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Apple MacBook Pro 'fastest Windows XP notebook'

Beats an Acer by a nose

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Want the fastest Windows XP Core Duo notebook? Then buy a Mac. According to benchmarks carried out by website GearLog, Apple's MacBook Pro running Windows XP is a better Adobe Photoshop rig than any other Core Duo laptop on the market.

GearLog's test results can be found here. The site used a recently detailed technique that shoehorns the Microsoft operating system onto Intel-based Macs - a trick that last week won its formulators $13,000 in prize money.

The site measured the 2.16GHz Core Duo-based MacBook Pro running through a series of Windows XP-native Photoshop CS2 scripts in 1m 10s - better than a 1.66GHz Core Duo-based Mac Mini (1m 56s) and a 2GHz Core Duo-based iMac (1m 25s). You'd expect that kind of difference given the different CPU speed grades.

However, the site links to a set of tests carried out by PC Magazine on an array of Wintel Core Duo notebooks from Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Gateway. Only one came close: the Acer, with a score of 1m 11s; the others generated scores of 1m 52s to 1m 55s, all slower than the iMac.

The iMac comparison is apposite because all the laptops tested had 2GHz Core Duo CPUs, just like the iMac. So did the Acer, which came in a nose of beating the 2.16GHz MacBook Pro. However, while the Acer has the same ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 GPU as the MacBook Pro, the GPU isn't fully enabled on the Apple machine under Windows XP.

We are confident that the MacBook Pro will lose its Windows XP Photoshop CS2 benchmark crown as more Core Duo machines are tested, particularly those based on the 2.16GHz T2600 CPU. But it will make for an interesting race, especially ifsomeone gets the Windows XP ATI drivers to operate correctly with the MacBook Pro. ®

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