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New MacBook Pros outperform some recent Mac Pros

updated 09:10 pm EST, Thu February 24, 2011

MacBook Pro 2011 faster than some Mac Pro towers

Some of the very earliest benchmark tests of Apple's new MacBook Pros have shown them fast enough to outperform some Mac Pro workstations. Geekbench scores for the new 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz quad Core i7 processors are regularly reaching over 10,000 and producing better integer and floating point scores than Apple's pro towers from a year or two ago. Some results, such as one test for a 2.2GHz MacBook Pro, are outperforming the 3.2GHz and 3.33GHz quad-core Xeons from Mac Pros in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

The benchmarks are chiefly testaments to the optimizations behind the Sandy Bridge architecture in the Core i7. Intel's new design works on a smaller, more efficient 32 nanometer process where earlier chips were working on 45 nanometer technology. Sandy Bridge also has important design changes that can better handle out-of-order execution and otherwise calculate more per clock. Although the clock speed is much lower, Turbo Boost will often ramp the clock speed significantly higher and can close the gap significantly in a high-demand situation such as a benchmark.

The base 15-inch MacBook Pro, with a 2GHz Core i7, hovers at about 8,800 points in Geekbench and can outrun either the very earliest eight-core Mac Pros from 2008 or a late 2009 27-inch iMac with a 2.8GHz quad Core i7.

Quad-core notebooks aren't new and have been present in the Windows PC market for more than a year, but most of these are desktop replacements and mobile workstations that are often considerably thicker and heavier. The new MacBook Pros are some of the first quad-core portables to keep a thin profile and long battery life, and their performance relative to much larger and more expensive workstations may be part of a rare closing of the gap between desktop and mobile. [via 9to5]

By Electronista Staff


  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    McBook Pro

    Those are some speedy portables. Sent from my iPhone

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009



    I might have to pick me up one of these baby's...

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999



    I haven't drooled over an Apple product in years!

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    That is very impressive

    I'd like to get one of these MacBook Pros, but I'll look forward to those processors in an iMac for sure. Maybe they'll be pushed even further. I can't even imagine a MacBook Pro laptop with the power to equal an eight-core Mac Pro or even get close to one. It's totally insane. I don't care if MacBook Pros are expensive. It's totally worth it to have that much power in such a compact package.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2009


    not as fast as MacPros

    I checked the "test" link and it went to--
    I then checked the top Geekbench 2 scores,, and MacPros regularly hit in the 30K range. Sure, these are more than a single quad-core but saying the new MBPs are as fast as some MacPros is a little misleading. Take the base quad-core MacPro and they're about even but they should be.

    Don't get me wrong, the new MBPs are really nice and I welcome that power in a transportable package but it would have been fair to show some of the MacPro results so readers can get a better understanding of where they fit.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    is there any way

    to run a MBP with a PCI card in an external enclosure? Because the only reason I need a Mac Pro right now is to have the PCI slot for a compression card.

  1. fashizzle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003




    they're the pros, been at it for many years.

    can't wait for Thunderbolt on the rest of line!

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    thanks fashizzle

    but they want over $1000 for a single slot PCI external!!! NO THANKS I don't need it that badly.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000


    yes and no


    These folks make PCI expansion chassis that interface with an ExpressCard -

    However, the MacBook Pro 17" model is the only laptop with an ExpressCard slot, so the answer is no for any other Apple laptop.

    However, however, with the advent of Thunderbolt, I see no reason that Magma (and other companies) couldn't make a PCIe expansion chassis with a Thunderbolt interface, since Thunderbolt is PCIe (x4) and is faster than ExpressCard - which is even better! So, in time I'm willing to wager there will be a chassis for your card that will work on any Thunderbolt equipped computer, and therefore any of the new MacBook Pros. You'll have to wait and see, or fork out $ for a Mac Pro.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    I could swallow $500

    for an external PCI and get the new MBP

    but for $1000 I would rather use that towards a Mac Pro.

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