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According to the MacBook Pro page on Wikipedia, the MacBook Pro 15" (Early 2011) model (aka MacBookPro8,2) has in base configuration an Intel CPU 2.0 GHz quad-core (2635QM).

Around April 2011, I looked at the Intel i7 2635QM page specifications to work out if this CPU supports AES-NI instructions and it did not. This was also confirmed by a review about MacBook Pro 8,2 on ArnandTech.

On 3rd July 2011, I checked the same page and I see that the same CPU has AES-NI support. I know what I saw a few months back but I cannot find any explaination has to why the specifications changed and more importantly if the Macbook Pro 15" (Early 2011) with Intel i7 2635QM supports AES-NI.

Can anyone shed some lights on this please?

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, the 2635QM in a MacBook Pro supports AES acceleration. I have the 2.2GHz and my wife has the 2.0GHz; both have the option to enable it in TrueCrypt and show the following:

machdep.cpu.features:

FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 PCLMULQDQ DTES64 MON DSCPL VMX SMX EST TM2 SSSE3 CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1 SSE4.2 xAPIC POPCNT AES PCID XSAVE OSXSAVE TSCTMR AVX1.0

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This question is now answered. Thanks for your input! –  David Andreoletti Sep 26 '11 at 8:48
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It would seem that there was some confusion around this initially. Even Wikipedia's article says it is not supported; and as a reference it uses the same page that says it does. I would use Intel's documentation as a point of reference. Since the Intel spec says it does; then I would believe it does. Given that though; it doesn't matter. OSX (Even Lion) does not make use of this instruction set.

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How do you know Lion does not use AES-NI ? Maybe you can answer this question : superuser.com/questions/302325/aes-ni-support-in-lion –  David Andreoletti Jul 4 '11 at 1:55
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To the best of my knowledge, the answer to this is yes. As you can see from my TrueCrypt install, TrueCrypt recognises the AES-NI instruction set in my Late 2010 15" MBP, which has a pre-Sandy Bridge i7 in it (an i7 620M IIRC). So I think you should be fine.TrueCrypt screenshot

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I am looking for a definite YES or NO for the Intel i7 2635QM on the macbook pro only. –  David Andreoletti Jul 4 '11 at 1:53
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