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Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHz faster than Core Cuo 2 GHz

The Superdrive (DVD burner for those who don’t speak Apple) of my Core Duo 2GHz MacBook (MacBook 1,1) never worked correctly: It didn’t read DVD-Rs I have burned with any other DVD burner and it also was not able to burn DVDs! But I didn’t find a time where I didn’t need my MacBook so I could bring it to the Apple service and get the problem fixed. So I now bought a new MacBook Core 2 Duo (unfortunately just a few weeks before they got their speed-bump) to replace my Core Duo and be able to fix the latter one within the warranty period. The upgrade did not make any troubles: I just replaced my MacBook Core 2 Duo’s internal harddrive by the MacBook Core Duo’s one and (to quote Steve Jobs) “Boom!”. That means: No problem, everything works. The Apple service (notably the guys at Comacs, Würzburg) replace not only the DVD drive but also the complete topcase (I just told them that the Ä key didn’t work properly but they told me it was dirty anyway so they replaced the whole… Nice!).

So now to the benchmark I ran on both MacBooks. The hardware configuration was practically the same, except for the processor: Both had 2 GB of RAM and both had the same 120 GB Fujitsu MHV2120BH hard drive, the only hardware difference is the processor: An Intel Core Duo 2 GHZ (“Yonah”) in the old, an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHZ (“Merom”) in the new MacBook. Unfortunately there was also a software difference: I had run the test on the Yonah MacBook in August 2008, therefore it had 10.4.7, the test on the Merom MacBook was done at the end of April, so it had 10.4.9. The rest of the software configuration was practically the same.

This is what XBench said (an excerpt of only the differing or otherwise interesting results), more points means faster computer:

  • Overall result: 52.59 points (Yonah), 96.17 (Merom)
  • CPU Test: 74.25 vs. 90.42
  • Memory test: 112.38 vs. 106.72 (the Merom was *slower* although it had physically the same RAM built in as the Yonah…)
  • Quartz Graphics Test: 53.37 vs. 108.78
  • OpenGL Graphics Test: 221.89 vs. 172.44
  • User Interface Test: 204.10 vs. 19.38 (!!)

I also did a Mathematica 4 benchmark on both systems using Karl Unterkofler’s MMA 4.0 test notebook. At that time I still used Mathematica 4 because it did all that I needed. The result from the Mathematica test was: Yonah: Total Kernel Time: 35.76, Benchmark: 2.89; Merom: Total Kernel Time: 33.16, Benchmark: 3.06.

Mathematica 6 has a built-in benchmarking tool. For the Merom notebook it calculated a benchmark result of 1.26 from a total test time of 68.3 seconds.


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