5 Year Old Macbook vs the Latest Macbook Air

I recently noticed that my Apple MacBook, (late 2006), doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I’d think that an almost five year-old computer would start to be sluggish.

I don’t use that many processor intensive applications, but with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.7), I am able to run SETI@Home, VMWare Fusion running Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat, Remote Desktop Connection, Photoshop, iTunes, Transmit, Chrome (with 10 tabs open) and Firefox, all at the same time without bogging down. When I boot my Macbook to Windows 7, the performance is similar.

My Macbook has an Intel® Core2 Duo Processor T7200 (4M Cache, 2.00 GHz, 667 MHz FSB). The only hardware upgrades I’ve done on it were to increase the RAM to 3GB and install a 320GB 7200 rpm hard disk. I have three paritions on the disk: a 100GB Mac OS Extended for OSX, a 75GB NTFS for Windows 7 and a 140 GB NTFS for data.

While browsing EveryMac.com for the specs for my computer, I noticed that the Geekbench score of the latest Apple MacBook Air (late 2010) – 2698 – wasn’t that much higher than my Macbook – 2603. The current Macbook Air uses an Intel® Core2 Duo Processor SL9400 (6MB Cache, 1.86 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB). I would think that the MBA, with a larger L2 cache, faster FSB and SSD would at least be a lot faster than my Macbook. In fact, when I run Geekbench on my Macbook, it scores 2706.

Of course the Macbook Air is 2.3 lbs (1.04 kg) lighter and has a much greater cool factor than my Macbook, but I’m strong enough to handle 5.2 lbs (2.36 kg). When my Macbook starts to feel slow, I’ll probably go to an SSD and replace the DVD drive with my current hard disk in a MCE OptiBay.

The latest 13″ Macbook Pro, with an Intel® Core i7-2620M Processor, has a Geekbench score that 6796. That would probably be OK for another couple of years.

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.