The Internet has been buzzing about Intel’s second-generation Core processors for months now. Code named Sandy Bridge, these CPUs were billed as offering faster speeds, better multitasking and improved graphics performance. For real techies who want all the dirty details on the new processors, check out this in-depth article from AnandTech.com. While it wasn’t supposed to work out this way, thanks to a techno-bumble on the part of Intel (more info after the jump), Apple’s recently released MacBook Pro’s became the first laptops to hit the streets with the new processors. Not surprisingly, reviewers were anxious to see how these CPUs perform in the real world. As noted in our just updated report on Apple laptops and desktops, most say that Sandy Bridge delivers all that it promised, and more.
Apple’s new speed demons
Reviewers that have put it through its paces largely say the same thing: the 15-inch 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro is one of the fastest laptops currently available — at least until more Sandy Bridge notebooks hit the market. “It absolutely clobbers the competition? says Dan Ackerman at CNET. PCMag.com pits the 15-inch MacBook Pro against several other desktop replacements and describes the results as a “massacre. Cisco Cheng goes on to say the speed results were “mind-blowingly fast. Engadget.com gets a similar result: “No two ways about this: the new MacBook Pro is the fastest laptop we’ve ever tested, hands-down, says Nilay Patel.
So if you’ve been wavering about when to buy a new Apple laptop, reviews indicate the time is now. Even the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is stocked with a new Intel processor, and Macworld’s tests show that it is 35 percent faster than its predecessor. Check out the updated Apple laptops and desktops report for the full details on these and other Apple computers, including the just refreshed Apple iPad 2.back to menu ↑
Intel’s billion-dollar boo-boo
The road to market for Sandy Bridge has been a rough one, marked most notably by the January discovery of a flaw in the Sandy Bridge chipset — though not the processor itself — that stopped the introductions of a slew of new Windows PCs with the processor dead in their tracks. According to ZDNet.com, that bobble might end up costing Intel a cool $1 billion. Ouch! It also opened the door for Apple, which dodged the problem because it uses a chipset that was not affected by the flaw.
Apple’s lead will be short lived, however. PC fans can expect new Sandy Bridge laptops to hit the market in increasing numbers over the next few months. Lenovo has already announced new ThinkPads, the X220 ultraportable and X220T convertible tablet, with the second-generation processors. HP also introduced a new line-up of EliteBooks, ProBooks and Pavilion laptops with the latest Intel hardware. If the MacBook Pros are any indication, we should see plenty of speedy laptops.