Macbook Pro 15" Late 2009 vs Macbook Pro 15" Mid 2010

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by amney, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. amney macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2012
    As the title says, I have the option of purchasing either of these two MacBooks

    I would like to gauge peoples opinions on which one they feel is the better one, the crucial things I will compare them on are:
    • Primarily Heat (+ fan noise)
    • Graphics speed (Mainly smoothness of animations)
    • Pure CPU Power

    I know on the final point the Mid 2010 Core i5 will obviously outperform, but on the first two points I actually am unsure on which one will be the winner, as I am sure I have heard people say that the integrated intel graphics on the i5 are not as powerful as the dual Nvidia solution on the Late 2009 model. I am also aware that the first generation i series chips can push out a lot of heat compared to their older Core 2 siblings.

    Any information from current or previous owners would be greatly appreciated
  2. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    The mid-2010 Core i5 will be roughly 1.5 times as fast as the Core 2 Duo per geekbench results.

    In terms of graphics, the mid 2010 will also have the advantage, especially if the 2009 model is the one only the 9400m integrated graphics unit.

    In terms of heat, they are about even.
  3. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    Like Naimfan said, CPU is about 1.5 times quicker, graphics on the 2010 are better as well. GT 330M is quicker then the 9600M GT and the HD graphics are good enough for everything else. Around equal to the 9400M. I use the HD graphics most of the time, as I have GFX card status set to Integrated only most of time and i haven't seen the intel HD lagg behing yet. In everyday usage you will not notice a difference between the HD and the 330M. Only when you do graphics intensive stuff.

    Heat wise the 2010 and 2009 are no where near the same. 2010 is a fair amount hotter. My girlfriend had a 2009 2.66GHz 15" and I have a 2010 2.66GHz i7 15". When we were on skype video chat, both of us had the laptop on a sofa, my fans were spinning at 4000-5500rpm. hers were chilling at 3000-3500. On the 2010 model, skype triggers the discrete GPU so that was part of the reason mine was so loud when on skype video. I set GFX card status to integrated only (there was no difference performance wise) and the heat went down significantly but the fans were still at 3500-4000, so still a bit more than the 2009. When my 2010 was on my desk, fans were at 3000 during skype vid with intel HD, and not above 4000rpm with 330M.

    My advice is you get the 2010. The CPU difference is quite noticeable and the GPU is more powerful. The little bit more heat is not that dramatic, unless you constantly use the laptop in a bed where the fans will be quite loud if you do anything intensive.
    if you do purchase the 2010, make sure you instal GFXcardstatus. So many application activate the 330M which can result decrease battery life significantly. Setting it to integrated only really helps. I have a battery life of 7-9 hours (Intel HD graphics) when typing in pages and using safari (no flash stuff or animations). And a battery life of about 4-5 hours doing the same stuff with the GT 330M activated.

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