New vs Old: MacBook Pro Benchmarks compare the Core 2 Duo 13″, Core i5/i7 15″ and 17″ models
This chart displays the GeekBench scores of the new 2010 MacBook Pro models versus each other and the older 2009 models they replaced.
As you can see from the scores, the MacBook Pro Core i5 and i7 models really blow away their predecessors, while the MacBook Pro 13″ model with it’s Core 2 Duo processor gets a smaller bump in the benchmarks. This is in line with earlier MacBook Pro benchmarks showing the 50% performance gain when moving from the Core 2 Duo chips to the Core i7. The above chart was put together by PrimateLabs, who notes the following (emphasis mine):
It’s no surprise the new laptops are faster. It’s interesting to note, though, that the slowest Core i5 is faster than the fastest Core 2 Duo processor despite running at a much lower frequency (2.40GHz vs 3.06GHz). This is a result of the architecture improvements in the i5 and the i7. For example, Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading provide a nice boost to processor scores; single-threaded workloads benefit from higher processor frequencies while multi-threaded workloads benefit from extra hardware threads. Memory scores (especially Stream scores which measure raw memory bandwidth) are higher due to the integrated memory controller on the i5 and i7.
PrimateLabs goes on to recommend the base MacBook Pro 15″ Core i5 and maxed out RAM, which isn’t surprising considering the huge performance gain of the Core i5 processor, and more RAM is always good with Mac OS X. I would generally agree, and add that the optional high resolution screen of the MacBook Pro 15″ is a really compelling upgrade.