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Apple MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15" (Unibody) Specs

Identifiers: Late 2008 - BTO/CTO - MacBookPro5,1 - A1286 - 2255

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Apple MacBook ProThe MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15-Inch (Unibody/Late 2008) technically is a "build-to-order" configuration of the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.5 17-Inch (Early 2008/Penryn), but also is documented as a separate model for reader convenience. Other than processor, these two models are identical.

With a black and silver design reminiscent of the Aluminum iMac models, the "Unibody" MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" (Late 2008) models have an all new case design milled from a single block of aluminum that provides greater strength and a superior finish than previous systems.

The Apple MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15-Inch (Unibody - Late 2008) features a 45 nm "Penryn" 2.8 GHz Intel "Core 2 Duo" processor (T9600), with two independent processor "cores" on a single silicon chip, a 6 MB shared "on chip" level 2 cache, a 1066 MHz frontside bus, 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (PC3-8500) installed in pairs (two 2 GB modules), a 320 GB Serial ATA (5400 RPM) hard drive, an 8X DL "SuperDrive", dual graphics processors -- a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512 MB of dedicated GDDR3 SDRAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory, and an LED-backlit 15.4" widescreen TFT active-matrix "glossy" display (1440x900 native resolution).

Connectivity includes an ExpressCard/34 slot, AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire "800" port, optical digital/analog audio in/out, and a "Mini DisplayPort" that supports an external display at 2560x1600.

In addition to the new case design, compared to the "Early 2008/Penryn" models that these replaced, the "Unibody" line offers a new "no button" glass "multi-touch" trackpad with support for new "four finger" gestures and programmable "zones", a faster architecture with a faster system bus, faster memory, and perhaps most notably, faster and dual graphics processors.

Also see:

  • What are the differences between the "Unibody" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models?
  • What are the differences between the 15-Inch "Unibody" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo models and the "Early 2008/Penryn" MacBook Pro notebooks that they replaced?

Buy This Mac -- and all other new & used Macs -- at site sponsor PowerMax.

Buy Used MacBook Pros and much more at site sponsor MegaMacs.

Upgrade This Mac at site sponsor Other World Computing. Memory, drives & more.

Fix This Mac -- free diagnosis and affordable 24-hour repair at site sponsor Mission Repair.



Click on the underlined category text for related details. The most commonly needed info is "open" by default, but all info is important.


October 14, 2008 March 3, 2009
Details: The "Introduction Date" refers to the date a model was introduced via press release. The "Discontinued Date" refers to the date a model either was replaced by a subsequent system or production otherwise ended.

Also see: All Macs introduced in 2008.
1 (2 Cores) 64-Bit
Details: Also see: All models with a 64-Bit processor courtesy of EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Sort.
3747 4140
Details: Geekbench 2 benchmarks are in 32-bit and 64-bit modes, respectively. These numbers reflect an average of user provided 32-bit and 64-bit results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.

You also might be interested in reviewing all 32-bit and 64-bit Geekbench 2 user submissions for Macs with the MacBookPro5,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.

To dynamically compare Geekbench 2 results from different Macs side-by-side, see EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Comparison.
1465 2560
Details: These Geekbench 3 benchmarks are in 32-bit mode and are for a single processor core and all processor cores, respectively. Both numbers reflect an average of user provided results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.

You also might be interested in reviewing all 32-bit single core and multicore Geekbench 3 user submissions for Macs with the MacBookPro5,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.

To dynamically compare 32-bit Geekbench 3 results from different Macs side-by-side, see EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Comparison.
1596 2822
Details: These Geekbench 3 benchmarks are in 64-bit mode and are for a single processor core and all processor cores, respectively. Both numbers reflect an average of user provided results as submitted to the Geekbench website. Higher numbers are better.

You also might be interested in reviewing all 64-bit single core and multicore Geekbench 3 user submissions for Macs with the MacBookPro5,1 Model Identifier, which may include multiple models.

To dynamically compare 64-bit Geekbench 3 results from different Macs side-by-side, see EveryMac.com's Ultimate Mac Comparison.
2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo (T9600)
Details: *The Intel "Core 2 Duo" 45 nm "Penryn" (T9600) processor includes two independent processor "cores" on a single silicon chip.

Also see: How much faster is the 15-Inch "Unibody" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo than the "Early 2008 Penryn" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo?
N/A N/A
Details: N/A
Soldered Integrated
Details: Also see: Can you upgrade the processor in the "Unibody" MacBook Pro?
1066 MHz 2.8 GHz (Built-in)
Details: 1066 MHz frontside bus.
EFI 64-Bit
Details: N/A
32k/32k 6 MB (on chip)
Details: Includes a 6 MB shared "on chip" level 2 cache that runs at processor speed.
PC3-8500 DDR3 1066 MHz
Details: Supports 1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM. Also see: How do you upgrade the RAM in the 15-Inch "Late 2008/Unibody" MacBook Pro? How much RAM of what type does it support?
4 GB 8 GB*
Details: By default, 4 GB of RAM was installed as two 2 GB modules, no slots free.

*Apple officially supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. Originally, this model was only unofficially capable of stably supporting 6 GB of RAM, but as confirmed by site sponsor OWC, it is capable of supporting 8 GB of RAM if updated to Boot ROM Version MBP51.007E.B05 and running MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or higher.

In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells memory -- as well as other upgrades -- for this MacBook Pro.

In Australia, site sponsor RamCity sells memory and other upgrades for this MacBook Pro.

In Southeast Asia, site sponsor SimplyMac.sg sells memory and other upgrades for this MacBook Pro.

Also see: Actual Max RAM of All G3 & Later Macs.
None 2
Details: Apple recommends that one install RAM in matched pairs for optimum performance.
GeForce 9600M GT* GDDR3
Details: *This system has dual graphics processors -- a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512 MB of dedicated GDDR3 SDRAM and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory.

Also see: How much faster is the graphics performance of the "Unibody" MacBook Pro when using the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT compared to the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M?
512 MB* 512 MB*
Details: The NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT has 512 MB of dedicated memory. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400M uses 256 MB of memory, but this is shared with system memory. Apple reports that when using the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, the "memory available to Mac OS X may vary depending on graphics needs. Minimum graphics memory usage is 256 MB".
15.4" Widescreen 1440x900
Details: 15.4" color widescreen LED-backlit TFT active-matrix "glossy" display with a 1440 by 900 native resolution. Apple reports that it also supports "1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio stretched; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio stretched".

Site sponsor Mission Repair offers free diagnosis and professional display replacement as well as many other repair services with a 24 hour turnaround for this MacBook Pro.
Dual/Mirroring 2560x1600
Details: The maximum resolution supported on an external display is 2560x1600.
320 GB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA (3 Gb/s)
Details: Also see: How do you upgrade the hard drive in the 15-Inch "Unibody" MacBook Pro?

In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells storage upgrades for this MacBook Pro.

In Australia, site sponsor RamCity sells storage upgrades for this MacBook Pro.
8X DL "SuperDrive" None
Details: Apple reports that this slot-loading "SuperDrive" drive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) has a maxium write speed of "8x DVD-R, DVD+R; 4x DVD-R DL (double layer), DVD+R DL (double layer), DVD-RW, DVD+RW; 24x CD-R; 10x CD-RW" and a maximum read speed of "8x DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-ROM; 6x DVD-ROM (double layer DVD-9), DVD-R DL (double layer), DVD+R DL (double layer), DVD-RW, and DVD+RW; 24x CD".

Site sponsor Other World Computing offers a "Data Doubler" mounting kit that may be of interest. It makes it simple to install a second hard drive or SSD in the optical drive bay of this MacBook.
None 10/100/1000Base-T
Details: An external Apple USB Modem (56.6k v.92) was available for US$49.
802.11a/b/g/n 2.1+EDR
Details: AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR standard.

Also see: What is 802.11n? How is it different from 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a?
2 (2.0) 1 (800)
Details: Two 480-Mbps USB 2.0 ports, one 800-Mbps Firewire "800" port.
ExpressCard/34 None
Details: One ExpressCard/34 expansion slot.

Also see: What is ExpressCard/34? Is it compatible with PC Cards?
Full-size Trackpad (4 Finger)
Details: Apple reports that the integrated backlit keyboard has "78 (US) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys, 4 arrow keys (inverted "T" arrangement)." It does not have an embedded numeric keypad.

The glass "multi-touch" trackpad supports " two-finger scrolling, pinch, rotate, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities".
Notebook MacBook Pro (Unibody)
Details: This MacBook Pro uses a black and silver "unibody" case design milled from a single piece of aluminum with a "catchless" magnetic latch.
BTO/CTO Late 2008
Details: As this model technically is a custom configuration of the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 15" (Late 2008/Unibody), it does not have its own order number.
A1286 (EMC 2255) MacBookPro5,1
Details: Please note that these identifiers refer to more than one model.

Also see: All Macs with the A1286 Model Number, the 2255 EMC Number, and the MacBookPro5,1 Model Identifier.

For more about these identifiers and how to locate them on each Mac, please refer to EveryMac.com's Mac Identification section.
50 W h Li-Poly 5 Hours
Details: Apple reports that this model has a "50-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery" that provides "5 hours of wireless productivity".

Also see: What is the 15-Inch "Unibody" MacBook Pro battery life in "real-world" tests? What is the difference in battery life when using the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT compared to the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M?
X 10.5.5 (9F2114) Current*
Details: *This system fully supports the last version of OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" and the current version of OS X 10.9 "Mavericks," except for "Power Nap" and "AirPlay Mirroring" (which also requires an Apple TV 2nd Gen or higher).

Please note that OS X "Lion" 10.7 and subsequent versions of OS X, like Mountain Lion and Mavericks, are not capable of running Mac OS X apps originally written for the PowerPC processor as these operating systems do not support the "Rosetta" environment. To run PowerPC applications on this Mac, it will be necessary to use Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or earlier.
XP SP2 (32-Bit)* 7 (64-Bit)*
Details: *Apple's Boot Camp 4 formally supports the 32-bit version of Windows XP SP2 as well as the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, the system does meet Microsoft's minimum requirements for Windows 8 and readers have reported successfully running the 32-Bit and 64-bit versions of this operating system with appropriate drivers.
None Boot/Virtualization
Details: Also see: Are there any third-party programs to run Mac OS 9/Classic applications on Intel Macs?

Site sponsor OHS specializes in heavily upgraded Macs capable of running both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 applications.

For more on running Windows on Intel Macs, please refer to the exhaustive Windows on Mac Q&A.
0.95 x 14.35 x 9.82 5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)
Details: In inches while closed - height by width by depth, (2.41 cm, 36.4 cm, 24.9 cm).
US$2799 US$950-US$1100
Details: Please note that on average the estimated current retail pricing of used systems is updated twice a year (please refer to the date on the bottom of the page for the date last updated).

Photo Credit: Apple Computer.



Click on the underlined category text for additional details. The most commonly needed info is "open" by default, but all info is important. The icons correspond with the icons for each port on the computer.


1 (Mini DisplayPort) None
Details: Supports external display in dual display and mirroring modes. DVI, Dual-Link DVI, and VGA supported by optional Apple adapters (sold separately).
None None
Details: N/A
None None
Details: N/A
2 (2.0) 1 (800)
Details: Two 480-Mbps USB 2.0 ports, one 800-Mbps Firewire "800" port.
None 1 (RJ-45)
Details: No internal modem. An external Apple USB modem was available for US$49. Gigabit Ethernet, AirPort Extreme (802.11g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR standard.
None None
Details: N/A
1 (Internal) 1
Details: Internal omnidirectional microphone. Optical digital audio input/analog line in (minijack).
1 1
Details: Single Optical digital audio output/analog line out (minijack) port doubles as a headphone jack.
1 None
Details: N/A
N/A 1
Details: 100V-240V AC, 85W "MagSafe" power adapter. Also see: What is the "Magsafe" power connector? How does it work? How was it designed to not cause data loss?



Global original prices for the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15" (Unibody) in 24 different countries and territories follow; organized alphabetically by region.

For global original prices for Intel Macs in one particular country on a single page, please refer to EveryMac.com's Global Original Prices section.


Original Prices - North America

N/A US$2799

Original Prices - Europe

N/A N/A
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N/A N/A
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Original Prices - Asia

N/A N/A
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N/A

Original Prices - Australia & New Zealand

N/A N/A


Ten of the most popular Q&As about the MacBook Pro models follow.


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