It’s a new-to-me refurbished MacBook Pro 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.

This is the “top of the line” MBP from March. It was replaced in June by 3.07GHz (special order), which is an additional $400 at the education store.

I made the decision in large part because of this Photoshop Stress Test chart (smaller numbers are better):

Model Processor Seconds
w/5400 RPM drive
NEW MacBook Pro 3.07GHz 57.12
REFURB MacBook Pro 2.93GHz 59.67
CURRENT MacBook Pro 2.53GHz 76.19
w/7200 RPM drive
NEW MacBook Pro 3.07GHz 56.32
REFURB MacBook Pro 2.93GHz 57.66
CURRENT MacBook Pro 2.53GHz 74.22

Based on the OWC Benchmark chart, it looks like Apple makes a “serious breakthrough” (for some definition of) in performance with every-other model change. That makes sense, as it correlates (sorta) with Moore’s Law but is also likely the result of something other than brute processing power improvement. In any case, it looks like mid-2009 was an incremental improvement and any “big” improvement will probably come early 2010. My guess is that improvement will be affordable RAM expansion, since 8GB (v 4GB) is currently a whopping $900 addition.

It also looks like the advantage of the faster (7200 rmp) drive is disappearing, except for (probably) seriously intensive video work, which you aren’t going to do on a laptop anyway. At least not as a regular work process.

It should be here Saturday! Then I’ll prepare this late 2008 MBP (my warranty replacement that I got in January and “broke” in March) for eBay sale.

Written by Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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