Our Test Methodologies:
As the MacBook Pro uses the Mac OS, we weren't able to use our normal arsenal of Windows-based comparative benchmarks, and instead used set of tests that we had previously devised when we looked at last year’s MacBook Pro
. With these tests, we could compare the MacBook Pro against a number of Mac and Windows systems. These tests are broken up into three sections: The first set are cross-platform tests, where the same workload was run on both the Mac and Windows systems. The second set is Mac-only tests. The third set is Windows-only tests that were run on some Windows comparison systems, and the MacBook Pro using Boot Camp and a native installation of Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit). All tests were run several times on each system to ensure consistency. The Mac comparison systems are as follows:
- Last year’s MacBook Pro. Its config is a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M, 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated Intel HD Graphics and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M GPU (256MB) with automatic graphics switching, a 350GB 5,400-rpm hard dive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4.
- An older MacBook Pro that dates back to what is referred to as a "Late 2006" model. This older MacBook Pro's config is: a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo T2500, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, an ATI Radeon X1600 (128MB), a 120GB 5,400-rpm hard dive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4. We readily concede that due to the age and low-end components (comparatively speaking) of this model, it is not the best comparison system; however, we chose to include it to exemplify how far the MacBook Pro's performance has come since the model was first introduced.
- A three-year old, 24-inch iMac. The iMac's config is: 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900, 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM, an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive, and running Mac OS X 10.6.4. When this iMac was released, it represented close to the top-end of available configs, and it is still considered somewhat powerful, albeit, getting a bit long in the tooth.
The Windows comparison systems include:
- 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated GMA HD, 320GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).
- Lenovo ThinkPad T410S: 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-540M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, integrated Intel Graphics and Nvidia NVS 3100M, 128GB SSD, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
- Samsung R580: 2.27GHz Intel Core i5-430M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit.
- Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-430M, 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Integrated Intel HD Graphics, 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive, and running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.