New Macbook Pro: 39% Faster?

So Apple's MacBook Pros have grown into Core 2 Duo swans, making the jump from a 2.16 Core Duo processor to a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo processor. Apple makes vague claims of a new Macs 39% speed jump from the previous Macbook Pros and that they're 7 times faster than a 1.7Ghz Powerbook. But what does that really mean?

Luckily, we can just look at Dell's own jump from the identical Core Duo to the newer Core 2 Duo chips to get the Apples to Apples comparison, without the marketing bullshit. Jump to find out how the fast the new chips really are...

Dell's XPS M1710 made a similar jump from a 2.16GHz Core Duo to a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo. The folks at CNET tested these machines out and though they saw modest gains in battery life, performance gains were small, hopping from a 254 score to a 257 score (MobileMark 2005). Even though the XPS M1710 and MacBook Pros are different monsters (the Dell packs a ton of bells and whistles the Macs don't.) And we're sure that in some specific tests, like Apple's Apature tests, it really is 39 percent faster. But mobile mark's benchmark of running scripts of different applications at once, including disk churn and pauses, like in real life, makes Apple's 39% speed claim something to take with a lump of salt.

Or peanut butter. We like apples and peanut butter.
CNET Dell XPS M1710 Core 2 Duo
CNET Dell XPS M1710 Core Duo
Fine Print (footnote 1)