Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

New MacBook Pro vs. Old MacBook Pro


If you’re debating between getting the new MBP (i.e., the ones with multitouch and Penryn processor) or the old MBP, you’ll find AnandTech’s benchmark tests very informative.

The net: Penryn’s biggest advantage is in battery life. Performance is a tad better (depending on the test) but not a lot. So, for some of you, the reduced prices of the old MBP may be the right option for you.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Reviews

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?


refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

MacBook Pro & MacBook updates…FINALLY!!


Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro and, suprisingly, the MacBook.

I’ve been waiting for over 1 year to replace my Powerbook so I am absolutely ecstatic. I placed my order for the $2,500 version of the 15″ MBP and should have it next week. Cost: ~$1,999 (+ tax) thanks to the Apple Dev Connection discount, which is 20% off on MBPs).

Side note: I love how Apple still showcases a Ducati 1098 motorcycle on the MBP product page! 

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing

MacBook Pro inventory low at Apple Stores?


FWIW, I was at one of my local Apple Stores today and asked them if they had any of the $2,500 version of the 15″ MacBook Pros in-stock.  The answer: no.  Hmm….could the updates be coming this Tuesday or next Tuesday (Feb. 26)??  Man, I hope so!

Post a comment if your local Apple Store is also out of stock.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Performance benchmarks for Intel Penryn mobile processor


core2duo-image.jpgAs some of you know, Intel has just released their next mobile processor – Penryn. In a nutshell, the Penryn processor is similar to the current Core 2 Duo (aka Merom) processor – the biggest change was the size reduction from 65nm –> 45nm and the increase in L2 cache from 4MB –> 6MB. This yields better battery life, less heat emitted from the CPU, and a slight improvement in performance.

Anwyays, check out the great performance review from AnandTech’s Intel mobile Penryn benchmarks.

Some findings worth highlighting:

  • Increase of 23 – 55 minutes in battery life (depending on the load on the CPU)
  • Battery life increased 18 minutes during DVD playback
  • Overall performance increase was around 4.5%

Personally, with all of the rumors of an updated MacBook Pro coming soon, it’s worth the wait. Although, I almost cracked since I’ve been waiting to buy a MBP since Jan/Feb 2007.

For you PC-buyers, fret not, Dell/HP/Sony have already announced release dates for Penryn-based laptops (shipping in February 2008).

[via AnandTech]

Filed under: Computers, Laptop, Mobile Computing

Another PC user switches to the Mac


macbook.jpgWow, this week was an incredible week…my girlfriend (a PC user all her life) just decided to replace her Dell Latitude D620 (Core 2 Duo – 2.16Ghz) machine with the black MacBook (Core 2 Duo – 2.2Ghz). I think her experience speaks volumes about Mac OS X as well as the dedicated Mac applications…because it was a combination of the two that convinced her to switch.

Here’s the net of it, she needed to build a simple yoga website – Om Circle Yoga – (she’s a certified yoga instructor). I told her that I got this great web design software (RapidWeaver) from a MacUpdate promotional bundle back in December and that it would suite her needs perfectly. So, she gave it a shot and within a couple of hours, she learned how to use RapidWeaver, built her website, and launched it. Here’s the best part: after she launched her site, she commented on:

  1. How easy it was to learn and use RapidWeaver
  2. How easy and fun it was using Mac OS X (I’m running Tiger)

The interesting thing is that my girlfriend has used my Powerbook in the past for browsing the web and her impression was that it’s just another computer and does the same thing as a PC. The minute she did something on the Mac that was more than surfing the web or checking email she realized how much more productive she was on the Mac and began to appreciate what us Mac-heads/geeks have been raving about all these years.

So, big props goes to the folks at Realmac Software for making RapidWeaver such a great app and to the RapidWeaver community for building various add-ons…and, of course, to Apple, for making Mac OS X such a great operating system.

Filed under: Apple, Computers, Laptop, MacBook, MacOSX, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Software, Windows

MacBook Pro updates coming soon?


According to MacRumors, there is some talk of updates coming soon to the MBP…man, I REALLY hope this is true and that these updates happen within the next 2-4 weeks. I know, I know…I’m wishfully hoping it’ll be soon but one can hope, right?

Here’s the quote from this posting at MacRumors.com:

In looking back at the sources of the most accurate rumors, we also find enticing reports of items that didn’t come true at Macworld, but did come from credible sources.

The MacBook Pro updates are certainly coming — and soon. Even without our rumor sources, the MacBook Pros are simply due for refresh. But the most interesting tidbit is that there have been reliable reports that the Pro machines will incorporate Apple’s new multi-touch trackpad.

Also, here are a couple of the posts I’ve seen on MacRumors’ forums:

  • Someone is seeing discounts being offered on the MBP at their university store and that they only do this when an update/upgrade is ~2 weeks away
  • Some people are seeing discounts on MBPs at various retail stores
  • One person claiming that he works for a printing company that prints all of Apple’s brochures, boxes, and banners – he claims that the updates are coming very soon

As always with Apple, these are just rumors and people’s wild guesses but time will tell…but it’s killing me since I’ve been waiting to buy a MBP since August 2007!

EDIT: AppleInsider just reported some more details on the soon-to-be-released updated MBP. The gist of it: the MBP was supposed to be updated and announced at MacWorld but execs decided to delay it by several weeks because they needed the resources to focus on the MacBook Air.

EDIT (January 27, 2008): More rumors of the imminent MBP update.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): And some actual evidence(?) that the updates are coming.

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

MacBook Pro processor upgrade in January 2008?


This is a pretty old tidbit but I thought I’d post it anyway since a few friends didn’t know about this rumored update. The processors will be upgraded to Intel’s new Penryn processor. Here are the details of the new Intel Penryn processors. There aren’t any rumors as to which ones Apple will use in the MacBook Pros but my guess will be the 2.4Ghz and 2.6Ghz processors.

The size of the Penryn chips will also be reduced from 65 nanometers (nm) –> 45nm, which should allow the chips to run a bit cooler.

For reference, the current MacBook Pros come with either 2.2Ghz or 2.4Ghz processors.

macbook-pro-penryn-chips.gif

FYI, the price reflects the purchase price in 1,000-unit trays from Intel so it’s not the price we would pay. 😉

So, if you’ve been thinking about buying a MacBook Pro, I’d recommend waiting another 3 months…that’s what I’m doing.

EDIT (January 16, 2008): Well, Steve Jobs did NOT announce any updates to the MBP during yesterday’s MacWorld keynote. Needless to say, I’m extremely bummed b/c I’ve been waiting for 6+ months to upgrade my Powerbook G4. There are rumors that Intel is having/had an issue with the thermal sensor on the Penryn chips and that supply will be tight through February. If this is true, we prolly won’t get updated MBPs until March/April. I’m hoping when the MBP is updated with Penryn we’ll also get the multi-touch trackpad and the revised keyboard layout/design like the MacBook Air.

EDIT (Jan 28, 2008): More rumors that the upgrade will happen within the next 1 – 4 weeks.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): Some actual evidence of the new MBP?

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

[via AppleInsider & Engadget]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

MacBook Pro updates coming soon


Pretty much all of the Apple rumor sites are reporting that we should see an updated MacBook Pro with Intel’s Santa Rosa chipset and the 15″ version getting an LED backlit display. Rumors are claiming that we should see these updates by WWDC in June, at the latest.

This update should add a faster front-side bus (800Mhz) and new Core 2 Duo mobile processors that run up to 2.4Ghz.

Looks like those earlier rumors are coming true. 🙂

As you know, I’ve been waiting for the LED backlit 15″ MacBook Pro with Santa Rosa but it looks like I won’t be buying one this year since I just splurged on my Ducati 749 motorcycle. Unless…someone wants to “donate” one to me! 😉

[via AppleInsider & Think Secret]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, LCD, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

New MacBooks released…but w/o Santa Rosa


Apple released an update to the MacBook line of laptops, yesterday, but they didn’t add Intel’s new Santa Rosa chipset. The deets:

  • 2.0GHz, 13.3″ White MacBook, 80GB, 1GB RAM, Intel Graphics 950, $1099
  • 2.16GHz, 13″ White MacBook, 120GB, 1GB RAM. Intel Graphics 950, $1299
  • 2.16GHz, 13″ Black MacBook, 160GB, 1GB RAM, Intel Grahics 950, $1499

FYI, these updated MacBooks don’t have LED backlit displayes, either.

[via MacRumors]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, Mobile Computing

Intel confirms ‘Santa Rosa’ shipping in May


Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum held here this week, David Perlmutter, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager for mobility

David Perlmutter – Intel’s Sr. Vice President & General Manager for Mobility – confirmed at last week’s Intel Developer Forum that the Santa Rosa platform will begin shipping in notebooks next month:

The Intel executive also noted that Intel’s Santa Rosa platform will start shipping in notebooks from next month. The mobile platform will comprise an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the mobile Intel 965 Express chipset family, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity and optional Intel Turbo memory that has been touted to improve application performance.

In a nutshell, Santa Rosa is a mobile platform with a Core 2 Duo processor, 800Mhz front side bus, better graphics chipset, and Intel’s flash-based caching technology (Robson).

[BusinessWeek via MacRumors]

Filed under: Computers, Laptop, Mobile Computing, Technology

New Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors coming soon


Intel will be releasing an update to the Core 2 Duo mobile processor platform sometime this quarter (Q2). Rumors are saying May 8 is the date. The next set of Core 2 Duo mobile processors are:

  • T7700 (Core 2 Duo – 2.4Ghz)
  • T7500 (Core 2 Duo – 2.2Ghz)
  • T7300 (Core 2 Duo – 2.0Ghz)
  • T7100 (Core 2 Duo – 1.8Ghz)

Instead of the current ‘Merom’ platform, these processors will be using the ‘Santa Rosa’ platform, which has:

  • 800MHz front side bus (the current Merom platform tops out at 667MHz FSB)
  • 64-bit support (same as Merom)
  • 4MB L2 cache (same as Merom)
  • GM965/PM965 chipsets (Crestline for improved graphics)
  • 82566MM Gigabit Network chip
  • 4965AGN wireless chip (Kedron) with 802.11n support
  • Wi-Max and HSPDA integration (rumored)

All of the above isn’t ‘new’ news but something to consider if you’re in the market for a new laptop. For example, there are rumors that Dell will be using one of these new Core 2 Duo processors and Santa Rosa on their Latitude D630/830 at the end of April/early May.

So, the real question is: when will the computer companies update their laptops to use these new processors and platform? In my case and, more importantly, when will Apple update the MacBook Pro? I’ve been waiting for 4 months to replace my PowerBook G4 with a MacBook Pro and my patience is wearing thin…

[the following articles were referenced for this post: Wikipedia, The Inquirer, Notebookreview.com]

Filed under: Computers, Laptop, Mobile Computing, Rumors, Technology