Macworld Lab: First Test Results of Latest PowerBooks

Macworld Lab has been busy benchmarking the latest additions to Apple’s PowerBook line. We were able to test all four of the new models and the results met our expectations based on each models’ specs.

The 1GHz models, be they of the 12-inch, 15-inch or 17-inch variety, were neck and neck in both our Speedmark tests and most of our individual application tests. The 1.25GHz 15-inch easily beat those systems with slower processors and finished just behind the slightly speedier 1.33GHz 17-inch model.

As we found when testing the G5 systems, setting Energy Saver’s Processor Performance to Highest shaved a couple of seconds off of nearly every test.

The one interesting result was the MPEG-2 compression test. The 15-inch Titanium PowerBook took nearly 3 minutes longer to complete this task than both the new 1GHz 15-inch and the old 1GHz 17-inch system.

Look for complete reviews of these systems from Macworld soon.

BEST RESULTS IN BOLD. REFERENCE SYSTEMS IN ITALICS.

Speedmark 3.2 scores are relative to those of a 700MHz eMac (G4), which is assigned a score of 100. Photoshop, iMovie, and iTunes scores are in minutes:seconds. Quake scores are in frames per second. We tested the systems with 512MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.2.7, and Energy Saver's Processor Performance set to Highest. We tested MP3 encoding with an audio-CD track that was 9 minutes and 25 seconds long, converting it from the hard drive using iTunes' Better Quality setting. We tested Quake III at a resolution of 1,024-by-768 pixels with Graphics set to High Quality. The Photoshop Suite test is a set of ten scripted tasks using a 50MB file. Photoshop's memory was set to 100 percent and History was set to Minimum. We encoded a 6 minute, 46 second DV file using the MPEG-2 60min Fast Encode preset in Apple's Compressor application.For more information on Speedmark 3.2 visit www.macworld.com/speedmark. —MACWORLD LAB TESTING BY JAMES GALBRAITH AND KRISTINA DE NIKE

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