MacBook and MacBook Pro: Penryn, Battery Life, Updates Sooner than Later?

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Apple released new MacBooks and MacBook Pros today which carry the new 45nm Penryn processors, upgrading the laptops from the older 65nm Merom processors. The jump from Merom to Penryn is not a dramatic one as previous benchmarks demonstrate.

Penryn Advantages

Overall, the high end Penryn's may have marginal improvements in performance due to higher L2 cache, though the low-end Penryns (2.1GHz and 2.4GHz) actually have less (3MB vs 4MB) of L2 cache vs their Merom counterparts. Whether this results in any real world difference is unclear. Early benchmarks of the new Penryn 2.4GHz MacBook Pro reveals a comparable GeekBench score (3086) to the older Merom 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (3094).

One new feature all Penryn processors share is the SSE4 instruction set. Similar to the PowerPC's Altivec instruction set, SSE4 can provide dramatic speed increases (40% faster) for applications specifically written for them.

Battery Life

There's been some discussion about the fact that Apple's battery ratings for the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros are significantly less than previously published ratings. The new ratings are listed below with old ratings in parenthesis:

MacBook: 4.5hrs (6hrs)
15" MacBook Pro: 5hrs (5hrs)
17" MacBook Pro 4.5hrs (5.75hrs)

Apple PR clarified today, however, that this is simply due to a difference in reporting the numbers, and the new Penryn-based MacBooks and MacBook Pros' battery life has actually improved -- which would be expected with the more power efficient processors:
Anuj went on to explain that Apple has always done three separate battery tests when coming up with this metric—a DVD playback test, a wireless productivity test, and a "highway test," which got the best battery life and Apple used to advertise. However, the highway test is "hard to reproduce, and people got confused" he said, which is why Apple ditched it and started going with wireless productivity instead. "The wireless productivity test is the closest to normal usage, right in the middle of the road with WiFi, text editing, sending e-mail, etc." Anuj said.
Other Notes

- The new MacBook Pros have a Multitouch trackpad, but the MacBook does not.
- The Apple Remote control is no longer included, and must be purchased separately ($19).
- Teardown photos of the new MacBook Pro.
- BestBuy's inventory system incorrectly reported the MacBook part numbers as MacBook Pros, leading to some confusion about the planned updates. For future reference, BestBuy may be fed part numbers ahead of time, but has no actual knowledge of specs or price points, and clearly used placeholder information in this case.

Why Now?

The biggest question is why Apple bothered speed bumping the MacBooks which were not yet due for revision. According to our sources, Apple was forced by Intel into upgrading the MacBooks at this time. Intel is aggressively phasing out the older generation 65nm Merom chips over the coming months. As a result, Apple needed to upgrade the MacBooks in the interim to maintain a proper supply. One could speculate that, consequently, the next MacBook refreshes may occur mid-year, ahead of their expected product cycle.



Article Link
 

skwoytek

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Feb 15, 2005
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One could speculate that, consequently, the next MacBook refreshes may occur mid-year, ahead of their expected product cycle.
I'm more worried about the next refresh of MBPs.

My ADC discount expires in September. So do I buy the latest MBP fresh on release, today? Or, do I hold out until September for one more refresh, with the possibility of time running out and then using my discount to buy a six-month old MBP.
 

WHM

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Feb 5, 2008
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Battery

After charging mine for less than an hour it is showing 4:30 battery life. My 3 year old PowerBook G4 never got beyond 3 hours so far I AM A HAPPY CAMPER.
 

TheSpecialist

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Jun 11, 2007
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Interesting that Apple is changing so much, even more appealing to me is that they did at least 1 thing every tuesday...!!!:eek:

Also, the new MBP doesn't have the Apple logo on the command key anymore, it now says command or cmd.
 

d_and_n5000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
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The only thing I have to say is I hope that Apple makes it very well known that they are using a new formula for their battery tests. I'd imagine that Joe Consumer who did a decent amount of research will take one look at the new MacBook battery test, say "WTF! Battery life dropped an hour and a half! What's Apple doing? They need to beef it up, I'm not getting this for that that much less battery life!" Lost sale. Not good.
 

Darkroom

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Why Now?

The biggest question is why Apple bothered speed bumping the MacBooks which were not yet due for revision. According to our sources, Apple was forced by Intel into upgrading the MacBooks at this time. Intel is aggressively phasing out the older generation 65nm Merom chips over the coming months. As a result, Apple needed to upgrade the MacBooks in the interim to maintain a proper supply. One could speculate that, consequently, the next MacBook refreshes may occur mid-year, ahead of their expected product cycle.
Article Link
could one also speculate that, consequently, the new iMac revision is next week?
 

tuc

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2003
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According to our sources, Apple was forced by Intel into upgrading the MacBooks at this time. Intel is aggressively phasing out the older generation 65nm Merom chips over the coming months. As a result, Apple needed to upgrade the MacBooks in the interim to maintain a proper supply.
What does this mean for the MacMini?
 

amac4me

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
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According to our sources, Apple was forced by Intel into upgrading the MacBooks at this time. Intel is aggressively phasing out the older generation 65nm Merom chips over the coming months. As a result, Apple needed to upgrade the MacBooks in the interim to maintain a proper supply. One could speculate that, consequently, the next MacBook refreshes may occur mid-year, ahead of their expected product cycle.
Interesting. I wonder what this implies for future MacBook Pro revisions later in the year. Since they were first released in 2006, both the MacBook and MacBook Pro have a history of only two revisions per year. Could this mean that this year may have three revisions?
 

TheSpecialist

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Jun 11, 2007
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If I can make a prediction then based on the fact that Intel wants to push on to the next generation, I think we would see Mac Mini and iMac update next week. As both are consumer desktop products. It could also be iMac only, and something else, like a funeral, could happen to the Mac Mini. Or it would get updated or a complete overhaul. Who knows:rolleyes:!
 

amac4me

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
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If I can make a prediction then based on the fact that Intel wants to push on to the next generation, I think we would see Mac Mini and iMac update next week. As both are consumer desktop products. It could also be iMac only, and something else, like a funeral, could happen to the Mac Mini. Or it would get updated or a complete overhaul. Who knows:rolleyes:!
I think you're correct about an iMac update in the near future.
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
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Bristol, England
According to our sources, Apple was forced by Intel into upgrading the MacBooks at this time. Intel is aggressively phasing out the older generation 65nm Merom chips over the coming months. As a result, Apple needed to upgrade the MacBooks in the interim to maintain a proper supply.
If this bits true that's fantastic news. It might kick apple into not falling too far behind in processors in future.
 

ZorPrime

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2005
246
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Los Angeles
Behold to those who Doubt...

Arn was right... It is Tuesday, he said there would be, and there have been MB & MBP updates. :cool:
 

PenrynMBP

macrumors member
Feb 26, 2008
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Someone tell me why its only 3MB L2 Cache? I waited so long and paid this much for a lower cache than the previous MBP? You got to be kidding me, I am very close to canceling my order. Someone tell me if its a big difference with 3MB to 4MB.
 

whidbeyben

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2007
31
20
West Coast
Still need a 12" MBP

The MBA and MBP refreshes show progress, but the market for a 12" MBP has got to be at least as large as the MBA target audience. Add 0.25 inches to the thickness of the MBA to fit in an express card slot, or 3G modem, Firewire for DV capture, and a real hard drive capacity (80GB max is a joke- you couldn't really even rip DVD's onto an MBA for an overseas flight because there'd be no room on the 64GB SSD after installing Leopard, Vista, Office and a moderate sized iLife collection), and you might have a candidate. It's no surprise that the market for used 12" Powerbook G4's is still quite hot on eBay. The 4.5 pound laptop is still a sweet spot. I'm still hoping Apple will come out with a 12 or 13" MBP with the next major MBP revision.
 

apple101

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2008
126
0
New Jersey
I think you're correct about an iMac update in the near future.


If anybody knows this site it tells when they update all apple products.
if you google know when to buy a mac this website comes up saying when the product is going to be updated. And yes, the iMac is on that list.
the only thing I can't provide the link because I'm on my iPod touch and it does not have copy and paste, yet.
 

wildlywicked

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2008
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Wirelessly posted (HTC_P4550 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.6))

so is the article saying this tuesdays macbook/pro updates have come sooner rather than later OR that future updates will come sooner rather than later?
 

onicon

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2008
119
2
chances are you'll be profiting more from the increase in processor speed than suffering from the decrease of the cache size. plus when there are programs that use the new sse4 instruction set, the old meroms definitely bite the dust in any comparison. :cool:
 
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