Apple began November introducing a revamped line of MacBook laptops. Let’s close out the month with a few words about another product announced alongside the MacBook updates—a build-to-order configuration of the MacBook Pro.
If you remember, on the same day Apple boosted the processor speeds and made other internal changes to its MacBook line, it also announced the availability a new, faster 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor for the MacBook Pro. The 2.6GHz processor is a $250 upgrade over the $2,499 and $2,799 models that ship with the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.
Macworld Lab ordered and received a 15-inch MacBook Pro with the faster processor. It should come as no surprise that this custom-built MacBook Pro is the fastest portable Mac to date.
Apart from the processor, the customized MacBook Pro shares the same tech specs as the high-end laptop models introduced in June. In the case of the 15-inch MacBook Pro we used in this test, that means a 160GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor. For the purposes of comparison, we also included a newly updated MacBook—the top-of-the-line 2.2GHz model—in this latest round of tests.
2.6GHz MacBook Pro Benchmarks
|Speedmark 5||Adobe Photoshop CS3||Cinema 4D XL 10.5||Compressor 3||iMovie HD||iTunes 7.5||Unreal Tournament 2004||Quake 4||Finder||HandBrake|
|OVERALL SCORE||SUITE||RENDER||MPEG2 Encode||Aged Effect||MP3 ENCODE||FRAME RATE||FRAME RATE||ZIP ARCHIVE||H.264 ENCODE|
|15-inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.6GHz*||208||1:14||0:51||1:57||0:47||1:02||77.8||51.3||4:47||2:52|
|15-inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.4GHz||198||1:17||0:55||2:07||0:50||1:05||75.4||46.3||5:02||3:05|
|MacBook Core 2 Duo/2.2GHz (black)||184||1:17||1:00||2:05||0:51||1:13||25.7||7.8||5:13||3:14|
Best results in bold. Reference system in italics. * denotes build-to-order model.
The 2.6GHz MacBook Pro showed about a 5-percent performance boost over the 2.4GHz in our Speedmark 5 benchmark. That’s a little bit less than the 8-percent difference in clock speed, but the tests that make up Speedmark measure more than just processor performance.