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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

REAL WORLD PRO APPS:
MacBook Pro Core i5 and i7
versus similar Macs

Originally posted Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

"HOW MUCH FASTER IS THE 2010 MACBOOK PRO THAN THE 2009 MACBOOK PRO?"
"HOW MUCH FASTER IS THE MACBOOK PRO CORE i7 THAN THE MACBOOK PRO CORE i5?"
"CAN THE MACBOOK PRO CORE i7 KEEP UP WITH THE iMAC CORE i7 IN THE REAL WORLD?"

This page seeks to answer those questions by giving you results of some of the most demanding pro applications.

Adobe After Effects CS4 -- We set preferences to "multiprocessing" mode which spawns a subprocess for each core (virtual included). Test project is Brian Maffitt's "TotalBenchmark." Time is in seconds. (Yes, we know. We have CS5 on order.)

(RED bar means fastest)

Compressor 3.5 (from Final Cut Studio) -- We used Apple Qmaster to set up a Quick Cluster that uses all available cores (including virtual). Then we opened the "Willdlife Reel" from the QuickTime HD Gallery and rendered it using Apple's "HD DVD: H.264 60min" preset. Time is in seconds.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 -- We used Lloyd Chamber's Speed Action File to apply typical editing functions to a 169MB test file. Time is in seconds. (Yes, we know. We have CS5 on order.)

Motion 4 (from Final Cut Studio) -- We rendered a RAM Preview of the Blocks-Detail.HD template. Since the whole 900 frames cannot be rendered with 8GB of RAM, we noted the number rendered and divided it by time in seconds to compute Frames Per Second.

LEGEND of GRAPHS (RED bar means fastest)
iMac i7 2.80 = iMac Core i7 2.80GHz with Radeon HD 4850.
MBP i7 2.66 = MacBook Pro Core i7 2.66GHz with GeForce GT 330M
MBP i5 2.53 = MacBook Pro Core i5 2.53GHz with GeForce GT 330M
MBP C2D 3.06 = MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz with GeForce 9600M GT
All three MacBook Pros were the 17" model.
All four Macs had 8GB of 1066MHz SDRAM.

ANALYSIS
Assuming our tests are representative,
1. The fastest 2010 MacBook Pro is 10% to 27% faster than the fastest 2009 MacBook Pro.
2. The MBP Core i7 beats the MBP Core i5 by 7% to 9%. Is the Core i7 worth the extra $200 (comparably equipped) or 9% more? Statistically it is a wash. I say scrounge up the extra $200 and go for the gusto.
3. The iMac Core i7 is 27% to 54% faster than the MacBook Pro Core i7 which reinforces what was shown on our basic benchmark page: not all Core i7s are created equal.

MORE TO COME ON 2010 MACBOOK PROs
Next we'll run our 3D Game suite and publish those results. We also plan to expand on our discussion of Solid State Drives (SSDs) including how drive makers are dealing with the dreaded write speed slowdown after heavy use.

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE 5 (or Photoshop CS5 or After Effects CS5)
Order directly from Adobe to get free shipping. If you are a member of NAPP, get 15% off.

WHERE TO BUY A MACBOOK PRO and other Apple Products
Click on our Apple Store USA text links or display ads when you order a MacBook Pro. It's a great way to support Bare Feats since we earn a commission on each click-through that results in a sale.

USA Apple Resellers we recommend:
Power Max (takes trade-ins)
Small Dog Electronics

DON'T LIVE in the USA? Here are some Apple Stores to click:
Apple Store - Canada
Apple Store - France
Apple Store - Germany
Apple Store - Italy
Apple Store - UK

WHERE TO BUY MEMORY UPGRADES FOR THE MACBOOK PRO
The 8GB kits are available from
Trans International
and Other World Computing

WHERE TO BUY SSDs FOR THE MACBOOK PRO
Trans International
and Other World Computing
and MaxUpgrades

WHERE TO BUY ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE 5 (or Photoshop CS5)
Order directly from Adobe USA to get free shipping. If you are a member of NAPP, get 15% off.
Don't live in USA? Try these links to Adobe France, Adobe Germany, Adobe Sweden, or Adobe UK. (Clicking our links helps us earn a commission.)

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copyright 2010 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster