Apple MacBook Pro 13in

Shiny, silver Sandy Bridge system

Another glorious day in the core

Intel's new on-chip graphics even thrash the discrete GPU in the old MacBook Pro - at least at running the Mac UI. The 15-incher still wins on OpenGL 3D rendering, but look how far ahead the 13in MBP's Intel graphics beat the previous-generation Intel integrated GPU at OpenGL.

Handbrake 0.9.5 HD Video Encoding Results

Apple MacBook Pro 13in

Time in Minutes
Shorter bars are better

For a real-world test, video encoding app Handbrake scaling a 720p HD video down using its iPhone 4 pre-set is a good place to start. I timed how long it took to encode the first ten per cent of the film.

Handbrake is CPU savvy: it will grab as many cores and threads as it can, filling each to the maximum. This immediately kicked up the MBP's cooling fan to maximum revs - and it's none too quiet. The same test run on my previous-generation 15in MBP also maxed out the four available threads, but the fans continued to spin almost silently - but it's not as quick.

PCMark Vantage

Apple MacBook Pro 13in

Longer bars are better

For comparison with a broader array of machines, I used Apple's Bootcamp utility to install Windows on the 13in MBP and run PCMark Vantage. Looping the benchmark program doubles up as Reg Hardware's battery life test.

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