Review: MacBook Rev. C

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by panurge, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. panurge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    #1
    Hi.

    I've been using my MacBook for a month now, and I thought I'd write a short review about it. Usually the reviews I see in magazines are made of hand-picked models, i.e. the manufacturer selects the computer they send to the reviewer and of course they send the ones that have no flaws. So here's my review of a MacBook that's not hand-picked by Apple ;):

    SPECS:
    :apple: WhiteBook revision C
    Core 2 Duo 2.16 Ghz
    SuperDrive
    120 Gt HD


    Heat:
    I don't have any experience from other modern laptops, but I don't like the heat my MacBook produces. When idling or under some light strain, it runs 54-55 C (130 F). Under load it gets over 70 C (158 F). It's ridiculous that viewing youtube (fullscreen) raises the temperature to 70 C with the default fan settings (1800 RPM). Luckily there's smcFanControl and other similar programs that let you adjust the fan(s) manually before the computer starts to heat up inside. When doing something processor intensive, I've seen a ten degrees (18 F) difference in cooling the system manually beforehand compared to cooling it after it's already heated up.

    Looks:
    It runs hot but it looks hot too. I like the white plastic a lot. I think the inside casing was changed to a slightly darker material with rev Bs due to the discoloration issue with the first MacBooks. So it's not totally white. In certain lightning conditions the inside casing looks somewhat PC-grayish :( But luckily the outside looks plain shiny white, and the outside is what matters :)

    Noise:
    I've got the CPU whine, but I knew that before buying. It's at worst when the power adapter is plugged in: you can hear it even without moving your ear close to the keyboard. With battery though, the whine is almost inaudible.
    The fan makes annoying vibration sounds when it changes rotation speed. Not overly annoying, but I don't like it. Otherwise the fan noise is gentle blowing.
    The hard drive makes audible clicking sounds too often. Call me pedantic, but that's what I am when it comes to computer noises :) Well I guess hard drives differ quite a lot even if the model is same.

    Screen:
    Not very evenly lit. I expected better quality. The old saying that Apple uses quality displays isn't true nowadays (or hasn't been for quite a while). Thank god i don't have the flicker defect though.
    The glossy surface is fine. No annoying glares, though viewing angles are shamefully narrow. I can't find an angle where the screen would be completely black on a black background.

    The Infamous GMA950:
    The graphics unit was the main reason that kept me from buying a MacBook. Well, I took the risk, and so far I'm satisfied with it. I don't play 3D-games (except some really old ones) so it's no big deal for me. In any case I don't understand people who want to play 3D-games with a 13" laptop. The screen is too small and worst of all the laptop would get too hot.
    After reading this article (Warning! The page crashed my Safari :)) at Tom's Hardware I finally got over with the "lameness" of the GMA950. So I guess the GMA950 is OK, but if it doesn't handle the future GUI effects of Mac OS X (Core Image and Core Animation), I'm going to throw a brick at Steve's window.

    Optical Drive:
    I've read many reports that the optical drive is very picky with scratchy disks. Well, to test this I went to my local library and loaned an audio CD, which looked like it was run over by a half a dozen cars. Results were positive: the drive read the CD perfectly, no problems at all.
    I do though have a complaint about the drive. It scratced two of my CDs. I can't figure out why it did that, but since then I've used about ten other disks and they've come out clean. Maybe there was some particle inside which caused it. I wonder if the drive can be cleaned somehow?

    Conclusion:
    Sorry if the review has a bit negative undertone. I mainly pointed out the things I don't like about my MacBook. Everything else is just fine, and I can live with the "defects" :). Overall it's a nice piece of technology and it was worth the money I spent on it.
     
  2. mikehokie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Fairfax, Virginia
  3. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #3
    Mmm... well, Core Image is used in the current version of OS X and the MBs are Core Image-ready. But the real reason I'm mentioning this, is that there's a recent thread on MBs/Leopard that you might be interested in (after all you have a vested interest) - but I don't think you've got anything to worry about.
     
  4. Sopranino macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #4
    I am constantly amazed at the amount of misinformation that is out there regarding integrated graphics. For some reason a lot of people have this idea that integrated graphics barely have enough power to manage a basic GUI environment and heaven forbid you should actually try to run a game on one.

    The reality is that integrated graphics are more than capable of handling desktop GUI's without even breaking a sweat and still have sufficient resources left over for modest gaming requirements. Sure, you won't be able to run some of the FPS games at maximum resolutions or have all of the effects turned on, but you will be able to play them with some of the effects settings turned down.

    As for the concern raised over the upcoming Leopard GUI features, these will not be a problem at all for integrated graphics to handle.

    Sopranino
     

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