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How fast is the White "Mid-2009" MacBook Core 2 Duo compared to the White "Early 2009" MacBook that it replaced? How fast is it compared to the "Late 2008 Unibody" MacBook Core 2 Duo models?
Please note that all models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.
For the White "Mid-2009" MacBook Core 2 Duo -- the MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.13 13" (White - Mid-2009) -- Apple did not release any official company benchmarks. As Apple did not even issue a press release, the lack of benchmarks or other performance test results should not be surprising.
However, review a comparison of the White "Mid-2009" MacBook to the White "Early 2009" MacBook that it replaced and a second comparison of the "Mid-2009" MacBook to the Aluminum "Late 2008/Unibody" MacBook models, and one can make educated assumptions regarding the performance differences between these models.
As the White "Mid-2009" MacBook has a 2.13 GHz processor compared to a 2.0 GHz processor in the "Early 2009" model it replaced -- a 6.5% increase in clockspeed -- as well as modestly faster RAM (800 MHz PC2-6400 DDR2 SDRAM up from 667 MHz PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM), one would expect the "Mid-2009" MacBook to be at least 6.5% faster overall than its predecessor.
The low-end Aluminum "Late 2008/Unibody" MacBook also has a 2.0 GHz processor like the White "Early 2009" model, but uses faster RAM than the White "Mid-2009" model (1066 MHz PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM rather than 800 MHz PC2-6400 DDR2 SDRAM). Consequently, one would expect the White "Mid-2009" MacBook to be faster than the more expensive entry-level "Late 2008/Unibody" system, but this overall performance difference should be less than 6.5%.
As the White "Mid-2009" MacBook is a modest update, the Internet was not immediately abuzz with reviews, but the always reliable MacWorld put the system through its paces and effectively confirmed the above assumptions in its review:
Using Macworld's overall system performance benchmark, Speedmark 5, we found the new 2.13 GHz white MacBook to be approximately 6.5 percent faster than the 2 GHz white MacBook it replaces. The new model had faster test times across the board, including about an 8 percent speed up in Photoshop times and iTunes MP3 encoding scores. Cinema 4D was about 5 percent faster on the new white MacBook.
The new white MacBook was just a little more than 4 percent faster than the 2 GHz Aluminum MacBook when tested using Speedmark, and proved to be faster at nearly every task.
Ultimately, the White "Mid-2009" MacBook model may not be quite as sleek or stylish as the more expensive entry-level Aluminum "Unibody" model, but as it is both faster and cheaper, it is hard to deny the value of raw performance (it also seems highly likely that the Aluminum "Unibody" model soon will be revised to reduce or eliminate this "performance deficit").