Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Testing MacBook Pro 13 "2.7 GHz Core i7" Thunderbolt "(early 2011)

With the update to its line of MacBook Pro, Apple has not done in half measures: while the Core 2 Duo stagnated since 2009, the top model of MacBook Pro 13 "is now equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor with the highest frequency ever seen in a Mac with this diagonal screen, 2.7 GHz.

A small MacBook Pro with large processor

Little or nothing distinguishes this MacBook Pro 13 "Core i7's Core i5 little brother, the exterior design to its HD camera FaceTime through its port Thunerdbolt, we had the opportunity to describe in detail in our test MacBook Pro 13 "2.3 GHz Core i5" Thunderbolt ". Processor and graphics chip, meanwhile, are quite different.

If the MacBook Pro 15 and 17 "use quad-core processors, the MacBook Pro 13" is limited to two hearts: one is a Core i5, Core i7 the second one. The differences between these two processor families are less marked than in the past, but the two MacBook Pro 13 "are distinguished by much more than their frequency.

The Core i7-2620m running at 2.7 GHz selected by Apple Core i7 is the second generation mobile's fastest Intel catalog. It uses the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, which includes on a single chip CPU cores, GPU cores, and cache and memory controller. The set has a TDP of 35 W: the power gain is not at the expense of consumption and thus autonomy. The i7-2620m has two physical cores: with Hyper Threading, they are "seen" as four logical cores. Not all applications taking advantage of multicore yet, the Turbo Boost disables the hearts at rest to "overclock" on the fly hearts used. It seems Apple has decided on this model, to disable this function on Windows (read: MacBook Pro 13 "Core i7: Turbo Boost works well). On Mac OS X, it works as expected: the frequency rises gradually 3.19 GHz dual-core or 3.33 GHz on a single heart.

The graphics chip powering the Intel Core i7 is called HD 3000 Graphics, as the Core i5, but do not be deceived by the trade name: the two chips are different. The Core i5, it is capped at a maximum rate of 1.2 GHz, while the Core i7, it reached 1.3 GHz. The base frequency (650 MHz) is the same as the memory usage (384 MB), but the difference in feel too performance. A processor for MacBook too small 

The performance of this MacBook Pro 13 "Core i7, precisely, are excellent: if it can not compete with the MacBook 15" 2 GHz Core i7 we tested, it is simply the model 13 "the most powerful available the catalog of Apple. The effect Sandy Bridge is all the greater as the processor frequency is high, the applications do not reap the benefit of multicore Turbo Boost, while the fully optimized applications will generally somewhat less performance on this machine than on models 15 "and 17".

Thus, the MacBook Pro 15 "Core i7 and eight logical cores clocked at 2 GHz overwrite the MacBook Pro 13" Core i7 and four logical cores clocked at 2.7 GHz testing applications optimized as XLD, iMovie, QuickTime , Handbrake or Blender. For common tasks, however, the MacBook Pro 13 "will seem faster: we had made the same observation with the 3.6 GHz iMac Core i5 the frequency with which gained what he lost with two hearts (read: test iMac 3.6 GHz Core i5). If the hard drive which equips this machine (Hitachi Travelstar 5K500) is a real calf (80 MB / s sequential read / write), which only demonstrates the economies of candle-end made by Apple, the graphics card is a good surprise. While the MacBook Pro 13 "entry level, the solution was struggling to Intel quite convince, she managed the feat here to forget that equipped Nvidia chips until the MacBook Pro. 

Performs well in tests raw (it can compete with the AMD Radeon HD 6490M), it confirms our test Starcraft II: that it does indeed reach 24 frames per second with the graphics options 2C2 "high" but it's much more playable than the 12 frames per second unfortunate that you get the MacBook Pro Core i5, and not so far from the 30 frames per second the MacBook Pro 15 "Core i7. By lowering some details textures and shadows, we go beyond the 40 frames per second without radically degrading comfort.

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