MacBook Pro 2.8GHz [Aluminium 2008] full review

Whenever Apple launches a range of computers, it always offers customers a chance to upgrade components upon purchase. And the new unibody MacBook Pro is no exception.

Most Macworld readers would be more than happy with the MacBook Pro 2.53GHz, but some of us just want as much power as we can get.

The system we are looking at here is a MacBook Pro 2.53GHz that has been upgraded with a faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor, better hard drive and the maximum amount of memory.

It’s standard practice for Apple to offer customers to chance to upgrade processors, hard drives, and other components of its hardware line. These configure-to-order (CTO) systems are not generally found on the shelves of your local Apple Store; instead, you customize your order directly from Apple’s online store. The new MacBook Pro models released by Apple last month continue this CTO tradition, giving customers the choice of ordering a souped-up laptop.

We ordered a specially-configured MacBook Pro of our own. We believe this approach gives you a better idea of the type of performance bang you can get for spending the optional

As a refresher, the MacBook Pro models released in October feature a new unibody construction, DDR3 RAM, Nvidia’s Hybrid SLI technology which uses two graphics chips-a GeForce 9400M integrated in the motherboard plus a discreet GeForce 9600M GT. The standard MacBook Pro configurations we’ve already tested and reviewed come with either a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, and a 250GB hard drive in the £1,399 model or a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4GB RAM and a 320GB drive in the £1,749 offering.

If you don’t mind spending an extra £210, though, you can upgrade to a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor. Other options for the MacBook Pro include a faster 7,200-rpm hard drive (£34.99 off if you downgrade to 250GB of capacity, or an extra £35.01 if you want 320GB running at a faster 7200rpm) as well as a state-of-the-art (and expensive) 128GB solid-state drive that costs an extra £350.01 for 60 percent less capacity than the 320GB 5,400-rpm drive found in the standard 2.53GHz system.

We tested a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320GB 7,200-rpm hard drive (total cost: £1,994). As expected, our tests show this to be one lively laptop.

NEXT: Configure-To-Order MacBook Pro Tests

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