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  • san1s - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    This or one of the new Sony Vaio Z series? Reply
  • rowcroft - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I chose the Sony Z- love the size and was able to get it with the i5 and a SSD for around $1,900. 3.5lbs and 1600x900 13" was too much for me to resist (and I do like OS X). Reply
  • androticus - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    I just tried out a Z at the Sony Store -- sweet! The 15" MBP is huge and heavy by comparison. I really feel that Apple is not offering a compelling upgrade this time -- and even upping the base model price by $100! Reply
  • SandmanWN - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Steep price for only 5400 rpm drives!
    All that room and can't add a number pad to the keyboard.
    The plug on the power brick has got to be annoying sometimes.

    Nice resolution on the screens.

    Overall for the price the attention to detail is kind of disappointing. Not to mention the styling feels sooooooo old now.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Honestly, I'm really confused why they're shipping 5400 RPM drives as well. Ordering online, the 7200 RPM drives are a whole $50 more, which, in the big perspective of things is change next to the MacBook price.

    It seems like the volume discount from shipping exclusively 7200 RPM drives on a "pro" machine would've made more sense than a bunch of default configurations with 5400 RPM drives destined to sit in stores.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • randfee - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    styling = old? Kidding me?

    The Style is rather new, just one and a half years now, isn't it? The prior design lasted for 6 years and my mid 2007 MBP still looks stunning, a timeless design and the aluminum surface is VERY durable. Comparing my almost three year old one to a most other brands with the same age makes people say mine looks like new.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    I'm still curious why Apple chose the nVidia GT330M with it's 23W TDP. ATI's Mobility HD5650 is supposed to have a TDP between 15-19W, while still being faster so would seem like the ideal choice if performance/watt is the major concern. Hopefully, Apple developing their on dynamic GPU switching implementation was motivated by trying to make a GPU agnostic method to not be tied to say nVidia and Optimus. Presumably, the GT330M drivers are more mature in OS X due to similarity with existing nVidia GPUs and that combined with price and bundling offers with the 320M cause Apple to choose nVidia in this round, but hopefully ATI isn't permanently locked out of Apple notebooks.

    It's also interesting to note that the GT330M is underclocked at 500MHz core versus up to 575MHz and 1100MHz shaders versus up to 1265MHz being supported by nVidia. Apple's clocks actually match the GT230M. If this was done to reduce power consumption and thermals, that's another reason the HD5650 would have been a better choice.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Or simply opting for 335M (50% more shader cores) would boost graphics performance even more. Though with the heat comments, maybe that isn't such as good idea. I'm reminded with the quite unsatisfactory heat performance (i.e. OMG WTF THIS IS BOILING) of my first gen Macbook Pro (early 2006) with some of the comments in this article. Worrisome. Care to post some temps? Reply
  • redbone75 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I would guess it's because Nvidia, not ATI, is their partner and they have to honor that relationship. Think of how p/o'd Intel was when Apple ditched them in favor of Nvidia's chipsets. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    based on the table Core i5 540M looks better than Core i7 620M Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    sorry i was looking at the 620UM. someone needs more clearer names Reply
  • DLeRium - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    seriously? Didn't the 15" get the 9600GT in the two higher level ones?

    The 9400M was a 13" MBP model and also for the base 15". But clearly the 330M GT is designed to replace the 9600M GT not the 9400M. The 320M GT now in the 13" MBPs is designed to replace the 9400M. The base 15" MBP got an upgrade this year from 9400M to 330M GT, but it's clearly two different classes.

    I would've preferred if you benched the 330M GT against the 9600M GT which was an upgrade to the old 8600M GT that I have from an early 2008 MBP. The 9400M is just the wrong card to bench against.
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    so yes, it's obvious the 330 will be faster than the 9400, but how much faster than the 9600? I think that's the most crucial question.

    The 320 should've been pitted against the 9400 and 330 against 9600.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    I agree, I just don't have any of the MBPs with the 9600M around the lab anymore :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    aww how unfortunate. I just figured that since you put the 2.53 ghz MBP in comparison that it would be the 9600M one. Oh well. I'm glad you at least included my 2008 MBP in the benches (way to make me feel like I need to upgrade :D )

    Great review
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I always try to have at least n-2 generations of MacBook Pro hardware laying around for comparisons like this :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • youguy - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    With SSDs offered as an option, why aren't we seeing TRIM support in Snow Leopard? Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Ask steve@apple.com

    Should he respond, it might be something along the line of "We dont believe people want to trim anything". Or that SSDs "are a mess".

    Good luck.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Battery life would be my guess.
    To a lesser extent, I suppose a 5400rpm drive also generates less heat than a 7200, but I don't know if the difference would be significant.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    You know, that used to be my thought as well, and I was totally concerned back when the first notebook form factor 7200 RPM drives swung around, but there's no truth to those assumptions anymore. In fact, back then I found that the newer 7kRPM drive actually gave me *better* battery life and reported cooler temps through SMART. Not sure how, but that's just how it worked out. Obviously there are going to be small differences, but there's also that HUGI (hurry up and get idle) consideration to be made here the same way intel rationalizes turbo mode on a notebook; get the task done fast, then go into a low power state. It ends up being a net energy savings.

    But it's obvious that heat/battery aren't the real reasons; the 7K RPM drives are still options, just not default. $50 isn't that much for a "pro" notebook is my point.

    At the same point, a platter drive is a platter drive; the performance gains aren't going to be anywhere near what you'll see with an SSD, so perhaps it makes more sense to just forget about upgrading the HDD and save the $50 for your SSD. There are arguments for both I suppose.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • oldbriones - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I am disappointed, once again, that apple slapped on crappy TN panels to their MacBook Pro.
    Use of IPS panels in iPad, new iMacs, and new Cinema Displays were welcome changes for the better
    (far superior viewing angle, color integrity). Why not in the Pro line of MacBook ?!
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    to increase margins. fanboys will buy it anyway (no sane person would for this price...)
    It's like 800$ extra compared to similar dell, hp,... models.
    Reply
  • that_guy_mike - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    by that logic no one would drive a mercedes or bmw either since you can get a honda for way less, and they're clearly the same since they are all just cars. Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    That's retarded. When referring to laptop the margins/difference in hardware and much less than comparing vehicles. It's the same hard drive, same memory, etc. A car may be a car but the process of getting there is absolutely different, less being the same part.

    Now if you were to say, why not buy a car with almost the same parts and materials, slap on a Mercedes logo, and charge a premium for it then that would make more sense.
    Reply
  • mikesmithson - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    You mean how like the difference between a Honda Accord and an Accura TL? Like how they use a lot of the same parts... Accord starts at $21,000; TL at $35,000... Reply
  • maler23 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Prolly the odd man out, but I'm waiting for a review of the 13 inch model. I was already pretty much decided on the MBP 13in anyways, so any upgrades for the same price is a perk.

    The lack of Arrandale kinda hurts though; I'm also wondering if the nVidia 320M makes things run any hotter. I'd love to hear a good reason why Apple skipped the Core i3 and stuck with the Core Duo. I'm assuming it was a space concern due to the whole Intel/NVidia chip kerfuffle and they wanted to keep the same sized chassis?

    Anand, any bets on an Arrandale update for the Fall for the MBP 13?

    cheers!

    -J
    Reply
  • solofest - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I second the request for a 13" review. I'd like to see how the 320M stacks up, as well as some real world battery tests. Re: an Arrandale update for the 13" in the fall, sounds like Apple may as well wait until Sandy Bridge? Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Ditto.

    The tests of Core-i3 and having to use Intel HD over a speed bump in C2D and Nvidia 320M tell me that Apple made the right choice. I can't see the 13" MBP maintaining the same price point or increasing the battery duration with a discrete GPU.

    I think Anand is correct in that the a Fall release is inevitable. While this is is a decent update I think it is meant to be a stopgap for more radical changes. What should have come about 7-8 months later may jut 4-6 months later due to the Arrandale supply issue.

    For the next release, the 13" MBP may have to drop the ODD to make room for the component and cooling, and to lessen the blow of the GPU cost. Apple obviously isn't going to offer Blu-ray so I'd say they are just holding onto the internal ODD until offering Mac OS X Restore Discs on a 16GB SD Card is more viable. I don't think they added SD to the 13" and 15" so many years after it was standard, just to say "me too". I think it'll be the new way to restore the disc. It's how I've been doing it for a couple years.

    PS: I wish Anand would have mentioned the other aspects of this revision: audio over DisplayPort or HDMI, and force accelerated scrolling.

    PPS: I don't recall seeing any mention of how Nvidia Optimus doesn't power down the IGP when the GPU is active. I'd like to see the power usage differences between Windows and Mac OS X on these machines now that Apple has graphics switching in place. It's too bad Optimus won't work under BootCamp.
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    How easy is it to replace HDs in the new unibody MBPs? I have a 2008 MBP (15") and it takes a great amount of work to disassemble just to change out a hard drive. With HD prices so cheap, it's not too hard to buy a 500gb 7200 RPM drive and stuff it in. However, I'm often discouraged when it takes a lot of tampering. I've disassembled my Wii to mod chip it. I've disassembled camera lenses to blow out dust behind the front element, but I'm not the most hands on guy and I hate repacking things together. I often mess up there. Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    It's pretty simple. Check iFixit for the 2009 MBPs. You basically take the entire bottom off, about 10 screws, and then a 1-3 screws for the HDD. It'll takes you an extra 2 minutes over the previous models with the latch and door exposing the HDD and battery. Reply
  • Rod Hagen - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    It is much, much easier on all of the unibody models than on the pre-unibody ones from before October 2008 (assuming this is what you had previous experience of) .

    Pretty much a five to ten minute job at worst in terms of the hardware side of things.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    So I read this and I thought 'OK, Anand is impressed with the battery life' so I figured 'Hey why not see how it compares to other laptops?' I had to go to other articles because this review only has Macs - fair enough for the Mac fanbois who won't consider anything else anyway but not for those who might be open-minded. But what did I find? Sadly Windows laptops run an entirely set of battery test suites. 'Completely idle' 'Flash web browsing' (I think the Macs get a big boost by having non-Flash browsing and that seems like a big fudge to me) and then '720p video playback.'

    To my surprise, looking at results, the Macbook batery life is NOT super overwhelmingly impressive. Most of the other laptops that have high(er) battery life have CULV CPUs, fair enough they aren't as fast as the MacBook but then they will run any of the 'battery test' suites just as well. The recent Lenovo is however a Core i5 and gets good battery life.

    So Anand, please stop the shenanigans with Apple battery life hype and use tests that are actually the same (as much as possible -Safair might not be available on Windows for example) across platforms.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I addressed the Windows comparison in some earlier articles, the most recent of which is here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2870/done-for-2009-t...

    You'll also note that Jarred runs an idle battery test in all of our Windows reviews, that's the most comparable to the light web browsing test. Some of the recent entries we've tested have gotten a lot better but take the Lenovo ThinkPad T410 for example:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2976/lenovo-thinkpad...

    With a 94Whr battery it delivers less battery life idle at the Windows desktop than this 77.5Whr 15-inch MBP while running our light web browsing test.

    The gap is closing but it's still there. The first link shows that the gap only really exists in light load scenarios where there's lots of idle time (e.g. reading, web browsing, writing).

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • maler23 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    @MadMan007

    Hey dude, show a little respect. I can understand wanting a little perspective but maybe rephrase your request...unless it's a rant, in which case, flame on, sir :)

    How about this:

    =============

    Anand, once you get all three models tested, could you include some comparison battery tests that include Flash as it that is a reality for most webpages(including the comment page I'm typing out right now). In addition, I would love to see a display comparison. I often see this site grumbling about contrast and color range and such with other laptops(recent Asus models, for example) but I would love to see Macbooks thrown into the bunch for comparison.

    =============

    cheers!

    -J
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I should also add that I do have a video playback and flash web browsing test for the MBP, they simply didn't make the final cut for yesterday's review due to time constraints however I'll be adding in the data in the next day or so :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • sky7i - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Hmm, I was all set to get one but now I'm worried about heat and noise issues. I absolutely detest sweaty palms and am very sensitive to machine noise, often preferring my Acer netbook to the Mac as the Acer is silent.

    My current machine is an original Core Duo 15" MacBook Pro. It also has two fans (one a bit wobbly) but temperature wise it's fine. Will the new 15" be warmer?

    I was also contemplating the SSD 128gb option for an extra $280, for the silence and performance. Will this help it run cooler? Is there a better option in that price range? The Intel SSD seems wonderful but it's $500. Maybe I'll just try to find a single-platter 250gb drive instead.

    Thanks for any input.
    Reply
  • solarisking - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I have a late 2006 MBP and every since I had a warranty claim on the power brick (it stopped lighting orange/green/off correctly) they sent me a new one which was smaller. I think I figured out over time that it *seemed* like the new brick charged my MBP slower than the old one. Without the old brick I was unable to confirm. As it stands now, it can take up to 4 hours to charge the damn battery, if not longer. And I have two batteries! So hopefully, the new brick has more DC current and charges more quickly. Given a larger battery capacity that's my guess, and warmer laps are the result. And BTW, my MBP can get pretty dang hot when being recharged. Reply
  • laela - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    How is the battery life under Windows 7? Thanks for a great review! Reply
  • mikeev - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I too would like to know this. I am extremely curious as to how bad the Windows 7 battery life is with that GPU cranking away the whole time, since I play a lot of games.

    Also, do you have any guess as to if NVIDIA or some 3rd party (a passionate user?) might possibly create a Windows driver/utility that will allow switching between the IGP and GPU like in OSX?
    Reply
  • jasperjones - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I think it's completely reasonable that Anand doesn't provide results for battery life under Win 7. iyam, if you don't use OS X as your primary OS, you shouldn't get a Mac. It's as simple as that. Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Wait, huh? I run Win7 and have XP and redhat and ubuntu running. Why can't he do the same? I'm totally confused. So it's meant to be MacOS only? Reply
  • jasperjones - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I said primary OS, not "only" or "exclusive" OS. It's well-known, for example, that MBPs has some issues on Windows that they don't have on OS X. My point is if you don't plan on running OS X most of the time, get something different.

    Anand wrote:
    "You're paying for the design, build quality and ultimately the right to use OS X. If those things don't matter to you (particularly the OS X item) then you'd be much better off with an ASUS or Dell."

    I would assume he made that comment in similar spirit.
    Reply
  • mikeev - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    What's wrong with at least him testing Win7 battery life and letting us know? Is it some sort of secret? We know it's going to be bad- we just want to know how bad.

    I swear, fanboys sometimes... *facepalm*
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    If I get the time to I'll run some Windows 7 numbers on it for you guys :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • mikeev - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Thanks Anand!! Reply
  • Jimbo - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Why not just get your own Intel 80GB SSD and call it a day?
    I think that 15" I5 with an SSD would would be about as much speed as anyone could reasonably want from a notebook these days.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Has Anand every reviewed or posted about the HP Envy? Just asking as I'd hate this all to be about apple Reply
  • Phynaz - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    You would hate a Mac article to be just about Apple?

    Yeah, that makes sense.
    Reply
  • sportherz - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Thanks alot for the great update! However, I was wondering if you have any information on the new 13inch MacBookPro. I was looking to upgrade from an older ThinkPad T61p to the new 13 inch MacBookPro, mainly because I hate the time it takes my ThinkPad to wake (running it in Windows 7, using a Vertex SSD) and more importantly the battery life. Due to having to fly often I was also not happy with a 15inch notebook and thus I was eyeballing the 13inch. It would be great if you could post some benchmarking on the 13inch graphics card. It seems that from general performance alone there is really no need to go to the arandale (4% increase in speed seems marginal), is that true? Thus would you second Steve Job's saying that the more important upgrade was the graphic chip?

    Any additional info would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for doing such an excellent job!
    Reply
  • fsardis - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    do the edges still cut through your wrists as you type?
    does it still get too hot to touch when doing any sort of intensive task?
    does the screen still tip over the moment you tilt the laptop forward in your lap?

    i wonder why i never see these obvious design flaws mentioned.
    Reply
  • yodasz - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I wonder if the SSD performance and compatibility issues have been addressed in this revision? Does anybody have an update on that? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    3Gbps works out of the box (confirmed on Corsair's Force 100GB drive). The system seems to work fine with the SandForce controller, but the same is true for the previous gen. I haven't tried Indilinx yet. Intel also appears to work fine.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    That is the most important information from this release. Sadly, you are likely the only one to report on it.

    How does the use of SATA II over SATA III affect the performance of SSDs?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    The only SSD that can benefit from 6Gbps SATA is the Crucial/Micron RealSSD C300, which I've briefly talked about here:

    http://anandtech.com/show/2944

    The problem today is some 6Gbps SATA controllers are actually slower than Intel's 3Gbps SATA controller:

    http://anandtech.com/show/2973/6gbps-sata-performa...

    Realistically I don't expect 6Gbps SATA to be that important to SSD performance until next year.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Pat69 - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Do you know which kind of SSD Apple is providing through the 3 options (128, 256, 512)? Are these SSD good ones? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Apple doesn't like confirming this kind of stuff, but I'm guessing they are supplied by Toshiba and/or Samsung. If so, the drives are ok but not particularly great. I'd save the upgrade cost and do it yourself aftermarket.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • kirkrw - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    I take it then that your recommendation would be to that same $500 that Apple wants for their 256G SSD and put it toward a 160G x25-M gen 2? Reply
  • bradpowers - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    Could we get benchmarks on the MBP with the Corsair F100? I'm very interested in that combination. Reply
  • stimudent - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Still measuring in inches and feet... Reply
  • Squuiid - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Aynbody know what model the 256GB SSD is? Reply
  • michal1980 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    thats what this place feels like now. I geuss the website redesign was timed to that reflect change. Reply
  • Cardio - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Apples guarantees "Up To" 1,000 battery recharges is complete idiot speek. 7 recharges would comply with that guarantee. That is just the same as saying "not more than". Apple you always double-talk or just outright lie. Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Wow! What an asshat comment. Apple and Sony are the only two PC vendors that I know of that report accurate battery specs.

    "The built-in battery in the new 13-, 15-, and 17-inch MacBook Pro is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at up to 1000 full charge and discharge cycles."

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

    I just returned a 2.5 year old battery to Apple a couple months ago because it wasn't holding a charge and only a few hundred cycles on it. It wasn't under any warranty and they gave me a new one right then and there for free.
    Reply
  • omgrtm - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Also, as a company you have to show proof (based on statistical analysis) for all your advertising claims. Not entirely sure about numbers, but something like 9 in 10 at least should meet the stated (would be 1000 recharges in this case), for you to be able to use 'up to'. You'd be incredibly unlucky to get 7 in reality. Reply
  • sebmel - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Apple changed my last battery, too... 2.5 years old... it got the Sony problem... swelled up.
    The internal regulations appeared to be change if less than 300 cycles.
    Mine was 320 or so and they changed it anyway.

    Apple seem pretty good at offering a new battery that fails to meet their advertised expectation so I'm guessing they are going to honour these ones up to 1000 cycles.
    Reply
  • sebmel - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Error, apologies:

    Apple seem pretty good at offering a new battery WHEN ONE fails to meet their advertised expectation so I'm guessing they are going to honour these ones up to 1000 cycles.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    "Less than 20 fps under World of Warcraft at 800 x 600"

    Actually, it's 52.3
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    haha, wow, fixed :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • surgex - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Can you tell us how this will work, or IF it will work at all? Reply
  • surgex - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Sorry, I see it now..

    "Despite using a NVIDIA GPU, there's no support for Optimus under Windows 7 on the new MacBook Pro. The GeForce GT 330M is always in use there regardless of whether you use an Optimus enabled driver or the 196.21 driver that comes with the MacBook Pro."

    That is really BS if you ask me, but who would expect anything less from Apple...
    Do you forsee any way of a third-party enabling this functionality in the future though, or no?
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Arrandale CULV 13-14" 1440x900 res with discrete ATI 5770mobile + GPU switching.... Imagine having up to 10+ hrs battery life for light internet, word processing work related tasks, being able to watch 2-3 dvd's on battery and then plugging in to game on very high for almost every game! CPU would be 1.3-1.5ghz on battery and "prefer" to run everything single threaded and would run upwards of 2.0ghz "preferring" to be multi-threaded plugged in. That's what I'm waiting for.... the next gen of CULV + Centrino. Can't wait.

    By the way, it's pretty sad that even you Anand are making comments on Apple's prices (since you love Apple the way you do). Guess all relationships that are good eventually become more "Love-Hate"
    Reply
  • l0ts - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I Wonder what difference can You find between GT330M and GT240M.
    I checked my GT240M in GPU-Z and looks like i got "GT330M "with higher clocks. In six months i'll probably have GT420M. :)
    Thanx NVIDIA!
    Reply
  • Jamahl - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Who buys this overpriced garbage? Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Myself, and a lot of people. I have a late 2006 MacBook Pro that was the first with a Core 2 Duo chip. I have been waiting for the first MacBook pro with a Core i5/i7 processor. This new machine looks exactly like the replacement I have been waiting for. Thank you Anand for the great (and very timely) review. Reply
  • ppayne - Sunday, April 25, 2010 - link

    I buy Macs and am happy to. I run a business and the improved reliability of the Mac means they pay for themselves very quickly. I use my laptop about 8 hours a day (that's on top of my normal work, which I use a Mac Pro for) and any improvement in my workflow is worth a paltry $2000 to my company. If we had PCs at my company I'm sure we'd have a tech guy on payroll who kept things running by now (15 employees). Since I can literally take a hour a month to go around and make sure all updates are run on our Macs instead, there's a pretty clear savings over options we could choose (Windows, "free" Linux etc). Time, convenience, and reliability are actually worth *some* money you know?

    Not everyone is a college student/hobbyist/penny pinching type, although clearly you (and other commenters here) are hating for the sake of hating. For the record, I do PC software development and database work on the Mac and love the irony of not having to keep crap PCs around work to get work done.
    Reply
  • rumimonkey - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I'm curious for Anand's (or others') thoughts regarding the glossy screens... I'm looking to get my first MBP, and would prefer the 13" (in spite of the C2D). However, I was hoping for a matte option on the smaller model. Is this litmus test really good enough: indoor = glossy, outdoor = matte? I want the 13" because I'd like to be truly mobile, and thus will be beholden to variable lighting conditions. And so if I'm in a public (indoor) place trying to write or read online, what will my experience be? Or if I'm working on the couch at home with the blinds open (hey, I like sunshine), would the gloss drive me bonkers and cause eye strain? Thanks in advance to all who (hopefully) respond with comments and recommendations. Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I have a Dell with the upgraded, glossy screen, and its great in all situations indoors. As long as you can avoid any direct reflections from light sources, a glossy screen is much better indoors, IMO. I've been able to use mine outdoors as well - just need to find some shade. Reply
  • T2k - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    ... and you can answer your question, which one to get. :)

    http://bit.ly/acer750
    Reply
  • quiksilvr - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Actually, if you get the base 15" model, its $150 extra, because they don't offer 320GB HDD at 7200rpm.

    That is a complete insult. Not only are these things ridiculously overpriced (and their performance isn't even that great for the price either), their upgrades are an insult. Its not like these are magical iPod HDDs. These are the SAME HDDs available on HP and Dell computers. At HP, you can upgrade from a 160GB 5400RPM HDD to a 250 7200RPM HDD for only $30.

    And don't even get me started on their lack of ports. No SD slot on the 17" model? No eSATA? No Blu Ray? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these laptops intended for the PROfessional field?
    Reply
  • ReaM - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    I agree with you.

    I have had 10 macs in my life, currently macbook pro and imac.

    This update is ridiculous. The extra cost for the - what now is standard display - is hilarious.

    The only update worth considering is the base 13 inch. But still no i5 nor i3 in it and no display bump up.

    As I wrote, for 1700 buck you can build i7 980X system (hackintosh, if you will) - just as a comparison.

    The current macs are not worth the money.

    Last worthy update was the when unibodies were introduced. But since then, two years went by and nothing changed, except of higher price
    Reply
  • mckirkus - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I have a feeling a lot of the people that use these make movies which requires bulk storage. Even a 256GB SSD would tack on at least $500 Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    As being one of those poor saps that "upgraded" to the previous gen MBP and realized I can only run my Intel 160gb G2 reliably at SATA I speeds, this new laptop makes me wary of going for another round of disappointment... So is it fixed? Reply
  • webdev511 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    Envy 15 has
    a better GPU ATI 5830
    better top end CPU i7 820m
    higher ram capacity 16GB
    7200 RPM drives standard Dual SSD available

    I had high hopes for this rev of MBP, but suffice to say, I'm unimpressed.
    Reply
  • flyguyjake - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    1) Is the display refresh rate 60hz, or 120hz?

    2) What is the contrast/dynamic contrast ratio?

    I phoned Apple today 3x and couldn't get the answers from them. I did however get the following information.

    I'm told that if I install boot camp / Win 7 w/USB Blu-Ray drive I can get 1080P on the LCD panel. BUT what's even more exciting is that the MiniDisplay port, via HDMI Griffin adapter, will fully support 1080P video & DTS-HD, TrueHD audio bistream. The i7-620M has PVAP 1.5 (protected video audio path) which is needed for the HD audio & the 330M is HDCP compliant.

    What is even MORE exciting is the possibility of 3D !!! The Geforce 330M supports Nvidia 3D vision.

    Can this setup play Blu-Ray 3D?

    Can this all really be true?
    Reply
  • prof.yustaz - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Anand Lal Shimpi,

    "The day has finally come. For nearly a year now I’ve been telling everyone who wanted a new MacBook Pro to wait for Arrandale."

    Right. But at the end of the review you also said this: "With a Core i5 and GeForce GT 330M, the new MacBook Pro can get uncomfortably warm under use. I found that the previous generation unibody ran cooler. Intel expects to see Arrandale power consumption go down sometime after the middle of the year with a future rev of the processor. I'm guessing that's what'll be used in the inevitable Fall update to the new MacBook Pro lineup."

    Are you saying that Apple will do another refresh in about 5 months just because Intel will release another rev of the CPU? And if that happens, do you expect to see a meaningful reduction of heat and perhaps an even better battery performance? In other words, is it really worth the wait?

    "You're paying for the design, build quality and ultimately the right to use OS X. If those things don't matter to you (particularly the OS X item) then you'd be much better off with an ASUS or Dell."

    Those things do matter to me, a lot, minus the OS X. But I do not see being much better off with an ASUS or Dell precisely because those things matter to me. Grinding my teeth, I would be willing to sacrifice Apple's design and build quality for function, but ASUS, Dell, HP or Sony do not offer the same battery life and screen resolution as Apple's 15 inch laptop. Am I missing something here? And isn't it true that somewhat comparables offerings from Dell and HP, for example, run even hotter than the most recent Apple's 15 inch laptop?

    "If you're curious about what's next, I have two words for you: Sandy Bridge. Due out sometime in Q1 2011, Sandy Bridge looks incredible based on early performance data. No word on when we'll see it in notebooks but if you like torturing yourself, waiting for Sandy Bridge will pay off."

    I need a laptop, but I do not have to have it right now. Plus, I do not want to pay over $2,000 for a laptop now if it is going to be blown away in a year or so. Could you please elaborate a little on what can we expect to see in terms of design and function assuming Apple implements Sandy Bridge in a future rev of MBPs? Will they be thinner? Will they have a significantly better battery life and run a lot cooler?

    P.S. Also, if you were to purchase the current 15 inch MBP, which combination of the CPU, Memory and HD would you choose to stay below $3,000 (closer to $2,500).

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • lparsons - Sunday, June 20, 2010 - link

    "ASUS, Dell, HP or Sony do not offer the same battery life and screen resolution as Apple's 15 inch laptop."

    I have to agree with you here. I've been looking around a lot, and while the MBP is expensive, Apple has put together an excellent set of components. They make good choices wrt battery life and performance tradeoffs. The closest thing I can find is the Thinkpad T510 which is a very solid machine, but lacking in 3D graphics performance and I'm not keen on the 16:9 screen. It doesn't have quite the same build quality (though it's still very good) and the batter life isn't quite as good, in part due to the lack of switchable graphics.

    I'm hoping to keep the machine for while, so the i7 seems to make sense. Annoyed that the 4GB is 2x2GB, making a future upgrade more expensive than necessary, so I'm debating the 8GB. Would also love an SSD, but I'm thinking that I'll upgrade to that later when the price (hopefully) drops, since I could really use the capacity of the 500GB drive and the Apple SSDs are extremely expensive. Also, the Hi-Res screen is a must for me.
    Reply
  • ihouman - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Anand, I read this article yesterday and your conclusion between the i5 and i7 were slightly different, as were a few other points. If you had a change of heart, you should append the changes to the end as opposed to removing your original opinion. It creates the image that 'someone' helped persuade your new opinion. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Since the original publication I got my hands on a Core i7 based 15-inch model. While I expected the clock speed/cache increase to only result in a less-than-10% performance increase, it ended up doing more than that. It's based on this data (and only this data) that I updated the conclusion, I will edit the conclusion to reflect that this change was made however :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Apolloe - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Am I right in assuming that your Left 4 Dead and World of Warcraft tests were done with the i5 15", and not the i7? I assumed this since your info on the GPU there had 256MB, while the i7 MBP has 512MB.

    If so, any chance of showing the fps results from these games? If not, an answer to the above would be suffice :)
    Reply
  • cyrexo - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the nice review. Could you please measure the battery life with the i7 also?

    the heat difference between i7 and i5 would also be a nice information which could help me with my decision^
    Reply
  • ReaM - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    I think the update is not worth paying the extra for.

    330GT is not much better than 9600GT and the Core2Duo in overall is not that much faster. It feels I will pay more for just a slight improvement.

    For 1700buck you can build a i7 980X Six core computer and be happy with 30,000 cinebench scores.

    I am having my 10nth mac right now, but they seem to get more expensive for what they can do. If you add the 1050 display, that's gonna cost you even more.

    I hoped for more.
    Reply
  • ReaM - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    The new MagSafe connector seems to be crappy. If pulled on cord, because if it is now vertical direction, will pull the whole macbook with it. Reply
  • overzealot - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    I want some on my 5770 Reply
  • overzealot - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Far more fun than stream processors Reply
  • DanaGoyette - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    No USB 3.0? And no ExpressCard slot, so you can't add it later? FAIL. Oh, here's an SD Card slot for you, instead. Good luck trying to connect an external hard drive to that.

    Frankly, Apple's MacBook "Pro" line is thoroughly outclassed by HP's "EliteBook" series. Rather than making myself sound like a rabid fanboy by describing why, I'll just link to this:
    http://hpfansite.com/category/hp-elitebook/
    Reply
  • kuwan - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Just a comment on the Aperture 2 RAW Import...

    Importing RAW images is actually more disk bound than it is CPU bound - at least it is in Bibble 5. It usually involves decoding to a low-resolution image and saving a preview which can often be done faster than the disk can read the files. If you're looking for a CPU benchmark then exporting the images to JPEG after you've imported them will likely give you a much better metric on how the CPUs perform.

    Also, why not use Bibble 5 as a RAW image benchmark? ;-) I've seen it included in a number of CPU reviews and it runs just as well on Mac OS X as it does under Windows or Linux. Aperture doesn't actually scale very well with multiple CPUs/threads so it isn't a particularly good CPU benchmark now that 2-4 cores is pretty much standard. Also, the nice thing about Bibble as a benchmark is that we actually report the times it takes to run a batch - so you won't have to use a stop watch. ;-)

    Anyway, thanks as always for a great review.

    Note that I'm the lead Mac engineer for Bibble Labs.

    Cheers
    Reply
  • I am as mad as hell - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    No (Cr)apple product reviews on Anandtech please! Make this site Apple free. There are tons of other sites devoted to the "other" OS. Thanks you. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Don't you think that you should be a bit more open minded? There are a lot of AnandTech readers and many of us look forward to reading the Apple coverage. No one is forcing to read the Apple related material. Reply
  • webdev511 - Sunday, April 18, 2010 - link

    Apple computers do a great job at running Windows. I enjoy reading reviews of Apple hardware. If AnandTech hadn't reviewed this crop of MacBook Pros, I would never have know that they fall short of what I expected.

    I'd actually like to see a Spring 2010 Laptop shoot out that includes the MBP running the same OS as the rest. It would be a great way to see how Apple hardware stacks up to the rest of what's out there.
    Reply
  • Tempsis - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    My only issue is that, these days, it seems like the only notebook systems that get deemed worthy of Anand's review time are Apple's system. All of the other notebook reviews get dealt out to other writers, but when it comes to Apple-based information/product reviews, only Anand seems to do it/etc. Seems to indicate a favoritism towards Apple on Anand's part. Reply
  • n0dder - Friday, April 16, 2010 - link

    Would you say that the increased working temperatures in the new MacBooks prohibits its use as a real Laptop? I'm currently using a rev 2.1 MacBook (2.16GHz), and spend 3-6 hours with it in my lap every day, and while it gets too hot if I stress it, surfing the web and doing light work is fine - if the new MBP's run hotter than that, I guess that I shouldn't have waited this long, but have gone for the previous model.
    TIA,
    Reply
  • Terry1 - Saturday, April 17, 2010 - link

    On page 5 of Anand's review, he notes that OS10 manages the switching between imbedded graphics and the Nvidia board. No user control apparently provided. Question: what happens when you are running bootcamp with Windows 7 as second operating system? Is OS10 lurking in the background to keep this process functioning, or (my concern) does the system just default to the imbedded GPU mode? Reply
  • Terry1 - Saturday, April 17, 2010 - link

    RE my prior post it looks like I missed this comment in the review: "Despite using a NVIDIA GPU, there's no support for Optimus under Windows 7 on the new MacBook Pro. The GeForce GT 330M is always in use there regardless of whether you use an Optimus enabled driver or the 196.21 driver that comes with the MacBook Pro." That's the way I would want it given manual control is impossible, but has this been verified by a user/tester? Reply
  • PubicTheHare - Sunday, April 18, 2010 - link

    Anand said to wait until the next revision of Arrandale if we want cooler laptops.

    "Next revision of..." meaning these new MBPs are Arrandale?

    If they are (I'm assuming Arrandale is 32 nm), then what would the next revision bring to equate to cooler machines?

    I'm disappointed in the heat issue. My Santa Rosa MBP (early 2008) runs hot as hell, especially when I watch YouTube but even if I'm not running video or flash. It bugs me.

    I won't upgrade until:

    1) OS X supports TRIM (so I can throw in a Crucial C300 SSD or higher capacity Intel G2)
    2) USB 3.0 or Lightpeak is available on the MBP
    3) The laptops run cooler with discrete graphics

    I was really hoping to upgrade this time...
    Reply
  • BillyboyPC - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - link

    These MacBooks will be perfect with more affordable SSDs and USB 3. Until then, it's still a no-go for me. Reply
  • R0N1 - Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - link

    Great article, but at least one aspect not mentioned:
    All the Arrandale chips mentioned are the standard voltage M version with 35W TDP. True, this TDP also includes integrated GPU, but still: 35W is a lot for a laptop.

    The 18W 640UM, 620Um & 540UM are probably "reserved" for new MacBook Air,

    But it would surly be beneficial for MBP to use the 25W LV parts (current lineup lists i7 620LM & 640LM) - any chance Apple would consider using them in MBP?

    After all, all the Penryn P series CPUs are medium voltage 25W TDP chips, compared to cheaper (per MHz) T series standard voltage 35W ones.

    The new Arrandale revision you mentioned - is this really silicon respin supposed to trim excessive power from the standard voltage M chips, just production process improvement or merely chip binning?
    Thanks.
    Reply
  • jvin85 - Friday, May 07, 2010 - link

    Anand Lal Shimpi,

    I didn't see any mention about the memory difference for the Geforce GT 330M. I was wondering what differences the extra 256MB makes.

    I'm considering upgrading as I use an early 2008 MBP. Back then going for the better graphics card was always a big debate. I am wondering if it truly makes a difference in these models.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Kathi - Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - link

    I am thinking about bying a 13″ because I like the size and it would be perfekt for me. But I prefer the new i5 processor. Do you think there is a chance that there will come a new 13″ with the i5 processor? Soon? I don´t want to wait too long, but it would be stupid if a new version comes out just after I bought one… Reply
  • xxunrealdudexx - Friday, August 20, 2010 - link

    Heading off to Uni in the fall but can't decide between 13" or 15". Which should I get? I'm in the BBA program so I don't think ill be needing Photoshop/Final Cut/etc.?? And I would like it to last for the full 4 years at least. Thanks guys! Reply
  • juhku - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Great article! Thanks!

    Any new information about Arrandale update to get the MacBook run cooler? Is it happening and when?
    Reply
  • NYC Heather - Tuesday, November 02, 2010 - link

    I'm a photographer and I'm finally getting ready to switch from PC to Mac. A lot of friends have recommended the 13" mac book pro with the 2.4ghz processor. When i went to the Mac store they were recommending the 15" because of the 2.53GHz intel Core i5...

    I see that the 13" now has a 2.66ghz core 2 duo. Do you think there is a big difference between the 13" 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo vs 15" 2.53GHz ntel Core i5? It's a $500 price difference and i just wondered if it was worth it...
    THANK YOU!
    Reply
  • tbtbtb - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    MacBook Pro 17" is my favorite and I really want it for X-mas, and it actually on sale right now for 2130$ on http://amzn.to/eP79Nk Reply
  • MiddletonBanks - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    If you are looking for a macbook to run memory hungry games or to do a lot of photo editing and won't be looking to carry it about everyday then the macbook pro 15 is the one for you. You can buy it here http://www.middletonbanks.com/acatalog/Apple_MacBo... for only £1,240 including VAT and delivery. Reply
  • MiddletonBanks - Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - link

    If you are looking for a macbook to run memory hungry games or to do a lot of photo editing and won't be looking to carry it about everyday then the macbook pro 15 is the one for you. You can buy it here http://www.middletonbanks.com/acatalog/Apple_MacBo... for only £1,240 including VAT and delivery. Reply

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