diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

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Configuration As Tested

Last updated March 04, 2011 - Send Feedback

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.



Hardware configuration


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.

See my review of the OWC Mercury Pro Extreme solid state drives.

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock


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.

All test machines used the OWC 8GB memory upgrade. OWC offers a rebate on the two 2GB modules that the MacBook Pro comes with by default, further reducing the cost to about $90 as this was written.


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