Latest MBPs, another retrograde step; L2 now only 3MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Radioman, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Radioman macrumors regular

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    Oct 3, 2006
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    UK
    #1
    I am still using a Merom late 2006 2.33 C2D MBP and it has 4MB L2 cache, I see that in all cases apart from the top of line 2.8 gig uMBP the cache is now 3MB. Any ideas why this would be? Does it really make much difference?

    In fact comparing the specs here: http://support.apple.com/specs/#macbook pro it's surprising how little specs have moved on in a little under 3 years!
     
  2. tsa1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    #2
    your processor is slower than the new ones, somehow intel was able to lower the power consumption while making the processor faster with less cache.
     
  3. cliffrouse11bas macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2005
  4. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #4
    I agree, the 6MB L2 is why I just snatched the prev gen 2.66 instead of the 2.4
    (and the 512MB VRAM).
     
  5. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    Jun 15, 2005
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    England
    #5
    Your Merom has a super slow FSB of just 667 MHz with 667 MHz RAM. That's worse than the 1 MB less L2 cache.
     
  6. surftex363 macrumors newbie

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    May 24, 2009
    #6
    so is the 3mb cache another downgrade from the 6mb cache of the 2.4 15" mbp.
     
  7. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2005
    #7
    intel switched from 2MB and 4MB up to 3MB and 6MB of L2 cache, thing is Apple is using cheaper processors then they used to so more have 3MB then there were 2MB models.
     
  8. Radioman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 3, 2006
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    UK
    #8
    Thanks for the clarification. I am not sure how significant this will be in every day use, I suppose as the bus and processor get faster maybe there is less bottleneck in the cache so you can get away with less. Perhaps?

    Seems odd though as surely the price of memory is low enough now that 3 megs here or there is hardly going to break the bank...
     
  9. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #10
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the late 2008 low end uMBPs were 2.4 ghz with 3mb cache, and they cost $1999. Now, for the same price, you get 2.66 ghz but keep the same L2 cache. This would mean that for this price point it's an upgrade, not a downgrade.
     
  10. nws0291 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #11

    Yes this is correct. It is in fact an upgrade. At the same time the old 2.66 with 6mb L2 was upgraded to 2.8 Ghz. People are confusing this as a downgrade but it is not.
     
  11. surftex363 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #12
    I had a 2.4 MBP from before this last upgrade. It has a 6mb cache.

    I traded it in for a 2.66 MBP this week. My 2.66 now has a 3mb cache...

    thats a downgrade...
     
  12. iAlex macrumors member

    iAlex

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    #13
    This from the Intel sight clearly shows the difference in cpu's cache
     

    Attached Files:

  13. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #14
    The late 2008 uMBs and uMBPs that had the 2.4 processor all had only 3 MB L2 cache.
     
  14. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #15
    No, it didn't.
     
  15. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2008
    #16
    The only 2.4Ghz CPU that Apple used that had >3MB cache was the T7700 which is OLD.
     
  16. OddHead macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #17
    These Penryn-3M are medium voltage ones, their TDP is 25W instead of 35W as the T series. Maybe for a laptop it's even better, but there are no doubts about Apple's "downgrading" the 15" model. ExpressCard above all... and even a 1.5 Gigabit SATA I bus, wow...
     
  17. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #18
    Well to some it's a downgrade; to others it's an upgrade. Have you seen battery life posted on Anandtech? How else do you expect for Apple to achieve such amazing battery life? Secondly, regardless of the fact that these may be lower-TDP chips, they are still faster in each respective price segment than the ones they replaced.
     
  18. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #19
    I really don't see how it could be seen as a downgrade. Takes a very glass half empty way to see it that way. Like Bill Gates said, for each price point, the processor is better than before.
     
  19. Voidness macrumors 6502a

    Voidness

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    #20
    It doesn't work this way. L2 cache isn't something that's added externally to the processor, but rather it's part of the processor itself. It's not like RAM memory.
     
  20. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    #21
    Penryns are better than Meroms, even with slightly lower specs. Also while cache matters, it doesn't make a really big difference. New architecture brings more improvements.

    Processor cache uses memory that is much faster than RAM (otherwise there'd be no point in it), and it's much more expensive. In fact lowest-level (fastest) cache is still measured in KB if IIRC.
     

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