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Unannounced Core i7 Apple MacBook Pro benchmarks surface

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
A benchmark report for an unreleased Apple MacBook Pro sporting Intel's upcoming dual-core 2.66GHz Core i7 mobile processor was published online this week, suggesting a refresh to the professional notebook line may be imminent.

The Geekbench report, which can be seen in its entirety here, was submitted on February 4th and subsequently spotted by a MacRumors forum member. It lists the model as a MacBook Pro 6,1 -- a previously unused MacBook Pro identifier -- running an unreleased build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 labeled 10C3067.

More specifically, the chip that registered inside the unreleased MacBook Pro is the Core i7 M 620, which represents the highest-performance chip announced as part of Intel's new Arrandale mobile offerings last month.

Overall, the unannounced system garnered a score of 5260, which compares quite favorably to a high score of roughly 4620 for the existing top-of-the-line 17-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, and a score of 4260 for the existing 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo model.

If not the result of a custom hack, these findings suggest that the MacBook Pro responsible for the this week's Geekbench score may represent a high-end 15- or 17-inch model that Apple plans to introduce to the market shortly. The Mac Maker has been rumored to adopt Arrandale microprocessors to further its professional notebook line, though previous reports have focused around the machines adopting the Core i5 line of processors.

For instance, Intel last month accidentally issued an email to its Retail Edge program offering partners a chance to win a forthcoming MacBook Pro based around a new Core i5 processor. The world's largest chipmaker later claimed the promotion was an error, though somewhat unconvincingly.



Assuming the aforementioned benchmarks aren't the result of a one-off custom hack, it's reasonable to presume Apple may use a combination of Core i5 and Core i7 chips to power its forthcoming MacBook Pro refresh, starting with the 2.26GHz (430M) or 2.4GHz (520M) Core i5 variants on the low end, stepping up to 2.53GHz (540M) Core i5 on the mid-range model, and maxing out with the 2.66GHz 620M Core i7 on the high-end offerings.





The Core i7 chips include 4MB of Level 3 cache while the Core i5s include 3MB of Level 3 cache. Both processor lines offer 2x DDR3-1066 memory, as can be seen in the charts above.
post #2 of 125
Maybe its a Hackintosh?

Wouldn't be the first time we have seen hackintoshes listed as genuine Macs. Heres a link to one of those new 3.5ghz core i7 iMacs http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/209237
post #3 of 125
Yay, I'm in. Hopefully they come out soon
post #4 of 125
Excellent. Tuesday?
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post #5 of 125
LOL these Geekbench scores are TWICE those of my '06 Core Duo MacBook (2.0 GHz). This will be quite the upgrade for me:

It's amazing how quickly tech improves.
post #6 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Maybe its a Hackintosh?

Wouldn't be the first time we have seen hackintoshes listed as genuine Macs. Heres a link to one of those new 3.5ghz core i7 iMacs http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/209237

Thought about it, but wouldn't Identify itself as an unknown Mac instead of having an Apple specific I.D.?
post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Thought about it, but wouldn't Identify itself as an unknown Mac instead of having an Apple specific I.D.?

That can be spoofed. We can't rule out people trying to pull a lame internet gag.
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post #8 of 125
Bring it. I'm ready - finally. Now or never. Wonder what the 13" will get?
post #9 of 125
since there is no graphics card info, i don't believe it until i see it
post #10 of 125
Why do you say it "compares quite favorably?" I guess it's higher, but It's also an entire architectural shift for only 14% improvement.
post #11 of 125
If you noticed there started to provide discounts to the present macbook pro line. Not sure about USA, but India there are giving discounts.
post #12 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

since there is no graphics card info, i don't believe it until i see it

Excellent point.
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post #13 of 125
Of course, the day after I pick up my MacBook Pro. Oh well, this is a great little computer and I have no regrets. Besides, now I wont get a first production round unit that will be more likely to have issues.
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post #14 of 125
same boat as rogzilla, got my mbp 15 2.66 2 months ago, oh well really needed it and not that much performance loss, and based on imac pricing, i probably couldnt afford core i5 or i7 anyway, dont expect a sub 2500 price tag
post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacAdict View Post

same boat as rogzilla, got my mbp 15 2.66 2 months ago, oh well really needed it and not that much performance loss, and based on imac pricing, i probably couldnt afford core i5 or i7 anyway, dont expect a sub 2500 price tag

Don't expect prices to increase, as they won't.
post #16 of 125
im not saying they will increase, a mbp 15 with 3.06 c2d starts at 2599, im guessing thats the neighborhood for the i7
post #17 of 125
Yay!!!!!!
post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacAdict View Post

im not saying they will increase, a mbp 15 with 3.06 c2d starts at 2599, im guessing thats the neighborhood for the i7

The i7-620M IS the top of the line for Arrandale, but I wouldn't expect it to be the "upgrade" processor - maybe they will have an optional Claksdale 720QM as the upgrade.
post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Excellent point.


i think it's safe to say that the next MBP refresh won't have the 9400M which means an Intel produced motherboard
post #20 of 125
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It tracks the historical frequency of updates against the current interval between updates for all of Apple's stuff, and makes purchasing recommendations based on that.

Current status of MacBook Pros? "Don't buy, updates soon", based on an average of 200 days between updates and a current count of 243 days since the last one. So the update clock ticked over about a month ago.
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post #21 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasslehawf View Post

The i7-620M IS the top of the line for Arrandale, but I wouldn't expect it to be the "upgrade" processor - maybe they will have an optional Claksdale 720QM as the upgrade.

Have they ever used a CPU with a 45W TDP in a MBP?
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post #22 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

since there is no graphics card info, i don't believe it until i see it

Straight from the Geekbench site:

"Also, keep in mind that Geekbench 2 only measures processor and memory performance which is why, for example, MacBook and MacBook Pro scores are so similar, despite both having radically different graphics adapters."

And to the previous poster regarding the nVidia 9400M and boards made by Intel (which in fact, Intel does not make any boards for Apple, they simply supply reference designs that Apple can then work with and modify), the current dispute between Intel and nVidia only covers the chipset, not the discreet graphics. Therefore, as much as Apple would hate to do it, they can easily design their boards with an Intel chipset and nVidia or ATI discreet graphics like they were doing before the 9400M. The benefit of the 9400M was that it was a self-contained part that included both the Northbridge and Southbridge chipset and graphics, but it is by no means anything that would prevent a new MacBook from coming to market with more powerful graphics than Intel can currently provide; it's simply yet another chip that has to be power-managed and taken in to consideration for heat and dissipation purposes.
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

LOL these Geekbench scores are TWICE those of my '06 Core Duo MacBook (2.0 GHz). This will be quite the upgrade for me:

It's amazing how quickly tech improves.

Imagine the jump for me (from my Ti PowerBook)! I just hope I can scrape together the $$...
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post #24 of 125
Truth told, at the time I wish I could have waited for an i5 or i7 mobile CPU but I had to pull the trigger before 2009 year-end on a 15" MBP. The lure of greater processing muscle with lower power demands is always intoxicating and I was disappointed that I left the dinner table before a delicious performance-dessert was soon set to arrive.

Yet, for my usage the greatest single performance bump was already on the menu. When compared to the salacious speed descriptors that always follow a chip that hereto now occupied the spec (and marketing) limelight, this newcomer to my plate has singlehandedly changed my computer experience by an order of magnitude far greater than I could have imagined. I almost dismissed it because of its price but I figured I wanted to taste what a growing number of people -- Anand Lal Shimpi, in particular -- have experienced and if it meant some extra belt-tightening, so be it.

Now, a simple three-letter acronym makes me weak at the knees: SSD.


Wow...... Simply wow... Theres not much else to say.


Yes, it's still nascent days for SSD's, their track record is short with some notable past growing pains, capacities are modest relative to their rotational storage counterparts, and there's a question mark on how Apple has implemented OS X and SSD storage optimization (i.e. OS X balks at some controller-firmware combinations with some off-the-shelf SSD's) but right now, I'm still drunk on SSD performance.


i7m, who?

.
post #25 of 125
Hmm, well the timing seems right if they refresh sometime between now and July. WWDC 2010? I hope it's sooner.

Can't wait!
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

LOL these Geekbench scores are TWICE those of my '06 Core Duo MacBook (2.0 GHz). This will be quite the upgrade for me:

It's amazing how quickly tech improves.

Same here But then, it has been 4 long years.... And I'm running on the 1.8 Ghz version, so yay, even more of an upgrade Darn, I think I got beaten by the Powerbook in the bad performance-to-upgrade ratio though...
post #27 of 125
That's the most BS story ever covered on AI. Any hackintosh enthusiast worth his salt would know that the identification parameters are completely bogus and you can make a desktop look like a laptop and laptop look like Sammy Sosa.

Stop wasting people's time on Saturdays.
post #28 of 125
Hey AI folks, will the new MacBook Pro sport the NVIDIA Optimus graphics? It's apparently scheduled to come out next week! Another sign pointing to new MacBooks around the corner, perhaps?

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/...rand_Name.html

Also, I almost forgot about ol' MacWorld San Fran, now that Apple doesn't keynote it or announce new products there. Or do they? I mean if they are going to introduce a new MacBook/MacBook Pro...they may as well do it at MWSF! It starts next week! Although when I checked the Expo website it didn't seem Apple was giving any presentations or would even present...Hm.
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post #29 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post

Of course, the day after I pick up my MacBook Pro. Oh well, this is a great little computer and I have no regrets. Besides, now I wont get a first production round unit that will be more likely to have issues.

Can't you just return it?
post #30 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post

That's the most BS story ever covered on AI. Any hackintosh enthusiast worth his salt would know that the identification parameters are completely bogus and you can make a desktop look like a laptop and laptop look like Sammy Sosa.

Stop wasting people's time on Saturdays.

Geekbench grabs the CPUID. That can't be faked (it can be faked to the OS by changing a string, but not an API call that directly queries the CPU).
post #31 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Geekbench grabs the CPUID. That can't be faked (it can be faked to the OS by changing a string, but not an API call that directly queries the CPU).

of course it can be faked... perhaps not the api call but the information sent to the server can be compromised... anyone knows if geekbench uses encryption for submitting data to their servers?
post #32 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterO View Post

Truth told, at the time I wish I could have waited for an i5 or i7 mobile CPU but I had to pull the trigger before 2009 year-end on a 15" MBP. The lure of greater processing muscle with lower power demands is always intoxicating and I was disappointed that I left the dinner table before a delicious performance-dessert was soon set to arrive.

Yet, for my usage the greatest single performance bump was already on the menu. When compared to the salacious speed descriptors that always follow a chip that hereto now occupied the spec (and marketing) limelight, this newcomer to my plate has singlehandedly changed my computer experience by an order of magnitude far greater than I could have imagined. I almost dismissed it because of its price but I figured I wanted to taste what a growing number of people -- Anand Lal Shimpi, in particular -- have experienced and if it meant some extra belt-tightening, so be it.

Now, a simple three-letter acronym makes me weak at the knees: SSD.


Wow...... Simply wow... Theres not much else to say.


Yes, it's still nascent days for SSD's, their track record is short with some notable past growing pains, capacities are modest relative to their rotational storage counterparts, and there's a question mark on how Apple has implemented OS X and SSD storage optimization (i.e. OS X balks at some controller-firmware combinations with some off-the-shelf SSD's) but right now, I'm still drunk on SSD performance.


i7m, who?

.

I couldn't wait and bought my MBP last year. The one thing I did install in my MBP was the 256 GB SSD. But as I've done some more research on SSD's and found out that they do have some issues. One of the first questions that I had was whether you needed to run some of the HDD disk repair and optimization soft ware on SSD's and did they work. The one thing that Apple should do in its next OS upgrade is to include a TRIM app to optimize SSD's. Although I haven't had the problem, there are reports of read and write speeds dropping off as you use more space and erase and re-write on the SSD.

For those who get the new iCores, if its in the budget look into installing a SSD, but do the research first.
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post #33 of 125
Projected 2010 calendar:

January - announce iPad
February - announce and ship new MacBook Pro
March - ship iPad, announce iPhone OS 4
April - announce and ship new Mac Pro and new displays
May - announce and ship new iMac with Radeon 5xxx graphics
June - announce and ship new iPhone
July - summer break
August - summer break
September - announce and ship new iPods
October - announce and ship new MacBook and MacBook Pro
November - winter break
December - winter break
post #34 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Projected 2010 calendar:

January - announce iPad
February - announce and ship new MacBook Pro
March - ship iPad, announce iPhone OS 4
April - announce and ship new Mac Pro and new displays
May - announce and ship new iMac with Radeon 5xxx graphics
June - announce and ship new iPhone
July - summer break
August - summer break
September - announce and ship new iPods
October - announce and ship new MacBook and MacBook Pro
November - winter break
December - winter break

A reason to hate breaks

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #35 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

I couldn't wait and bought my MBP last year. The one thing I did install in my MBP was the 256 GB SSD. But as I've done some more research on SSD's and found out that they do have some issues. One of the first questions that I had was whether you needed to run some of the HDD disk repair and optimization soft ware on SSD's and did they work. The one thing that Apple should do in its next OS upgrade is to include a TRIM app to optimize SSD's. Although I haven't had the problem, there are reports of read and write speeds dropping off as you use more space and erase and re-write on the SSD.

For those who get the new iCores, if its in the budget look into installing a SSD, but do the research first.

Yea, wear-leveling and read/write optimization with OS X is a concern for me, too. During my research I found no details on how it's handled. TRIM support isn't documented, nor is there an Apple or OEM utility for Apple-branded SSD. Initially, I figured I'd buy my MBP with a stock rotational drive and swap it for a larger and less expensive Intel SSD once the machine was in my hands but after coming up empty handed for answers with Apple Pre-Sales tech support and reading through a number of discussion boards describing a range from no to catastrophic problems with non Apple-branded (read: without Apple's allegedly exclusive controller firmware doing some TRIM-type duties) SSD's, I figured the safer bet was to keep all laptop hardware squarely in Apple's house. If I run into SSD problems, like a telltale slowdown, Apple has no finger to deflect responsibility.

Parenthetically, it drives me nuts that I'm that partially hamstrung with my post-purchase storage options. If I'm in a pinch I can drop in an off the shelf rotational drive while I wait for an Apple replacement but I'd be much happier if I could leapfrog SSD's in the field and be done without the immediate downtime an Apple Care'd SSD replacement will require. Why Apple is so opaque (comme d'habitude) on this technical issue -- something true to all current (that I'm aware of) NAND flash SSD architectures -- is beyond me. At the very minimum, why not issue a list of approved SSD's?


-- no doubt you've seen/read Anandtech's ongoing and storied articles on SSD's:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631


Mahalo
post #36 of 125
Quote:
Assuming the aforementioned benchmarks aren't the result of a one-off custom hack, it's reasonable to presume Apple may use a combination of Core i5 and Core i7 chips to power its forthcoming MacBook Pro refresh, starting with the 2.26GHz (430M) or 2.4GHz (520M) Core i5 variants on the low end, stepping up to 2.53GHz (540M) Core i5 on the mid-range model, and maxing out with the 2.66GHz 620M Core i7 on the high-end offerings.


And what about quad-cores for some real performance gains? If HP can do it with a mobile core i5, then Apple should be able to do it.


post #37 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Projected 2010 calendar:

January - announce iPad
February - announce and ship new MacBook Pro
March - ship iPad, announce iPhone OS 4
April - announce and ship new Mac Pro and new displays
May - announce and ship new iMac with Radeon 5xxx graphics
June - announce and ship new iPhone
July - summer break
August - summer break
September - announce and ship new iPods
October - announce and ship new MacBook and MacBook Pro
November - winter break
December - winter break

Unfortunately, I think only the discrete MBPs will be updated to the new architecture but I expect the Macbook and Mini to get CPU increases. The lowest iMac kept the 9400M with Core 2 Duo.

The benchmarks listed here are a little disappointing relative to the 3GHz Core 2 Duo:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-C...r.23748.0.html

but they back up the article in that the 2.66GHz Core i7 is only about 10-15% faster than the 3GHz Core 2 Duo. It will run cooler and draw less power but the performance will seem pretty much the same.

The Core i5-520M would have been the biggest boost as this would bring the entire low-end lineup to between the 2.8GHz and 3GHz Macbook Pro but I'd much rather see the Mini and Macbook jump to a 2.53GHz entry point with 9400M than 2.53GHz Core i5 with Intel's graphics.

Mini: 2.53GHz + 9400M - there is a 2.66GHz and possibly a 2.8GHz upgrade option they can manage
Macbook: 2.53GHz + 9400M
Macbook Pro 13": same as the Mini
MBP 15": lowest model 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo with 9400M, then a 15" with the core i7 and a high end NVidia (GTS 250M) or ATI card (5650) and a 17" with the same. There could be a model with a core i5.

I expect all of the laptops to be updated with LED backlit IPS screens. This Tuesday is a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan

And what about quad-cores for some real performance gains? If HP can do it with a mobile core i5, then Apple should be able to do it.

45W TDP vs 35W I'd imagine. The Core i7-720QM is also only 25% faster than the Core i7-620M because it's much lower clocked:



http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...st.2436.0.html
post #38 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Have they ever used a CPU with a 45W TDP in a MBP?

No, but HP has shown that you can can cool even the highest end CPUs and GPUs in a notebook if you remove the optical drive from the design with the Envy. Of course that would have other repercussion elsewhere.
post #39 of 125
I was originally going to say that not a very good score for a quad-core i7, until I realized it's not a quad-core.

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense that they'd put another dual-core processor in a Macbook Pro. Definitely the Macbook and maybe the 13" Macbook Pro, but not the 15" or the 17".

But dagamer34 is right, you can't fake the system ID with Geekbench because it pulls it from the BIOS.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.
post #40 of 125
Well, at least it pulls it from the BIOS on normal PCs. Apparently you can play games with the software BIOS used on Macs with kernel extensions:

http://www.00235.insanelymac.do1.uk....p/t108277.html

So I would say that makes this article purely FUD until Apple actually comes out with something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trboyden View Post

I was originally going to say that not a very good score for a quad-core i7, until I realized it's not a quad-core.

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense that they'd put another dual-core processor in a Macbook Pro. Definitely the Macbook and maybe the 13" Macbook Pro, but not the 15" or the 17".

But dagamer34 is right, you can't fake the system ID with Geekbench because it pulls it from the BIOS.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.
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