Intel-Powered MacBook Is Fast On Its Feet - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Hardware & Infrastructure
News
3/24/2006
09:55 AM
50%
50%

Intel-Powered MacBook Is Fast On Its Feet

The switch to Intel's Core Duo from IBM's PowerPC chip lets the Apple MacBook Pro leap a generation beyond PowerBooks while using emulation to support most existing software applications as programmers update them.

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro
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 blows away the earlier device's performance. Part of the speed improvements, as well as the lighter weight and thinner form factor, are thanks to Intel's Core Duo processor, which packs two separate computing cores into a single chip without a dramatic increase in power or heat. Apple also redesigned the system around a 667-MHz system bus and PCI Express.

The MacBook Pro includes Rosetta, a PowerPC emulator that ships with all systems running the Intel version of Mac OS X. Some software won't run under Rosetta, such as Apple's professional video and audio programs, though these are due to be released in compatible versions this month. Apple also has abandoned Classic emulation, a method of running pre-Unix Mac OS 9 applications within Mac OS X 10.0 and later. Companies such as Adobe and Microsoft may charge full-version upgrade fees when they release universal versions of their suites.

This laptop is the first to come with Front Row, Apple's cut at turning the Mac into a home entertainment console. With an infrared remote control and using the notebook's 15.1-inch LCD or an external monitor, you can browse music, movies, and photographs, and play DVDs. Front Row works well enough, using large, easy-to-read menus and graphics, although navigation is slightly fussy.

Apple cut a few corners over its previous PowerBook model. It removed the dial-up modem, now a $50 USB-connected extra; there's no built-in S-Video port, although a $19 adapter is available; and FireWire 800 was dropped. There's no PC Card slot, either. And the SuperDrive (DVD/CD burner) writes a DVD-R at 4x instead of 8x. But Apple added a few extras, including a built-in iSight camera for videoconferencing via iChat AV and recording video, dual-link DVI support for 30-inch LCDs, and better range for its Wi-Fi connections. Reports indicate that the Wi-Fi adapter will connect to 802.11a (5 GHz) networks, as well as 802.11b/g (2.4 GHz).

The MacBook Pro clearly is poised for the next generation of laptop use, and it's a worthwhile upgrade for users with older PowerBooks. More recent PowerBook buyers or those considering one should evaluate their current software use to make sure universal binaries exist before committing to the next great thing. Prices start at $1,999 for 1.87-GHz Core Duo, 512 Mbytes of RAM, 128 Mbytes of video RAM, and an 80-Gbyte drive.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Slideshows
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll