Part II: Ars Technica reviews Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro: aesthetics, horsepower, and slick features

In the second and final installment of their review of Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Pro, Ars Technica takes a look at the machine’s performance. They focus mainly on graphics and gaming performance, because the new models feature two GPUs from NVIDIA: one integrated graphics processor and one discrete mobile graphics processor.

“The CPU of the new MacBooks have not changed considerably from the previous generation. The only significant change is the option to upgrade your processor to a maximum of a 2.8GHz part. The previous high-end was a 2.6GHz built-to-order option. The real strides in performance on the new MacBooks come in the form of a new graphics chipset supporting two different video cards, the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of shared memory and the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of discrete DDR3 memory,” Clint Ecker and Jacqui Cheng report for Ars Technica.

“We ran this laptop through a number of benchmarks and will be comparing it against our previous review units to give all of our Mac-using readers a general idea of how much more power this machine has versus whatever they may be running,” Ecker and Cheng report.

“It’s important to note here that, while no serious gamer is going to be trading in his or her main gaming machine for a MacBook Pro, this machine tackles the task admirably. Sure you can find similar and higher-powered laptops from other vendors for less money but they wouldn’t look as great, be as thin, or weight as little as these MacBook Pros. This notebook is definitely up to the task of gaming on the road or for use at LAN parties when lugging around a desktop machine finally starts making your back hurt,” Ecker and Cheng report.

“If you’re a power user (or just play one on TV) who depends on your notebook to have a good balance of aesthetics, horsepower, and slick features, the newest MacBook Pro will make a nice addition to your computing family. Heck, you could even use it as your main machine if you’re willing to go notebook-only and sacrifice a little bit of the power and features you might get out of a desktop,” Ecker and Cheng report. “Overall, we find the MacBook Pro to be a welcome update from Apple, and we look forward to using it for many years to come.”

Much, much more in the full review — highly recommended — here.


  1. I wasn’t impressed by the multi-touch feature for flipping through your iPhoto, you need three fingers to do that and it will not let you pinch up to zoom in or pinch in to zoom out. Apart from that it is blazing fast and very light for its spec.

    Ps, I only tried it for about 15 minutes so do not classify my comments as coming from a veteran.

  2. “Sure you can find similar and higher-powered laptops from other vendors for less money but they wouldn’t look as great…”

    Yeah right, you forgot to put an example. Which computer has the same power and cost less?

  3. Hi, I’m a Glossy screen

    …And I’m Matte Screen.

    Matte: ‘Hey, Glossy, you’re looking very dapper today… what’s with the snazzy bow tie & dinner jacket?’

    Glossy: (proudly) ‘Ah, well you see Matte, they’ve deci-lights-ded to smar-window-ten up my appea-sunlight-rance.’

    Matte: (aghast) ‘Woh Glossy! what was that?’

    Glossy: ‘What?’

    Matte: ‘I couldn’t quite catch what you said… when you moved… all I could hear was mumbo-jumbo’.

    Glossy: ‘Ahhh that. Well you see Matte, this -clouds- new tailoring -ceiling- only really works if I crouch -lamp- down and stay perfectly -face…walls- still… (bends forward awkwardly at 45 degrees)… like this.’

    Matte: (frowns and bends over too) ‘But Glossy, then I have to bend around too just to communicate with you, doesn’t that kinda miss the point a bit?’

    Glossy: ‘Stand there… no, just there… that’s it, over a bit, over a bit… yes just there… don’t move!’

    Matte: (obeys but looks bemused)

    Glossy: (resigned sigh) ‘It comes with being a fashion victim Matte… you’ll learn one day.’

  4. ENOUGH with the Glossy screen comments!!! Arrrghh!!!

    Get over it!

    Buy a matte screen film overlay!

    Do as many professionals. Buy it and use it! It´s indeed better than the matte when in a light-controlled invironment!

    You have a lot of options… Such as buying a PC if you chose.

    …So quit whinning!!!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.