Apple says that its latest Mac Book Pro laptops, equipped with Intel
Core 2 Duo processors in place of the Core Duo chips that powered the
first generation of the family, its deliver performance that is up to
39 percent faster. Based on past experience with the company’s
The Apple Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz (T7600), with two
independent processor cores, a 4 MB shared on chip level 2 cache, a 667
MHz front side bus, 2.0 GB of 667 MHz PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM, a 160 GB
hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor technology, and an 8X dual-layer
DVD±RW/CD-RW SuperDrive. It also includes an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
graphics processor with 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory and dual-link DVI
functionality, and a 17 widescreen 1680x1050 TFT active-matrix display
(glossy display option available).
Some special features of MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.33 GHz
Bigger caches and faster graphics
The new MacBook Pros look virtually identical to their predecessors,
and the overall structure of the family hasn’t changed: there’s still a
single standard 17-inch model priced at $2,799.The new chip’s SSE3
Vector Engine, used in some audio, video, and scientific applications,
now processes 128 bits of data at a time, compared to 64 bits in the
Core Duo chip. Finally, although Apple won’t disclose the details, its
engineers have also squeezed out a little extra performance by tweaking
the workings of the ATI Radeon X1600 chip that handles graphics
processing in the Mac Book Pros.
Battery life unchanged
Some early speculation about the Core 2 Duo predicted that, in addition
to boosting performance, it would cut power consumption. Those reports
turned out to be untrue—battery life in the new Mac Book Pros is about
the same as in the previous generation. In my tests with the 2.33GHz
Core 2 Duo version of the 17-inch Mac Book Pro, I actually did a little
better (2 hours and 35 minutes) at DVD playback. I managed only 3 hours
and 9 minutes of wireless productivity.
More memory, bigger drives
Beyond the processor, Apple has doubled the RAM in each standard Mac
Book Pro configuration: the 17-inch model and the 2.33GHz 15-inch one
model come with 2GB of RAM—a pair of 1GB SO-DIMMs—while the base
17-inch model has a single 1GB SO-DIMM. As our benchmark results
suggest, going from 1GB to 2GB of RAM has only a modest effect on
speed, but it enables you to keep more big applications—or more
operating systems, if you use Desktop virtualization software—open
simultaneously without running into delays when you switch among them.
The 17-Inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo systems have much of the same
connectivity as the replaced models -- AirPort Extreme (802.11g),
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 400
port, optical digital audio in/out, DVI out, and ExpressCard/34.
However, much to the delight of video graspers, the 17-Inch models now
include a single Firewire 800 port as well. The 17-Inch model shares
the same ports as its predecessor -- which include all the ports of the
17-Inch Core 2 Duo model -- as well as a third USB 2.0 port (both
17-Inch models have a Firewire 800 port). Each system also includes an
integrated iSight video camera and, by default, a 5400 RPM hard drive.
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