So… How Good Is The New MacBook Pro?

Apple - MacBook Pro.jpg

Really, really good.

For the first time my palms sweat not because of the heat, but the excitement and the intense feeling of using this sexy beast.

One of the major differences between this and my old 1st gen MBP is the display. It’s now LED back lit, which means much brighter display. I also noticed that the colors are more… colorful? They don’t look pale and half-dead like my old MBP’s display. I suspect the display is not using a TN panel, but rather a MVA or PVA panel (TN panels are usually the cheapest panels, 22″ LCD screens that are priced around 250 AUD uses this kind of panel).

Two graphics cards. Yes, TWO! But why you ask? First, I very much welcome Apple’s decision to use Nvidia’s platform for their MacBooks. Nvidia’s chipset is a lil unconventional, in the sense that it’s kind of like a hybrid chipset that has a GPU (or rather graphics processor) in there as well. The good thing is, you can switch between the integrated 9600M GT GPU and the 9400M GPU. If you’re just surfing the web, doing emails, or rather flirting with your fling, then 9400M is the way to go. It gives you an extra 45mins to 1 hour of battery life when not plugged into the charger. Also, another thing I noticed is, it runs much cooler too (could just be a placebo effect, lol).

I expect Apple to harnest the power of the other unused GPU in the next Mac OS, Snow Leopard where the technology called OpenCL will come to play. OpenCL is pretty much like CUDA where it allows programs to harnest the processing power of the GPU to do “number crunching”. So basically, the GPU is like an extra “processor”. I read that there’s this security research company that used CUDA to decrypt wireless passwords. They claimed that using CUDA sped up the process by 100 times. Now, that’s impressive.

Another thing is Hybrid SLI. Those of you hardcore gamers out there should know what SLI or Crossfire is. It basically allows you to combine 2 or more graphics cards to pump up more Crysis FPS. Hybrid SLI is just the same, but it combines both the integrated GPU (such as the 9400M) and the dedicated GPU (9600M GT). Right now, Apple doesn’t support this but it might come as a firmware or software update in the near future. Fingers crossed!

Chiclet keyboard. Mmm, I love it. It makes typing much more enjoyable.

Magnetic latch? F**k yeah! Cool factor++ (Hi Vince)

All ports moved to the left side. Good, now I can plug in all my peripherals and none of the cables will interfere with my mouse whenever I’m gaming (At one point I was actually looking for a 90 degree angle firewire 400 cable, lol).

No FW400 port? Damn, spent 16 bucks to buy a 6 to 9 pin cable.

MiniDisplay port? F**K! 50 bucks to get the god damn cable that allows me to use external display, and 150 bucks for a cable that lets me use a 30 inch or larger display if I plan to do so. No good!

No Toslink support anymore. Boo, no optical connection to my z-5500. But iPhone 3G headset support is pretty cool, now both the mic and headphones can be used without splitting into 2 separate ports.

Speaker holes are INCREDIBLY SMALL. No seriously, you will believe me when you look at the real thing. I guess it helps to prevent bits of food or junk to fall inside the laptop.

And finally… Prices for MacBooks increased by like 300 bucks for Aussie stores? WTF? And I thought I was gonna get a bargain by using my Malaysian credit card… :P

What do you guys think of the new MacBooks?

P/S: Oh btw, I’m currently looking for a job here down under. Hit me up if you know someone hiring for IT. ;)

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