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Early MacBook and MacBook Pro Benchmarks

Primate Labs publishes new benchmark tests comparing the new MacBook (Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (Late 2008) to their predecessors. These benchmarks measure both processor and memory performance but do not appear to measure graphics capabilities (GPUs) which should be clearly improved in the new machines.

The findings show very little improvements in both processor and memory performance in the new laptops. Processor performance was unlikely to be greatly impacted as the processors remained much the same between the revisions. In theory, memory access should have been improved with bus speeds increasing to 1066MHz in the newest models, but it appears in practice the improvements are minimal.

Of course, real use performance of these new notebooks will be improved due to the faster graphics cards. In fact, ArsTechnica posts some early impressions from the new MacBook Pros and were impressed by its performance:

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 any time soon, this level of performance in such a compact form-factor and at this price-point is pretty impressive. The new MacBook Pro 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.

Another early set of benchmarks from PCMag actually showed dramatic increases in 3D benchmarks even when compared to other PC laptops with the same graphics hardware. This original led some people to believe that both GPUs were being used. This has since been denied by NVIDIA. The discrepancy is hard to explain, however, so we may have to wait for more benchmarks to believe these dramatic gains.