Penryn Macbook Pro - What is the Drastic Improvement Everyone is So Eager Over?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by takeitt, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. takeitt macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I know you're getting sick of Macbook Pro rumor threads, but I had some specific questions which I'm really not seeing anywhere else..

    For starters I've been doing a fair bit of reading on the rumored new MBP. I've been looking to get one for a while now, and the time has finally come where I need to get a new computer. Now I've noticed I can get a refurbished 2.2 GHz, 15.4" for $1,869.00, and also my local Best Buy is having a sale for $1,999.99. Now out of those two options the brand new one is kind of tempting for the 130.00 more.

    However, many people here will surely say to wait for the highly anticipated upgrade. Now my question is what drastic improvements is everyone so eager over. I don't believe that the Penryn chips are going to have any drastic speed improvement, but everyone seems to claim that it will improve battery life. Realistically speaking, what improvement would I expect? I'm not too crazy about any other rumored improvements (multitouch, redesign), but improved battery life is intriguing none the less. Realistically will it be worth it? Secondly is there any reason to expect a potential price drop? Because I'd hate to spent 2,000.00 on a computer only to find out that a newer model is released for much less. I have a feeling this is unlikely but I'm curious as to what anyone else thinks.

  2. John Purple macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    As I am using Aperture a lot and it is quite slow until now I hope that SSE4 plus an upgrade of Aperture will speed up that application (& handbrake)
  3. Shua macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    Current processor. Anything above that is a bonus.

    T-18 days and counting until MWSF part II
  4. andreaseto macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    The new MacBook Pros will be definately faster for the same price. Already a 2.6Ghz Penryn is little faster than the current 2.6Ghz processor. So I assume that the base model in the new MacBook Pros will be noticeble faster than the current 2.2Ghz ones, if the rumors are true and have a 2,5GHz proccesor. Besides it will consume less power which means better battery llife and a little smaller heat problem (especially if the new ones have an ATI graphic card).

    If the rumored multitouched trackpad is a true addition to the penryn updates, for me there are enouph reasons to wait a little more for the switch (I need a new computer but I'm not so desparated yet).

    For someone who has the current gen is not worth buying the new one when monteniva is not far away. For the rest of us, who need a new computer and can wait 1-2 months, buying now is not the smartest thing. Current MacBook Pro is way too expensive so I'm waiting for the imminent "cheaper" one! ;)
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    The processor on the low end model is likely to be the 2.5GHz penryn, this is a reasonable performance increase. There may be other features, such as a multitouch track pad like the Air, more video memory, different hard drive options and other such things, no one really knows. You'll probably find for most people it's about getting value for money on a purchase they expect to last them many years. Waiting a few weeks isn't such a big deal in that situation if they don't need it urgently.
  6. Doktag macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    Have a read of this article, I believe it sums up Penryn's improvements over Merom quite nicely:

    TLDR version:

    - 5.6% to 16.5% percent increase in battery life over the identically configured Merom system.

    - general processor performance: Penryn system besting the Merom system - by a range of 1 to 8 percent depending on the test.

    - SSE4 instruction set optimised: The Penryn-based system, because of its SSE4 support, completed the encoding test in 31 percent less time than the Merom system that lacked such support.

    Getting away from processor talk, there is also the possibility of a HDD bump to at least 160GB in the base MBP models, to come in line with the top end MacBook.

    All this at the same price point the MBPs are currently at. Verdict: wait.
  7. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    This is how I see it. Current MBP vs. Penryn upgrade.
    +-5% speed increase between equally clocked processors.
    The new base model will likely start at 2.5GHz.
    That is already about a 18-20% boost

    SSE4 will supply a speed increase up to 40% for certain types of computing, especially as time goes on.

    Also worth mentioning, 6mb L2, battery, and heat. Maybe a HD bump, maybe a video card bump.

    Maybe some slight case adjustments. Multitouch trackpad, magnetic latch, user accessible hard drives.

    (All for the same price as the current model.)
  8. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    The thing I find interesting is that many people have written that the low end 15" will be a 2.5 and the middle 15" will be a 2.6. That seems like hardly a difference (like 4%). Admittedly, the 2.4/2.2 is only a 9% difference, but that is still more substantial. And going 2.6 from 2.2 is a 18% bump which is even more substantial.

    What I am trying to say is what is the point of having a 4% performance difference between two models? Sure, there will a bigger drive, but you can do that as BTO.
  9. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    What two models are you referring to?
  10. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005

    The supposed Penryn 2.5 base and 2.6 mid 15" models
  11. andreaseto macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    Sure the gap between 2.5 and 2.6 processors will be smaller than the 2.2 and the 2.4 in the current gen. However, which processor do you think that the low end will have? The 2.4 with 3MB L2 cache? The lower penryn processor with 6MB L2 Cache is the 2.5 one. That's why there is the belief that the low end will have the 2.5. ;)

    As you mentioned, there will be a problem in which aspect there will be a noticeable performance difference between the 2 since the processors are so close (if 2.5 is the choice for low-end).

    My guess, a faster HDD for the high end!

    Who knows...
  12. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    I hear you on the 3MB cache issue too! I read somewhere that a 2.4 Penryn will be faster than a 2.4 current processor with the 4MB cache due to some other internal mojo. I'm sure it's not drastic though. And other than us uber-geeks, I don't think the general public are going to know about the 3 or 6MB cache. It will be very interesting to see what they choose. Any Tuesday now.... :D
  13. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    Well, Battery Life. I'm not sure how  will deal with this, they may just keep all the clock speeds the same and insert the penryn processor, which is a true battery life saver. But if Apple is going to take advantage of the Penryn, they'll probably bump the speeds up for each model by .1ghz.
  14. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    I want one because I want to be the first kid on my block to own some halfonium!
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2006
    As you suspect, the real world speed increase in processors of equal clock speed will be negligible shaving only a few seconds off of real world tasks.

    It is just specs on paper that we become addicted to.
  16. Pukey macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2008
    Hi takeitt. It sounds like you've read about the processor speed bump and other possible changes they might make with this update and aren't impressed. You also mention the potential increased battery life is important to you. Here are a couple articles that talk about battery life performance comparing a Merom chip along side a Penryn:
    As far as price drop, I'd be surprised if there was one, but who knows? I suppose it could happen. It might be worth waiting a week or two just for that. I would bet the refurbs drop in price though when the Penryn update comes out.
  17. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    When the last MB, MBP and iMac updates came out, the refurb prices held pat for 2-4 weeks after the new models shipped, and then they dropped.

    In the case of the MP's, the prev models dropped but I think they will drop more once the Jan08 models appear in the refurb store. It would be silly to sell the 2x2.66(2) 1GB/250GB and the 1x2.8(4) 2GB/320GB for the same price of 1999.:)
  18. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    I don't think it is the actual performance difference that people are after (no matter how big or small), I think it is more that fact that most feel an update is imminent. It feels much better psychologically to buy something just released as opposed to buying something that will soon become yesterday's news.

    Trust me, I get it.
  19. takeitt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2007
    Hey guys thanks for the responses! :)

    I should have mentioned to that I'm from Canada, so the prices I was mentioning were Canadian, not the American prices, although my current sale price is equal to the American regular price.

    As far as the battery life goes, I supposed extra battery life is always a bonus, and everyone would prefer more battery life, but I'm not sure if I would be totally sold.

    Also I'm not totally crazy over the look of the Macbook air (particularly the black chicklet keyboard). With the rumors of those elements making an appearance on the pro, I'm really not certain what of what I would think.

    I guess I'll just need to make a decision as to whether or not the current savings that are available justify not waiting for the new model.
  20. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    Here's my guess:

    Given answer: "Technical improvements, blah, blah, blah."
    Actual answer: "It's new!"
  21. thefamousgrouse macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2008
    - Slightly increased performance
    - Improved battery life

    I don't think that is what has most people waiting. I think what most people are waiting for is:

    - Increase HD capacity for base model configurations
    - Multi-touch trackpads
    - New keyboard
    - Possibillity of revised case design

    It would be a shame to buy a new MBP now when all signs strongly point to at least some of the above arriving in the next few weeks...
  22. jmchen3 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    i really looking forward for case redegin and upgraded gpu
    i think asus has 9500m gt on thier laptop that is coming out soon so i hope the macbook pro will have something like that
  23. adamyoshida macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2006
    I'm in the same boat.

    FWIW, the people at Future Shop and Best Buy today both pretty much confirmed for me that we're due for new ones RFN.

    The local Best Buy actually had zero MBP's, of any configuration, in stock. The CSR at Future Shop told me that they had a few in store, but zero in the warehouse - and showed me, on their system, that the sale price of $1999.99 is below their cost.

    I'm thinking of buying and then price-matching if they cut the price when the new models arrive.
  24. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    I think part of what has people waiting is that the current MacBook Pros are built using components which have been decreasing in price over the last eight months. Every computer manufacturer except Apple adjusts their prices to pass this savings on to the customer. The only way to keep from being overcharged for last generation technology is to wait for Apple to incorporate the current technology into their lineup.
  25. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    1) It's Hafnium.

    2) 9500M GT??? I would take a guess and say that's slower than the 8600M GT! If the GPU is going to change (which I think is very unlikely) it will almost certainly be a 9600M GT, or a HD 3600 (3650?). Something with a 6, that designates "Performance Thin".

    3) 5% extra battery life is negligible. Nice to have, but not worth worrying about.

    4) The performance increases aren't going to be massive. Especially for normal every day activities. 5-10% faster isn't much. And I doubt whether the 30-40% increases will show up very often.

    5) Bigger trackpad, maybe magnetic latch, bigger HDD.

    So, none of those points are really worth waiting for, but combined, they are. Especially for a month at the most. But if you wait a month, waiting another 6 for the much more exciting Montevina update starts to look easier. And then, another 6 months, and you've got massive CPU performance increases with Nehalem. And it goes on.

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