Apple's 15-inch Core i5 MacBook Pro: The One to Get?by Anand Lal Shimpi on April 14, 2010 10:38 PM EST
- Posted in
- MacBook Pro
- Core i5
If you've followed our Mac coverage over the past year you know I've been telling everyone to wait until Apple brought Arrandale into its MacBook Pro lineup. The time has finally come and this week Apple updated its entire MacBook Pro lineup.
While the 13-inch models still sport Core 2 Duo CPUs, the 15 and 17-inch models now ship with your choice of Core i5-M or Core i7-M processors. In a somewhat unexpected twist, all of the new models ship with discrete graphics courtesy of NVIDIA's GeForce GT 330M.
Intel gets to sell Apple some chipsets again and NVIDIA gets its GPUs in the new systems (possibly making even more money than before). But do you all benefit? Read on to find out!
Update: We've added benchmarks of the Core i7 model as well on Page 3!
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MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - linksorry i was looking at the 620UM. someone needs more clearer names
Affectionate-Bed-980 - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - linkseriously? 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.
Affectionate-Bed-980 - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - linkso 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.
Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - linkI agree, I just don't have any of the MBPs with the 9600M around the lab anymore :)
Affectionate-Bed-980 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - linkaww 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 )
Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - linkI always try to have at least n-2 generations of MacBook Pro hardware laying around for comparisons like this :)
youguy - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - linkWith SSDs offered as an option, why aren't we seeing TRIM support in Snow Leopard?
Griswold - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - linkAsk email@example.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".
ggathagan - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - linkBattery 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.
Brian Klug - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - linkYou 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.