CultofMac writer, Leigh McMullen, got his lucky hands all over one of mobile computing’s biggest beasts: the 17 inch MacBook Pro. Last week, Apple updated its entire MacBook Pro line with new processors, graphics chips, and for the 15 and 17-inch models, automated graphics switching capabilities. Evidently, the new 17-inch is a speed demon; it screams past a 1st-generation 8-core Mac Pro in 64 bit mode, and keeps apace when in lousy ol’ 32-bit. The most poignant part, however, is McMullen’s assumption that the new computers may be ‘too fast’:
See, the combination of an OS that is continuously optimized to improve performance (rather than add features), with Moore’s Law of CPU horsepower suggest that Macs might be getting to the point of diminishing returns for consumers.
A laptop has certain advantages over a desktop: it can be lugged around, it can do most of the work a full desktop can all the while taking up less space and using less energy. Of course, laptops are stuck with silly 6-bit screens and in general, slower performance than their contemporary desktop cousins. But tending the often performance-tweaked OSX, new MacBooks tends to satisfy all but the most esoteric of computational uses. If you are a word-processor, photoshop, internetter, the extra power could be completely lost on you. It would on me.
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