Three Generations of Macs (Unofficially) Benchmarked
Stats and info are always interesting, so naturally I read the benchmark tests before I bought my new MacBook Pro. But once I had the computer in my own hands I wanted to do some benchmark testing of my own.
I wanted to do my own personal, “real-life” benchmarks to see how the three current Macs in my office compare to one another. Also, I was secretly hoping to discover an excuse to sell the Mac Pro, keep the laptop, and move to a one-computer work-flow. (Let’s face it, syncing sucks.)
And please note, these are by no means official benchmarks — I timed everything with my iPhone for goodness’ sake…
Each computer is currently running OS X 10.5.2.
|MacBook Pro||2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, “Penryn”||4 GB||200 GB, 7200 RPM||15.4-inch LED backlit display with 1440×900 resolution|
|MacPro||3.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, “Woodcrest”||4 GB||250 GB, 7200 RMP primary hard-drive; 500 GB, 7200 RPM backup hard-drive||23-inch Apple Cinima HD Display with 1920×1200 resolution|
|PowerBook||1.33 GHz Power PC||1.25 GB||100 GB / 7200 RPM||12-inch Display with 1024×768 resolution|
1. Video Encoding
Using Handbrake 0.9.2, I encoded the “The Three Amigos” (a classic). I turned the 1:42:16 long DVD into an iPhone friendly 635×346, 1.16GB MPEG-4 Video on each of the machines.
|Computer||Time to Encode “The Three Amigos”|
|MacBook Pro||1 Hour, 14 Minutes, 21.5 Seconds|
|MacPro||45 Minutes, 17.8 Seconds|
|PowerBook||2 Hours, 58 Minutes, 16.1 Seconds|
As you can see the Mac Pro was nearly 30 minutes faster at encoding the movie from disc, but I am quite sure the speed there is primarily due to the 16x SuperDrive, versus the MBP’s 8x.
2. Booting Up
The time it took from when I pressed the power button to when OS X had fully loaded and Quicksilver’s icon finally appeared in the menu bar.
|MacBook Pro||1 minute 19.8 seconds|
|MacPro||1 minute 5.6 seconds|
|PowerBook||1 minute 11.1 seconds|
3. Zip Compression
I had each machine take a 272.2 MB folder and compress it into a 108.9 MB ZIP archive.
|Computer||File Compression Time|
|MacBook Pro||24.2 seconds|
4. The Infamous “Open All Apps” Test
I selected every application in the Applications folder (except for Spaces and Front Row), and hit CMD+O. I then waited until all the icons in the dock stopped bouncing.
|Computer||# of Apps||Time To Open All Apps|
|MacBook Pro||85||2 minutes and 34 seconds|
|MacPro||80||4 minutes and 29 seconds|
|PowerBook||57||Beachballed and had to be force-restarted after 12 minutes|
5. FTP File Upload
Using Transmit, I uploaded an 8 MB folder, which contained four images, onto my server.
|Computer||FTP File Upload Time||Internet Connection|
|MacBook Pro||2 Minutes, 27.8 seconds||Wireless|
|Mac Pro||2 Minutes, 24.4 seconds||Ethernet Cable|
|PowerBook||2 Minutes, 22.9 seconds||Wireless|
6. The Nitty Gritty
Day in and day out, the apps I have running while working are Mail, Safari, Photoshop and Illustrator. This is my “real life” test.
With Mail and Safari both open, and iTunes playing some hits, I opened a 1.1 GB Photoshop file to manipulate it (turning it into a 1.42 GB file). I then re-saved it, and then exported it as a TIFF.
|Computer||Open a 1.1 GB File in Photoshop||Save the new 1.42 GB File||Export as TIFF|
|MacBook Pro||38.5 seconds||51.9 seconds||13.6 seconds|
|Mac Pro||25.2 seconds||42.7 seconds||14.3 seconds|
|PowerBook||Adobe only allows you to have two computers authorized at a time, and I already de-authorized the G4||N/A||N/A|
As I mentioned in my review earlier this week, I have decided to sell the Mac Pro and move to a one-machine setup. It’s true that the Mac Pro won nearly every benchmark, it wasn’t by a lot (in most cases). The time I may lose in performance with the MacBook Pro, I will gain back by not having to sync files and worry about which machine has the latest version of a project I’m working on. Additionally, the idea of owning two, expensive, “pro” machines is a bit against my nature.
And for those wondering why I would keep the laptop and sell the tower: It is because I travel quite a bit and do a lot of work outside of my office. Having a portable is a necessity for me.Publishing this site is my full-time job. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting the site by becoming a member. There are some great perks.