Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Review

Windows-Only Tests

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance
This synthetic benchmark suite simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC--watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth--is represented here, and most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

The MacBook Pro puts in a very strong showing on our PCMark Vantage test. For those times that you need to run Windows on your MacBook Pro, you can rest easy knowing that it can also be a very capable Windows machine. Just keep in mind that if you plan on installing Windows on a Mac, you need to make sure that the system’s hard drive is large enough to accommodate both operating systems, all the apps you need to install for both operating systems, and any files you plan on storing in the two partitions. Note that Windows can't access anything on the Mac OS partition (HTFS), and the Mac OS can only read Windows NTFS partitions, it cannot write to NTFS partitions (at least not unless you install a third-party utility that enables NTFS-write support, such as Paragon Software’s NTFS for Mac OS.

Futuremark 3DMark06
Synthetic DirectX Performance

3DMark06 is a 3D rending benchmark that includes Shader Model 2.0, Shader Model 3.0, and HDR tests. Scenes are rendered with very high geometric detail and shader complexity, and with extensive use of lighting and soft shadows. The maximum shader length 3DMark06 supports is 512 instructions. The 3DMark06 Overall Score is a weighted average based on the SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0, and CPU scores.

As we saw with the MacBook Pro's Half-Life 2: Episode 2 performance, the laptop's showing on the 3DMark06 test indicates that this laptop is a capable machine for only modest 3D games. You'll probably want to stay away from demanding, newer DX11 titles or perhaps even some of the higher-end DX10 games out there, but plenty of DX9/10 games should run just fine with medium-level, in-game graphics-quality settings. That said, the MacBook Pro we looked at last year has better 3D graphics performance, but this is because it had a discrete Nvidia GT 330M GPU. If you want a new MacBook Pro with a discrete GPU, you’ll have to consider one of the 15-inch or 17-inch versions and be prepared pony up more money—the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a discrete AMD Radeon HD 6490M GPU starts at $1,799.

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