When we published our test results for the new Core 2 Duo-powered MacBook Pros, we kept hearing the same feedback from readers in our forums: These numbers comparing the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros are great and all… but how do these new machines compare to PowerPC models?
It’s a good point. After all, if you’re mulling an upgrade to one of the new MacBook Pros, you really aren’t likely to be looking to replace a perfectly acceptable Core Duo model you bought less than a year ago. Rather, the laptop owner looking to upgrade will, more often than not, be doing so from a PowerBook or iBook. So naturally, they’d be interested in knowing how the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo’s performance measures up—particularly when it comes to applications that don’t yet run natively on Intel-based Macs. Will there be a performance hit when using the Rosetta emulation technology? Or will the boost in processor performance from the Core 2 Duo make an upgrade worthwhile?
We took that feedback to heart when publishing our MacBook Core 2 Duo benchmarks a week ago. As you can see from the table included with that article—and reprinted again in the MacBook Core 2 Duo review —we included test results for the 15-inch PowerBook G4/1.67GHz and a 1.42GHz iBook G4. Hopefully, that gives PowerPC-based laptop owners some frame of reference when it comes to gauging how much of an improvement a Core 2 Duo-based portable offers.
Ah, but that addresses just potential MacBook buyers—what about people contemplating a Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pro. Well, we did include a 2.16GHz MacBook Pro in our MacBook benchmark table. But just to make things even more clear for people wondering how the recent MacBook Pro update compares to last PowerPC-based laptops, here are the MacBook Pro-specific results broken out alongside comparable PowerPC systems.
MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo vs. PowerPC-Based Laptops
|Speedmark 4.5||Adobe Photoshop CS2||Cinema 4D XL 9.5.21||Compressor 2.3||iMovie 6.0.2||iTunes 6.0.4||Unreal Tournament 2004||Zip Archive|
|SUITE||SUITE||RENDER||MPEG2 ENCODE||AGED FILTER||MP3 ENCODE||AVERAGE FRAME RATE||1GB FOLDER|
|15-inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.16GHz||209||1:16||1:01||2:17||0:54||1:11||63.9||2:48|
|15-inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.33GHz (2GB RAM)||226||1:10||0:57||2:07||0:51||0:58||72.9||2:22|
|15-inch PowerBook G4/1.67GHz||132||1:35||3:57||6:59||1:51||1:53||19.9||3:30|
|14-inch iBook G4/1.42GHz||108||1:50||4:31||n/a||2:09||2:18||14.3||4:34|
Best results in bold. Reference system in italics .
At the risk of repeating some of our earlier comments, the Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pros outperform the top consumer and pro PowerPC laptops—quite dramatically in the case of the 2.33GHz model.
And of course, as I write this, the last of the Core 2 Duo upgrades—the 17-inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo/2.33GHz —has arrived at Macworld Lab. Look for our test results next week, just as soon as we emerge from our turkey-induced coma.