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The original MacBook Pro (17-inch) is based on the Intel Core Duo chip, while the latter two MacBook Pros (17-inch Core 2 Duo and 17-inch 2.4/2.2GHz) are based upon two successive iterations of the more recent Intel Core 2 Duo chip, with the latest increasing processor speeds from 2.33GHz to 2.4GHz.

All ports remain the same. The security lock slot is on the right side of the system. Composite and S-video connections are now only available using an optional Apple DVI to Video adapter.

The boot architecture of the MacBook Pro is based on Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), replacing Open Firmware (OF) of PowerBook G4 days. Boot snag keys such as "C" for boot from the optical drive, "N" for network boot, and "T" for Target Disk Mode stay the same under EFI. To launch Apple Hardware Test (AHT) from the Mac OS X Install disc, you must hold down the "D" key during boot.

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