Some have said that the Penryn based "early 2008" MacBook Pros offer little in performance advantage over the Santa Rosa based "late 2007" MacBook Pros. But after running some real world tests on the Penryn based MBP we beg to differ.
Take, for instance, the Compressor test. Though the 2.6GHz "Penryn" MBP has only an 8% advantage in core clock speed over the 2.4GHz "Santa Rosa" MBP, it encoded the DVD 25% faster. The 2.4GHz "Penryn" MBP with less L2 cache than the "Santa Rosa" was 12% faster.
LAPTOPS VS TOWERS
FYI, the Mac Pro "Harpertown" 3.2GHz completes the Compressor test in 91 seconds. Though it has 4 times as many cores running at faster core clock rate, it is not 4 times faster.
However, when you run the After Effects CS3 render test on the Mac Pro, it completes it in 127 seconds (or 4 times faster than the fastest MacBook Pro).
And, though all three MacBook Pros had 4GB of RAM, they could only render 308 frames of the 900 frame Blocks-Detail.HD template in Motion 3. You need at least 8GB of RAM to render all 900.
So when deciding between a Mac Pro and a MacBook Pro for "heavy duty" projects, unless you are on the road constantly, the Mac Pro's clear advantage in speed and capacity makes it the clear choice.
HOW ABOUT GRAPHICS INTENSIVE APPS?
Check out our page with Pro App and 3D Game tests that stress the MacBook Pro's graphics processor.