Configuration As Tested
This page covers the configurations used for testing.
Mac OS X configuration
The Mac OS X install DVD that comes with the 2011 MacBook Pro installs a system with the 64-bit kernel enabled.
All machines tested the 64-bit kernel OS X 10.6.6. Small to moderate performance gains are possible by running in 64-bit kernel mode.
MBP Dual i7 = MacBook Pro 2-Core i7 2.66GHz, 8GB, OWC Mercury Pro Extreme 240GB
MBP Quad i7 = MacBook Pro 4-Core Core i7 2.3GHz, OWC Mercury Pro Extreme 240GB
Mac Pro = 3.33GHz 6-core Westmere, 24GB, OWC Mercury Pro RE 200GB SSD
Mac Pro = 3.33GHz 12-core Westmere, 48GB, OWC Mercury Pro RE 200GB SSD X 3
The 2010 MacBook Pro 2-core was also available at 2.8GHz, which is a 5.2% faster clock speed than the 2.66GHz model used for testing.
All tests with 8GB memory unless otherwise noted.
Memory of 8GB is not standard (costs extra), but it is foolish to spend $2500 on a MacBook Pro (more when you count extras including AppleCare), then cripple it with 4GB, at least if you’re a Photoshop or Lightroom or photography user.