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How much faster is the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo compared to the original MacBook Core Duo? How fast is the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo compared to the MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo?
Please note that all systems mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.
Apple claims that the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo models -- the MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 1.83 13-Inch, MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13-Inch (White), and MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13-Inch (Black) -- are "up to 25 percent faster than their predecessors" based on "SPECint and SPECfp rate tests".
However, as the "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo systems have the same clock speeds as the MacBook Core Duo models, one could expect the performance to be far more modest in real-world tests. The 2.0 GHz "Late 2006" MacBook Core 2 Duo models have 4 MB of level 2 cache compared to 2 MB of level 2 cache for the Core Duo models, which will enhance performance. The MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 1.83 13-Inch, on the other hand, has the same amount of level 2 cache, so one should not expect much improvement in performance for the entry-level model, even though the Core 2 Duo processor design is modestly more efficient.
You might be interested in reading through the details of both the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors from Intel's website, but in particular Intel promotes that the Core 2 Duo offers "wide dynamic execution" that enables "delivery of more instructions per clock cycle to improve execution time and energy efficiency" along with "smart memory access" that optimizes "the use of the available data bandwidth" and a "more efficient cache subsystem" among other improvements.
In a "First Look" that should be read in its entirety for the complete perspective provided by the author, the always reliable MacWorld reports that in real-world application tests the MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13-Inch (White) produced "a 7 percent improvement on the overall system test suite score turned in by the fastest Core Duo MacBook".
Compared to the MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" models, MacWorld reported that:
The faster processor and dedicated graphics card found in the 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro helped that Core 2 Duo system beat out the fastest MacBook by 20 percent in Speedmark--a large part of that disparity can be attributed to the lackluster performance of the MacBook’s integrated Intel graphics.
Ultimately, the improvement in real-world performance is far more modest than Apple's claims, but the enhancements in configuration alone are likely to make the new systems more appealing for many consumers.