Wednesday, May 05, 2010

8 days using a 15" Macbook Pro with Core i7 cpu, 7200 rpm 500 GB hard drive

I have used my brand new Core i7 Apple MBP for 8 days already. I want to say that I have enjoyed it very much and I am glad I did order this machine, not a lower spec machine. It is a very fast machine. According to the spec of the machine, it is the speediest notebook computer available in the market at this time.

With some word processing softwares loaded (NeoOffice and Pages), spreadsheet (Numbers), 3 different Text editor softwares, Activity Monitor, Preview, iCal, Dictionary, the cpu load was < 4% (User + system).

When I watched VDO using Miro software, the cpu load percentage reported by Activity Monitor was in the range of 10-20% at most. With my former 1.67 GHz G4 PowerBook, it used to be around 100%. The image quality of the vdo for the 2.66 GHz i7 cpu and graphic circuitry was much better than my 4.5 yr old G4 PB. (I have to admit I have no tool to monitor which GPU it was using). Never mind, I am just a normal user, not technical reviewer.

CPU load percentage usually hover in the low 10% most of the time. The only time when I noticed that it went into high gear at around 360% cpu load was when I imported several hundreds of pictures from my camera into iPhoto and face recognition started to kick in.

Backing up with Time Machine is also very fast. With a recent back up of over 8 GB of new data to an external hard drive connected via a FireWire 800 cable, it took only a few minutes to finish the job. (It took hours in my older Mac G4 PowerBook notebook. I wished I replaced it a year sooner. But I have wished to wait for the 32 nm cpu anyway.)

For normal use this machine rarely gets warm much. Before the delivery of the machine, I was worrying a bit for the custom ordered i7 cpu for the notebook whether it would turn into a hot toaster or not. Now I am glad that it won't happen.

Battery life in my experience is around 6:30 - 7 hr, never up to 8 hr as advertised, perhaps that is because I always use a USB mouse which always drain the battery. But that is good enought for my use. Now I can have a chance to work long hours elsewhere in many places with full confidence and not to worry about electrical outlets, like in some libraries, or in a campus garden.

Most of the softwares from my former PowerBook Mac under Leopard work with Snow Leopard so far. A notable exception is NeoOffice which I needed to download the Intel cpu version to use, not the PowerPC cpu version as imported from the old machine. There is another software that did not work, let me think. Oh, right, emacs, so I had to download a new version of Aquamacs instead. (But I ended up with TextWrangler and GEdit, and I tend to like these 2 more for now.)

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