1.83GHz and 2GHz Core 2 Duo MacBooks

1.83GHz and 2GHz Core 2 Duo MacBooks

They're both easy to carry at 5.2 pounds and 1.1 inches thick.

 

Apple's entry-level laptops now sport Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, the successor to the Core Duo processor introduced with the MacBook in May 2006. A new processor means faster performance.

 

We took a look at the $1,099 1.83GHz white MacBook and the $1,499 2GHz black MacBook. Except for the processor change-out and a bigger hard drive in the black MacBook (a 120GB drive; the Core Duo black MacBook had an 80GB drive), the specifications of old and new haven't budged-and that includes the same 64MB Intel GMA 950-based graphics subsystem. (It's too bad Apple didn't address the graphics issue, but an upgrade would've no doubt bumped up the price.) The graphics subsystem doesn't have dedicated memory; it shares the 'Book's RAM. To get the best graphics performance, Apple suggests adding memory to the 'Book's two memory slots as a matched pair-for example, two 512MB SO-DIMMs.

 

While Apple's website states that the MacBook's maximum RAM tops out at 2GB (a pair of 1GB SO-DIMMs), an Apple representative confirmed that you can install 3GB of RAM in a MacBook. But since you can't get 3GB as a matched pair (there's no such thing as a 1.5GB SO-DIMM), the performance hit in the graphics negates any gains you achieve with the added memory. The Apple rep also confirmed that you could install 4GB of RAM yourself (Apple doesn't sell the MacBook with 4GB), but at press time, a 2GB SO-DIMM costs over $900-meaning that a pair of 2GB SO-DIMMs costs more than the black MacBook itself.

 

We tested the new MacBooks with real-world tasks in popular apps, and for comparison we also tested a 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBook-all three had 1GB of RAM. The $1,099 MacBook offers a nice speed bump over the 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBook. In both our iMovie HD video-export test and our iMovie HD Sepia Tone video-effect test, the $1,099 MacBook was 15 percent faster than the Core Duo MacBook. When importing 196 JPEG photos into iPhoto, the $1,099 MacBook was 13 percent faster. Interestingly, the $1,099 MacBook with 1GB of RAM was able to keep pace with the new black MacBook with 1GB of RAM in our iMovie HD tests. The black MacBook showed a 6 percent gain on the $1,099 MacBook in the iPhoto test.

 

If there's one thing to get excited about with the new MacBooks, it's the improved performance with software that isn't Intel-native. For example, the $1,099 MacBook was 28 percent faster than the 1.83GHz Core Duo MacBook in our Adobe Photoshop CS2 Actions test. In the same test, the black MacBook was 12 percent faster than the white MacBook.

 

As we found with the first-gen MacBook, you have to turn off all of the graphics settings and use 640-by-480-pixel screen resolution to get 27 frames per second with the Universal version of Doom 3. At higher resolutions and more detail, Doom 3 is unplayable.

 

To test for battery life, we played a DVD of Lawrence of Arabia. Both of the new MacBooks lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes, about 6 minutes longer than the Core Duo MacBook. Keep in mind that playing a DVD is one of the most power-draining activities you can do; an Apple rep told us that you can expect about 5 hours of battery life when you're doing everyday office-type activities.

 

The bottom line. The new MacBooks are a great combination of speed and price.

 

1.83GHz White MacBook
COMPANY: Apple
CONTACT: www.apple.com
PRICE: $1,174 (as tested)
SPECIFICATIONS: (as tested) 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, 60GB SATA hard drive, 24x Combo drive
Affordable. Improved performance. Good battery life.
Mediocre graphics performance.

 

 

 

2GHz Black MacBook
COMPANY: Apple
CONTACT: www.apple.com
PRICE: $1,499 (as tested)
SPECIFICATIONS: (as tested) 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, 120GB SATA hard drive, 6x SuperDrive
Sleek black case. Improved performance. Good battery life.
Mediocre graphics performance. Scratch-prone lid.

 

 

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mike

been following the evolution of the mac laptops lately
since I am keen on having one. the only thing that prevents me from buying one (and friends agree to this) is that MacBooks do not have have any memory card/s reader; Apple should address this, to think that they are highly promoting iLife that contains a variety of programs that needs importing from an external device using a variety of media readers

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joe b

As a lifetime pc user, I was wishing the macbook had a card reader, too, but is there really much of a drawback to using the USB cord to download the pictures? Granted the card is a more direct route, but we can still access the information.
The thing that's keeping ME from buying one yet, is the fact that Leopard OS is less than two months away, and I'd hate to buy the Mac just before some fabulous new os came out and I'd have to spend more money because I know I'd have to have it!
Anyway, I hope you like your new mac as much as I think I will!

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Elizabeth

i just bought the black macbook for school and just online activity, its great becuase i do work on imacs at school and i know my way around them. it is true that the black one does get easily dirty, or just scratched up. i figured maybe cause it was black it wouldn't get that dirty so easily but apparently i was wrong. i think thats the only major problem that i found with it. everything else was fine. if you are thinking about getting the black macbook i'd strongly suggest getting the iwork software (which doesnt come with it, if you plan on using it for school or business) and some type of cleaner for the cover and screen.

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Anonymous

Dear Roman Loyola and MacLife Magazine,

I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with almost every department from apple.com including customer service to tech support, etc. and no one at apple can confirm the support of 4ghz of RAM in the MacBook.

I was wondering who it was that confirmed the support of the 4ghz of RAM, because APPLE seems to be denying any such info.

Thanks,
-David

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Anonymous

The new macbook can be upgraded to 4gb of ram, 250gb hard drive and the mid-level mac and beyond comes with 2.4ghz. Of course you have to dish out more money, but in the end it's worth it.

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Adam

Umm, I think that the facts are wrong here. Macbooks on support up to 2GB of ram. The Macbook Pro can support up to three, but you have to order it specially.

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Keyth

The Core 2 Duo MacBook will address up to 3GB of RAM, but as stated in the review, this bypasses the paired memory requirement for the GMA chipset, and so you get slightly slower video RAM but higher main RAM as a result. If you're doing things that aren't graphic-intensive, but need lots of RAM, it might be worthwhile to slap in 3GB, but for most things you'd be better off with the 2GB RAM and efficient paired RAM for the video chipset.

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Anonymous

You mean GB?

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Skoht

K, so...isn't it suppose to be 4Gb of RAM..sorry I just noticed and got confused.

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Henrik Nilsson

Check the date.

http://homepage.mac.com/hnilsson/time.png

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