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How much faster is the "Mid-2007" MacBook Core 2 Duo compared to the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo? How fast is the "Mid-2007" MacBook Core 2 Duo compared to the MacBook Pro "Santa Rosa"?
Please note that all systems mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.
In Apple-published benchmarks, the company shows that the "Mid-2007" 2.16 GHz MacBook "Core 2 Duo" models are "up to" 37% faster than the MacBook "Core Duo" 2.0 13-Inch models in real-world tests. However, it is important to note that this is compared to the original MacBook models, rather than the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo systems that the "Mid-2007" models replaced.
The "Mid-2007" MacBook Core 2 Duo systems -- the MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13-Inch (White - Mid-2007), MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 13-Inch (White), and MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 13-Inch (Black) -- have processors roughly 9.2% and 8% faster than the low-end and high-end "Late 2006" models, respectively. As these systems all share the same motherboard design and integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics processors, one could expect the "Mid-2007" systems to post modest performance gains in the realm of 8%-9%.
The 2.16 GHz black MacBook posted a Speedmark score of 202, about 12 percent faster than the older white 2 GHz MacBook Core 2 Duo. (In the last generation of MacBooks, the 2 GHz white model edged out the black version and its comparable processor due to a better-performing, though smaller, hard drive. This time it’s the black model that takes top honors, with a Speedmark score just shy of 4-percent higher than the updated white 2.16 GHz MacBook’s score of 195.)
[The entry-level MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13-Inch (White - Mid-2007) showed] a 7-percent improvement over last year’s fastest 2 GHz model which scored a 180 in Speedmark.
Unsurprisingly, given that all of these MacBook systems use integrated GMA 950 graphics, the graphics performance is roughly equivalent and unimpressive with an "average about 18 frames per second" in graphics-intensive games.
The "Mid-2007" MacBook Pro models -- the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.2 15" (Santa Rosa), "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 15" (Santa Rosa), and "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 17" (Santa Rosa) -- have faster processors, a faster architecture with an 800 MHz frontside bus, and NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics, which when combined, provide a substantial speed advantage for the "Pro" models compared to their "non-Pro" siblings.
Even with an apparent incompatibility with the ancient Unreal Tournament 2004 game that dragged down graphics performance numbers, MacWorld found that the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" (Santa Rosa) models are roughly 15% faster overall, with the most substantial real-world performance advantage in graphics-intensive tasks due to the dedicated graphics processor.