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Apple releases MacBook Pro and iMac EFI and software updates

Apple has released a couple of EFI and software updates for the new 2011 MacBook Pro and iMac systems that tackle graphics bugs and issues with the Thunderbolt I/O technology.

Apple has released a few updates for the firmware and operating system software for the latest MacBook Pro and iMac models that address problems with Boot Camp, graphics stability and external display support, and also some bugs with the new Thunderbolt I/O connection technology.

These updates are specific to the new MacBook Pro and iMac models released this year that have the Thunderbolt technology, so if you have an older MacBook model then you do not need to download these updates. If you are unsure whether or not you need the update, just check Software Update on your system (in the Apple menu) and if the updates become available, then you can install them from there. Alternatively, you can install them as standalone updates:

MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1 (3.06MB)

This update fixes a problem in the 2011 MacBook Pro models in which when running Boot Camp, Turbo Mode would not work properly. It also addresses some graphics stability issues with the initial firmware release. After updating, the system's Boot ROM version will be MBP81.0047.B0E, which can be checked using the System Profiler utility.

MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4 (132.69MB)

Accompanying the EFI update for the new MacBook Pro systems is a software update fix that addresses the same issues with graphics stability and performance, and bug fixes to the Thunderbolt connections. After updating, the build version for OS X 10.6.7 on these systems will be 10J4035, which can be checked by going to the "About This Mac" option in the Apple menu and clicking on the "Version 10.6.7" text in the center of the window.

iMac EFI Update 1.6 (6.1MB)

This update addresses similar Thunderbolt issues on the iMac that are addressed on the MacBook Pro systems, though it appears this update does not implement any changes to the graphics system. After updating, the Boot ROM on your iMac will be IM121.0047.B0A. Keep in mind that this update requires that you initially install the software fix for these iMac systems, so if you apply these patches, manually be sure to install that first.

Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for early 2011 iMac 1.0 (382.56MB)

This software update for the new iMac systems is more than just a patch for a few drivers, and includes fixes for MobileMe services, Networking protocol handling, and some system applications in addition to the graphics fixes. The full list of changes in this update are:

  1. Improve the reliability of Back to My Mac
  2. Resolve an issue when transferring files to certain SMB servers
  3. Address various minor Mac App Store bugs
  4. Address minor FaceTime performance issues
  5. Address issues with graphics stability and 3D performance
  6. Improve external display compatibility
  7. Improve Thunderbolt device support

Again, be sure to install this update before you apply the EFI firmware update for these iMac systems.

As always, be sure to back up your systems before applying these updates, and for the EFI updates, be sure to follow the onscreen instructions. The EFI updates will download to your system and require a restart, where you will see a gray progress bar while the update is being applied. The system may reboot a couple of times during this process, so be sure to allow it to fully complete and load the operating system. While it is being updated, be sure to have the system plugged into a working power source at all times (do not rely on the battery power during this update). The software updates (non-EFI) will just require a single restart and will not show a progress bar when being applied.

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