I/O chip; around it are pairs of 7nm chiplets containing the CPU cores. (credit: AMD)

In its earnings call, AMD offered a little more detail about the launch of its next-generation processors, built using the Zen 2 architecture and TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process, and new GPU architecture, Navi, again built on 7nm. Server-oriented EPYC-branded chips (codenamed Rome) should be shipping to customers in the third quarter of this year, and so too will Navi-based video cards.

In November last year, AMD outlined the details of the Zen 2 design. It makes a number of architectural improvements to shore up some of Zen’s weaker areas (for example, it now has native 256-bit floating point units to handle AVX2 instructions; the original Zen only had 128-bit units, so it had to split

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