“For the past couple of years Intel has been on this tick-tock model of CPU releases. Every ‘tock,’ which happens once every two years, Intel introduces a brand new CPU architecture, in this case that’d be the 65nm Conroe/Merom based Core 2 Duo CPUs. The “ticks” happen the alternate year (when no ‘tock’ is going on), where performance enhancements are minor but the transistor feature size goes down. Penryn is a ‘tick,’ it’s a 45nm derivative of the Conroe/Merom architecture,” Anand Lal Shimpi reports for AnandTech.

“The new MacBook and MacBook Pro can be looked at as ‘tick’ notebooks, as they are both based on Intel’s 45nm Penryn core. The CPU product name is still Core 2 Duo, but the core itself is smaller and runs cooler,” Lal Shimpi reports.

“The next tock won’t happen until the end of this year with Nehalem, also a 45nm chip but with many new features and markedly higher performance. Nehalem will require a brand new board design and thus you can expect to see larger changes in Apple’s Nehalem based MacBook/MacBook Pro updates,” Lal Shimpi reports.

“Regardless of where the innovation comes from, it is still an improvement in technology and mobile Penryn proves to be everything we expected it to be. The biggest improvement by far comes in the battery life department. Just as we had seen earlier, you can expect these new models to outlast their predecessors by a good 7 – 15%,” Lal Shimpi reports.

AnandTech’s full, comprehensive review – highly recommended as always – here.