Tuesday, May 16, 2006

13" MacBook released, and it runs Aperture

Today, Apple released the long awaited 13" MacBook. To the surprise of many, the model debuted with a 1.83 GHz Core Duo CPU at the low end, and a 2.0 GHz Core Duo at the high end. That means that this little laptop will be roughly twice as fast in CPU performance as my G5 iMac 2.0 GHz, which is only 1 year old.

Besides the usual white plastic enclosure, the faster MacBook model also comes in black, although you have to pay extra for that privilege. (I chose instead to order a white MacBook Core Duo 2.0, configured similarly to the black model, for less money.)

Unfortunately, as many of us expected, this machine utilizes integrated graphics, Intel GMA 950, a less than stellar performing graphics chipset. However to our surprise, the MacBook runs Aperture. According to Joseph Schorr, the Senior Project Manager for Aperture at Apple, Aperture 1.1 will install and run on the new MacBook, although it is unsupported:
Yes, Aperture does run on the new MacBooks, but it is NOT officially supported, due to limitations with the graphics card. You're not disallowed from using it (no hacks needed) but you'll essentially be using it at your own risk. Your mileage will vary with the MacBook, depending on your workflow.

Aperture is, of course, fully supported on all MacBook PRO models.

Joe Schorr
Sr. Product Manager, Aperture
I applaud Apple for giving us this choice.

Speaking of choice, it's unfortunate that Apple has chosen to make us switch from matte LCD screens to the new glossy screen in the new MacBook. While purchasers of the new MacBook Pros can now choose from either matte or glossy screens, all MacBooks ship only with glossy screens. Users of the new MacBook already have noted that glare can be a problem with this new laptop in certain lighting. On the other hand, knowing that the previous 12" screen was average quality at best, perhaps this new screen offers better image quality, glare notwithstanding.

Overall, this new MacBook release was an excellent one, and I look forward to receiving my new MacBook soon.


Anonymous said...

I disagree with Apple warranting applause on this one. How can they in good conscious sell machines today that don't run or won't support their pro apps? They should have at least offered an ATI X1300 card or BTO option on the high end model. Instead they were kind enough to offer us a black version for $100 extra. It is an odd enough scenario to make me question that this was not once considered. Maybe some of want a 13" pro model and are willing to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

agreed, i wish they had an option for a better graphics card

this machine could have been a great one for aperture, but i'm guessing it will still be able to run aperature decently

i figure i'm going to get one as the pro version is too much more for what you get

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the previous comments - who would spend extra money on a macbook pro if it was the same spec. The fact that apple are giving consumers near professional end machines is commendable, but they wont make money in the pro market (where the money is) if pros can get away with buying cheaper machines. Save up for a pro. Who wants a 13" screen to do photo editing?

Anonymous said...

Apple does sell machines today that run and support their pro apps. And they make a good distinction as well as they give a good hint which ones are those. One could also complain "how can car makers in good conscious sell" cars that don't fit into their pro F1 racing. Yet they do and don't receive much criticism for that.

rcpuran said...

I can understand everyones frustration. I have done several benchmarks on the IGMA chipset from Intel. It is no ATI or nVidia however it is not a complete waste.

I just recieved my 13" MacBook and can say I am really pleased with it. The first thing I did was install Aperture on it and gave it test drive. I ran several tests against my 17" MacBook Pro. Both systems have a 23" Apple Cinema display attached to it for proofing.

There was a significant diffference in ares such as color saturation and sharpness. There were also differences in shading and highlights. The Pro far outways the MacBook. However when I worked on a few photos just with MacBook and took them to print the results were beautiful!

MacBook is great entry product for those users wanting to progress to more advanced use but without breaking the bank. After all I don't think Apple ever intended this MacBook to be for Pro users. It is a way to bring Core Duo power to more mainstream users.