Apple drops white Macbook processor speed
But slams in much better graphics
Apple has quietly revamped its low-end, plastic-cased MacBook - in the process reducing the machine's processor speed.
OK, we admit it, the reduction's a small one: 2.1GHz down to 2.0GHz. And in compensation, buyers get rather better graphics.
Apple's white Macbook: slower CPU, way faster graphics than before
Apple last adjusted the machine's spec in October, when it introduced the more pricey aluminium MacBook. One old-style plastic laptop was kept on the company's product list to meet the needs of Mac buyers on a budget.
That version used an Intel chipset with GMA X3100 graphics. The revised model has an Nvidia GeForce 9400M, which should more than make up for the missing 100MHz of processor speed. It also comes with 2GB of DDR 2 memory rather than a gig.
The cost for the new model: $999 (£702/€770), the same as before. Apple UK is still listing the old spec white Macbook at £704. ®
15in Macbook Pro
Laptops with both integrated and discrete chipsets already exist - you can buy them right now. Unsurprisingly, this usually requires a reboot to switch.
Gets my vote
This is now up on the UK store too. 2GB, 120GB, SuperDrive, nVidia graphics, I think these will sell like hot cakes - especially since these are fully good to go with Snow Leopard when it arrives. Nice one, Apple!
2GB vs 1GB memory
Do bear in mind that although throwing in 2GB rather than 1GB memory is very welcome and usable for most purposes (unless you're running a fully loaded Vista x64 laptop), it's only about 30 quid for 4GB (2x2GB) and on practically every laptop this can be upgraded without voiding the warranty.
4GB SODIMMs are still extremely reassuringly (5x) priced though, and it doesn't help that most manufacturers lie and tell you their Santa Rosa based laptops are limited to 4GB when that's not the case..
If you're having to buy a new laptop every year then I think you might be engaging of something of a false economy.
I looked at the tests, reviewers seem to think battery life has stayed about the same, despite GPU. They refer to macs having a set of power-saving techniques.
One such which has been discussed for a while, not just for macs, is to switch between a GPU and a smaller on-board chip - has that idea been dropped?