What’s New?

1) Mobile Penryn: The MacBook and MacBook Pro now both use 45nm Penryn based Core 2 Duo CPUs. The chipset and rest of the platform remain identical. We’ll be measuring the impacts of this on performance battery life.

2) Multi-touch Track Pads: The MacBook Pro now gets the same multi-touch functionality as the MacBook Air.

3) More Video Memory on the MacBook Pro: The GeForce 8600M GT Apple uses in the MacBook Pro now comes with either 256MB or 512MB of GDDR3 memory, up from 128MB - 256MB in the previous MacBook Pro. The base MacBook continues to use Intel’s X3100 integrated graphics and uses system memory (up to 144MB) for its frame buffer.

4) Bigger Hard Drives: Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro now come with larger 2.5” HDDs standard. Reasonable sized SSDs are still too expensive to realistically offer. I’ve got a 128GB SSD back at the office, I’ll be taking a look at its impact on battery life after CeBIT.

5) Slightly Updated Keyboards: The function key layout has been updated a bit and is now identical to the desktop and MacBook Air keyboards. The base MacBook does not get a backlit keyboard unfortunately.

The improvements to the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines are largely evolutionary, but they do come at no additional cost so it’s tough to complain about that.

  New Penryn MacBook Pro 15" Old Merom MacBook Pro 15" New Penryn MacBook Old Merom MacBook MacBook Air
Dimensions H: 1.0"
W: 14.1"
D: 9.6"
H: 1.0"
W: 14.1"
D: 9.6"
H: 1.08"
W: 12.78"
D: 8.92"
H: 1.08"
W: 12.78"
D: 8.92"
H: 0.16-076"
W: 12.8"
D: 8.94"
Weight 5.4 lbs 5.4 lbs 5.0 lbs 5.0 lbs 3.0 lbs
Screen Size/Resolution 15.4" / 1440 x 900 15.4" / 1440 x 900 13.3" / 1280 x 800 13.3" / 1280 x 800 13.3" / 1280 x 800
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz - 2.6GHz (45nm Penryn) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz - 2.6GHz (65nm Merom) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 - 2.4GHz (45nm Penryn) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 - 2.2GHz (65nm Merom) Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 - 1.8GHz (65nm Merom)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (256MB - 512MB) NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (128MB - 256MB) Intel GMA X3100
(144MB UMA)
Intel GMA X3100
(144MB UMA)
Intel GMA X3100 (144MB UMA)
Memory 2GB - 4GB DDR2-667 2GB - 4GB DDR2-667 1GB - 4GB DDR2-667 1GB - 4GB DDR2-667 2GB DDR2-667 (fixed)
HDD 200 - 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA
200GB 7200RPM SATA
120 - 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA
200GB 7200RPM SATA
120 - 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA HDD 80 - 160GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA HDD 80GB 1.8" HDD
or 64GB 1.8" SSD
Optical Drive Integrated SuperDrive Integrated SuperDrive Integrated Combo drive or SuperDrive Integrated Combo drive or SuperDrive Optional External USB SuperDrive
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
Built in iSight Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Inputs 2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x FireWire 800
1 x ExpressCard/34
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x FireWire 800
1 x ExpressCard/34
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
1 x USB 2.0
1 x Integrated mic
Outputs 1 x Audio
1 x dual-link DVI
1 x Audio
1 x dual-link DVI
1 x Audio
1 x mini-DVI
1 x Audio
1 x mini-DVI
1 x Audio
1 x Micro-DVI
Battery 60WHr 60WHr 55WHr 55WHr 37WHr
Price $1999 $1999 $1099 $1099 $1799
 

 

One More Thing for 2008: Montevina based MacBook/Pro Much Ado about L2
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  • steveyballmer - Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - link

    ... being a mac!

    get real people! Vista is the thing!

    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com">http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com
    Reply
  • alisonkay2008 - Friday, March 07, 2008 - link

    You can get the best Macbook Pro Case at Macbook Pro Case Reply
  • alisonkay2008 - Friday, March 07, 2008 - link

    Sorry... the link didn't work.
    http://www.macbook-pro-case.com">http://www.macbook-pro-case.com
    Reply
  • JAS - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    FWIW, MacWorld Labs is reporting that the new "entry level" MacBook Pro is about 10% faster than the model it replaces.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/132330/2008/03/mac...">http://www.macworld.com/article/132330/2008/03/mac...

    On this third year anniversary of my current laptop, I'm headed over to the Apple Store to purchase the 2.4 gHz model. Thanks to Anand for providing his helpful analysis.
    Reply
  • brunerd - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    Quick note about the Exposé key and some modifier keys:
    If you hold down Command when pressing Exposé (F3) it shows Desktop
    If you hold down Control when pressing it, it shows just the App Windows

    So you don't have to resort to fn-f12 or fn-f11 to get the above behavior.

    Thanks for the write up, nice to know it's running cooler.
    Reply
  • louieking - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    I was very disappointed that you did not compare the new Penryn 2.6GHz, 200GB- 7200RPM model with the 2007 Merom 2.6GHz, 200GB- 7200RPM model. I don’t think the tests were comparing apples for apples. I think most people interested in your reviews would have wanted to see the difference in overall performance (processing times, battery life) as it relates to lower voltage demands of the Penryn. This would have shown true comparison in battery performance since I suspect that the Penryn version would out-perform in all tests and still have better battery life by a few minutes. Lastly, I think many folks would have been intrigued with a test that showed Firewire 800 download speeds as it relates to battery life. This is an everyday task that would make a difference for a professional MacBook Pro user.

    PS. It’s not too late to WOW the world with your review since you usually beat everyone else to the punch.

    Thanks for your insight.
    Reply
  • azca - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    Hint: you can use a tiny driver/software to control the frequency of the intel cpus to show better comparison in your charts:

    http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html">http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html

    Please, if you can, use this for your next review so that you can have better apple-to-apple comparison.

    You can also use the program to undervolt the cpu and hence measure the thermal output and lifespan of battery etc.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • Pete248 - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    While the MacBook Pro keyboard isn't bad, I'm really wandering, why Apple didn't switch to the new keyboard they now use in the MacBook, the Air and the external keyboards.
    Having tried both side by side, the new keyboard feels more definite than the MacPro keyboard. And its probably less susceptible to dust, crumbs and water - the later killing the MacBook Pro keyboard easily - even in traces.
    With a new keyboard I would have pulled the trigger for a purchase, now I'm holding back to see what comes within the next 3 months.

    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    The review says Intel's upcoming video would help the Macbook Pro with Blu Ray playback. Presumably that should have said help the Macbook, as the Pro doesn't use integrated video, and has already had a GPU that accelerates Blu Ray playback for most of a year.

    [quote]MelCarnahan, 2 hours ago
    The author claims Apple picked the right CPU partner in Intel, yet these Intel CPUs could not come close to matching a 32nm Quad Core IBM Cell processor with 2000 MHz FSB. It is disingenuous to compare these Intel egg fryers with a single core PowerPC with a 133MHz FSB. Clearly the Cell processor is superior both in performance and battery life. Only those who wish to use their Yonahs to fry eggs prefer Intel. [/quote]

    Is this some kind of joke? If so, I don't get it. There's so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start, and someone else can do a far better job explaining why, but off the top of my head:

    Cell is a TERRIBLE general purpose CPU. It gets destroyed by Netburst architecture, let alone Intel's modern CPUs. It's great for specific things, but would be terrible for a computer (and is very questionable for a game system for that matter...)

    As far as I know, Intel is a who process ahead of anything Cell is produced on. Geez, the PS3 version is only now hitting 65nm.

    I have no idea why Cell would run COOLER. If anything I'd assume the reverse is true, and certainlly it is anyway because AFAIK there's no 45nm Cell (let alone 32nm as claimed).

    [quote]The Yonah fans sound distinctly like one of those unarmored Humvees with its muffler blown off. The Merom 2.2 Macbook Pro is an improvement but still far hotter, louder and short-batteried compared to the PowerPC. [/quote]

    The Macbook Pro's I've used are dead silent unless they're pushed-but that's a case design issue. I have no idea how they compare to the G4 that was used in terms of the power they use, but I don't think it was much different, and certainly Intel's CPUs would destroy those G4s in terms of power/performance.
    Reply
  • MelCarnahan - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    The author claims Apple picked the right CPU partner in Intel, yet these Intel CPUs could not come close to matching a 32nm Quad Core IBM Cell processor with 2000 MHz FSB. It is disingenuous to compare these Intel egg fryers with a single core PowerPC with a 133MHz FSB. Clearly the Cell processor is superior both in performance and battery life. Only those who wish to use their Yonahs to fry eggs prefer Intel.

    Secondly, Macbook and Macbook Pro keyboards are a disaster. Forget bells and whistles and multitouch. They don't even get the basics right. These are basically what was long derided as cheap chiclet keyboards for many years. The backlighting is frivolous when you consider that even at the dimmest setting, the screen is enough to light up a room. The screen is certainly bright enough to light up both the room and the keyboard. The first and most important requirement of any keyboard is a dedicated, full-size page up and page down key. Second, full-size arrow keys. Even the first TRS-80s got this right and Apple still can't get it right. They could create a feature where you waddle your elbows like a duck while holding up three fingers and bending your knees and then the page scrolls down a page - or they could just include a proper page-up and page-down key.

    The Yonah fans sound distinctly like one of those unarmored Humvees with its muffler blown off. The Merom 2.2 Macbook Pro is an improvement but still far hotter, louder and short-batteried compared to the PowerPC.

    For solutions see: http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com">http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com

    Reply

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