Taking apart the new MacBook Pro is virtually identical to the old one. 

The motherboard layout hasn't actually changed, the reason we haven't seen the Penryn update until today is because there were some late changes to the voltage specs from Intel. The result was that all of the motherboards had to be slightly reworked resulting in a delayed release of mobile Penryn, despite the CPUs being announced at CES in January.

As always, the MacBook Pro motherboard is quite compact and a custom design. The four major chips can be seen above, from left to right we have the Intel ICH, NVIDIA 8600M GT GPU, Intel Mobile 965 MCH and the mobile Penryn CPU itself. Despite the CPU upgrade this is still considered to be a Santa Rosa based notebook, hence the identical chipset to what was in the old Pros.

The two MacBook Pro motherboards, as we mentioned before, are virtually identical. At the top you have the new board, and at the bottom we've got the old. The only real changes are a few resistors, caps and VRM adjustments. The new Penryn based board does feature more video memory standard, and thus you see a few more memory chips around the NVIDIA GPU.

And now it's time for the star of the show:

Here we're looking at the two MacBook Pro motherboards butted up against one another. In the middle we have the CPUs: 65nm Merom on the left and 45nm Penryn on the right. It's not tough to tell that Penryn is smaller thanks to the 45nm manufacturing process.

The real question is: how much of an improvement in battery life will we see? And that's what we're trying to find out now...



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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    The hard drive is a Hitachi 5K250 while the DVD drive is a Panasonic (aka Matsushita). The DVD drive is listed as Model UJ-867.

    Hope this helps :)
  • andreschmidt - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    Isn't the keyboard layout different?

    As far as I recall the new MacBook Pro keyboard layout includes the new media keys, found on the new flat Apple Keyboard and the MacBook Air.
  • nhshah - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    i was wondering about the multitouch interface
    as well as the new LED backlight system for the 17" MBP

    any thoughts on the gpu - is that (forced) increase to 256 gonna
    draw more power, and if so, how significant?

    also, what about cooling/fans?
    not physical or even software or nethin, but just how hot the
    processor runs at full force...??
  • nhshah - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    also, whats the thought about future price drops....

    i had heard some rumors, i know they are probably mostly just rumors..

    but it is likely that they kept the price the same for now jst to

    attempt to streamline the upgrades and make it seem like not a big deal?(especially since preliminary testing shows barely any significant positive change)
  • mmntech - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    There has been a $100 price drop in Canada for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro. They were selling at $1249 and $2199 respectively but are now down to $1140 and $2099. I think this has more to do with the higher dollar than actual price cuts. They're still over priced in Canada though. Best Buy in their infinite wisdom are still selling the old models at the old, higher price. I guess they're gambling that most of their customers don't do they're homework. They'd be right. Reply
  • halihassan - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    Based on the iFixit dissection of the Macbook Air, the multi-touch support on the Air is provided using the same chip as the iPhone, the Broadcom BCM5974. Is this chip present on the new Macbook Pro? Since the motherboard is noted as virtually identical, I figured that this may be the only noteable difference between the motherboards. Reply
  • KeypoX - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    Wheres waldo? No but seriously the cdrom looks like it should be in a computer 10 years ago not today. Need a fix for this, everything has gotten smaller cd/dvds have stayed the same for what 15-20 years? Reply
  • Duwelon - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - link

    The need for capacity has outpaced the desire for a smaller media size. Reply

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