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  • gradjoh - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    If I read the charts correctly, then the new "late 2011" model is slower in every category than the "early 2011" model?? Reply
  • Zellias - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Since when have mac users been focused on performance? If you're concerned about performance buy a PC and save yourself some time and money. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    High end MBPs have generally been on the high end of performance. Fanboys threw a shitfit a few years ago when PCMag rated the MBP as the fastest PC laptop, barely edging out an HP (I think it was an Elitebook).

    You're paying for that performance in a thin and light package with good battery life. Compromise on any of those as well as the display, the keyboard, and the trackpad, and it's easy to get a cheaper laptop from someone else.
  • arterius2 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Bug off iFanyboy, fastest PC laptop? you make me laugh, my 2 year old Asus G73 with an intel SSD rapes the living sh1t out of this POS. I been playing Starcraft II @ 1920x1080 on high setting with 40+fps with this laptop at less than half the price of the macbookpro.

    thin and light package? do you even know the crap you spew out of your mouth? macbook pro is far from light, in fact its quite heavy for its class due to being carved entirely out of a block of metal.
  • Flunk - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Nice troll, missing the point entirely is the way to go! Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Wow, so mad!

    See, this is what I talk about when it comes to angry fanboys. Newsflash: these machines all have most of the same guts, a quad core i7 in my case.

    And my POS MBP runs Starcraft 2 at over 60fps on high and over 200fps on low (pro style) at the same resolution.

    As far as weight goes, 5.6 lbs is extremely light given that notebooks with the same display size and power are generally over 6lbs and generally around 8lbs.

  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Also, there seem to be serious reading comprehension issues here. The PCMag example I gave was ONE example where the MBP (I believe it was the Penryn launch) was actually the fastest notebook for a time. Obviously it isn't always the fastest, thermal limitations and the chassis size are always going to place a limit on that.

    The point still seems to stand though, say that the 15" MBP is actually fast hardware, or sometimes even the fastest, and some people go ballistic.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    The MBP has never been the fastest notebook around. Ever. It has (debatably) been one of the best built and equipped laptops, but fastest? Penryn MBPs were released around the time when other high-end laptops were going to Core 2 Extreme or at least T9500. The only way an MBP is "fastest" is if you arbitrarily eliminate faster contenders. Consider these two reviews (within a couple days of each other):

    Dell XPS M1730:

    MBP 15 Penryn:

    The XPS M1730 smokes the MBP 15 in performance (not that we did Apples to apples tests of the two, but you can just look at the specs to see where Apple is less than the XPS), thanks to the GPUs and faster CPU. Again, this is not to say that an MBP isn't potentially "best", or "best battery life", but "fastest"? Don't make me laugh.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    As I said, that was the result of a PCMag review that rounded up several other laptops in its comparison.

    As I also said in another response in this thread, it obviously wasn't the fastest forever, the whole point of that story is that people got up in arms over such a favorable review, just as it happens every time Anand posts a good review of an Apple product.

    That is all.

    I wouldn't dare call MBPs the fastest laptops around, if I wanted that I would be sacrificing battery life and size for the extra TDP that the faster CPU and GPU generate. This is obvious, but again it is an anecdote about the review used to make a point about how angry some people can get on the internet because some notebooks have a fruit shaped loge on the case.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    PC Mag. 'nuf said. ;-)

    I get the same vibe when I read modern hardware reviews in PC Gamer magazine; it's like the companies are just paying for the reviews to be favorable. "Oh, it's an Alienware? 95% and Editor's Choice!" Okay, we like the M17x and M14x (and to a lesser extent the M11x R3), but the M18x just feels like too much. /tangent
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    You keep missing the point, the review is incidental, it's about the RAWR MAD responses Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Ok, did some Googling and found the actual article, I was wrong about both PCMag (it is PCWorld) and the generation (it is a 2007 Conroe MBP):

    "The fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year--or for that matter, ever--is a Mac. Not a Dell, not a Toshiba, not even an Alienware. The $2419 (plus the price of a copy of Windows Vista, of course) MacBook Pro's PC WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 88 beats Gateway's E-265M by a single point, but the MacBook's score is far more impressive simply because Apple couldn't care less whether you run Windows."

    To be clear, this is less about it being the fastest notebook since the chassis limits the components you can put inside of it. If it was the fastest ever then it was only for a brief period. It again is about the outcry when a MBP gets a good review, that's all. This isn't rocket science, you see it here all the time. :)
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Stop using 2007 articles. Things change over time. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Herp derp, you miss the point, thus proving my point, congrats! Reply
  • arterius2 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    see this is exactly what i mean by spewing crap, the review on this page apparently shows that the 15" runs SC2 1440x900 on high at 32fps, this isnt even close to 1920x1080 yet, and its barely playable. the fact of the matter is, my 2 year old laptop can overtake performance of just released macbookpro at half the price (and it even comes with 8GB of ram vs 4GB of macbook).

    the only thing that makes the MBP "Fast" is its i7 processors, its memory/hdd/GPU are still light years away compared to the real high-end laptops. there are plenty of laptops that are designed to do real work for people that has real jobs.

    when you use words such as "fastest" you better have shit to back it up, you are going to involve power users, and thats not what MBP are designed for, its designed for little high school girls. I feel sorry for these pathetic apple cultboys.
  • xype - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I am sure all the pathetic apple cultboys, like Anand, are going to be very hurt by your comments.

    Apple owns the laptop market. Deal with it.
  • arterius2 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    You've got to be kidding with a comment like that. Apple owns the laptop market? WHAAAT? where are you getting these numbers, show your sources, last time I've checked Apple's slogan was "We don't get viruses [because our market share is pretty much non-existent]" Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    First off, you're ignoring that the benchmark was 46fps using the dedicated GPU in OS X, but go right ahead and cherry pick data using Intel's integrated graphics instead.

    Seriously, CPU benchmark vs GPU benchmark, I thought people that came here knew how to read technical charts.

    Second, my numbers are correct, I was running SC2 at high in Windows 7 on Boot Camp with the framerate showing via Ctrl-F. Perhaps you want a screenshot for proof next? I'm using the high end 2011 model which is slightly higher in benchmarks than the baseline model that this review tested. It is outputting to a 1920x1200 monitor but its native res is the upgraded 1680-by-1050 screen, so I've never even seen it at 1440x900.

    The Radeon 6750M and 6770M are actually quite good high-midrange mobile GPUs, with the unreviewed 6770M not too far off from an 460M. Yeah you could get a faster GPU in another laptop, but the result is a 8lb+ 2" thick behemoth with an hour of battery life. Some people don't want massive laptops with no battery life. The MBP is an excellent balance between high performance, long battery life, and a slim/light enclosure, plus you get the awesome display, etc etc.

    As for "fastest", I addressed that above. I gave an example where fanboys went crazy when PCMag called the first Penryn Macbook Pro the fastest PC laptop around, and for that period it actually was. I didn't say it is CURRENTLY the fastest laptop around, that's ludicrous.

    I was using the story as an example where anti-Apple fanboys go nuts if you even dare say that the hardware is any good. You proved my point perfectly while making a fool of yourself. Thank you.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    There are moments in SC2, if you play let's say 3v3 or 4v4, when the combined graphical artifacts that have to be rendered pushes the machine(especially a laptop) pretty hard, so your 46FPS might vary.

    But still SC2 is not a demanding game, Blizzard is not famous for cutting edge graphics, great gameplay and extremely refined cinematics instead.
    Anyway, the MBP has GOOD hardware, no one denied that, BUT it could be better. Since moving to Intel gear Apple has had moments when its laptops were cutting edge. And that was when Intel introduced its brand new cpus, usually exclusively on Apple gear first through exclusivity agreements, thus shafting the other manufacturers from a marketing point of view.

    Sorry for hijacking your argument, just pointed a few nitpicks.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    It could absolutely have better hardware, no question. The problem is that it would result in a larger chassis, reduced battery life, or both. As it stands the current CPU/GPU are just acceptable for a MBP, go anything higher and you'll deal with overheating components or reduced battery life.

    It's a concession that people knowingly make. If someone wanted more GPU, they'd get a larger laptop (such as the excellent Asus mentioned) with more cooling and less battery life, simple.

    It's actually ok, my 2011 MBP runs SC2, Diablo 3 beta, and DOTA 2 *perfectly* even outputting to a 24" monitor, so no complaints. If you want more for something like BF3, bigger laptop.

    That's what my SLI desktop is for anyway and I want a light but powerful laptop with lots of battery life, so yeah. :)
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    "there are plenty of laptops that are designed to do real work for people that has real jobs"

  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    No one has Jobs any more. RIP. ;-) Reply
  • Corland - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Too soon Jarred.
  • robco - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Your G73 is a 17" laptop and weighs over a kilo more (3.85 vs 2.54). Of course it's going to be faster. Many users are quite happy to have a thinner, lighter machine. If you care more about raw performance then the MBP is not for you. There's more to performance than fps numbers in games. Gaming has never been OS X's strong suit. For your needs, a Windows laptop is a much better choice.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to lug the ASUS around, but that's just me.
  • GotThumbs - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    I think the key thing to keep in mind, is that you CAN obtain (minus TB Port) an equally impressive PC based laptop for significantly less cash. With the $aving$ of purchasing a PC over a MBP, you can then upgrade to 8Gigs of ram (for less than Apple charges) and load a decent SSD as well.

    The real question most general consumers ask themselves is.... Do you want to be seen with an Apple product or not, and how much am I willing to pay for that fashion accessory?

    I'd be willing to bet that most MBP users (Include PC users as well) are not using even 50% of the systems capabilities. FB, Tweater, email, ITUNES do not utilize/need much processing power. In a society where woman can easily spend thousands on a purse, Apple has become somewhat of an accessory for women and men. I'm not saying ALL MPB users are motivated by fashion, but we all know a majority of users probably are. Just ask them about the specs and why thy chose an Apple laptop.

    It's an individual choice of how one spends their hard earned money. Personally I choose to avoid Apples controlling environment and do not own a single Apple product.

    Best Wishes,
  • Mystermask - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    "Just ask them about the specs"

    Because specs tell so much about usability, productivity, TCO and value?

    Personally I choose to avoid arrogant, narrow minded people.
  • CharonPDX - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    The Early 2011 model is the upgraded model, the Late 2011 model is the entry-level. So basically you're getting 99% of the prior "Upgraded" for the same price as the prior "Entry". Reply
  • gradjoh - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Okay, thanks, that makes sense. Reply
  • zhill - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    The model he is reviewing is the "low end" 15" MBP, the other in the charts is the 2.3GHz upgraded "high end" MBP, so they aren't exactly apples-to-apples. Basically, the previous high end is still faster than the new low-end. It's a somewhat confusing comparison since he doesn't have numbers for the "low end" 2.0Ghz config of "early 2011". For the same $1799 you get a faster machine now, but the $2199 config from the last iteration is still faster. Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Why would they use a $100 GPU in a $2500 laptop? Wow, now that is a ripoff. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    And 5400 RPM hard drives standard. Now that's a bad joke.

    It's also pretty sad that the 13" model still has a 1280x800 screen when Apple's own 13" Macbook air uses a 1440x900 display.
  • trifecta88 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    It could be because current benchmarks are being done on Lion and not Snow Leopard Reply
  • grahamnp - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    The 2.2 tested is the replacement for the old 2.0ghz which isn't shown in all the charts but when compared it does come out on top. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, November 19, 2011 - link

    You do realize that the 2.3 GHz model (early 2011) was the EXTREME HIGH END model (best of 2.0, 2.2 and 2.3GHz);
    the 2.2 GHz model (late 2011) is the LOW END model (worst of 2.2, 2.4 and 25)?

    The article could do a better job of explaining that, I'll admit. But you (and even worse, some of the idiotitic followup commentators) could do a better job of not assuming something that is highly unlikely --- that Apple has DELIBERATELY chosen to reduce the performance of its machines, and that Anand is so in love with them that he thought this wasn't worth mentioning.

    Better commenters, please.
  • loox - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Wow... an off-topic, major PC vs Mac fanboy flame war on an Anandtech article re: an Apple product. That *never* happens. *yawn* They both have their place on this planet. Moving on...

    I'd like to remain on topic *gasp!* and return to the OP's observation:

    I am confused, as well... is this a typo in the charts? or is my 15" early 2011 macbook pro really superior to the late 2011 in benchmarks... this is not making sense to me.

    On the flipside, if true, it makes me very happy as I purchased the macbook pro for the video card, and am happy to see that I would not have lost much performance gain had I waited for the later 2011 model.

  • loox - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    I am seeing what I think may be the cause...

    In "early 2011" I purchased the higher end 15" Macbook Pro. At that time, the more expensive model came with the Radeon 6750 and a slightly higher clocked Core i7 SandyBridge (2.3 Ghz). It looks like this model was used in the charts above.

    Meanwhile, the model that Anandtech benchmarks in *this* review, is the lower end (cheaper) 15" Macbook Pro which, in "late 2011" has the (1) the same Radeon 6750 GPU as the higher-end, early 2011 Model I have and (2) a slightly slower clocked Core i7 SB CPU (2.2 Ghz).

    This explains alot.... had Anandtech tested the 2200 USD variant of the "late 2011" 15" MBP, it surely would have bested my 2200 USD variant of the "early 2011" 15" MBP because it would have benchmarked the higher-end Radeon 6770 and CPU in the 2200 USD MBP.

    Basically, it looks like the hardware in my 2200 dollar MBP from early 2011 is now comparable to the hardware in the "late 2011"'s 1800 dollar MBP As a result, I would have waited 2 months had I known I could get pretty much the same hardware for 400 dollars less. But, hindsight is 20/20 and something better always comes along.

    This does, however, explain the benchmark tables in this article. Had the higher end variant of the late 2011 MBP been used, the results would no doubt have favored the newer model.
  • ThreeDee912 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    After seeing those charts I knew someone was read it incorrectly and assume Apple is gimping their systems or something....

    The Early 2011 model is the *high-end* 15" upgraded to the optional built-to-order 2.3 GHz (2820QM) i7 with 8MB L3 cache.

    It still ranks slightly higher than the newer model, because the new Late 2011 model in the charts is only the *low-end* stock 15" model with a 2.2 GHz (2675QM) i7 6MB L3 cache.

    So the low-end 15" model is quite a bit faster than before, but still not as fast as the highest-end customized 15" model from a few months ago.

    To exaggerate, it's like saying "Why is my old i7 still faster than this new Pentium?"

    You can see the previous specs here in a neat chart here:
  • TheGeoff - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    It's been awhile since I've gotten to spend any time with this body style. Do they still have that sharp "wrist-cutter" edge on the front? That was a deal killer for me. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    This is actually one of the more subtle things I've noticed with the newer MBPs.

    After MacBookPro6,2 the front edge on every MBP has received a very small bevel that makes a huge difference on the wrists. I have an 8,2 which has the bevel, so anything newer than 6,2 should likewise have it. It makes the difference between wrist-cutting and not right at the center thumb-notch area too (which used to come to a very sharp point on both sides).

  • retrospooty - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    a 15 inch laptop with 1440x900 LCD, 2.2ghz quad core 4gb ram for $1800. I could literally get 2 equivalent ones for that price Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Three things: brand name, build quality, and LCD quality. While I can easily ignore the first, the second two are an area where Apple consistently gets it right. I wish Dell, HP, etc. would do better at copying the important aspects of the MacBook Pro rather than just a stab at aesthetics, because as much as I like the 15z it's definitely not put together anywhere near as well as the MBP 15. Reply
  • maxxl - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Although you must realize that there are lots of "retrospooty" thinking people around, which are always moaning. And no matter what you will say, this retrospooty's kind of people wil always try to convince you, that you are looser, becouse they can buy "dozens of tables for a price of an iPad". I say to them: stop moaning, just go buy what you want, I'm not interested in your opinion ;) Reply
  • zhill - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I agree Jarred. Plus don't forget OS. I'm convinced that if Apple stopped making OS X and just had Windows on their hardware they wouldn't sell nearly as many machines. OS X isn't all great, but it is significantly different than Windows and the whole "you won't get viruses on a Mac" argument is a big seller (I'm not going to argue it is actually more secure, but the market-share argument is reasonable enough, although in that case Apple is its own worst enemy--more market share=more likely for attack).

    Plus, Apple's interface items are so much better than most PCs: keyboard (generally speaking, but there are some good PC keyboards..uhem Thinkpad which I'm typing this on...though they aren't cheaper); the trackpad is vastly superior to the windows equivalents in terms of multitouch and precision--still love my Trackpoint nub though :)
  • maxxl - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    So what? Do you really think that there is someone interested in your buying decisions? Do you really think that Apple will lower their prices, becouse only that will drive mr. retrospooty to buy one MB Pro, which he cries for? Stop moaning, just buy what you can afford. I don't give sh.t what laptop you will choose. Good luck, be happy "equivalent ones" boy... ROTFL ;)))) Reply
  • iSayuSay - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Really? You can get 2 laptop with nice equivalent keyboard, trackpad, display, tech support, aluminum unibody for $1800?

    Wow .. where did you get that? Please share your valuable information with us. Does it come with OSX too?
  • vision33r - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    There's no way Dell, Asus, or HP will ever get close to Apple in terms of build quality. It's simply unprofitable as it is in the PC industry with cut throat competition and lower margins.

    Most Windows users can accept shoddy quality as long as things are cheap and they can upgrade every other year.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately this is why they'll keep being inferior. It sucks because you see some trying to do what the MBP does but it is only on the most superficial level, they completely miss the point when it comes to the displays and trackpads. Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Have you personally tested all high end solutions from other manufacturers than your favorite brand, KoolAid drinking man(says so in your nick) ? I think not. Defending your reasons for your acquisition does not a best laptop make. Reply
  • Greg512 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I read a lot of reviews and have yet to see a PC with the combination of processing power, screen quality, keyboard/touchpad quality, and battery life that the MacBook Pro 15 in. has. One may exist, but I haven't seen a review of it. I am not saying Macs are perfect, but they do other a combination of features and quality that are quite rare. I am not a fan of OSX, but I do like Apple hardware. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Show me a laptop with the same combination of size, performance, display quality, keyboard, battery life, and trackpad.

    I've looked at my share, and the only one I'd consider at this point is a mid to high range Lenovo, vetted to get a good display since many of them have poor ones. The x220 with the IPS upgrade is quite good, despite the 16:9 display.

    Most laptops aren't very good, and it is completely the fault of companies for missing the point and copying the MBP on only the most superficial level with case design.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    MBP's combination is good but not the best. Some traits could be better. Across the board it is a reasonable machine, no one denies that. And it better be considering the asking price. But that still does not make it the best combination as people are subjective and your best combination might be different from another one's best combination. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Absolutely, if you want a better GPU then it means a larger laptop with less battery life. Laptops should be evaluated based on their usage.

    That said, many people want light laptops with lots of battery life. The fact that such a light laptop has enough horsepower to run most games I play (SC2, TF2, DOTA2, LoL) perfectly is great.

    Outside of balance, there are very few with displays and trackpads as good, and that's something I really wish more PC laptops would tackle in a meaningful way. Most outside of some custom Lenovos and $$$ Elitebooks don't come anywhere close.

    One of the Asus gaming laptops with a better screen and better multitouch trackpad would be AMAZING.
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    It turns out that this Mac Air was suppose to have an AMD APU but GloFo let AMD and Apple customers down. I would have definitely considered a Mac Air with an AMD APU.
  • dave_the_nerd - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Considering that the Air got an i7 instead... I'm glad the deal fell through.

  • MacTheSpoon - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Any chance of adding speaker tests to your Mac laptop (and every laptop) reviews? I am leery of getting a new Mac laptop ever since dealing with my 2007 MBP and it would be nice to know how the maximum volume compares to other laptops now--whether they've improved at all. My particular model is so quiet that many people had to buy Audio Hijack Pro in order to boost their applications' volumes to acceptable levels--a workaround that sadly now fails with most browsers, as the browsers changed their architecture with current versions (some sort of sandboxing thing, I think). Reply
  • iSayuSay - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    I don't know what's wrong with Mac review, there will always fanboys fighting over them.

    On one side, people called Apple fanboys defend it so rigorously and blindly.

    On the other side, Apple hater .. or actually PC FANBOYS bash Apple and making fun of it.

    Moral of the story: One way or another, we're all just a bunch of fanboys. Why feeling so right about yourself?

    What's wrong with: "My money, my business!" thing?
    I have PC, I have iMac, I have Macbook Air .. so what's the point here?

    You're not willing to spend money to buy a Mac?Fine
    You're too poor to shell out cash for a Mac? Fine

    I'm a Mac user, and when necessary .. I don't want to be nitpicky and compromise with quality. I love Mac quality, it's like buying a built up sports car, looks nice and fast too

    I like Pc too .. just like buying a modded out Japanese car and of course it could be faster than Mac, if you know how to do it. But it aint exactly cheaper too. It could be in fact, more expensive than Mac itself for the same performance AND quality. Not all 6990 cards created equally either.

    So, I think it's just between people who care about performance, quality and appearance (the one who can appreciate Mac and also hi end PC for what it is) .. and people who only care about number, spec sheet and considering a PC just a tool (Strong apple hater, and since you don't care about appearance, Hyundai will get you in place just like Aston Martin, it's just a tool, remember?)
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Reasonable words, only that it would be an insult for Aston Martin to associate it with a mainstream MBP. If you were talking about the superlative VaioZ, that would be more like it. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    You'd think that people can be reasonable. I also use both PCs and Macs, and the fanboys are ridiculous. None are as shrill as the PC fanboys at the moment though, they've gotten really bad over the last two years. Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Historically speaking it is the other way around. The PC fanbois appeared as a reaction to constant naggin' on the early interwebs by the Apple fanbois. Now that Apple is much more mainstream, and in light of iphone's stellar success, Apple fanbois are even more open and brazen in their flaming. The fact that Apple gear ownership is pretty much a cultural thing in the States certainly "helps" them. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I completely disagree. Go so any gaming forum, the moment someone playing TF2 or SC2 asking for help lets out that they play it on an iMac gets responses like "lol get a real computer". I play on a PC but I also know that the response is obnoxious.

    Garry of Garry's Mod put it best:

    "Garry's Mod launched on the Mac last month. Mac users are creating stuff as well, though Garry isn't spotting any differences between Mac and Windows users' creativity. "If there's someone in the server on a Mac they're indistinguishable from PC players," he says. "Which is the way it's got to stay since PC gamers are assholes to Mac gamers for some reason.""

    Perhaps the Mac userbase used to be more obnoxious. That hasn't been the case for two or three years now, the anti-fanboys are way more annoying these days.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    You don't dismiss my point. "Obnoxious" SC2 players REACT to their Apple branded brethren. Being the veteran gamers that they are, they remember always being falsely told how crappy windows on their beige boxes was :).
    The Mac userbase, small part of it nowadays but nonetheless significant, is "cultured". So the obnoxious part of it is also "cultured". OSX SC2 users should ask questions on the mac support part of gaming forums and not in "broad daylight" :).
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    "OSX SC2 users should ask questions on the mac support part of gaming forums and not in "broad daylight" :)"

    What a garbage fanboy apartheid attitude you have.

    My main desktop is a PC, but I wouldn't hesitate for a second to help someone on a Mac if they wanted a hand. Hell, one of my Mac friends is Masters league, the last thing he needs from me is advice.

    I bet you're also a bronze/silver/gold league scrub. ;)
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Never did I point at you in my ramblings. Present persons are always excluded. Think of it, how can the majority of SC2 players which are PC gamers can possibly know OSX related issues.
    Good luck in your SC2 matches...for me SC2 was a disappointment(personal opinion).
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    It isn't about Windows users not knowing how to help, its about them going out of their way to be negative for no reason. I know it's the internet and you should expect people to be jerks, but meh.

    Also, SC2 is the best game presently out there. Spent a lot of the weekend watching MLG Providence (AMAZING) and will soon break from Skyrim to get back on the ladder. :D
  • MacTheSpoon - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    This is very good to know! I know some people actually resorted to filing down their laptops. Thanks for the info. Reply
  • zsero - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Anand, please review the Sony SE!

    It is the most interesting laptop for me in 2011 and no one is talking about it!

    - 15 inch matte 1920x1080 IPS-like display
    - 2.0 kg
    - dedicated graphics 6670M
    - OK, not quad core
    - quiet
    - slice battery for 12 hours
    - around 1000 dollar for i5 + 6670M

    I believe it could be one of the most interesting laptops to be reviewed on Anandtech in 2011!
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Anand does not get Vaios for review. Reply
  • zsero - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Google: vaio Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Did not search thoroughly enough. I remember that Anand was denied a review unit of the 2010 VaioZ. Reply
  • kevith - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    It's always depressing to read the comments when ever there has been a Mac review in these pages.

    Almost every post is so filled with HATE.

    Why? Every other review has lots and lots of interesting and clever comments, sometimes ranging to expert analysis. Lots of good points are made, even the reviewers sometimes get enlightened with points they didn't think of during the review. And all of it is kept in a civil and friendly tone.

    But when it comes to Mac reviews, it's quite the opposite: Sarcastic remarks, only trying to make the reviewer or other commentators look idiotic. Ironically ending up being pretty idiotic themselves. Remarks like "I don give a s... about your opinion", "bug off, fanboy,.. you make me laugh", "you spew crap", "nice trollin'", "wow, so mad!", "I am sure all the pathetic apple cultboys, like Anand,..." are all a disgrace to all of you who posted them.

    OF COURSE you care about others opinion, otherwise you wouldn't read them! Or answer for that matter.

    Please drop it, it's not welcome in serious sites like this, it doesn't do ANYONE any good.

  • james.jwb - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link


    Big audience here where some (read: most) stay out of the silliness and others only take part in the silliness. The Mac reviews--just like PS3 vs Xbox, COD vs BF3--attracts a certain type of.... weird individual that needs to rethink a few things about their deep emotional attachment to little boxes with plugs, in my opinion.

    I don't blame some for defending their positions when attacked by these crazy, biased people, because it's quite annoying and borderline trolling, and sometimes it's hard not to let loose and troll a troll back.

    But to grown ups it reads as tiresomely embarrassing drivel and just looks like there is something wrong with some people, which is likely.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    This is(was) a site for tech enthusiasts. They traditionally are against pre-configured machines and more into the hardware side of things. Apple reviews are fine but the mac users that comment on those Apple related articles, more often that not, do not address the tech side of that said Apple machine. They are almost always something like "...which is why Apple will always win against..." or "...why cant other brand makers do this...". Reply
  • freespace303 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    No 6770m benches for us windows gaming lovers eh? :(

    I would love to see how this laptop handles BF3 and Skyrim.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Same, I'd love to see how the 6770m compared with the 6750m. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    "My current setup is a Samsung 830 in the primary drive bay and an Intel SSD 510 in place of my optical drive"
    You are such an SSD hog! Most people are still finding it hard to put one SSD in their case because of the prices. :D

    Otherwise, good read.
  • Torrijos - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Anand should really try to review Mac Hardware with a bunch of Windows benchmark too, just to gage where they sit compared to the windows crowd, reducing OS & software optimization influence on the measures.

    This would be particularly interesting with the advent of the ultrabook where the MBA seems to be the reference but doesn't show up in any of the charts of the ultrabook reviews.
    This would also reduce speculation on hardware performance benchmarks the only nagging point remaining would be the drivers given by Apple.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I agree! While I am unfortunately not in the market for such a thing while I'm still a student (another year or two), some of the MBPs do look nice and offer good performance. But I would not use OSX with them. So a comparison with bootcamp Windows would be appreciated. :-) Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    1:1 comparisons in the past have yielded consistent results in terms of battery life and game performance. Windows gets less battery life along with better game performance, the latter due to GPU drivers from vendors being much more optimized than the OpenGL drivers Apple puts out themselves. There were several updates from Apple last year when Valve ported Source games to OS X that yielded very good improvement, but it's still generally not as good as DirectX performance in Windows. There are a few exceptions like WoW, but then you have games like Starcraft 2 where the differences seem to swing wildly depending on the version number.

    Doesn't affect me much personally, I segregate work to my OS X machine and play to my Windows box. :)
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Load of bull. DirectX and OpenGL performance in Windows is a no contest compared to Apple's. It all amounts to Apple's shitty bootcamp. Apple's drivers for Windows don't use the integrated graphics at all - they just turn on (and leave on) the discrete GPU - even if your machine doesn't need the graphics horsepower - hence the battery penalty. Apple also only provides Windows IO drivers that make the HDD subsystem look like an old IDE drive, reducing IO bandwidth and increasing IO latency considerably. Legacy IDE mode hinders the performance of all disk IO. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Yes, I'm fully aware that those are reasons for Windows performance having less battery life than OS X. That said, I didn't go into that, instead focusing on differences in graphics performance (Windows DX drivers are more optimized than OS X OGL drivers) which we do agree one, even though your response makes it seem like we don't.

    The one thing you do need to consider is Anandtech's battery tests on Macbooks without dedicated graphics. Even with an integrated GPU, battery life is more with OS X. Furthermore, Boot Camp battery life is roughly in line with other notebooks running identical specs:

    Why are you so mad? These aren't major disagreements we're having.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    OpenGL drivers are also better and actually up to date compared to OSX, you keep to omit that.
    Back in 2011(your link is a test from 2008) there are Win7 ultrabooks(that come to mind) that offer at least comparable battery life with the most recent Air. Anand should use desktop Flash browsing in his browsing tests so as to provide more realistic battery life patterns.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Are you really being this nitpicky? When I talk about video drivers being more up to date in Windows, I figure that both DX and OpenGL can be inferred. The only reason I wasn't as specific is because nothing (not even Carmack's RAGE) uses OpenGL in Windows these days. I didn't think it was even worth mentioning given that DirectX is the standard, so much so that even he threw in the towel.

    If you can't infer that then maybe I need to spell everything out for you from now on. Either way it doesn't change my core criticisms that video drivers from GPU manufacturers are more up to date than the ones that Apple puts out much less frequently on their own.

    As for recent Win7 ultrabooks, I expect that the battery life results would be similar with the same hardware as the Air given that Windows 7 and Vista are still roughly in line with each other. Win7 is actually marginally worse in terms of battery life if I'm not mistaken.

    Either way, the test is from 2008 but I don't expect the results to be any different on similar hardware given that Win7 hasn't yielded any improvements in that area.

    Regarding tests with and without Flash, he's always very clear when he's having it off or on. In the case of the 2008 test it wasn't mentioned, so I have to assume that Flash was used in both tests.

    You seem to be desperately looking for excuses.
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    I was under the malevolent influence of your nick :).

    The Verge's and Engadget's recent ultrabook reviews yielded similar battery life across the board. One exception is that of Sammy's Series 9, but that is a significantly older part. Toshiba's Protege actually has the highest battery life out of the pack(Air included). So NO, things have changed since 2008, and your axiom is wrong.

    Why would I care so much to look for excuses ?
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    "it would have to wait until Haswell, where integrated graphics performance is supposed to be much better."

    I still hope that AMD can deliver good CPU performance within the next year or two. Do you think Apple will ever bother with AMD, even if they become competitive again?
  • Vepsa - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I really want one of these. However, I want to know what you guys do with your review machines too. If you don't have to send this one back, I'll take it ;) Reply
  • TheGeoff - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Cool. Glad to hear they addressed that. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    At least you can now GET the matte screen on the 15" (for an extra $150, or $50 more than the optional higher-res screen), although it's still inexplicably not available on the machines that are most likely to leave the house: the 13" MBP and the Airs.

    After many, many hours working with matte and glossy screens under all lighting conditions, you'll realize: glossy screens suck. This asinine fad is the biggest regression in computing since... what?

    It's time that reviews call this out instead of and make it a marketing liability that Apple and others can't ignore, instead of (yes, here it comes) GLOSSING OVER IT.
  • tzhu07 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Yes, totally. I don't understand the glossy trend. When I was in the market for a 2560 monitor, I had to immediately eliminate the Apple 27" display because of the glossy screen. They lost $1,000 from a customer by default.

    NEC ended up with my money for the PA271W.
  • MadMacMan - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Wait for Haswell? What the hell? You might as well never get any notebook or computer of any kind for that matter, as something better is always on the horizon. Even Ivy Bridge is 6-8 months too far into the future as far as I'm concerned.

    I just discovered this site and spent four hours reading reviews and benchies last night. lol...It works so well for me because Anand thinks like me when it comes to wanting your cake and eating it, too, with using a 15" or 17" MacBook Pro along with a 27" ThunderBolt / (LED) Cinema Display. Right down to using the Magic Trackpad instead of a mouse. haha...that's awesome!

    Well, this setup has really only been possible on a more serious level since Sandy Bridge and ThunderBolt. It is about to get even sweeter once there are ThunderBolt adapters and devices coming out, such as the Sonnet TB --> ExpressCard/34 adapter and PCIe expansion enclosures that will allow multiple full-length PCIe cards to be added to a *laptop*, something that still requires a Mac Pro today.

    Finally, I actually wanted to add something to this review that wasn't mentioned and that has been a thorn in my eye with the 2011 (Early as well as Late). The 15" and 17" MBP's SATA III implementation STILL doesn't work in the optical drive bay! I have two OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SATA III (6Gbps) SSD's that I used to get upwards of 900MB/s (and over 100,000 IOPS) in a Mac mini server before I switched (back) to this (laptop+display) model. Even more infuriating is the fact that the 13" MBP works just fine with SATA III SSD's in *both* bays! Grrr! Yes, I realize that Apple not only didn't advertise the fact that SATA III drives can be used since its Early-2011 MBP models, but they haven't even so much as mentioned it in any of its marketing materials. Whatever...I'm back down to 550MB/s using just one of my solid state drives. (P.S.: Yes, I know, first world problem...)
  • umesh - Saturday, November 19, 2011 - link

    Has anyone noticed that the second table above reads "Apple 15-inch Late 2011 MacBook Pro CPU Comparison", whereas the listed processors all belong to the EARLY 2011 MBP models? Reply
  • Omid.M - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Is 22W TDP? I thought I saw 35W or the same as current platform, at least on some chart a few months back.

    And wouldn't the power/heat savings of a 22W TDP be negated by going to a slimmer design, if that's the next move for the rumored model update in Summer 2012?


    Good thoughts about the optical drive not being the sole factor in making the chassis thinner.

    Correction (?)

    Given that there are no reasonable performing HDDs in a smaller form factor, one would assume that if and when Apple removes the optical drive from the MacBook Pro, it will also remove the hard drive.

    --it will also move way from the 2.5" form factor HDDs


  • Omid.M - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    What do you recommend for photo work?

    Quad core MBP 15 + ACD or iMac 27 (quad core) ?

  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    Here is a benchmark with recent machines, but unfortunately they are only video apps:

    Here are Aperture benchmarks from August, so tweaks your expectations accordingly:

    Performance is excellent both ways, so ask yourself what your usage is. Does your powerhouse workstation need to be portable? Do you need a laptop? If so, get the MBP+TB display. Otherwise save your money and get an iMac instead, much much cheaper than the laptop+TB display.
  • spamcops - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I just registered because of this article suggesting Intel SSD 510 disk with this macbook pro model. Actually I was testing this disk with Macbook Pro 13' early 2011 and its horrible. There are lockups in IO intensive reads (for example spotlight indexing, lock lasting like 30s - basicaly you sea only beachball). Result are messages about corrupted filesystem in system.log. Probably its same issue with late 2011 model. EFI firmware update 2.3 didnt helped.

    It looks like there is issue with sata cable or something with macbook pro and all 6gbit SSD disks (not only intel).

    Then I tested Intel SSD 320 model and it was fine - very good performance without problems, even if negotiated speed was only 3Gbit (SATA2).

  • MadMacMan - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Are you talking about the optical drive bay or the main HDD bay? SATA III 6Gbps works just fine in the main hard drive bay and on 13" MBP's (as opposed to 15" and 17" models, both Early and Late 2011), you can even RAID 2 SATA III SSD's for sequential speeds north of 900MB/s. I'm not sure why you have the experience that you do, but that's not the case on a widespread basis. I've tried this on one Early-2011 15" MBP and two Late-2011 17" MBP's. Reply
  • CalaverasGrande - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    still maxes at 8gb! I know that may seem like plenty of ram, but those of us using VM's can easily exploit all of the ram that is available. Not to mention that many Mac users will hang on to their Macs for 4-5 years. I am confident 16gb will be the new 4gb by then! Reply
  • MadMacMan - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Agreed. I have 8GB in my Late-2011 MBP and I'm using it all and it's just about the perfect amount for Safari and Chrome and 40+ tabs open at the same time between the two. So it'll happen that I have Flash plug-in's running on both and Netflix uses Silverlight, and while I do realize that I could cut that in half with a little bit of discipline, I simply don't care to. I didn't buy a Quad Core i7 system to save on...anything really. I'm still peeved that the optical drive bay won't work well with my 2nd of two SATA III SSD's in RAID mode, as I had my previous Mac configured.

    Having said that, there are 8GB modules available from OWC for quite a steep fee, but it's technically not correct that the MacBook Pro is limited to 8GB of RAM. If you get two of those babies, you'll have a full 16GB, which I had at one time but in an iMac, so it was 4x4GB and tons cheaper, of course. With that setup, I was able to run a VM with Windows 7 in it, so dedicating 8GB to the VM and having both OS X and Windows running on all cylinders and totally stably was not a problem.

    UPDATE: Wait a minute. Prices have plummeted to "only" $395 for the full 16GB! Wow! So if you have 2x4GB, you can get one 8GB chip for $200, sell the one 4GB stick to offset the cost and you'll end up with 12GB for the difference.
  • flomt - Saturday, December 24, 2011 - link

    Does Apple ship you a product to test, knowing who you are, or do you go to a store and buy one?
    I have a macbook pro 13 mid 2010 and out of the box only got half the battery life you seen to have.
    After visiting with Apple about my "poor" battery life, they said I was normal.
    Visiting with some friends, nobody came come close to your battery times.
    Why the big differences?
  • bob33 - Saturday, March 24, 2012 - link

    So, as gradjoh mentioned, in layman's terms is the "early 2011" 2.3 GHz 4Gb RAM model better than the "late 2011" 2.4 GHz 4Gb RAM model, in terms of speed/performance, etc.?

  • 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 for only £1,240 including VAT and delivery. Reply
  • fifi007 - Sunday, January 26, 2014 - link

    This about sums up the Early 2011 Macbook Pro -- broken -- Reply

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