Apple’s MacBook Pro ‘leaps a generation beyond PowerBooks’

“Apple’s PowerBook line had become out of date due to what the company said was IBM and Freescale’s inability to produce substantially faster PowerPC G4 and G5 chips that didn’t also produce enormous additional amounts of heat impractical for laptops,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Personal Tech Pipeline. “The switch to Intel allows this new model [MacBook Pro] to leap a generation beyond PowerBooks while, through emulation, still supporting most existing software applications as programmers update them for best effect. Apple has abandoned Classic emulation, a method of running pre-Unix Mac OS 9 applications within Mac OS X 10.0 and later, and appended Rosetta emulation, which transforms PowerPC to Intel processor code at a fast clip.”

“In a real-world comparison between my workhorse 2 1/2-year-old 15-inch PowerBook G4 (1 GHz) and the MacBook Pro, the Intel system simply blows away the earlier’s device performance… Software works as expected: universal binaries, or software designed or rewritten to contain code for both PowerPC and Intel processors, run extremely fast, far outstripping the same programs on a PowerBook,” Fleishman writes. “Programs that haven’t yet been rewritten, such as Adobe’s Creative Suite 2 (CS2) will lag the same performance on a PowerBook or recent PowerPC system. But here’s the rub: since I’ve been using an older PowerBook and a three-year-old dual-1.25 GHz Power Mac G4, even a memory and processor hog like Adobe GoLive CS2 seems quite lively. For those who waited to upgrade, the MacBook Pro may seem faster now and much faster as software is released.”

“Rebooting is a thrill with the MacBook Pro because it accomplishes this in less than a minute. I literally thought the machine had failed to reboot when I turned around for what seemed like a few seconds and turned back to find a clean Finder window. Checking the Unix “uptime” utility confirmed it had had a fresh start,” Fleishman writes. “The ExpressCard/34 slot ties directly into the PCI Express bus offering 2 gigabit per second (Gbps) data transfer in each direction. Because of this higher throughput, dual independent FireWire 800 ports will almost certainly be one option for those using a MacBook Pro for video editing… Users like myself with older PowerBooks will already find the MacBook Pro a significant and worthwhile upgrade. More recent PowerBook purchasers or those considering a purchase should evaluate their current software use to make sure universal binaries exist before committing to the next great thing.”

Full article here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Boston Herald: Apple MacBook Pro ‘contender for best notebook on market, comes with a superior OS’ – March 06, 2006
Time Magazine’s Gadget of the Week: Apple MacBook Pro – March 06, 2006
PC Magazine review gives Apple MacBook Pro 4 out of 5 stars – March 03, 2006
Ars Technica: Apple MacBook Pro ‘an extremely solid machine, an important step forward’ – March 02, 2006
Mossberg: Apple’s MacBook Pro gives users a ‘much better OS with vastly better built-in software’ – March 02, 2006
New York Times’ Pogue: Apples MacBook Pro a ‘beautifully engineered, forward-thinking laptop’ – March 01, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro a ‘drop-dead gorgeous laptop’ – February 27, 2006
Macworld posts Apple MacBook Pro 2.0GHz first lab tests – February 22, 2006
Apple PowerBook G4 1.5GHz vs. MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz Adobe Photoshop benchmarks – February 22, 2006
Apple begins shipping MacBook Pro notebook computers with faster 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processors – February 14, 2006
Adobe: no native Intel Mac support until 2007; Photoshop could be 14 months away – February 01, 2006
Computerworld: Apple’s MacBook Pro ‘fast, really fast – looks like a real winner’ – January 28, 2006
Analyst: Apple seeing strong sales of iMac Core Duo, MacBook Pro, 5th generation iPod – January 25, 2006
Apple: expect MacBook Pro shortages – January 19, 2006
Use the ExpressCard slot to add FireWire 800 to Apple’s new MacBook Pro – January 15, 2006
Apple MacBook Pro, ExpressCard and EVDO – January 14, 2006
Apple introduces MacBook Pro; up to four times faster than PowerBook G4 – January 10, 2006


  1. “Rebooting is a thrill…”

    Isn’t that special.

    In the “real IT world” we measure the performance of a computer using real applications, not how long it takes to reboot. In the real world Apple computers running on Intel processors are so much slower then PC’s running on Intel. Its not even close.

    Photoshop CS 2 running on a new Acer laptop runs circles around the cute little Apple…


  2. Are any of you as upset with apple as I am for the necessity of a $100 adc to dvi adapter to use a studio display with a powerbook/macbook pro???

    It is ridiculous. Consumers should get a 75%-off-of-that-adapter coupon when they buy the macbook pro/powerbook or even a new powerpc.

    I’m mad.

  3. SuperTim,

    Perhaps you have this confused with a Dell trouble forum. We are Mac users here. We are not broke, Wal-Mart shoppers happy with our GEDs.

    If you can’t afford it, take a hike. Quit yer bitchin’, whinin’, and moanin’.

    In short, stop being a cheap complaining bastard. $100 is pocket change. I spend that on a nice bottle of wine.

    I wish Apple would stop catering to Wal-Mart shoppers. I could do without the SuperTim types.

  4. as a first gen 15″ alu-powerbook owner i take some comfort in the knowledge that it took 2 and a half years for my system to feel slow relative to current offerings.

    Feature wise, however, there is not much that my systems lacks (give or take a built-in iSight). Do MacBook Pro owners actually use that thing?

  5. Microsoft public relations department has had to make yet more payments out in the marketplace to the likes of Sputnik to troll the Mac boards.

    How sad is that.

    But it’s failing.

    Mac will take over for all intelligent computer users…

    And a good billing month will have me at the Apple store collecting a MacBook Pro. Ching goes the checkout again.

  6. SuperTim…

    didn’t apple stop using ADC on their cinema displays awhile ago? I have an older 23″ display that I need the adapter for, but coworkers have newer models without the adapter.

  7. MacUser,

    It is people like you that give Apple a bad name. To be a major company Apple cannot and should not cater only to those who spend “$100 on a nice bottle of wine.” Apple has a bad reputation for having overpriced computers (which, in my opinion, is NOT true), but if they keep putting out overpriced accessories such as $100 iPod cases and monitor adapters, this reputation will not change. Many consumers spent thousands of dollars on Apple Displays, and then upgraded their computers for thousands more, only to find out that yet another $100 is going to be required so that there less than two year old monitors work with their computers. This is a bad business practice.

    I’m a college student, and no, I can’t afford go around spending hundreds of dollars on adapters and wine, because i’m already spending tens of thousands of dollars on tuition. I drink wine from a box, beer from a can, and I buy my computers with a student discount. If this qualifies me as a walmart shopper with a GED, than I’m proud to be it, and I’m glad that apple Usaully caters to my “type”.

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