“Apple’s PowerBook line had become out of date due to what the company said was IBM and Freescale’s inability to produce substantially faster PowerPC G4 and G5 chips that didn’t also produce enormous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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