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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

2011 MacBook Pros versus
2010 Macs

Originally posted Friday, April 8th, 2011, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist.

Does it matter what Mac you use to run Adobe Photoshop CS5? Lloyd Chambers created an action file called diglloydSpeed1 that puts Photoshop through typical actions of a photographer. Using that test and his test file, we created a shootout between two 2011 MacBook Pros and a collection of 2010 Macs. The RED bar signifies the fastest Mac.

MP 3.33 = 'mid 2010' Mac Pro 6-core Westmere with 24GB of RAM
2.93 = 'mid 2010' iMac Quad-Core i7 2.93GHz with 16GB of RAM
2.30 = 17" 'early 2011' MacBook Pro Quad-Core i7 2.30GHz with 8GB of RAM
MBP 2.66 = 17" 'mid 2010' MacBook Pro Dual-Core i7 2.66GHz with 8GB of RAM
MBP 2.70 = 13" 'early 2011' MacBook Pro Dual-Core i7 2.70GHz with 8GB of RAM
MBA 2.13 = 13" 'late 2010' MacBook Air Core Duo 2.13GHz with 4GB of RAM
NOTE: with the exception of the MacBook Air, the Photoshop Performance preferences were set to 5GB Memory Usage, "Big and Flat" History and Cache, and OpenGL Drawing enabled.

1. I'm shocked. The 2011 Macbook Pro is just a step behind the Mac Pro 6-core -- at least running the
diglloydSpeed1 Photoshop speed test. Maybe the new quad-core MacBook Pros are a credible replacement for a desktop -- at least in some cases.

2. The MacBook Air's 4G of RAM was a handicap along with the slow "two cores only" processor. I can't imagine anyone doing serious Photoshop work or running any other memory-hungry, multi-core aware app on the MacBook Air. However, if Apple were to upgrade the MBA to a dual-core i3 or i5 (four virtual) Sandy Bridge processor with 8GB of RAM it could be a contender with the pros and prosumers who want to travel thin and light.

FLASH: Adobe is taking preorders for Creative Suite 5.5 which now supports HTML5. The Web Premium Suite supposedly enables you to create apps for the iPad and iPhone.

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copyright 2011 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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