Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Macbook Pro ...

My 2-year-old 17" MacBook Pro was getting a little old and tired and flaky, especially recently — the dark spot on the screen it had had since new, and the dark screen pretty much the same, and the problems waking and sleeping had been there from the beginning, but the instability, the crashes and hangs — those were new. As were the occasional USB problems in the right-hand port and the issues recognizing the external screen when connected.

It's been a great computer, overall — one of the best systems I've ever used — but it was from the third week of production of the MBP 17" and had the issues expected on an early production model. Time for a new one.

Got it on Thursday and transferred my stuff. I do have to say that using Time Machine as the transfer medium works really well. The only problem is once you're done and try to do a Time Machine backup; you can't, because there's no space left. Time Machine will not recognize the old system's backups as being in the same set; it must embed the serial number or MAC in the backup set. I basically had to prune my backups down manually to give some space for the new system to back up.

It is way faster — faster than the 2.1 GHz to 2.6 GHz processor speed bump would suggest. For one thing, I think the improvement from Core Duo to Core 2 Duo is actually fairly substantial. Moreover, I think the memory boost (2 GB to 4 GB) makes a big difference, and the video card is quite substantially faster, with twice the VRAM. I suspect having more space free on disk makes a difference to filesystem performance too; this also got a doubling, from 100 GB to 200 GB.

Aperture, in particular, is substantially faster. I've had the system less than a week and I couldn't go back.