Macbook Windows 7 Experience Index

I downloaded the new Windows 7 Beta (64-bit) and did a clean installation on my 3GB MacBook (13-inch Late 2006 with an Intel Core2 Duo Mobile Processor T7200). I used the Apple BootCamp64.msi drivers and all the Apple hardware devices installed correctly.

In November, I tried the 32-bit version of Windows 7 (build 6801) and the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) doesn’t seem too much different.

When I ran the Windows Experience Index assessment, the base score was 2.0 (build 7000 64-bit) compared to a base score of 3.0 with the 32 bit version of build 6801. The low score was because of the 2.0 subscore of the data transfer rate of the primary hard disk, a 120 GB Toshiba MK1234GSX. But I don’t feel there is any sluggishness while using the computer.

The Processor and Memory (RAM) subscores were 5.0, while the Graphics and Gaming Graphics subscores were 3.1, not unreasonable for the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor. Anyway, I don’t have much ambition to play Crysis on my Macbook.

MacBook Windows 7

I installed Windows 7 (Build 6801) on my MacBook “Core 2 Duo” 2.0 13″ (Black) with 3GB RAM.

To manage the boot menu for my Vista and Leopard partitions, I use rEFIt instead of Boot Camp. After I made a backup disk image of the Vista partition, I booted the Windows 7 DVD, reformatted the Vista partition and began the installation. It went a lot faster than the Vista install.

The Boot Camp drivers from the Leopard DVD installed without any problems in Windows 7 – the Apple Built-in Bluetooth, the Apple Built-in iSight, the Apple Trackpad Enabler, the Apple Keyboard, the Apple IR Receiver, the Atheros AR5008X Wireless Network Adapter, the Marvell Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller, the SigmaTel High Definition Audio Codec and the Boot Camp Control Panel. Windows 7 installed the Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family (Prerelease WDDM 1.0 Driver) for the display adapter.

I used Randy’s SharpKeys 2.1.1 (a registry hack) to remap the Apple enter key (on the bottom row) to a forward delete key so I don’t have to hold down the fn key and delete for that function. I also mapped F8 to Prtscr – another Windows key that’s missing on the MacBook keyboard.

Thankfully, my two year old MacBook still feels responsive in Windows 7 (and in Vista). I’ve never had any major problems with Vista, and so far, Windows 7 seems to be an improvement.

Macbook Vista SP1

I applied Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to my dual-boot Macbook. I use rEFit instead of Boot Camp, with OS X as the default OS, so after each restart, I had to manually select the Vista partition.

After a couple of restarts, Vista started up OK and I ran the Windows Experience Index tool and got this. (I manually stuck the old Apple logo in there; Apple is not a Windows OEM Vendor)

Intel To Retire Merom Core 2 Duo Processors

Wolfgang Gruener, over at Tom’s Hardware, noted that Intel released a Product Change Notification (PDF) that they are discontinuing production of nine Intel® Core2 Duo processors and Intel® Core2 Duo processors LV, code-named Merom.

It seemed like I was just writing in anticipation about Merom and Santa Rosa but that was actually back in September, 2006, when I was contemplating the purchase of a Merom laptop. I bought a MacBook “Late 2006 Core 2 Duo,” which lacked that “Santa Rosa” Centrino chipset but the T7200 processor does have a 4MB L2 cache. The current Macbooks (late 2007), use the 2.0GHz or 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with an 800MHz FSB, and the Santa Rosa chipset with the Intel GMA X3100 GPU.

My Macbook still doesn’t feel slow yet, even though the 1 year warranty expired last November. I somehow doubt that’s a testimony to Vista or Leopard, though.