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Smallest MacBook Pro Tested

April 22, 2010 - Dave Hecei
The labs have been busy testing the newest Mac notebooks. The latest benchmark released (see the MacWorld article) is for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro (MBP) 2.4GHz. This replaces a practically identical model, but with a few refinements, some of which help boost performance.

Looking at the previous model, which had a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the new 13-inch MBP is only 5 to 15 percent faster. Of course you would expect a slight increase in performance going from 2.26 to 2.4GHz.

The biggest improvement, as predicted, is with graphics processing, especially gaming performance. In the MacWorld benchmark they ran tests using the game Call of Duty 4. The previous MBP with its GeForce 9400M GPU got 19fps (frames per second), while the new MBP with its newer GeForce 320M GPU got 38fps – double the performance.

If you have a late model MacBook Pro and were thinking of upgrading, don’t bother. There really isn’t a reason to, unless you need the graphics speed. If gaming, or 3D graphics in general, is an important part of your computing needs, then you may want to look at the new 15-inch MBP. This uses the descrete GeForce 330M GPU and ran Call of Duty 4 at 68fps, almost 4 times faster than the previous 13-inch MBP.

The new 13-inch MBP is the same price as the previous model ($1199), so if you have been holding out, now’s the time to buy. If you need better graphics performance, the new 15-inch MBP is only $600 more, or you could pick up last month’s 15-inch model, which is in closeout pricing, for about $1300-1400.


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