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Introduction to the MacBook Pro Core i7

Last updated 2010-05-13 - Send Feedback
Related: MacBook, MacBook Pro, Optimizing

The MacBook Pro Core i7 offers robust computing power in a laptop, but unless it has adequate memory and fast drives, it will run at a severe handicap for more demanding tasks.

This special report spells out what you need to to do “max-out” your MacBook Pro Core i7, showing how a generic setup fares compared to what is possible.

The pages that follow separate out the drive issue from the memory issue, then combine them to show the possible synergistic benefits of both.

Parts and specs

The following hardware was used for the tests:

With the SSDs and 8GB memory, this is the MPG Pro Laptop solution.

Cycling

Memory of 4GB vs 8GB

Enough memory is what’s needed. Simple usage with modest size files can do quite fine with 4GB. But when memory runs low, the impact is huge. The analysis that follows address just those situations, especially for photographers.

Software limitations

Software is a limiting factor (eg badly written), even with a maxed-out MBP, but you can only do what you can do: give software the lowest “resistance” to getting the job done by configuring your MacBook Pro to run without idling itself waiting for the drive or for virtual memory paging.

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