Like its larger sibling, Apple’s upgraded MacBooks were released quietly earlier today, also now complete with Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessors. Boasting a 25% performance increase, though under actual usage, this may be slightly exaggerated, the 13.3” white portable computers now come with a 1.83GHz processor by default, but are also available in the 2GHz variety. The higher-end black model comes stock with a 2GHz C2D. Aside from larger hard drives, which can be upgraded to up to 200GB, no noticeable spec bumps have been made, though it remains to be seen if Apple also secretly added a 802.11n wireless card into the MacBook, like they did with the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros and iMacs.
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Today, Apple secretly released the new Macbook Pros featuring Intel Core 2 Duo “Merom” microprocessors. Although they still sport the same recognizable aluminum exterior, the new MacBook Pros come in 2.16 and 2.33 GHz for the 15-inch and 2.33 GHz for the 17-incher. To make things better, the 15-inch MacBook Pro now also comes with a Firewire 800 port, a small detail Apple neglected in the original releases. Additionally, all MacBooks now ship with a dual-layer superdrive, with a 6x drive for the 15-inch model and 8x for the 17. The 17 inch model saw significant spec bumps too, with the stock hard drive at 160 GB while the 15-inch model comes stock with a 120 GB 5400 rpm drive. Perhaps most significant is the new max memory capacity of Apple’s premier lineup of notebooks, topping out at 3GB of 667 MHz RAM. The wait is finally over.
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Big companies do listen to complaints after all. Due to the comments of numerous MacBook users began suffering from sudden and inexplicable shutdowns, Apple has created a page to address the issue on the website. “If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service.” While not particularly helpful, this means that Apple is addressing the issue and will hopefully have a solution (or at the least, an explanation) soon.
TUAW has been carefully documenting reports of this problem and has put together an explanation for the system crashes, linked below.
Yesterday, we gave your our impressions of the new iMac Core Duo. In the article, we mentioned that we desperately needed to upgrade from the stock 512 MB RAM the system ships with, up to 2 GB because of the kind of work we do. After thinking about it, we realized that the RAM installation for the new iMac is the easiest we have ever done. Apple has truly made it easy to upgrade the latest iMac - and it is exponentially easier than the last one, where installing RAM frustrated us to no end.
As seen in the image above, the RAM slot is at the bottom of the computer. All you need to do is unscrew a small panel, insert the RAM, and screw the panel back on. It really couldn’t be simpler. We removed the 512 MB stick, and installed two 1 GB chips in under a minute. We applaud you, Apple. We have a better image of the RAM slot after the jump.
I have had a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac for a 7 days now. A few observations:
The stock 512 MB RAM was not enough to keep up with my tasks - that being 15 or so Safari tabs open, iTunes, iMovie, and Garageband open and doing their thing, plus Photoshop, Mail, and NetNewsWire open as well. I know, I am not the “average” user. Truly, even with just the browser and Mail open, I felt the lag. Impressively though, on the G5 my processor would run at about 60% (with 2 GB RAM) when I had all that running. With the 512 MB RAM, the processor was running at 16%. Amazing.
Yesterday I upgraded this thing to 2 GB RAM. It FLIES. I am more than impressed. iMovie and ffmpegx encode video swiftly compared to the G5. You would not believe how many applications I have open right now. In addition to the ones listed above, I also have Adium, Transmit, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and ffmpegx all running. I have tons of windows open (the 20″ screen makes this manageable). My processor is currently running at 17%! Unreal. I have about 120 MB RAM available as well.
Really - the new iMacs are a thing of beauty if you need an elegant workhorse of a PC.