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2.26 GHz vs. 2.53 GHz CPU...will I be able to tell?

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December 31, 2009 1:29:58 AM

Hi everyone,

So I am planning on purchasing a MacBook Pro, and installing Linux...some of the folks here have been very helpful in this thread. Now I am deciding on whether to purchase the lower end 2.26 GHz based MBP, upgrading RAM and HDD only, or going for the 2.53 GHz based one, which has the same RAM and HDD as I would upgrade to. In more detail, the first option is:

  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache
  • 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 memory
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • 250 GB 5400 rpm SATA HDD

    The second option has the exact same specs, just with 2.53 GHz clock speed proc. The above 2.26 setup is $1,234 (with my academic discount) and the 2.53 is $1,399. So, is the extra 270 MHz processor speed worth the extra $165? Would I even notice it? (The speed, that is...I will certainly notice the extra money :ouch:  )

    I'm not a gamer, and am mostly looking for portability and battery life, but on rare occasions I do some complex mathematics, etc. (I'm a physicist). But I probably won't be doing a whole lot of that on my laptop...I'll ssh into my home desktop or the university's cluster or something if I'm doing extended calculations. This laptop will be mostly be used for presentations, web surfing, and the like, with occasional computations here and there. I do want it to be powerful enough to support all the Compiz effects (like Windows Aero stuff, but for Linux), but isn't the video card the most important thing in that regard?

    Thanks y'all.
  • More about : ghz ghz cpu

    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 1:38:29 AM

    Could you tell the performance? Maybe...the faster CPU will be tad faster, maybe shave a few seconds off running applications.

    Is it worth $165 more? Nope. Then again, IMO Macbook Pros aren't worth it in any way because you can get a similarly spec laptop for $800-$900.

    If you plan to install Linux on it, you might as well get a non-Mac brand higher end laptop (there are good ones on Newegg.com), which will allow you better specifications for similar prices.
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 1:42:33 AM

    These are all cheaper, and will blow that MacBook away with far better specifications:

    $999
    1.6GHz i7 mobile Quad laptop (i7s are newer tech, so will be faster clock-per-clock than Core2s)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $1050
    2.0GHz Q9000 mobile Core2Quad laptop
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $1050
    2.53GHz P8700 Core2Duo laptop
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Related resources
    December 31, 2009 1:46:39 AM

    Bluescreendeath said:
    Could you tell the performance? Maybe...the faster CPU will be tad faster, maybe shave a few seconds off running applications.

    Is it worth $165 more? Nope. Then again, IMO Macbook Pros aren't worth it in any way because you can get a similarly spec laptop for $800-$900.

    If you plan to install Linux on it, you might as well get a non-Mac brand higher end laptop (there are good ones on Newegg.com), which will allow you better specifications for similar prices.


    That has to be a record for the fastest reply I have ever seen on a forum...thank you! :) 

    About the non-Mac choice...me and a few of the other folks here had that discussion in the thread I mentioned (this one). It is true that I can get close to the same specs in an 800-900 dollar laptop, but I can't find one with those good specs, long battery life, thinness/light weight, style :sol:  , good Linux compatibility, etc. If you can think of one that we didn't talk about on that thread, please suggest! But I have looked, and still like the MBP the best....so far.

    But the extra little bit of clock speed isn't worth it in your opinion...okay. Any chance it could future proof it more? Or is it really irrelevant...

    Thanks.
    December 31, 2009 1:51:50 AM

    magnesium said:
    That has to be a record for the fastest reply I have ever seen on a forum...thank you! :) 

    About the non-Mac choice...me and a few of the other folks here had that discussion in the thread I mentioned (this one). It is true that I can get close to the same specs in an 800-900 dollar laptop, but I can't find one with those good specs, long battery life, thinness/light weight, style :sol:  , good Linux compatibility, etc. If you can think of one that we didn't talk about on that thread, please suggest! But I have looked, and still like the MBP the best....so far.

    But the extra little bit of clock speed isn't worth it in your opinion...okay. Any chance it could future proof it more? Or is it really irrelevant...

    Thanks.



    You wouldn't notice the extra bit of clock speed much and as for future proofing not really. I think for $165 more then it isn't worth it, maybe if it was around like $20 or so then I would go for it.
    December 31, 2009 2:23:45 AM

    anonymousdude said:
    You wouldn't notice the extra bit of clock speed much and as for future proofing not really. I think for $165 more then it isn't worth it, maybe if it was around like $20 or so then I would go for it.


    Okay, so that's 2 people that don't think it is worth it. That was my instinct also.

    Anybody think it is worth the $165 to get the extra clock speed? Anybody else against? Or is the decision unanimous by the Tom's Hardware forums...... :hello: 
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 2:29:47 AM

    magnesium said:
    Okay, so that's 2 people that don't think it is worth it. That was my instinct also.

    Anybody think it is worth the $165 to get the extra clock speed? Anybody else against? Or is the decision unanimous by the Tom's Hardware forums...... :hello: 


    im in on the party as well.

    The extra speed would only be worth it if your were benchmarking all day long. :whistle: 

    Normal use as in web surfing, gaming, video editing, ect. you'll probably wouldn't notice a difference.

    EDIT:
    As for laptops bluesceendeath mentioned. the core i7 720 laptop would be the best choice in my option.

    if programs you use can use 8 threads (2 threads per core) the core i7 offers, then your programs will run very fast.

    If it cant use all 8 threads but only uses like say 2 cores/threads, then turbo boost will kick in and overclock the cpu to higher GHz depending on the program demand. the core i7 turbo boost modes are:

    Core / threads:

    4 / 8 and 3/ 6 run at 1.7 ghz

    2 / 4 runs at 2.4 ghz

    1 / 2 runs at 2.8 ghz
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 2:35:53 AM

    I would say it's worth it if and only if you decide to do computationally intensive stuff all the time (and if it would truly make a difference if you were able to complete that kind of task ~10% faster). For normal use, save your cash.
    December 31, 2009 2:54:18 AM

    warmon6 said:
    im in on the party as well.

    The extra speed would only be worth it if your were benchmarking all day long. :whistle: 

    Normal use as in web surfing, gaming, video editing, ect. you'll probably wouldn't notice a difference.

    EDIT:
    As for laptops bluesceendeath mentioned. the core i7 720 laptop would be the best choice in my option.

    if programs you use can use 8 threads (2 threads per core) the core i7 offers, then your programs will run very fast.

    If it cant use all 8 threads but only uses like say 2 cores/threads, then turbo boost will kick in and overclock the cpu to higher GHz depending on the program demand. the core i7 turbo boost modes are:

    Core / threads:

    4 / 8 and 3/ 6 run at 1.7 ghz

    2 / 4 runs at 2.4 ghz

    1 / 2 runs at 2.8 ghz


    LOL, come on and join the club! :bounce: 

    I agree 100% that there are much better choices than the MacBook Pro when going for pure computing power...but really my priorities are more towards battery and portability and build quality...with the option of a certain amount of power there for me if necessary. IMO the MBP gives a nice combination of both of my goals, which is why I settled on it instead of a PC-type laptop.

    cjl said:
    I would say it's worth it if and only if you decide to do computationally intensive stuff all the time (and if it would truly make a difference if you were able to complete that kind of task ~10% faster). For normal use, save your cash.


    I smell a trend here...the extra clock is a waste of money. (I could always tell the folks here knew their stuff...thanks so much.)

    Others, please keep commenting about the clock speed part, but could I also have y'all's opinion on the upgrade from 2GB to 4GB of RAM? (It costs an extra $90 bucks from Apple...I think it is worth it. :??:  ) There are no 7200 rpm HDD options from Apple, and the SSD's are way overpriced, methinks. Other than that there are no other customizations...
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 3:04:05 AM

    I'd say yes, get the 4GB (though that is a ripoff).

    Personally though, I still like the Studio 14z that I mentioned in the other thread.
    December 31, 2009 3:46:16 AM

    cjl said:
    I'd say yes, get the 4GB (though that is a ripoff).

    Personally though, I still like the Studio 14z that I mentioned in the other thread.


    Do you mean Apple is a ripoff, or just DDR3 in general? Cause here is 4 GB of 3rd party DDR3 RAM from Newegg...$90.

    I agree that the Dell is a great machine...just a couple of things extra in the MBP that I really like.
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 4:06:43 AM

    I mean that a $90 premium for 4GB over 2GB is a ripoff, but probably worth it regardless.
    December 31, 2009 4:22:32 AM

    cjl said:
    I mean that a $90 premium for 4GB over 2GB is a ripoff, but probably worth it regardless.


    I see...well, DDR3 is still pretty expensive, but I agree that it's worth the extra 90 bucks for the 4GB of RAM.

    Nice rig, BTW...I bet that thing screams when you need it to. Are you actually a rocket scientist?
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 4:28:52 AM

    The rocket scientist thing is sort of a joke - I suppose it's kind of half true though. I'm a junior in Aerospace engineering at the university of Colorado (my plan is to get a masters degree), and I launch large amateur rockets for fun (the one in my avatar was a fun dual-motor project I built a couple years ago), so if that qualifies me as a rocket scientist, then yes :) 

    I love my rig though. It definitely screams. Right now, I'm running computational fluid dynamics in solidworks on 7 threads, I have a ridiculous number of tabs open in firefox, and a ridiculous number of applications running, and it isn't even slowing down.
    December 31, 2009 4:44:10 AM

    cjl said:
    The rocket scientist thing is sort of a joke - I suppose it's kind of half true though. I'm a junior in Aerospace engineering at the university of Colorado (my plan is to get a masters degree), and I launch large amateur rockets for fun (the one in my avatar was a fun dual-motor project I built a couple years ago), so if that qualifies me as a rocket scientist, then yes :) 

    I love my rig though. It definitely screams. Right now, I'm running computational fluid dynamics in solidworks on 7 threads, I have a ridiculous number of tabs open in firefox, and a ridiculous number of applications running, and it isn't even slowing down.


    Well, that qualifies you as a rocket scientist as much as I am a physicist...I'm a Ph. D. student (got my Master's a few weeks ago) in physics at UT-Dallas. Stick with it man, you will be glad you got something past bachelor's, especially in a field like enginnering, where there are so many people competing. I know it is different from the pure sciences, but you might consider going all the way for the doctorate...once you get to that point, the school will start paying you, and having a doctorate will help out in the long run tremendously. :) 

    And your system is making me jealous... :cry:  It looks OCed...are you water-cooling it?
    a c 172 à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 5:33:03 AM

    Magnesium,
    Put all the RAM you want in your MacBook Pro and specify whatever size hard drive you want before you buy it. It will be very expensive to upgrade later.

    The online Apple Store wants $1200 for 8 GB of RAM. :o 

    Of course, installation is "free".
    December 31, 2009 5:47:12 AM

    jsc said:
    Magnesium,
    Put all the RAM you want in your MacBook Pro and specify whatever size hard drive you want before you buy it. It will be very expensive to upgrade later.

    The online Apple Store wants $1200 for 8 GB of RAM. :o 

    Of course, installation is "free".

    WRONG!

    Get the cheapest Macbook Pro from Apple. Make sure you get the educational discount. Then upgrade to 4GB RAM and bigger hard drive yourself; its very easy to do.

    The 320GB 720rpm HD from Western Digital with free fall sensor (WD3200BJKT) is quite good. The RAM you can get from crucial.com.
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 6:03:05 AM

    Either way, going with Apple means you're paying a lot more than you should.

    For MacBookPro, you can always upgrade the RAM and HardDrive by yourself...
    a b à CPUs
    December 31, 2009 7:02:33 AM

    magnesium said:
    Well, that qualifies you as a rocket scientist as much as I am a physicist...I'm a Ph. D. student (got my Master's a few weeks ago) in physics at UT-Dallas. Stick with it man, you will be glad you got something past bachelor's, especially in a field like enginnering, where there are so many people competing. I know it is different from the pure sciences, but you might consider going all the way for the doctorate...once you get to that point, the school will start paying you, and having a doctorate will help out in the long run tremendously. :) 

    And your system is making me jealous... :cry:  It looks OCed...are you water-cooling it?

    I'm not entirely sure about a PhD - a masters is already a heck of a lot of work, and I'd like to get out into the "real world" work environment sooner than 5 years from now. It'll partially depend on how much I enjoy the masters work though. I may decide to go all the way through, but right now, I'm not sure.

    Oh, and my system is overclocked (stock is 3.2GHz), but it's just air cooled. It's really useful for engineering apps too. I run a variety of simulations and programs on it all the time, which is why I splurged and got a $1000 CPU (it's primarily not a gaming machine, though I do game on it fairly often).

    As for the upgrading the RAM yourself as wisersam recommended? Honestly, I'd have to say to just get the RAM from apple. Although $90 is a ripoff, it wouldn't be any cheaper to do yourself (since you'd be paying for both the 2GB kit that came with it and the 4GB that you installed), and macbooks are a royal pain to do anything to (even change RAM). In addition, I don't know what apple's warranty policies are, but I'd be tempted to give them as few reasons as possible to deny you warranty if something goes wrong, since the odds of you being able to fix an apple notebook yourself are pretty slim (they aren't exactly maintenance-friendly for an average user).
    December 31, 2009 4:00:29 PM

    $165 for a minuscule speed increase? You do realize you can find an i5-750 for around that price... that just seems like an insanely expensive cost for that small of an upgrade. I'd love to know the actual price difference for Apple... My guess is that 75% of that $165 is going straight to profit... that's just absolutely ridic.
    January 1, 2010 3:33:57 AM

    Happy New Year everyone!!!! :bounce:  :bounce:  :D  :D  :D  :bounce:  :bounce: 


    jsc said:
    Magnesium,
    Put all the RAM you want in your MacBook Pro and specify whatever size hard drive you want before you buy it. It will be very expensive to upgrade later.

    The online Apple Store wants $1200 for 8 GB of RAM. :o 

    Of course, installation is "free".


    haha...installation is free...I bet the cost of going "click" is in there somehow... :sarcastic: 

    I see your point though, upgrades directly from Apple post-purchase are exorbinant...upgrades during purchase are pretty bad...3rd party upgrades are somewhat reasonable. And I would have to say that is usually the case.

    wisersam said:
    WRONG!

    Get the cheapest Macbook Pro from Apple. Make sure you get the educational discount. Then upgrade to 4GB RAM and bigger hard drive yourself; its very easy to do.

    The 320GB 720rpm HD from Western Digital with free fall sensor (WD3200BJKT) is quite good. The RAM you can get from crucial.com.


    Yes, but purchasing 4 GB of RAM from Crucial (wasting the given 2 GB in the process) actually costs more than the $90 Apple will charge me during the order for the upgrade. And other non-Crucial RAM (which I don't really want to buy) is still more expensive than $90 (see the G.SKILL RAM I posted earlier from newegg...here's the link again.) I get an educational discount, which helps make the prices somewhat more normal...whatever that means. :??: 

    Is that free-fall sensor compatible with Apple's stuff? I had heard (here is more info) that 3rd party hard drive sensors had problems with Apple's technology due to incompatibility issues...maybe that's been fixed, or maybe it is a software thing (so Linux will be different).

    Plus, to upgrade to a 250GB HDD @ 5400 is only 45 bucks...that educational discount helps a lot.

    cjl said:
    I'm not entirely sure about a PhD - a masters is already a heck of a lot of work, and I'd like to get out into the "real world" work environment sooner than 5 years from now. It'll partially depend on how much I enjoy the masters work though. I may decide to go all the way through, but right now, I'm not sure.

    Oh, and my system is overclocked (stock is 3.2GHz), but it's just air cooled. It's really useful for engineering apps too. I run a variety of simulations and programs on it all the time, which is why I splurged and got a $1000 CPU (it's primarily not a gaming machine, though I do game on it fairly often).


    Like I said, engineering is quite different from the "hard"sciences like Physics...in Physics it is basically obligatory to get a Ph. D. If you do go that route though (or even in your Master's work), the best advice I can give you is pick a thesis topic you are really interested in, but more importantly, a thesis advisor that you get along with and has a personality you can work with. That's the most important thing you can do, is pick a good advisor. And have a good time!

    cjl said:
    As for the upgrading the RAM yourself as wisersam recommended? Honestly, I'd have to say to just get the RAM from apple. Although $90 is a ripoff, it wouldn't be any cheaper to do yourself (since you'd be paying for both the 2GB kit that came with it and the 4GB that you installed), and macbooks are a royal pain to do anything to (even change RAM). In addition, I don't know what apple's warranty policies are, but I'd be tempted to give them as few reasons as possible to deny you warranty if something goes wrong, since the odds of you being able to fix an apple notebook yourself are pretty slim (they aren't exactly maintenance-friendly for an average user).


    Back to the thread :whistle:  I don't think that changing the RAM yourself voids the warranty, but using 3rd party RAM might. Plus, they may be more reluctant to fix it, and may come up with other excuses, if they find that I did it myself. And you are right, I might as well just buy it straight from Apple, since I will essentially be paying for 6 GB of RAM if I try to upgrade post-purchase.

    rodney_ws said:
    $165 for a minuscule speed increase? You do realize you can find an i5-750 for around that price... that just seems like an insanely expensive cost for that small of an upgrade. I'd love to know the actual price difference for Apple... My guess is that 75% of that $165 is going straight to profit... that's just absolutely ridic.


    It is very ridiculous...I bet you are right with the profit thing.

    --

    OK, so it looks like the best option for me is to purchase the slower 2.26 GHz proc, and just have Apple upgrade the RAM to 4 GB. About the hard disk...for battery reasons, should I stick with the 5400 rpm drives? Apple does not provide an option for a 7200 rpm drive in the 13" model, but as wisersam pointed out, I can always buy one from a 3rd party. Apple's options are:

  • 160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Included]
  • 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Add $45.00]
  • 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Add $90.00]
  • 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Add $180.00]
  • 128GB solid-state drive [Add $360.00]
  • 256GB solid-state drive [Add $765.00]

    Since it is only 45 bucks, I'll probably let Apple upgrade it to a 250 GB HDD...that is plenty of space for my laptop.
    January 1, 2010 4:46:52 AM

    Also, what do y'all think about this oddity? I asked my friend to help me figure out the exact CPU in the MBP (he has one just like I'm looking at), and sysctl gives that the processor is a model P7550 (Intel's spec sheet). According to Intel, VT-x is not available on this model, which I didn't like. However, in the sysctl output, VMX (the virtualization flag) was listed as one of the CPU flags! What is that supposed to mean? :??:  Which one is more likely to be wrong: sysctl's model #, or the flag list?
    a b à CPUs
    January 1, 2010 6:39:38 AM

    As far as free-fall sensors, those are completely OS-independent. They require no drivers, and they change nothing as far as the interface is concerned (so I wouldn't worry about them). As far as 7200rpm, they do run a bit hotter, and they slightly shorten the battery life. You could definitely get one though (with the same warranty and installation difficulty caveats as with the RAM). 5400rpm is quite slow, but depending on what you do, it may still be adequate. I would say stick with the Apple HD for now, and upgrade later if it is painfully slow. Oh, and the 250 does seem to be a good balance there.
    a c 172 à CPUs
    January 1, 2010 6:54:04 AM

    wisersam said:
    WRONG!

    No. That's what Apple wants.

    Would I do that? H3ll, no.
    a c 172 à CPUs
    January 1, 2010 6:58:14 AM

    magnesium said:

    About the hard disk...for battery reasons, should I stick with the 5400 rpm drives?

    Depends on how important battery life is to you.
    January 1, 2010 2:38:48 PM

    jsc said:
    No. That's what Apple wants.

    Would I do that? H3ll, no.

    That's what every hardware vendor wants. They always charge a lot higher prices for upgrades ...
    January 1, 2010 3:51:36 PM

    cjl said:
    As far as free-fall sensors, those are completely OS-independent. They require no drivers, and they change nothing as far as the interface is concerned (so I wouldn't worry about them). As far as 7200rpm, they do run a bit hotter, and they slightly shorten the battery life. You could definitely get one though (with the same warranty and installation difficulty caveats as with the RAM). 5400rpm is quite slow, but depending on what you do, it may still be adequate. I would say stick with the Apple HD for now, and upgrade later if it is painfully slow. Oh, and the 250 does seem to be a good balance there.


    That's what I would think, but according to that wikipedia article, there were problems. Maybe Apple implemented it is a software dependent way, and everyone else have the sensor control the HDD directly within the device. It wouldn't surprise me that Apple would do something like that... :pfff: 

    For example, there seem to be problems (and solutions) here and here.

    jsc said:
    No. That's what Apple wants.

    Would I do that? H3ll, no.


    wisersam said:
    That's what every hardware vendor wants. They always charge a lot higher prices for upgrades ...


    I would think that a hardware vendor would like for me to upgrade during purchase from them, or after purchase using their own parts.

    jsc said:
    Depends on how important battery life is to you.


    Pretty important...let me rephrase it as: would upgrading to a 7200 rpm hard drive decrease battery life by 5%? 10% 20%? I know that it depends on a lot of variables, but what general order of magnitude are we looking at?

    And by what approximate percentage does the upgrade improve HDD read/write speeds?

    magnesium said:
    Also, what do y'all think about this oddity? I asked my friend to help me figure out the exact CPU in the MBP (he has one just like I'm looking at), and sysctl gives that the processor is a model P7550 (Intel's spec sheet). According to Intel, VT-x is not available on this model, which I didn't like. However, in the sysctl output, VMX (the virtualization flag) was listed as one of the CPU flags! What is that supposed to mean? :??:  Which one is more likely to be wrong: sysctl's model #, or the flag list?


    Any ideas here?
    January 1, 2010 4:12:39 PM

    #7200 vs. 5400 rpm:

    Using some physics (I should know :whistle:  so should our aerospace engineer cjl :p  ) a 7200 rpm drive has 7200^2/5400^2=1.77 times as much energy as a 5400 rpm drive. But that doesn't tell us how much power is needed to keep it at that speed. Looking around (here, here, and here), it looks like the power consumption is very similar between the 2 speeds...anybody here with the same (or different) experience?
    a b à CPUs
    January 1, 2010 8:16:44 PM

    Well, going off of the Seagate specifications for their 500GB 7200 vs 5400rpm notebook drives (as a representative sample - I don't know what brand Apple uses), here's the power differences:

    Seek power: 2.2 vs 1.54 watts
    Read power: 2.1 vs 1.4 watts
    Write power: 2.2 vs 1.78 watts
    Idle power: .69 vs .67 watts

    In all cases, the lower number is for the 5400. For most users, the hard drive will be idle much of the time, so as you can see, the power difference is insignificant. If you do have something that is using the hard drive all the time, the 7200 will have a slightly shorter battery life. If the Apple uses a 66 watt hour battery (a guess based on their battery life and the capacity used in other comparable models from other manufacturers, with a slight adjustment to make the math easier), and has a 6 hour battery life when the 5400rpm hard drive is used constantly, that gives an average power consumption of 11 watts. In the worst case circumstances (read), the 7200 draws an additional 0.7 watts, giving 11.7 watts as the new power consumption. This would use up the 66 watt hour battery in roughly 5 hours 40 minutes. So, in the worst case scenario, you lose 20-30 minutes on the 7200, and in most cases, you effectively lose nothing.
    January 1, 2010 8:42:51 PM

    cjl said:
    Well, going off of the Seagate specifications for their 500GB 7200 vs 5400rpm notebook drives (as a representative sample - I don't know what brand Apple uses), here's the power differences:

    Seek power: 2.2 vs 1.54 watts
    Read power: 2.1 vs 1.4 watts
    Write power: 2.2 vs 1.78 watts
    Idle power: .69 vs .67 watts

    In all cases, the lower number is for the 5400. For most users, the hard drive will be idle much of the time, so as you can see, the power difference is insignificant. If you do have something that is using the hard drive all the time, the 7200 will have a slightly shorter battery life. If the Apple uses a 66 watt hour battery (a guess based on their battery life and the capacity used in other comparable models from other manufacturers, with a slight adjustment to make the math easier), and has a 6 hour battery life when the 5400rpm hard drive is used constantly, that gives an average power consumption of 11 watts. In the worst case circumstances (read), the 7200 draws an additional 0.7 watts, giving 11.7 watts as the new power consumption. This would use up the 66 watt hour battery in roughly 5 hours 40 minutes. So, in the worst case scenario, you lose 20-30 minutes on the 7200, and in most cases, you effectively lose nothing.


    Way to go Mr. Engineer... ;)  I would have guessed longer than that for continuous usage, but it looks like the speeds are quite similar in power draw. I guess that in both cases the manufacturers have got the friction down so much that the actual rpm's are kinda irrelevant. OK, but I still think I'll just go with the 5400 rpm one from Apple...in the future (when I get more $$) I will most likely upgrade to a 7200 (or maybe even an SSD), especially that I know it won't really affect battery life much. Thanks!

    So the processor decision is made (2.26), RAM (4 GB from Apple) and now HDD (250 GB @ 5400 from Apple). Now I just have to click a few times on Apple.com..... :sweat: 

    Any thoughts on the VT-x discrepancy with the processor? Could Intel's site just be wrong? (If it is wrong, though, I don't see any differences between the P7550 and P7570, which doesn't make much sense... :??:  )
    a b à CPUs
    January 1, 2010 9:38:54 PM

    Honestly, I haven't the faintest clue about the VT-X discrepancy.
    January 1, 2010 9:58:50 PM

    Me neither :(  but looking around the internet it appears that this particular processor is contradictory...Intel says it doesn't have VT-x, but the processor itself reports that it does....oh well.

    OK, I think I'm going to buy it! :wahoo:  Thank you everyone at Tom's Hardware for your help and information.
    a b à CPUs
    January 4, 2010 2:02:45 PM

    Just to put something out there, have you looked at netbooks? It sounds like you are all about the portability and the performance of the note books isn’t that important. I have a netbook that I picked up for $300 and I have run photoshop and a few games on it. It is a little slower than my notebook, but my notebook is a gaming notebook. My friend also picked up a netbook from dell for under $300 (didn’t come with an OS) with a solid state HD and he is running linux on it. They have a 10” screen so they are small and the battery life is awesome. The only thing you would have to buy is a slim dvd drive (like $100), which you would only have to bring out when need.
    January 4, 2010 2:42:29 PM

    Pro Llama said:
    Just to put something out there, have you looked at netbooks? It sounds like you are all about the portability and the performance of the note books isn’t that important. I have a netbook that I picked up for $300 and I have run photoshop and a few games on it. It is a little slower than my notebook, but my notebook is a gaming notebook. My friend also picked up a netbook from dell for under $300 (didn’t come with an OS) with a solid state HD and he is running linux on it. They have a 10” screen so they are small and the battery life is awesome. The only thing you would have to buy is a slim dvd drive (like $100), which you would only have to bring out when need.


    Thanks Pro Llama, I have considered a netbook. IMHO, though, the screens, keyboards, etc. on those are just too small...When you are at that size, there is a big difference between 10" and 13.3". Also I was under the impression that, while the weight and size are wonderful, the battery life wasn't all that super (~3-4 hrs)...am I mistaken on that? Plus an optical drive would be nice...for some reason the people I work with still use a lot of CDs/DVDs (I don't know why). And to have the performance of the MBP on cue is still nice.

    Basically I'm looking at investing in a 6-7 year laptop. The one I currently have (Presario 906) was kinda that way when I first got it 8 years ago. And I get the feeling that the MBP will last me longer than a netbook....so I'm willing to pay more money for a product that will last me for a long time.
    !