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back to article Apple drops white Macbook processor speed

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 Apple's white Macbook: slower CPU, way faster graphics than …

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Jobs Halo

Down 100mhz cpu speed

but faster FSB

old = 2.1Ghz 866Mhz FSB

new = 2.0Ghz 1066Mhz FSB

plus more standard RAM (2Gb vs 1Gb)

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Ed

I'd guess...

I'd guess snow leopard will have much more use for the GPU, so they want to avoid selling computers that are underpowered in this respect...

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Jobs Halo

Snow Leopard

Sounds to me like they are getting ready for Snow Leopard, with Open CL.

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IT Angle

I see the Reg has done their research before posting...

Yes, Apple have reduced the processor speed on the white MacBook, however they have changed the platform its running on, so that reduced processor speed is balanced by an increase in FSB from 800MHz to 1066MHz.

A properly researched list of changes can be found here :

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/01/21/apple-quietly-updates-entry-level-white-macbook/

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Silver badge

The new processor is likely to run software more quickly...

... being backed by a 1066Mhz bus rather than an 866Mhz one. In addition, it seems that the default amount of RAM is now 2gb, not 1.

Anyway, a cheer for the cheapest Mac I would be interested in now being cheaper (albeit not cheap), fifteen cheers for Apple managing a substantial product update without some ridiculous hyped-up launch.

All eyes on the Mac Mini for the next silent upgrade?

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Stop

Megahertz myth

Come on Reg, slower clock speed != slower CPU. For example, the frontside bus is now 1066 MHz instead of 866 MHz (it's the same CPU as the entry level aluminium MacBook).

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Not a bad tradeoff

In difference to the rumoured Mac Mini atom downgrade/video upgrade which is lunacy, most people won't miss 100MHz of speed. The X3100 is a horrid chipset with subpar drivers (under Windows; I don't believe the Mac is much better). It's fine for applications but not for anything graphical or games.

The only question is whether the change of chipset impacts on battery life; an area where the Intel IGP tends to shine.

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Paris Hilton

Does it still have Firewire?

The X3100-based Macbook had FireWire...Does this one? If so, it'd be a great deal.

Paris, because she's always on fire...

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Mac buyers on a budget

These would be the people who think the definition of "misery" is $40 000 a year.

"I'm cleaned out, I can't spend more than one grand on a new laptop this year". Yeah right. Now what about Bugatti buyers on a budget?

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Price rise coming?

Despite no change to US price, it's hard to imagine there won't be a price rise when it does come to the UK store - a straight pound conversion at $1.37, plus 15% Vat, comes to £835 - current model is £130 less than that, and Apple usually likes to charge us more than their domestic customers.

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Thumb Up

It's a bargain

Really, it is. 2 GB of memory is loads and loads in OS X terms. And... *drumroll and sigh of relief*... it's still got Firewire.

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Paris Hilton

I spy with my little i...

Snow Leopard is on the way..

I believe they'll make sure all their gear is on Nvidia graphics first before launching the OpenCL-compatible Snow Leopard..

Thus begins the evolution of computing yet again - WinDoze owners left in the dust, cough cough...

Paris, because she knows it's not about the size but what you can do with it :)

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It is all about power consumption.

Further investigation reveals that this shift is from the Core 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz, 800MHz FSB) to the Core 2 Duo P7350 (2.0GHZ, 1066MHz FSB). The key point is probably that the P7350 is a medium voltage chip that uses 25W of power rather than a full voltage chip that uses 35W like the T8100.

My guess is that Apple has changed the CPU to one with similar performance but lower power consumption to make up for higher power consumption of the nVidia chipset. It will be interesting to see what sort of net impact on battery life this has.

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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!

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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..

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@Pierre

If you're having to buy a new laptop every year then I think you might be engaging of something of a false economy.

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@power consumption

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?

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@Britt

Laptops with both integrated and discrete chipsets already exist - you can buy them right now. Unsurprisingly, this usually requires a reboot to switch.

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