2010 vs 2011 MBP 13, comparisons anyone

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kettlecorn, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. kettlecorn macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Anyone own both want to tell me their impressions of both macs and which one is "better"? Let's keep price out of it and whether or not it's "worth it" cause that depends on the person's budget and needs but what I'd like to know is how much better/worse the 2011 MBP 13" is compared to the 2010.

    I read the thread regarding the Intel GPU and honestly it seems like Intel is equal or better to the NVIDIA 320m but even if it wasn't it doesn't matter to me because I don't game on the MBP. It's nice to know that it can play some COD if i wanted to.

    I'm more interested in the processor core I5 and how it compares to the Core2Duo 2.4ghz. And also REAL TIME battery life. Battery life is probably one of the biggest concerns for me second to processor and speed and if the increase in performance (from c2d 2.4 to core i5) means giving up lots of battery life, I'd like to know.

    I know it's rated at 7 hours for the 2011 but so is the white macbook 13" which I think is due to the change in Apple's testing. So real time experience from someone who has owned BOTH would be helpful.

    Thunderbolt, I dont care about it. At least not yet. HD webcam is cool, not necessary. Am I missing anything else..? Increase in the speed of the ram?
  2. akhbhaat, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2010
    Well, I owned a 2010 white MacBook, which is virtually the same thing (underneath) as the 2010 13" MBP. My 2011 13" MBP base arrived today.

    The CPU is massively faster. I don't think it even warrants a comparison; it's clearly evident in any CPU-intensive task (e.g. video/audio encoding or compiling large source files--the latter of which I did today).

    You'll be happy to know that there is absolutely no downgrade in real world battery life. In fact, the 2011 may actually be better. I managed just over 6 hours and 30 minutes of continuous programming on a remote server (meaning I was pushing packets through the wireless almost constantly) and web browsing today at ~60% screen brightness while listening to an internet radio feed through iTunes at least half the time. I also had the Mail app open (checking every few minutes). This on a battery that's on its very first cycle. Given this, I'm actually fairly confident that I could reach 8 hours with very light web use, and that's something my Macbook could never manage.

    FWIW, Laptop Mag had this to say about the battery:
    I'd imagine that their test is highly standardized, so that's saying something--45 minutes is too large to be a mere machine-to-machine discrepancy.

    On the whole, I'm extremely pleased, even with the marginally weaker GPU. The 320M was pretty bad to begin with (I have a powerful gaming desktop, so consider my frame of reference), so that's not much of a loss.
  3. kettlecorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Thanks! This post helps a lot. I would've expected the battery life to go up given the intel graphics and it looks like it did on standardized testing. That's good to know. It's also good to know that the CPU is that much more faster. Yeah the 320m wasn't a killer graphics card and I dont game on my MBP so you're right on that one. Looks like I'll highly consider upgrading.
  4. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Is there any CPU-intensive test you wish for me to do? I have both computers right next to each other on my desk, connected to the same power supply. I'm currently in the process of selecting which one I will keep. Obviously, the newer, more powerful, one appeals to me more (except in one respect which I'll get to) but a lot depends on how much I can take in for the 2010. And, call me crazy, having owned the 2010 since late September, it does have sentimental value. Still a great little machine, that hasn't done me any wrong.

    As I mentioned above, a hot topic on these forums (pun intended), is the heat issue. Unless on standby for a while, the 2011 is always warm. By comparison, I touch the palm rest on the 2010 and it is eerily cold, as if it's dead. Furthermore, although not as loud as some posters make it out to be, the fan is almost always running if you place your ear to the keyboard, this in light-moderate usage. The 2010 seemed to only call on its fan in certain situations. One theory for the warmer palm rests in the '11 is that the fan perpetually running brings with it better heat dispersal. Now with it on my lap it doesn't feel terribly hot, at least not any hotter than previous gen under equally demanding circumstances. Nevertheless, I still can't wait to pop an SSD into this thing, more for peace of mind than anything else.
  5. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Oh yeah, when I ran a Geekbench 32-bit on both machines. The 2011 scored like 2600 points higher, as expected. What I found interesting was that the memory benchmarks on the 2011 were like more than twice as much. I know the '11 is equipped with faster memory, but 4GB of DDR3 RAM should be comparable, one would think. I guess the processor makes a big difference there?
  6. Wesko macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2011
    The Netherlands
    That's sweet! Do you have the core i5 or i7?
    I think I'll go for the i7, but not completely convinced yet..
  7. mtkagan macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    i just upgraded to a 2011 and i say save your money and order the i5. use that money saved and get yourself a ssd
  8. Wesko macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Thanks! I'm going to install an SSD anyway.
    *Offtopic: So.. i5 with SSD or i7 SSD; hmmm choices... not sure if the difference will be THAT big to justify the extra $$.
  9. kettlecorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Wait do you mean save my money and order the 2010?
    I have a 2010 model and got a brand new OCZ Agility 2 today :)
    Its great. once you got SSD, you really cannot go back.
  10. jakku macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    No. Go for i5 2011, not for i7 ;)
  11. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I have the i5 2.3ghz model, plenty of oomph. Last year, I would have rebuked someone for considering the high-end 13" model. For $300 more, you got a negligible speed bump and a few more gigs on the hard drive. This year I don't think it's as easy a decision as people make it out to be. The i7 usually scores 800-1000 points higher on the Geekbench (just last year that was a significant amount), and since the CPU and GPU now share the same die -- the faster the processor, the better the graphics (although in this case, not much). An SSD is undisputedly a better and more noticeable upgrade for most applications, but don't forget that it can be a later addition. The Intel chip you choose, on the other hand, will be unalterable for the life of the computer. At first I kind of regretting not choosing the i7, but the i5 is more than enough power for my purposes.
  12. kettlecorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Question for you 2011 MBP 13" base model owners. How many bounces do you get before a typical app opens up? Let's say ichat, safari, word and something that takes longer like any of the Adobe softwares. I saw a video on youtube of it loading with 1-2 bounces on the core i5 and this is with a stock HDD. That is what my 2010 MBP does WITH a SSD. so i figure, either refund the SSD or have even a faster computer but if programs are loading that fast, I don't see why I'd need a SSD. I spent $230 on one yesterday. :eek:
  13. Kauai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    Not to mention that people whom are buying the 13" aren't looking for a powerhouse. If you want a workstation computer, get a 15 or 17".
  14. paleriderc2d macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2011

    I bought my 13" MBP C2D 2.66 two days prior to the refresh because I knew I wanted a 13" MBP but I had doubts about an Intel GPU. A taxing day for my computer is Word and Safari being opened at the same time. If you are looking for a powerhouse, the 13" is not designed to be a powerhouse.

    The C2D versus iX processor debate is probably meaningless to a lot of mobile Apple users. I will hold onto this MBP for probably 4-5 years like I have my black MacBook. As long as the C2D keeps the cursor blinking, I'm happy.
  15. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I just restarted my machine to get accurate results.

    Chrome: 1 bounce
    Safari: 1 bounce
    iChat: 1 bounce
    iTunes: maybe 3 or 4 bounces
    Firefox: 3 bounces
    Photoshop: 4 or 5
    Pages: 4 or 5
    iPhoto: 3 or 4
    GarageBand: don't ask

    oh yeah, I have the stock 5400rpm drive, i5 dual-core 2.3ghz
  16. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Core2Duos are still great little machines, but that was a bold move on your part. If I recall, two nights prior to the refresh, those French rumors were dominating these parts. And, they made a lot of great (fruition-less) claims. Like the OS being house on 16 GB SSD, a redesign, 12-hour battery life and higher resolution in the 13-inch, among other things. Would have been tough to pull the trigger on a last generation MBP at that time.
  17. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I just compared the 2010 to the 2011 on opening Keynote:

    2010: 8 bounces
    2011: 3 bounces

    Wow, both opened the program in one bounce after I had closed it.
  18. Wesko macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the input guys!

    My mind says: go for the i5 (as most of you recommend). My gut feeling says: go for the i7.
    The SSD is, like AppleGoat said, probably a more noticeable upgrade at this moment. However, I'm planning to keep the machine for at least 3-4 years so i7 makes a bit more sense in that aspect. SSD can also be put in later on.

    I'm not going to use it to do heavy gaming as I have a PC for that..
    Choices, choices, ..
  19. Kauai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    If it comes to a point where the i5 can't supply your needs, then the i7 isn't going to be able to at that point either. That's just my two cents, but it's up to you.
  20. Jazojas12 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    Didn't read the entire thread but..I upgrade every year with the 13" base model.
    2009 to 2010 were the same in my book.
    2010 to 2011 I can tell the difference in speed.

    I'm running the base model 13" with an Intel 80GB SSD. For whatever reason when I switched the drive from the old to the new it didn't work and I had to restore it. Loading programs is about the same, slightly faster. For whatever reason I feel like just web browsing is much faster.

    Battery life is the same for the most part. If I'm doing basic things it lasts the same/longer. Doing more intense things it seems it doesn't last as long though.

    The keyboard is also different. The keys feel more firm. I haven't heard anyone else say that so maybe it's just mine. But between my 2009/10 and my GFs 2010 MBP...we can feel the difference. Feels much nicer.

    I haven't used Thunderbolt yet, just as a display out for HDMI. Same as the 2010 model.

    The camera seems about the same but it's just for casual filming so it doesn't matter much.

    Another thing I've noticed, the temp usually stays between 100-120* for just minor things. The 2010 was usually 10-20* higher. BUT This thing heats up to 180-195* pretty quickly and the fans on the 2011 sound like a Lambo compared to the Prius fans on the 2010.

    Overall, I would buy it again. Especially for the keyboard.
  21. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I have the new one (13") and I had the old one (2.4 duo).

    It seems that this new 2.7ghz i7 is capable.

    For instance, I just ran a Vmware instance. The cpu meter didn't even register it (didn't notice it was there ) :D
  22. Ieo macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2009
    I know this isn't exactly what you asked, but the 2011 13" base model I bought is a BIG improvement over the 2009 (2.26 C2D w/ 9400m) 13" base model I had previously. People may still be squabbling over whether or not to upgrade from the 2010 to the 2011, but if you're in my position with a 2009....it's a no-brainer.
  23. kettlecorn, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    kettlecorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Thanks to all that pitched into this thread. Proud owner of a 2011 MBP today. Had it for a few hours so still adjusting and setting things up but, I noticed a few things immediately.

    a) faster

    b) the keyboard is way more firm. Like more resistance. could be good but not as easy to type as before.

    c) The backlit keys are way brighter. I can see the LEDS. Actually regarding b), the keys seemed to be raised a little bit higher because I can see each LED where as the 2010 the keys were a bit lower and softer and i could only see the led light around the keys.

    d) HEAT. it gets hot, no kidding. Granted i was cloning a hard drive and using the CPU, it still got toasty. Near the wrist pads where the touch pad is. my 2010 (both of them) never got hot there and when it did get hot, it was just right near the "esc" and f1,f2 keys.

    EDIT: THE HEAT.. OMG. the bottom be burnin me lap.

    Overall though, very happy. Time to do some geekbench scores and try SCII to see how it runs.
  24. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Interesting, everyone says the Keyboard is softer..I don't really think I've felt a difference from the previous generation -- but, if anything, it's softer. Glad you like it. Now, my only problem is finding a suitor for my 2010.
  25. kettlecorn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    You should try craigslist. Well ig uess it would depend on your location but mine moved in a matter of a day at $1000. It was in pristine condition with warranty though.

    Does your MBP 2011 have the fan constantly running when browsing? My fan is at 5000 rpm and CPU is at 82 degrees with nothing other than chrome (5 tabs, no videos).

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