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MacBook Pros to get a pre-holiday speed bump?

A new report suggests Apple plans to update its MacBook Pro line with slightly faster processors ahead of the holiday shopping season. Apple's last MacBook Pro refresh was in February.

Apple's current MacBook Pro.
Apple's current MacBook Pro.

Apple's MacBook Pro series could be the next in line for a hardware upgrade, according to a new report.

Citing anonymous sources "with proven insight into Apple's future product plans," AppleInsider says the Mac maker plans to introduce new models of its Pro portables with speedier Intel processors. The new models are said to ship in time for the holiday shopping season, though could arrive this month, the outlet says.

How big a bump are we talking about? AppleInsider points to Intel's latest crop of quad-core Core i7 chips, which come in at 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz, and 2.7GHz. That's compared to 2.0GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz in the existing 15- and 17-inch models. The 13-inch MacBook Pro could be in line for a slightly smaller boost, moving from the 2.7GHz Core i7 chip to the 2.8GHz model.

Apple last updated its MacBook Pro linein February, bringing Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs to the entire line, as well as adding Thunderbolt, the speedy new port that was a technical collaboration between Apple and Intel. Other changes included the move to Intel's integrated graphics and GPUs from AMD, and a jump to FaceTime HD cameras.

Interest remains in a full overhaul of the MacBook Pro line. Its cousin, the MacBook Air jumped a generation last October, with Apple dubbing it as the "next generation of MacBooks." Reports from MacRumors and TUAW in late July suggested Apple was working on potentially expanding that line to include a larger 15-inch model, however, it remains unclear whether that would be a part of the Air family, or Apple moving towards a new design on its Pro notebook line.