Apple’s New Mac Book Pro with Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz

By: Firoj Khan

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 benchmark boasts,

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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