Apple's MacBook Pro line is to be updated with the new Intel Core 2 Duo processors by the first quarter of 2008, according to numerous leaked reports.

Based on Intel's Penryn technology, the future processors will be much smaller (45nm) than the previous version (65nm), but will provide cooler-running and faster chips.

Better performance

During his announcement of the new Intel chips, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said the initial line of Penryn processors will provide up to a 20 per cent performance increase over the previous Santa Rosa chipset.

Although there are a variety of options available to Apple, the company will most likely adopt the upcoming T9500 2.6GHz and T9300 2.5GHz Penryn chips. These are the same price as Apple's current offerings, but feature a bump in overall performance. The new chips will also offer 6MB of L2 cache, compared to the 3MB of L2 cache found on current MacBook Pro processors.

So far this is largely speculation on the part of reporters - Apple has yet to confirm the rumours. But conventional wisdom suggests that a refresh of the MacBook Pro line would follow the timeline of the new Intel processor availability early next year.