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Review: Apple's early 2010 MacBook Pros

post #1 of 116
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Apple's revised 13, 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros deliver new NVIDIA GeForce 320M/330M dedicated graphics performance and CPU options that include Intel's new Arrandale Core i5 and i7, while inheriting the long battery life, the strong, minimalist unibody construction, and the environmentally friendly design of last year's models.

Position in the MacBook family

The MacBook Pros gain an stronger edge in both processing and graphics performance over the entry level white MacBook and compact MacBook Air, thanks largely to the NVIDIA GeForce 320M in the 13 inch MacBook Pro and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M in the 15 and 17 inch models.

The 15 and 17 inch versions also incorporate Intel's new Arrandale Core i5 and i7 CPUs, which are the mobile version of its desktop CPU Nehalem microarchitecture (which Apple uses in the Mac Pro and offers as options on the 27 inch iMac).

Like the desktop Core i5 and i7, the new Arrandale mobile versions in the MacBook Pros include an integrated memory controller, a feature that was formerly handled by the CPU's accompanying external chipset.



Apple's NVIDIA chipset plans thwarted by Intel

In previous Core 2 Duo machines, including all of Apple's previous MacBook models, the company had been pairing Intel's CPU with NVIDIA's 9400M, which served as the machine's basic chipset (handling RAM and I/O ports) as well as its integrated graphics. However, with the move to Nehalem and Arrandale, Intel essentially killed off NVIDIA's ability to compete as a chipset vendor, spoiling Apple's general strategy of standardizing on NVIDIA's full service chip in the process.

Arrandale takes CPU and chipset integration a step further, bundling Intel's "HD Graphics" integrated GPU into the new mobile CPU package itself. This is supposed to result in a dual chip CPU that is paired with a single chip Intel chipset. However, Intel's graphics technology isn't really that advanced, so Apple is again augmenting Intel's package with a helper chip from NVIDIA.

Before Apple began using NVIDIA's 9400M (which serves as both the chipset and the graphics chip), it had to either use Intel's simple integrated graphics as part of Intel's chipset, or provide its own GPU. On lower end Mac models, Apple made do with Intel's limited graphics features (such as it did with the Intel GMA GPUs in the low end iMac from 2006 and the Mac mini and entry level MacBook from 2006 through 2009). Most other Mac models included a separate, dedicated graphics processor from NVIDIA or ATI.

Intel HD plus dedicated graphics

After having its NVIDIA 9400M plans thwarted, Apple is now back to the position of having an Intel GPU on board with Intel's own chipset and another dedicated GPU chip to act as a helper, at least on the 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros. (The 13 inch model continues to use the previous Core 2 Duo paired with an improved successor to NVIDIA's 9400M chipset with graphics: the NVIDIA 320M.)

To make lemonade of this Intel lemon of a situation, Apple has developed automatic switching technology that allows the higher end MacBook Pros to coast along using the integrated Intel HD Graphics GPU, and then switch to using the dedicated new NVIDIA GT 330M with its own graphics RAM whenever advanced graphics are needed. This is triggered whenever an external display is plugged in, and whenever software calls OpenGL, OpenCL, Quartz Composer, Core Animation or Core Graphics functions.

This is handled automatically by Mac OS X, so it doesn't work if you boot the new MacBook Pros into Windows. In that scenario, the machines run with the NVIDIA GPU on all the time, which provides the best graphics performance without leveraging the increased efficiency of the simpler integrated Intel HD Graphics chip. When idle, the Intel HD graphics chip consumes about 11.5 Watts, while the GeForce GT 330M demands 15.1 Watts. Unless you're plugged into a power adapter, that extra bit of power is another hit on the battery.

While Intel isn't as good at graphics as NVIDIA, it appears Intel's SATA controller performance is better than that of NVIDIA's 9400M, so the fact that the new 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros now use Intel's chipsets again means that disk performance is slightly better, particularly when using a Solid State Drive. Random read performance is nearly twice as fast as the previous Core 2 Duo models, and sequential write performance is up about 20%, according to tests performed by Anandtech.

On page 2 of 3: Unibody design and other details largely unchanged, unique features among the three MacBook Pro model sizes.

Unibody design and other details largely unchanged

While the MacBook Pro's CPUs and GPUs have been rejiggered, their unibody construction and other features are largely unchanged: rigid aluminum cases with strong edges; good keyboard feel with backlit typing; a big, glass trackpad that supports gestures and secondary clicks; all the same ports as the previous models; and the same high quality displays with wide viewing angles and a glossy screen.

There are a few new options however. The 15 inch model now offers a high resolution screen option of 1680x1050 for $100 more, providing a pixel density nearly identical to the 17 inch version. Both high end models can be ordered with a custom matte finish for $50, although the 15 inch matte option is only available in conjunction with the high resolution screen option (making it part of a $150 package).

All MacBook Pros continue to ship with integrated batteries, which means you can't swap out external packs but that your internal battery will last about as long as two conventional notebook batteries anyway. The new 13 and 15 inch models provide slightly bigger batteries, upgrading from 60 Watt hours to 63.5 on the 13 inch model and from 73 Watt hours to 77.5 on the 15 inch version. The 17 inch model remains the same at 95 Watt hours.

This results in a 10 hour "wireless productivity" rating for the 13 inch MacBook Pro and an 8-9 hour rating for the 15 and 17 inch editions. That figure is based upon browsing the web and word processing with the screen set at 50% brightness, so playing video games or watching DVDs will consume more battery. However, this still gives the MacBook Pros a much longer lifespan than most other notebooks on the market.




The batteries are also rated to last through 1000 cycles, meaning they should outlast conventional batteries and not need replacement throughout the primary life of the system (around five years). They can be replaced for a fee that's comparable to buying a new conventional battery.

With bigger batteries come greater power supply responsibilities. The new 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros ship with slightly larger, 85 Watt adapters to charge the battery faster. The new adapters also come with streamlined new MagSafe plugs that seem more durable and route the power cable back rather than in a loop that juts out perpendicular to the machine (below).



Unique features among the three MacBook Pro model sizes

As with the previous generation of MacBook Pros (review), the 17 inch model uniquely features three USB ports (rather than two on the 15 inch model) and its ExpressCard/34 slot (rather than just an SD Card slot on other MacBook models.) If you want an SD Card slot reader, you can get one for the 17" model's ExpressCard slot for about $20. The card slot comes in handy if you want to use 3G WWAN card or have some specialized need for an interface like eSATA or additional Firewire ports, although Apple's says its surveys show that only 10% of users ever actually use the ExpressCard slot. If you're in that minority of users who need it, the 17 inch model is the only way to get it on a MacBook.

The 15 inch model supplies 256MB of dedicated video RAM to its GPU, although the high end Core i7 processor option ships with a 512MB. The base CPU model of the 17 inch MacBook Pro comes with a full 512MB of video RAM. The 13 inch version uses 256MB of shared system RAM for its graphics processor.

The 13 inch MacBook Pro now comes with 4GB RAM standard, and all models are expandable to 8GB of RAM. The size of the standard included hard drive is also bumped up slightly across the board, making the new models a slightly better deal in a variety of ways. The biggest jump on the new models, however, comes from the 15 and 17 inch models' new Intel Arrandale processors.

On page 3 of 3: The Arrandale advantage.

The Arrandale advantage

Looking just at their clock speeds, it appears that the new Core i5 and i7 MacBook Pros are slightly slower than the Core 2 Duo machines they replaced. However, clock speed isn't a level measure of performance when you're comparing different chip architectures.

The previous 15 inch model offered Core 2 Duo CPUs in 2.53, 2.66 and 2.80GHz versions with a 3.06GHz option. The new 15 inch model offers a 2.4 or 2.53GHz Core i5 or a 2.66 GHz Core i7 (the 17 inch model offers the top two options only).

While they're not clocked quite as fast, the new Arrandale chips perform better because they do more in each clock cycle. One reason for this is that the new chips include a memory controller in the die (it's actually bundled into the Intel HD Graphics chip, which sits next to the CPU in the same package).

This integrated memory controller prevents the CPU from having to communicate with an external chipset to access RAM, offering new efficiency in how the processor can keep itself saturated with data. This in turn makes every cycle of the clock more productive.

Additionally, the new Arrandale chips use Intel's HyperThreading to virtualize four core performance on the two core processors. This technology schedules tasks in such a way to efficiently pack in as much work as possible into the available cores. An actual mobile four core processor would not deliver the same efficiency; HyperThreading can enable a two core part to achieve greater performance without actually using any more energy.

At the same time, the Arrandale parts can also do the opposite when there are not multiple threads available to run at the same time, thanks to a feature called Turbo Boost. The chips will effectively shut down the idle processor core and devote its power to the primary, enabling it to increase its clock speed to finish what it has available to do a little faster. This allows the 2.66GHz Core i5 to ramp up to 2.66, 2.8 or 2.93GHz depending on the workload available.

It's a bummer the 13 inch MacBook Pro takes no advantage of the Arrandale features with its Core 2 Duo design. Either Apple was trying to make sure its entry level professional model could still sneak in under $1200, or it perhaps thought that using the Core i3 or i5 might result in constrained supplies for its popular entry level model due to the newness of the Arrandale components.



The New MacBook Pros in Review

The new MacBook Pros are the same thin, strong and attractive models as last year but now deliver a nice jump in processing and graphics performance while still holding on to the impressive battery life introduced with integrated batteries last year.

The 13 inch model now offers a more definitive performance edge over the entry level white plastic MacBook, while the mainstream 15 inch model debuts both fast new chips and an option for a great looking high density screen. The 17 inch model might be slightly more attractive now that it can be paired with the highly mobile iPad, making it less necessary to lug it around in its full sized glory.



On the downside: the 13 inch version doesn't offer a high resolution screen option nor a matte finish, nor speedier processor options, although it does now come standard with 4GB of RAM, which is the minimum a "Pro" machine should deliver. None of the models offer low priced options for SDD, which is partly because the parts are still expensive. It would be nice to see Apple push SDD more aggressively, as it makes a big, visible difference in disk performance.

Unlike most PC notebooks, Apple's offerings don't include support for Blu-Ray nor HDMI output connectors, although the new machines now support audio output through the Mini DisplayPort, meaning users only need a cheap dongle to route both HDMI video and high quality audio out through the Mini DisplayPort to an HDMI TV.

For more on the features of the MacBook Pro that have not changed since Apple introduced the unibody construction of the notebooks, please refer to AppleInsider's: Apple's unibody MacBook Pro: an in-depth review with video. Also recently published was a first look at the new MacBook Pros entitled: First Look: Pairing the new 2010 17 inch MacBook Pro with iPad.

Rating 4 out of 5



Pros:
Solid construction
Great battery life
Strong CPU and GPU update for 15 and 17 inch models
New audio out support for Mini DisplayPort

Cons:
No built-in HDMI port or Blu-Ray playback
Limited reasonably priced BTO upgrade options for SDD, RAM
No Arrandale CPU options on 13 inch model

Where to Buy

Several Apple Authorized Resellers are offering discounts of up to $250 on Apple's new MacBook Pros through the addition of rebates and instant discount coupons exclusively for AppleInsider readers, all of which can be seen in our Mac Price Guide. The segment of the price guide listing the current MacBook Pros can be seen below, though resellers are also offering up to $450 off previous-generation models as detailed in the Previous Generation Macs (2009) section of the guide.

post #2 of 116
How is no blu-ray a *legitimate* downside?
post #3 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How is no blu-ray a *legitimate* downside?

I agree that on a portable not such a big deal, I would be all over a mini with a blu-ray though.
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post #4 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How is no blu-ray a *legitimate* downside?

I didn't get this review at all. The cons are all pretty wonky:

— No built-in HDMI port when mDP can output HDMI A/V signaling with a cheap cable or adapter.
— Apple's SSD and RAM options are reasonably priced, It's the SSD options that are the Con as Apple doesn't use the fastest SSDs and still doesn't offer TRIM.
— No Arrandale CPU options on 13 inch model when that would mean Intel HD IGP in the 13" MBP, which is a major downgrade. You compare the Core-i3 with Intel HD to C2D with Nvidia 320M and you see why Apple made the right choice.

He even missed out some Pros I would have expected, like dynamic switchable graphics.

I was considering a 15" MBP this time but went with another 13" MBP because the offering was so strong. CPU bump, 3 more hours of battery, audio-out on mDP port, much better IGP, 4GB RAM, and force sensitive trackpad all for less money than I paid last year. Sounds good to me.

PS: I have a buyer of my current MBP for $900 (comes with 500GB and mDP-to-HDMI cable) and I bought an Intel X25 SSD and Optibay with 1TB HDD to replace my ODD. So excited!
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post #5 of 116
....that picture of the 17" looks like one from the previous generation.
post #6 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

....that picture of the 17" looks like one from the previous generation.

Sometimes they use a stunt double for these reviews.
post #7 of 116
I went with a 15" and it's a really, really nice machine. The hi-res 15" screen gives you huge screen real-estate, and you get all the right ports (FW800 instead of eSATA, but that's ok for now), great performance, base 4GB of RAM... Apple just put it all together in the right package this time. They've got a hit on their hands.
post #8 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Sometimes they use a stunt double for these reviews.

Like in porn they use stunt dongs....hahahahaaha
post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How is no blu-ray a *legitimate* downside?

So you're happy that Apple has yet to include features in their computers that the rest of the PC industry has included for several years, even on budget notebooks?

Are you a masochist?
post #10 of 116
How is the pricing not a Con for at least the 15" model? Obviously there are many people here who believe that leopard is better than windows, but the pricing is not competitive. If you compare the low-end 15" Macbook with a similarly-specced PC, the price discrepancy is massive. How is this not a bigger factor? I'm a long-time mac user, but getting tired of seeing prices hundreds above a similarly specced PC.
post #11 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anagonye View Post

How is the pricing not a Con for at least the 15" model? Obviously there are many people here who believe that leopard is better than windows, but the pricing is not competitive. If you compare the low-end 15" Macbook with a similarly-specced PC, the price discrepancy is massive. How is this not a bigger factor? I'm a long-time mac user, but getting tired of seeing prices hundreds above a similarly specced PC.

I have to agree with this. I had to purchase a new laptop this month, and a similarly equipped Dell Studio 16 with i7 and a better screen was $1000 less than the macbook....I was really disappointed. I couldn't justify that price difference.
post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by agl82 View Post

So you're happy that Apple has yet to include features in their computers that the rest of the PC industry has included for several years, even on budget notebooks?

Are you a masochist?


Apple never offers standard features. The ones they leave out are what makes their machines the best.
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyFightingSnake View Post

I have to agree with this. I had to purchase a new laptop this month, and a similarly equipped Dell Studio 16 with i7 and a better screen was $1000 less than the macbook....I was really disappointed. I couldn't justify that price difference.

And Dell includes things that the MBP can't offer at any price, like a quad-core processor for the heavy jobs and 1080p screen for movies.
post #14 of 116
As soon as I find my $3,000 Apple Store card, I'll get that 17" MBP-iPad combo.
post #15 of 116
And where's the performance comparison with the late 2009 Macbook Pros? Don't see it in the charts.
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post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

And Dell includes things that the MBP can't offer at any price, like a quad-core processor for the heavy jobs and 1080p screen for movies.

Do you really think "30p" is going to make a difference on a 15" display? I much prefer a quality display than one that markets itself as simply having more pixels.

The suggestion that MBPs could get Clarkfield CPUs means that you aren't aware of CPU microprocessor or architectures, just that 4 is more than 2 therefore it must be better.
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post #17 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

And Dell includes things that the MBP can't offer at any price, like a quad-core processor for the heavy jobs and 1080p screen for movies.

But the one "Con" is that it runs Windows, not OSX...

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post #18 of 116
On page 1 is says "The 13 inch model continues to use the previous Core 2 Duo paired with NVIDIA's 9400M chipset with graphics." Is this correct? On the specs page it says the 13" has the 320M.

http://www.apple.com/au/macbookpro/specs-13inch.html
post #19 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by agl82 View Post

So you're happy that Apple has yet to include features in their computers that the rest of the PC industry has included for several years, even on budget notebooks?

Are you a masochist?

It's not a matter of being happy or unhappy. It's a matter of pointing out that blu-ray has never been a factor in Mac notebook sales. So why bother even mentioning blu-ray?
post #20 of 116
I compared the Dell XPS 16 with the i7 15" MBP to see what might justify the $900 price difference (I used the Norwegian Dell and Apple stores online for price comparisons and converted it to USD).

The Dell has a slightly better screen, or rather, a higher resolution screen. It also has faster RAM. It also has twice as much graphics RAM (1GB).

However... The MBP's CPU is almost 1GHz faster. The MBP also has much longer battery life and the stronger unibody build. The MBP also has small things like the multi-touch trackpad going for it.

So as far as value for money goes, it's almost a tie - the MBP being only very slightly more expensive. And this is absulutely worth it in my book, because of the much better design and OS X.
post #21 of 116
I'm glad DED mentioned the switch from Nvidia SATA controller back to Intel. I wouldn't have bought if using 3rd-party drives was still an issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

On page 1 is says "The 13 inch model continues to use the previous Core 2 Duo paired with NVIDIA's 9400M chipset with graphics." Is this correct? On the specs page it says the 13" has the 320M.

http://www.apple.com/au/macbookpro/specs-13inch.html

The MacBook still has the 9400M but the 13" MBP has the Nvidia 320M.
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post #22 of 116
I wonder what happens when the 13" MBP moves to Arrandale. They can't stay with C2Ds forever and Intel's GMA just can't do the job.
post #23 of 116
If one is comparing laptops, these are the three most important things.
Anybody making an argument for a Dell or whatever other laptop, over an Mac portable, must account for these three elements. If not; you're just a laptop "poser".

Weight
Battery life
Build quality
post #24 of 116
Anyone know how to enable HDMI audio? I can get it to display fine but the audio is still coming out of my new 15" MBP.

It's listed under Sound preferences but the volume bar and mute control are greyed out.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It's a bummer the 13 inch MacBook Pro takes no advantage of the Arrandale features with its Core 2 Duo design. Either Apple was trying to make sure its entry level professional model could still sneak in under $1200, or it perhaps thought that using the Core i3 or i5 might result in constrained supplies for its popular entry level model due to the newness of the Arrandale components.

Pay attention, Daniel. Ars documented the fact that there isn't room enough in the 13" MBP to add the Arrandale hardware without relying on the sucktastic Intel HD graphics. For the marginal (nominal, really) improvement of an i3 you'd lose the significantly faster 320M graphics (resulting in a slower overall laptop). Or they would have to build a bigger case.

FWIW, I think there is plenty of margin in the 13" MBPs; I doubt the $1200 pricepoint would be in jeopardy if they went the the i3 or added discrete graphics...

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post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I wonder what happens when the 13" MBP moves to Arrandale. They can't stay with C2Ds forever and Intel's GMA just can't do the job.

My wish is that they remove the ODD. I don't see any other way around it at this time. They can't go with Intel HD and no dGPU, but there is no room for a dGPU, and I don't they can do another do another C2D speed bump for more than more round, but I don't think they'll do that with Sandy Bridge offering such excellent power savings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

If one is comparing laptops, these are the three most important things.
Anybody making an argument for a Dell or whatever other laptop, over an Mac portable, must account for these three elements. If not; you're just a laptop "poser".

Weight
Battery life
Build quality

It's always a big clunky Dell or HP to a MBP. It's never that same, big clunky Dell or HP to the premium Dell or HP offerings that best match a MBP.
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post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The MacBook still has the 9400M but the 13" MBP has the Nvidia 320M.

Yup. And my reading of the sentence is it is saying the 13" Pro still has the 9400M.
post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDyndale View Post

I compared the Dell XPS 16 with the i7 15" MBP to see what might justify the $900 price difference (I used the Norwegian Dell and Apple stores online for price comparisons and converted it to USD).

The Dell has a slightly better screen, or rather, a higher resolution screen. It also has faster RAM. It also has twice as much graphics RAM (1GB).

However... The MBP's CPU is almost 1GHz faster. The MBP also has much longer battery life and the stronger unibody build. The MBP also has small things like the multi-touch trackpad going for it.

So as far as value for money goes, it's almost a tie - the MBP being only very slightly more expensive. And this is absulutely worth it in my book, because of the much better design and OS X.

Here's Intel's price list if you want to compare the cost differences between the CPU models.
http://www.intc.com/priceList.cfm
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post #29 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Anyone know how to enable HDMI audio? I can get it to display fine but the audio is still coming out of my new 15" MBP.

It's listed under Sound preferences but the volume bar and mute control are greyed out.

Off the top of my head I'd say your cable wasn't built to support Audio from mDP to HDMI since that wasn't originally an option...
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post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDyndale View Post

I compared the Dell XPS 16 with the i7 15" MBP to see what might justify the $900 price difference (I used the Norwegian Dell and Apple stores online for price comparisons and converted it to USD).

The Dell has a slightly better screen, or rather, a higher resolution screen. It also has faster RAM. It also has twice as much graphics RAM (1GB).

However... The MBP's CPU is almost 1GHz faster. The MBP also has much longer battery life and the stronger unibody build. The MBP also has small things like the multi-touch trackpad going for it.

So as far as value for money goes, it's almost a tie - the MBP being only very slightly more expensive. And this is absulutely worth it in my book, because of the much better design and OS X.

The difference is that you're comparing two systems that are not equal in any way. For example, state that the Dell has a better screen, but then indicate that its resolution is better. The fact is that while the resolution is (marginally) higher, the quality of the screen is dramatically worse on the Dell. Compare the screens side by side. Since I spend a lot of tie looking at a laptop screen, that's important.

Then the other factors you cited - like 3 times the battery life, faster CPU, and better quality case (again, important for a laptop). Then consider things like customer satisfaction, reliability and support. Apple is always at or near the top and Dell is at the bottom.

Your comparison is like saying a Chevy Malibu sedan is a better car than a Ferrari because the Chevy seats more passengers and has more windows to roll down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

My wish is that they remove the ODD.

I don't think very many people would be happy with that. For the vast majority of users, the benefit of an i3 in the 13" would be marginal compared to the loss of functionality if the ODD were removed.
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post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

If one is comparing laptops, these are the three most important things.
Anybody making an argument for a Dell or whatever other laptop, over an Mac portable, must account for these three elements. If not; you're just a laptop "poser".

Weight
Battery life
Build quality

I agree 100%.
post #32 of 116
Hello can somebody tell me how can I achieve the photo effect used in last page of this article? Where appears 3 photos...this effect is used most of time by apple too...
Thank you
post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I wonder what happens when the 13" MBP moves to Arrandale. They can't stay with C2Ds forever and Intel's GMA just can't do the job.

I think Apple will try to convince Intel to let Nvidia make chipsets for the Core i series of microprocessors. I see Apple's use of Intel HD integrated graphics as a temporary solution. Apple's discussions with AMD is a way to signal to Intel that Apple is not happy with the current Intel/Nvidia licensing situation.
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The difference is that you're comparing two systems that are not equal in any way. For example, state that the Dell has a better screen, but then indicate that its resolution is better. The fact is that while the resolution is (marginally) higher, the quality of the screen is dramatically worse on the Dell. Compare the screens side by side. Since I spend a lot of tie looking at a laptop screen, that's important.

Then the other factors you cited - like 3 times the battery life, faster CPU, and better quality case (again, important for a laptop). Then consider things like customer satisfaction, reliability and support. Apple is always at or near the top and Dell is at the bottom.

Your comparison is like saying a Chevy Malibu sedan is a better car than a Ferrari because the Chevy seats more passengers and has more windows to roll down.


I agree whole-heartedly. I was just trying to point out some of the major differences between the two to those who compared the new MBP to the Dell XPS 16 above my initial comment. What I said about the screen is basically what you said. I was just writing as I was thinking and didn't bother to go back and edit, so I said "better, or rather, higher resolution"

I couldn't really say anything about the customer service thing as I don't have any experience with either manufacturers in that regard, and I didn't feel like trying to search for any documentation as to which might have a better track record in this area.

I'm a huge Apple fan, and can't see myself switching to anything else at least in the next 10 years.
post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The MacBook Pros gain an stronger edge in both processing and graphics performance over the entry level white MacBook and compact MacBook Air, thanks largely to the NVIDIA GeForce 320M in the 13 inch MacBook Pro and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M in the 15 and 17 inch models.

While the MacBook Pro's CPUs and GPUs have been rejiggered, their unibody contraction and other features are largely unchanged: rigid aluminum cases with strong edges; good keyboard feel with backlit typing; a big, glass trackpad that supports gestures and secondary clicks; all the same ports as the previous models; and the same high quality displays with wide viewing angles and a glossy screen.

As with the previous generation of MacBook Pros (review), the 17 inch model uniquely features three USB ports (rather than two on the 15 inch model) and its ExpressCard/34 slot (rather than just an SD Card slot on other MacBook models.) If you want an SD Card slot reader, you can get one for the 17" model's ExpressCard slot for about $20. The card slot comes in handy if you want to use 3G WWAN card or have some specialized need for an interface like eSATA or additional Firewire ports, although Apple's says its surveys show that only 10% of users ever actually use the ExpressCard slot. If you're in that minority of users who need it, the 17 inch model is the only way to get it on a MacBook.

Who proof reads these reviews?

The above should read as follows :-

The MacBook Pros gain a stronger edge in both processing and graphics performance over the entry level white MacBook and compact MacBook Air, thanks largely to the NVIDIA GeForce 320M in the 13 inch MacBook Pro and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M in the 15 and 17 inch models.

While the MacBook Pro's CPUs and GPUs have been rejiggered, their unibody construction and other features are largely unchanged: rigid aluminum cases with strong edges; good keyboard feel with backlit typing; a big, glass trackpad that supports gestures and secondary clicks; all the same ports as the previous models; and the same high quality displays with wide viewing angles and a glossy screen.

As with the previous generation of MacBook Pros (review), the 17 inch model uniquely features three USB ports (rather than two on the 15 inch model) and its ExpressCard/34 slot (rather than just an SD Card slot on other MacBook models.) If you want an SD Card slot reader, you can get one for the 17" model's ExpressCard slot for about $20. The card slot comes in handy if you want to use 3G WWAN card or have some specialized need for an interface like eSATA or additional Firewire ports, although Apple says its surveys show that only 10% of users ever actually use the ExpressCard slot. If you're in that minority of users who need it, the 17 inch model is the only way to get it on a MacBook.
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

But the one "Con" is that it runs Windows, not OSX...

Windows 7 is ok. I think the major "con" for PC notebook is a lack of multi-touch pad. That's alone worth a lot more than 4 cores vs 2 cores or Blu-Ray drive or...
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyFightingSnake View Post

I have to agree with this. I had to purchase a new laptop this month, and a similarly equipped Dell Studio 16 with i7 and a better screen was $1000 less than the macbook....I was really disappointed. I couldn't justify that price difference.

The buy the PC, simple!
post #38 of 116
I bought the a new 17" MacBook and I'm less than impressed with the new graphics switching. Many other are having the same problem. Unless Apple does something I can definitely see a lawsuit coming on due to deceptive advertising of battery life. I've never gotten above 3-4 hours at best even just doing casual browsing.

There are MANY small, tiny programs that seem to switch to use the discreet graphics. Its just about impossible to use any website without it switching on as well (even gmail). Small menubar programs seem to trigger discreet graphics. There is NO current way to force the laptop to use integrated graphics, you can only choose to force discreet graphics.

Here some more info on the topic:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=2407482
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=2414239

Some apps that force discreet graphics:
Cloud
ShoveBox
Tweetie
HyperSpaces
Skype
iWeb
iMovie
GarageBand
Parallels 5 Desktop
Microsoft Office 2004
Microsoft Office AutoUpdate daemon
RapidWeaver
PathFinder
Mathematica
Warp
Droplr
1Password
Clips
NetNewsWire
Koolclip
atMonitor
Delicious Library
Fresh
Little Snapper
OmmWriter
Picturesque
Pixelmator
RipIt
Rucksack
Screen Sharing
Scribbles
Skim (after searching)
The Hit List
Times
VMWare Fusion 3 (gfx acceleration disabled)
post #39 of 116
First, I think the article referred to SSDs (Solid State Drives) as SDDs.
Second, Apple does not offer a 7200rpm HDD drive option for the MacBook Pro 13". That alone should call the "Pro" moniker into question.
post #40 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bearboykahlo View Post

I bought the a new 17" MacBook and I'm less than impressed with the new graphics switching. Many other are having the same problem. Unless Apple does something I can definitely see a lawsuit coming on due to deceptive advertising of battery life. I've never gotten above 3-4 hours at best even just doing casual browsing.

There are MANY small, tiny programs that seem to switch to use the discreet graphics. Its just about impossible to use any website without it switching on as well (even gmail). Small menubar programs seem to trigger discreet graphics. There is NO current way to force the laptop to use integrated graphics, you can only choose to force discreet graphics.

Here some more info on the topic:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=2407482
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=2414239

Some apps that force discreet graphics:
[...]

It's quite a shame. Apple's solution has a great benefit over Nvidia's Optimus as it doesn't have the limited and unintelligent requirement of making a decision based on what processes are running. It should be able to monitor the load independent of what apps are open. Hopefully they get that worked out.

I spent about an hour in and Apple Store on two occasions before and after the graphics update doing tests and looking for hidden switch to disable the dGPU completely in favour of the IGP for best power savings, at least when the battery in use. Nothing! With Apple as obsessed with power and duration per charge (as they should be) you'd think this would have the default feature.

They also need to add and app or update System Profiler so that the data is dynamic. You can see which graphics option is in use, at any one time but hitting Command-R to refresh gets annoying when done several hundred times. The silver lining: At least System Profiler doesn't cause the dGPU to run.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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