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Want To Know About the New Apple MacBook Pro? 310

Posted by kdawson
from the timely-benchmarks dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us about an extremely helpful user who is answering questions from all comers about the new MacBook Pro. "A few days ago, a user by the name 'bcavanau' posted on the macrumors.com forums that he had just picked up a new MacBook Pro. Forum members started asking him about features, specifications, and benchmarks. He was happy to oblige, posting responses to everyone's questions. Eventually the forum thread got out of hand, and he set up a website devoted to answering the questions. If you have a question that hasn't already been answered, email him at the address on the site. He is responding daily and sometimes within minutes. This guy is dedicated. Thanks 'bcavanau', you get two thumbs up." The link to the site is cached via the Coral Content Distribution Network.
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Want To Know About the New Apple MacBook Pro?

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  • Can anyone get through to find out about heat/noise? Even the cache is down for me. I've got a Powerbook G4 (when they just added the sudden motion sensor) and while I like the laptop I would LOVE to be able to play recent games (as well as have the second core) but I'm a bit worried about the heat and noise of the new MacBook Pros. One of my favorite things about my G4 is that it stays relativly cool unless I'm really pushing it, and unless I have it's about dead silent. Even when the fans are on full (lik

    • Re:Heat/Noise? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThousandStars (556222) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:39PM (#16628014) Homepage
      Long story short is that the guy says the noise isn't a problem -- it sounds nearly silent -- and he doesn't have any comparisons heat-wise.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BeeBeard (999187)
        He would have more control over the noise and heat levels than he realizes. The motherboard in that laptop is probably not all that esoteric and you can download software that will control the speed of the fan to give you more noise & less heat or less noise & more heat, depending on your needs.
    • If you want to know more about the Mac Book Pros I would suggest that you wait until people the Apple Stores have them stocked and Crazy people who bought them Tuesday (Like me) get them in. Expect mid November. For data to come out with different configurations.
    • hooplah (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperBanana (662181)
      I'm a bit worried about the heat and noise of the new MacBook Pros.

      I'm typing on a MBP "v1.0" and the only noise I hear is the hard drive- a quiet "whoosh". The fans at minimum speed (1000RPM) are completely inaudible. They are more progressive than the G4's which were pretty much an on/off switch.

      As for heat? Every year I read whining about "how hot" the newest Powerbook is. It's all a bunch of shit (with the exception of the 12" Al Powerbook. That thing WAS an oven.) Component specs don't chang

      • I personally had no experience with Powerbooks (and really didn't give a damn about them) but I was shocked at how uncomfortably hot that the MacBook Pro got, even when it was just idling. I really objected to the idea that I simply had to put up with it. Even some twat suggested that I use some sort of shelf like iLap, which to me was a contradiction to said twat's claim that the MBP was a laptop. My Compaq never got nearly that warm. It wasn't hard to get the MBP core temperature up to 85 C / 185F. I
      • I'm surprised no 12"PB owners have chirped up. I have a 12"PB and there is no heat issues, "it's all a bunch of shit" :)
  • Can the 15.4 inch version have a WUXGA screen?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by p0tat03 (985078)
      Short answer: No. Only the 17" model has WUXGA resolution.
  • Can someone help me? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Salvance (1014001) * on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:27PM (#16627910) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a regular Mac user, so I don't really understand the significance of this news story. Is publishing a few specs really news? I'd expect this on a Computer site like Tom's Hardware, but not on slashdot, so I'm wondering if there is some unstated greater significance.

    From what I can find, this C2D is a laptop that Apple Stores started selling over the past couple days. If it's already out, what will it provide me that other Mac's won't?

    Thanks!
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:32PM (#16627972) Homepage

      While they were put up for order on Tuesday, they haven't hit the street yet (as far as I know). You can't go buy them in stores right now (unless someone knows otherwise). So basically this person got their hands on the laptop early.

      So why all the fuss? First, this is a Core 2 Duo so it is supposed to have better performance than the Core Duo models that were replaces (and it is supposed to run circles around my little Powerbook G4). But more importantly while the MacBook Pros were nice computers, there were quite a few complaints about the amount of heat they generate, noises (from the speaker/screen/who-knows). A lot of people (myself included) want to know if the laptops run as hot as the MacBook Pros did.

      To the Mac community this is a bit like someone getting their hands on a Zune and answering people's questions when there is no information about the Zune but specs out there (which I realize is not quite the case, but it's an example).

      • by Rascasse (719300)
        I was just at one of the Apple Stores in Toronto and they had all 15" Core 2 Duo models in stock ready to sell. Only the 17" model was out-of-stock. They did not have the new models on display though.
      • by thedbp (443047)
        Go to the Apple Stores. They are there, ready for purchase, and absolutely smokin'. You wouldn't believe what kind of performance GarageBand has on these things. Haven't tried Logic, as I'm not that advanced musically, but I must say this:

        The new Mac laptops are the best thing to happen to musicians since Tascam released the PortaStudio. Period. What other laptop comes pre-installed w/ multitrack audio recording software with built in amp modeling, software instruments, a huge loop library, and optical
      • by Bob Hearn (61879)
        As others have remarked, many stores either have or have had them in. However, AFAIK, they are all the "standard" configurations with the 120GB hard drive -- to get the 160 or the 200, I believe you have to order online.

        Does anyone know different?
    • Sure,
      It's nice to know that they still use the firmware heavily restricted optical drives. (For those of us who are regular Mac users, and still want to regularly watch multiregion DVDs.)
      • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@@@gmail...com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:26AM (#16629340)

        It's nice to know that they still use the firmware heavily restricted optical drives. (For those of us who are regular Mac users, and still want to regularly watch multiregion DVDs.)

        I've always wondered if, in countries where region-coding is considered anti-competitive (eg: Australia), you can use uo your 5 region changes and then legitimately return the laptop as "broken"...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by LadyLucky (546115)
          In New Zealand, all DVD players are region free. Normally the importer will flick whatever firmware switch is required to make them region free. You can't sell them if they are region locked.
    • I think the significance is that this version of the MacBook Pro could be considered the Gen 2 (Or Gen 1.2) MacBook Pro and people want to know if enough has changed to make it considered a Gen 2 or 1.2 or just a 1.1. Apple likes to brag and use best case results while real world is normally a bit different. So the site was mostly seeing if apple fixed the old problems.
  • Temperatures (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rugikiki (948563) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:39PM (#16628006)
    For those asking that can't make it to the site, at idle both CPU cores are at 123.8 F, and the hard drive is at 100.4 F.
    • by fontkick (788075)

      For those asking that can't make it to the site, at idle both CPU cores are at 123.8 F, and the hard drive is at 100.4 F.

      Nice to finally see a laptop with a built-in coffee warmer. Those Apple engineers are fucking geniuses.

    • What a shame. I think if my notebook died I would go with an AMD chip. I care about heat and power usage and lifetime warranties. It seems Intel and macbooks are waaayyy too hot for lap usage and more heat means poorer battery life and lifetime. This is why I bought an older PentiumM centrino notebook. They are cool and power efficient.
  • It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 28, 2006 @10:50PM (#16628096)

    That the MBP doesn't have:

    * An option for a 7200rpm hard disk (except the "aircraft carrier" model
    * A option for a faster video card
    * Higher screen resolution
    * A docking station
    * A 12"-ish variant

    Personally I consider these significant omissions for a machine touted as being a top-of-the-line "Professional" laptop.

    On the flipside, it's *great* to see Apple throwing in 2G RAM standard, except in the bottom-end model.

    On the wishlist, I'd _love_ to see a laptop that can drive two external screens.

    (I'll probably still get work to buy me one, though, then I can get my OS X fix on someone else's tab.)

    • Re:It's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402@Nospam.mac.com> on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:11PM (#16628246) Journal

      Don't worry too much about the 7200rpm drive for now. I have one in my first generation MBP, and wouldn't get it if I were buying today.

      The density of the 160GB 5400rpm model, which wasn't available in quantity when the first generation MBP came out, is high enough that performance is really, really close to the 100GB 7200rpm models. My MBP averages about 44MB/s write flat-out... the Seagate 5400.3, according to this [linuxhardware.org], will do over 41. Read speeds are similarly close. If you're really pushing the disk subsystem so hard that you'll notice that difference, do yourself a favor and use the new FW800 port.

      When Seagate finally ships its 160GB 7200.2 results may be different. I'm buying one of those for my existing MBP as soon as they ship.

      I second the request for 1680x1050. (1920x1200 would just be too much on 15.4".) The faster video cards would probably cause heat issues; all the laptops available with them are thicker and heavier.

      For the 12" the MacBook, unlike what we're used to with iBooks, is a legitimate performer unless you need 3D graphics. I'd like an even smaller model, and the option for discrete graphics in the black MB.

      What I really want can't be provided by Apple... a fast 320GB notebook drive. That would change my life.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        The density of the 160GB 5400rpm model, which wasn't available in quantity when the first generation MBP came out, is high enough that performance is really, really close to the 100GB 7200rpm models. My MBP averages about 44MB/s write flat-out... the Seagate 5400.3, according to this, will do over 41. Read speeds are similarly close. If you're really pushing the disk subsystem so hard that you'll notice that difference, do yourself a favor and use the new FW800 port.

        It's the latency benefit I'm more inter

        • by dal20402 (895630) *

          I must admit I've never seen the point of huge amounts of local storage in a laptop (or any standalone PC, for that matter). If you want lots of space, you're far better off putting it into a separate machine.

          My life for the foreseeable future requires lots of longish trips and some boring time in hotel rooms. I'd be totally happy if I could 1) load Logic Pro and my several GB of associated stuff; 2) have a few spare GB for a Windows partition; 3) bring my whole music/video collection along without eith

      • 1920x1200 would just be too much on 15.4""

        Way overkill. That's why I want a MBP with EGA graphics and 8-bit sound.

      • by Sancho (17056)
        I use 1920x1200 on a 15.4" screen (Dell Precision M70.) I have no problems with it. Font sizes are adjustable, so if I'm having problems reading something, I can just crank it up. I'd rather have the option for better resolution than not. Unfortunately, that'e never been an area where Apple excelled--they tend to cater strictly to the median user.

        I'd buy a MBB today if they suddenly released one with 1920x1200, and going to 1680xwhatever on the 15" would really make me consider one.
      • Re:It's a shame (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:24AM (#16629060) Homepage Journal
        What I really want can't be provided by Apple... a fast 320GB notebook drive. That would change my life.

        There is something for that:
        http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/ [mcetech.com]

        What it does is move the optical drive to be an external drive and put another notebook hard drive inside. So if you have 2x 160GB drives, you have 320GB right there. I think kicking out the optical drive is a good compromise. The number of occasions that I use one is dwindling quite a bit. Even for movies, I can use an external at home to import it and it's on the hard drive for later use.
        • by Onnimikki (63071)
          What happens if you have to reinstall the OS? Can you install the OS from the external drive?
      • by Xyde (415798)
        I second the request for 1680x1050. (1920x1200 would just be too much on 15.4".) The faster video cards would probably cause heat issues; all the laptops available with them are thicker and heavier.

        I have a feeling we'll be seeing 1680x1050 and probably higher the moment resolution independance is ready in Leopard and shipping on new machines.

      • What I really want can't be provided by Apple... a fast 320GB notebook drive. That would change my life.

        Well, Apple won't sell it to you but you can buy it: there's a company that offers to replace your DVD drive with a hard disk. If you can function OK on the road without a CD/DVD drive (and use an external at home) then this will give you what you asked for. Hmm, just found 'em: http://www.mcetech.com/optibay/ [mcetech.com]. They apparently consider it a self-install procedure! I'm not sure most people should Try I

    • by v1 (525388)
      * An option for a 7200rpm hard disk (except the "aircraft carrier" model

      Heh, I like that. Though I usually refer to them as "TV dinner trays".
    • by diamondsw (685967)
      The hard drive is indeed a shame, as my older MacBook Pro has a 7200rpm drive. That alone helps me avoid too much envy of the newer models.
      • by toddestan (632714)
        The hard drive is indeed a shame, as my older MacBook Pro has a 7200rpm drive. That alone helps me avoid too much envy of the newer models.

        Atleast you can always buy a 7200RPM drive and install it if you are so inclined. Not much you can do about the other omissions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PygmySurfer (442860)
      * An option for a 7200rpm hard disk (except the "aircraft carrier" model

      Apparently, the 160gb (5400 rpm) and 200gb (4200 rpm) drives use PMR [wikipedia.org]. Someone on the forums over at macrumors linked to a benchmark, apparently the 5400 rpm PMR drives are faster than traditional 7200 rpm drives.

      * A option for a faster video card

      I think the form factor has a lot to do with this. I don't know that they could squeeze an X1700/X1800 or GeForce Go 7800/7900 in the current form factor, and I don't think enough customers
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        BookEndz makes some port replicators, but they're really not that impressive.

        Particularly considering the price. That's some serious money for a device that could only described as "barely adequate".

  • Which is the better 15" macbookpro for battery life?

    I'm deciding in purchasing between the faster and slower macbookpro's: Does the faster one drain the battery noticibly faster, or is there better power management with the more expensive computer? If I know I'll be using the computer without access to a wall socket for longer periods: is it smarter to go with the slower computer?
    • by dal20402 (895630) *

      Don't know about the C2D models, but my 2.16 CD MBP gets slightly worse life than a friend's 1.83 version. SpeedStep apparently won't slow down the processor quite as far.

      The difference is very small though... with the faster processor and my 7200rpm drive it's about 15 minutes. They are claiming slightly improved life for the C2D version, but all CD MBP's get pretty terrible battery life. MacBooks are better, if you can live without a graphics card and with a smaller screen.

    • by v1 (525388)
      My solution to this is get a 2nd battery and a 2nd power adapter. I keep the one adapter in my bag and the other at my desk. This way I am not always dorking around with the power pack anytime I move my computer. (is it really worth it to crawl under there again and unplug it, will I really need it today at work? - inevetably the day you don't take it is the day you need it) The second battery gives me anywhere from 4-7 hrs of total battery time depending on what I'm doing, and I full cyclone and swap ba
    • by sokoban (142301)
      There are utilities to underclock and undervolt MBPs. I don't know if there is a Core 2 Duo one available yet, but http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html [coolbook.se] has one.
  • How about Debunking that tool, Rob Enderle and his "article" [business2.com]. Or articles. Hell, just debunk the fool. I seriously question how this guy makes a living with his totally inaccurate stories.
  • Is anyone else having a problem with the links in the story? I typed this in, which seems to work:


    http://www.lartren.com/mac/ [lartren.com]


    I also think they ment to post the following Coral link as well:


    http://www.lartren.com.nyud.net:8080/ [nyud.net]

  • by CCFreak2K (930973) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:10PM (#16628238) Homepage Journal
    Want To Know About the New Apple MacBook Pro?

    No.

    (Disclaimer: I did not put the "no" tag on.)
  • A lot of this is stuff the manufacturer already provides, but in addition to that I think this is specifically a service the manufacturer could provide. Imagine being able to drop a message on a Dell website asking a specific question about how one of their computers runs a specific program and them giving you detailed results within 24 hours. That'd be pretty cool.

    Q: Dell, I'd like to run Microsoft Flight Sim on an XPS 700 with three 30" displays. Can you give me the frame rate on that?
  • thank you!!! to the person who posted this article and to the person who owns the website!!! i just bought a mac book pro and was driving myself nuts trying to get the wlan to work. very much appreciated.
  • by weave (48069) on Saturday October 28, 2006 @11:45PM (#16628474) Journal

    I have a 667 Mhz 12" G4 Powerbook that I adore and have been using for four years now. It goes with me everywhere, I can open it (barely) on a tray table in a coach seat on a plane, it works well on a bus, train, etc. It goes everywhere with me -- cause it is a decent size and works well. I don't need/want 15" and the 13.3" macbooks are still too big for what I want. :(

    I was just at a "Sony Style" Store today and their smaller Vaio notebooks look real sweet. Just increase the DPI of the resolution and it cram into a smaller form factor please. Not all of us are blind.

    I hate Apple's new laptop attitude that "pro" means huge.

    • Just increase the DPI of the resolution and it cram into a smaller form factor please. Not all of us are blind.

      For monitors, it is ppi - for pixels per inch. dpi is for print, each dot is its own discrete, unmixed color. Otherwise, each color within a pixel counts as a point.

      I think the higher ppi will simply increase the chances that the user will become blind as a result. My vision is good, I can use the 150 screens but it's pretty uncomfortable for long term use.
  • I've heard that Apple is claiming that the new Core2 Duo is 7 times faster than the old "top of the line" 1.67Ghz PowerBook. But comparing the XBench output that was posted earlier to an XBench run that I just ran (see below my signature) shows only a 2x increase in almost every single category (there was one or two that were about 2.5 times higher).

    But nowhere near 7 times.

    How can they make such a claim? I could understand missing by a few percentage points, but their claim is WAY off reality.

    And,

    • Because Apple cherry picks the test results they publish on their web site. It seems the 7 times performance improvement claim strictly relates to SPEC benchmarks.

      1. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2006 using preproduction MacBook Pro units with Core 2 Duo; MacBook Pro with Core Duo and PowerBook G4 systems were shipping units. *On a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pro, Logic Pro showed a 45% performance improvement, playing 240 reverb plug-ins, compared to 165 reverb plug-ins played on a 2.16GH
    • by toddestan (632714)
      How can they make such a claim? I could understand missing by a few percentage points, but their claim is WAY off reality.

      Apple's been doing this for years, it's nothing new - it was actually quite funny to watch them do a complete 180 in regards to Intel vs. PPC a while back. Basically, don't pay any attention to any benchmarks performed by the same company that sells the hardware.
      • by TomHandy (578620)
        It's not necessarily a complete 180 though. A lot of those PPC vs. Intel debates were back when Intel was making the Pentium IV, and before they had gone down the path of the Pentium M, which led to Core Duo, and now Core 2 Duo. The old Pentium IV stuff was a dead-end, and the criticism of them was spot on. And the proof is in the fact that Intel did change their direction on processors.
  • 64 Bit Support? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tji (74570) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:07AM (#16628610)
    I sent Brian a question (shortly before he got "Slashdotted") about whether the new MacBook Pros supported 64 bit mode. He was kind enough to compile and run the little 'sizeof' program I sent him and respond about the output..

    The announcements and marketing information about the new MBP's was conspicuously absent of any mention of the 64 bit support of the new Merom / Core 2 Duo processor. This is strange because both the Mac Pro and the iMac specifically mention their 64 bit support.

    There is a lot of contradictory information floating around about the state of 64 bit support on the Intel Macs. So, I asked him to compile an app to show the sizeof a long int and pointer. The output showed 4 Bytes / 32 bits.

    So, this is curious... Does x86 Tiger not support 64 bit mode? But, people have done tests on 32 bit vs. 64 bit on intel Macs ( http://www.geekpatrol.ca/blog/150/ [geekpatrol.ca] ). So, why is the MBP different than the iMac, which uses the same processor and chipset?

    Anyone have more definitive information on 64 bit support for this new MacBook Pro? Or for x86 Tiger, the new iMacs and Mac Pro's?

    Also, before all the "64 bit support is pointless" replies; yes, I know it can only handle 3GB of RAM. I know the benefits of 64 bit will not be dramatic (I already have two Linux boxes running Athlon64's in 64 bit mode). I'm just curious whether all the features of the processor can be used. I also want the performance benefit of doubling the number of general purpose processors and 64 bit math. And, since Leopard is supposed to have much better 64 bit support, I want to see where this MacBook Pro will stand.
    • by Anubis350 (772791)
      AFAIK on 10.4 only the PPC version is 64-bit. We'll have to wait till 10.5 for 64bit mode on x86, right now it runs in 32-bit.
    • by Sancho (17056)
      64-bit is only supported if the app is compiled against a few specific libraries (I forget which ones). Any other apps will behave as 32-bit. I'm not sure if the next OS X release will change this.
    • The geekpatrol blog you referenced in your post did some MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo [geekpatrol.ca] benchmarking, and they tested in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode. So it seems to me that they support it.
    • Re:64 Bit Support? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:18AM (#16629020) Journal
      The default ABI is 32-bit. Try adding -m64 to your compiler flags.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tji (74570)
        Thanks for the tip.. Brian read this thread and tried out that flag. With that flag, it outputs "8" for pointer and long int.

        So, it seems that the kernel on the new MBP's are indeed 64 bit.

  • by mactari (220786) <rufworkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @12:34AM (#16628794) Homepage
    Eventually the forum thread got out of hand, and he set up a website devoted to answering the questions. If you have a question that hasn't already been answered, email him at the address on the site. He is responding daily and sometimes within minutes. This guy is dedicated.

    And thanks to slashdot, maybe those Google Ads he's added to his answers will bring him a few bucks he wouldn't have made on the "out of hand" macrumors forum.

    Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with cashing in -- macrumors' forum isn't exactly ad-free either -- but I'm not real sure how making your own website to answer questions makes slashdot. If he'd taken it apart, upgraded the processor, or found out that there's something inside we hadn't heard of, well, telling us about that is possibly post worthy. Right now, this story is just hardware.slashdot.org-as-billboard.

    One of the incredible bits of insight from the site:
    Q: What can you tell me about the battery?
    A: Not a whole lot. Made in China (what isn't), Model # A1175, Li-ion.


    Wow.

    Save yourself some time, and skip directly to pictures of Sudan [googlesyndication.com] or Christian Wife Pictures [googlesyndication.com]. Not joking.
    • by TomHandy (578620)
      Well, to me at least, the information he's been providing has been useful.... in particular the determination of the clockspeed of the X1600, which shows it to be clocked much closer to stock speeds than the old MBP's. A lot of this is not information that can be easily gleaned elsewhere, and what is notable as far as I'm concerned is that he was one of the first people to get his C2D MBP and actually run all these tests and answer all these questions people asked of him. He's put a lot of time into it, a
  • by justsomebody (525308) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:19AM (#16629028) Journal
    No, not really.

    simply couldn't resist making this comment:)

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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