New MacBooks offer marginal speed improvements (benchmarks)

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New 13-inch MacBook notebooks quietly introduced by Apple on Thursday offer up to a 10 percent performance increase on some tasks over their predecessors, official company benchmarks show.

Earlier this month, Apple ran performance tests on a pre-production 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based MacBook and then compared the results to those of its original 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo-based MacBook introduced last year.

A similar series of tests were performed by the Cupertino-based company back in April on its 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo–based MacBook (introduced in May), the results of which were similarly compared to the original 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo-based MacBook.

In an iPhoto common application task — which involves importing 100 photos into an existing iPhoto library containing 2000 photos and then exporting those photos as a web page, a movie file, and preparing them for iDVD — the new 2.2GHz MacBook was 35 percent faster than the original 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo model, while the 2.16GHz MacBook introduced in May was just 25 percent faster.

A similar iTunes application test — which measures the speed of importing a song from the hard drive to the iTunes library, encoding a video clip for iPod, and encoding 60 minutes of music and burning it to a CD — showed the new 2.2GHz MacBook to have a 6 percent edge over previous-generation 2.16GHz MacBook.

Apple's new 2.2GHz MacBook vs. original 2.0GHz MacBook Core Duo
Apple's 2.16GHz MacBook vs. original 2.0GHz MacBook Core Duo

Apple also tested the new 2.2GHz MacBook under several other iLife applications, but altered those tests since April, making any comparison inconclusive. It should also be noted that iLife itself has been upgraded since both previous benchmarks were conducted, though Apple made no mention of this fact in its test results.


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