The Aluminum MacBook uses the same unibody construction as the 15″ MacBook Pro and now has an LED-backlit display. The top-end 2.4 GHz MacBook also has a backlit keyboard. The Unibody MacBooks use new, more energy efficient versions of the Core 2 CPU: P7350 in the 2.0 GHz model and P8600 in the 2.4 GHz one. This CPU draws 25W, down from 35W in the previous generation, which means less heat and better battery life.
The Aluminum Unibody MacBook uses the new nVidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor, which combines 16 cores and all the support chips on a single die. Graphics uses 256 MB of system memory, which is a good reason to upgrade the 2.0 GHz model from the stock 2 GB if you’re running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later. It supports resolutions to 2560 x 1600 on an external display, a big improvement over the 1920 x 1200 of earlier MacBooks.
With it aluminum unibody construction, graphics processor, and excellent display, this should be considered the finest model in the entire consumer MacBook line to date. It definitely paved the way for the 13″ MacBook Pro, which arrived in June 2009.
However, it raises two questions: Why doesn’t it have FireWire like the other consumer MacBook models, and why is the base model clocked slower (at 2.0 GHz vs 2.1 GHz) than the consumer machine introduced at the same time?
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Both models include 2 GB of RAM and support up to 8 GB, although Apple says 6 GB is the maximum. An 8x dual-layer SATA SuperDrive is standard (this is the first Mac portable with a SATA optical drive); there is no longer a model with a Combo drive.
The new MacBook is available in two configurations:
- 2.0 GHz, dual-layer 8x SuperDrive, 160 GB hard drive, 2 GB RAM, US$1,299
- 2.4 GHz, 250 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM, otherwise identical to 2.0 GHz model, US$1,599
Build-to-order options include more RAM, larger hard drives, and a 128 GB solid state drive (SSD).
Although it is not officially supported, the Aluminum MacBook can run macOS Sierra using Colin Mistr’s Sierra Patch Tool. See our macOS Sierra page for more details and a link.
Following in the steps of the MacBook Air and consumer MacBooks, there is no FireWire port. For those who need FireWire in a 13.3″ model, the MacBook White is available.
Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display. Since all video RAM is now dedicated to the external monitor, you may have more colors available at higher resolutions. The MacBook is designed to run safely in closed lid mode, but if yours runs hot (perhaps due to overclocking or high ambient temperatures), you may want to open the lid when in closed lid mode: The screen will remain off and the computer will more readily vent heat from the CPU.
To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.
Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.
- introduced 2008.10.14 at US$1,299 (2.0 GHz, 160 GB hard drive), and US$1,599 (2.4 GHz, 250 GB hard drive, backlit keyboard); replaced by 13″ MacBook Pro, which adds FireWire 800 and an SD Card slot, 2009.06.08
- Part no.: MB466 (2.0 GHz), MB467 (2.4 GHz)
- ID: MacBook5,1
- requires Mac OS X 10.5.5 Leopard through 10.11 El Capitan, macOS Sierra via patch tool – see macOS Sierra on Low End Macs.
- Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
- Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
- 32-bit booting only; cannot boot 64-bit OS.
- 64-bit software is supported.
- OpenCL is supported.
- Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
- AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
- AirDrop is supported.
- Power Nap is not supported.
- CPU: 2.0/2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Penryn), soldered in place, no upgrade options
- Level 2 cache: 3 MB shared cache
- Bus: 1066 MHz
- RAM: 2 GB (using matched modules), expandable to 8 GB (Apple says 6) using PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM
- performance, Geekbench: 3139 (2.4 GHz), 2708 (2.0 GHz)
- Speedmark 5: 195 (2.0 GHz), 215 (2.4 GHz)
- performance, Xbench 1.3 (2.0/2.4 GHz)
- overall: 96.35/110.20 – 2.0 GHz 174.05 with SSD
- CPU: 136.05/130.30 – 2.0 GHz 142.57 with SSD
- memory: 161.23/183.12 – 2.0 GHz 161.18 with SSD, essentially unchanged
- Quartz graphics: 130.37/165.30 – 2.0 GHz 149.97 with SSD
- OpenGL graphics: 112.32/138.00 – 2.0 GHz 121.10 with SSD
- Hard drive: 31.89/40.34 – 2.0 GHz: 457.79 with SSD
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9400M with resolution to 2560 x 1600 on external display (Mini DisplayPort), supports extended desktop.
- VRAM: uses 256 MB of system memory, very likely uses 16 MB more with an external display (MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with same GPU work that way)
- Video out: Mini DisplayPort standard, VGA and S-video with optional adapter
- display: 13.3″ glossy 1280 x 800 18-bit 113 ppi color active matrix
- supports 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 640, and 800 x 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
- allows mirroring to external display and extended desktop mode
- Hard drive: 160 or 250 GB 5400 rpm SATA, 320 GB hard drive and 128 GB SSD optional
- SuperDrive: writes DVD±R at up to 8x, DVD±RW and DVD+R DL at 4x, reads DVDs at 8x, writes CD-R at 24x, writes CD-RW at 10x, reads CDs at 24x
- USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
- FireWire 400: none
- FireWire 800: none
- Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
- WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
- Bluetooth: BT 2.1 built in
- IR receiver: supports Apple Remote
- Modem: optional v.92 56k external USB modem
- ExpressCard/34 slots: 0
- size: 8.94 x 12.78 x 0.95″ (241 x 325 x 22.7 mm)
- Weight: 4.5 pounds (2.04 kg)
- battery: 45 Watt-hour
- AC adapter: 60W MagSafe
* Although Apple officially supports 4 GB of RAM, users early on discovered that 6 GB worked reliably without issues, and while 8 GB could be installed, if any single app used more than 6 GB, there were significant slowdowns. The Unibody MacBook will reliably support 8 GB only with the later version of EFI Firmware Update 1.4 (or newer) installed and Mac OS X 10.6.6 or newer. See Firmware Update Supports 8 GB in Unibody MacBook and Late 2008 15″ MacBook Pro for more information.
- The June 2009 13″ MacBook Pro value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.06.11. The new 13″ MacBook Pro has a lot to offer over the discontinued Unibody MacBook, but where’s the best value?
- The October 2008 MacBook value equation, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.10.15. Apple changed the entire MacBook lineup on Tuesday. How do close-out prices compare to the new ones?
- Mac Notebook Value for the College Student, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.08.20. “…Apple ‘Books represent the best long-term value for money spent, not to mention user experience….”
- Unibody MacBook works with 4 GB RAM, laptops fair game for border search, bigger netbooks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.10.08. Also 13″ MacBook Pro ‘what I wanted’, netbooks sales to soar for holidays, 1 TB of internal MacBook or PowerBook storage, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,294, and more.
- The Best Sub-$1,000 Mac Notebooks for Gamers, Dan Bashur, Apple, Tech, and Gaming, 2009.09.25. We have a tie for the best Mac gaming notebook below $1,000, and also four ‘Books that almost made the cut.
- MacBook with ‘Snow Leopard’ trumps $1,000 Windows notebooks, Dan Bashur, Apple, Tech, and Gaming, 2009.08.28. If you’re on a $1,000 laptop budget, hunt up a MacBook. If you need 17 inches, hunt for a PowerBook or early MacBook Pro.
- Protect your notebook against loss, theft, data loss, and security breaches, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.08.25. 10 percent of laptops are lost or stolen every year. Tips on preventing theft, securing your data, and recovering from a lost, stolen, or broken notebook.
- OS X 10.6 requirements, why Apple owns the high end, when to upgrade your Mac, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.14. Also Microsoft Word patent infringement, BackPack shelf for iMac and Cinema Displays, two updated Bible study programs, and more.
- OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for $29, run Windows on your Mac for Free, Update Breaks Office 2008, and more, Mac News Review, 2009.08.07. Also getting your Mac ready for Snow Leopard, Time Capsule doubles capacity, Picasa 3 for Mac, Bodega Mac app store, and more.
- New ‘Books have better displays, digital vs. analog audio I/O, Craigslist restrictions, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.07.15. Also three browsers – Opera, Stainless, and Cruz – compared, and installing Mac OS X from DVD on a Mac that can’t mount DVDs.
- Are close-out MacBooks a better value than the new models?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.07.14. There are great prices on previous gen MacBooks, new and refurbished, but the June 2009 models have lots to offer as well.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Intel’s promise fulfilled: More processing power per processor cycle, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.06.30. Apple promised improved CPU efficiencies when it announced the move to Intel in 2005. Three years of MacBooks show the progress.
- Importance of FireWire, replacement battery advice, RAM for WallStreet PowerBooks, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.24. Also what is IrDA good for? And reflections on Kodachrome, digital photography, and medium format cameras.
- Death of a Pismo, end of G4 upgrades, 13″ MacBook Pro assessment, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.17. Also ATA100 drives working reliably in Pismos and Eudora 6.2.4 functioning perfectly with Leopard and broadband.
- Low End Mac’s Safe Sleep FAQ, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.15. What is Safe Sleep mode? Which Macs support it? How can you enable or disable it? And more.
- The Safe Sleep Mailbag, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.06.15. Safe Sleep mode is enabled by default on modern MacBooks. How it works, and how to change how it works.
- 13″ MacBook Pro a Practically Perfect Replacement for the 12″ PowerBook, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2009.06.15. Except for being an inch wider, the 13″ MacBook Pro surpasses the 12″ PowerBook G4 in every respect.
- Odd MacBook sleep behavior, Pismo resurrection and upgrades, end nigh for Classic Eudora? and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.05.27. Also the end of the road for Lombard and G4 iMac CPU upgrades.
- Hackintosh Dell Mini worth it?, smallest external notebook drive, troubleshooting your ‘Book, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.05.26. Also Apple’s ‘student rugged’ netbook from 1997, reviving a ‘Book that won’t power up, some trackpad options missing on 10.5.7, bargain ‘Books from $179 to $2,290, and more.
- Mac ‘Book Power Management Adventures, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your ‘Book won’t power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- The importance of feel to the computing experience, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.04.21. Computing power is important, but a keyboard and mouse or trackpad with the right feel may have more impact on productivity.
- WiFi security advice, Unibody MacBook or white one?, deleting Mac apps, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 04.15. Also getting external Western Digital drives to work with older Macs and a PowerBook Duo prototype found on eBay.
- Unibody MacBook ‘an excellent successor’ to 12″ PowerBooks and iBooks, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.04.14. The MacBook is a bit wider and lacks FireWire and a built-in modem, but overall it’s a worthy successor to the Apple’s 12″ ‘Books.
- Can a MacBook replace a 12″ PowerBook?, safe wakeup for MacBooks, battery tips, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.04.10. Also one Mac user goes Windows, MacBook Pro keyboard and trackpad issues, Snow White on a MacBook, wireless USB, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,999, and more.
- My Apple laptops: Past, present, and future, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.31. Looking back at the WallStreet, Pismo, and PowerBook G4 while moving ahead with a Unibody MacBook.
- Getting settled in with the Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.24. Using a new Mac with dialup is made easier with the preview version of Opera Turbo.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn’t been without its problems – slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- Apple netbook rumors, two Hackintosh netbooks, 17″ MacBook Pro reviewed, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.03.13. Also why Apple needs an $800 MacBook, graphics issues, OLED coming to touchscreen Mac netbook?, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,999, and more.
- 17″ MacBook Pro reviews, Battery Update improves battery life, matte screen for MacBooks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.03.06. Also 17″ Unibody problems, MBA hinge defect, netbooks and notebooks merging, SSD upgrade service for MacBooks, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,999, and more.
- Unibody MacBook makes old MacBook Pro look old, MacBook cracks, OptiBay for Unibodies, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.02.27. Also netbooks don’t doom Apple, an Apple netbook won’t just be for cheapskates, 12,820 mAh battery in 17″ MacBook Pro, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,999, and more.
- MacBook design limits USB ports, Unibody audio prolem solved, G4 upgrades disappearing, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.18. How to get the headphone jack on Unibody ‘Books working again, no more dual 1.8 GHz G4 upgrades, and a letter of appreciation.
- First impressions of the Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.02.09. Construction is sold, size is just right, the keyboard and mouse require a bit too much pressure, and just two USB ports is impractical.
- No high definition iTunes video for you, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.11.19. The October 2008 MacBooks are preventing users from viewing some high-def iTunes content from being viewed on their external displays. Poor form!
- Used ‘Book value, overheating 12″ PowerBook, Target Disk Mode weirdness, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.04. Also Leopard breaks wireless printing for some printers supported by Tiger, and Unibody MacBook the right choice over polycarbonate MacBook.
- Charles W Moore going Intel with a Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.02.03. Although the 5-year-old 17″ PowerBook is just fine, refurb pricing makes this a great time to order a Unibody MacBook.
- Plastic or aluminum: What’s the better MacBook now?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.26. Last week Apple updated the polycarbonate MacBook with the same graphics processor as the Unibody MacBook. Which is more compelling?
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- MacBook keyboard among best ever, glass trackpad less than intuitive, TiBook desktop mod, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2009.01.09. Also $179 to change battery in 17in MacBook Pro, argument for an Apple netbook, MacBook Air SuperDrive hacked for any Mac, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,299, and more.
- How netbooks impact Microsoft and Apple, Tim Nash, Taking Back the Market, 2009.01.07. Netbooks are keeping Windows XP alive, which may slow adoption of Windows 7, and perceived value keeps the Mac market share growing at the expense of Windows.
- Apple’s half-baked support for DisplayPort, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2009.01.06. The DisplayPort specification supports audio, so why does Apple use USB to route sound to the LED Cinema Display?
- OS X on netbook guide, fast Intel X25-M SSD benchmarked, Woz joins Axiotron board, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.24. Also multi-touch trackpad update for Boot Camp, Nvidia’s ‘Intel-thrashing’ netbook GPU, Toshiba launches first 512 GB SSD, bargain ‘Books from $170 to $2,299, and more.
- Ubuntu Linux and Boot camp make it easy to create a triple boot Mac, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.12.24. Boot Camp makes it easy to install Windows on Intel Macs, and Ubuntu now makes it easy to install Linux to a virtual Windows drive.
- Notebooks and blackouts, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the power goes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keep working for hours and hours.
- Why DisplayPort is the video connector for the future, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.12.23. DisplayPort supports multiple displays, combines audio and video on one cable, and costs nothing to use.
- New MacBook trackpad takes some getting used to, Alan Zisman, Zis Mac, 2008.12.22. The large glass trackpad is a joy to use in many ways, but it can be frustrating for longtime notebook users and has issues with Boot Camp.
- 4 GB RAM problem persists after firmware update, TriBook concept MacBook, DIY Mac netbook, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.19. Also using third-party monitors with ‘Late 2008’ MacBooks, MacMagSaver protects MagSafe cord, $25 802.11g USB adapter, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air teething problems and firmware updates, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.16. Also Apple notebooks strong in weak market, CoolBook controls CPU frequency and voltage for cooler running, Logitech’s new Comfort lapdesk, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Unibody MacBook video problems, DisplayPort DRM loosened a bit, Mac netbook discussion, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.05. Also free licensing for Mini DisplayPort, the sexy clamshell iBook, Apple’s liquid cooled notebook plans, Sonnet FW 400/800 adapter, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- MacBook slowdown without battery, DisplayPort and DRM, 256 GB SSD, MagSafe solutions, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.26. Also Mac netbook prospects, laptop cooling table with 2 fans, solar notebook bag, hard shell cases for unibody ‘Books, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- Software to keep your MacBook cool, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.11.25. Heat is the enemy of long hardware life. Two programs to keep your MacBook running cooler.
- Netbooks tempting, cry out for Mac OS X, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.24. Netbooks are light, cheap, compact, and underpowered. One with OS X and a real Core 2 Duo processor would fly.
- DisplayPort copy protection, trackpad update, netbooks not to be taken lightly, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.21. Also Apple set for record sales, 4-finger gestures on original MacBook Air, MacBook Apple’s best consumer notebook to date, Cricket laptop stand, bargain ‘Books from $490 to $2,299, and more.
- Virtualization shootout: VMWare Fusion 2 vs. Parallels Desktop 4, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.11.20. Both programs do the same thing, but one runs Windows XP smoothly alongside Mac apps, while the other bogs down everything but Windows.
- Just right: Papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear MacBooks, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.20. Some people like small and light notebooks, others prefer huge desktop replacements, but the best value tends to be in the middle.
- OS X netbook not from Apple, one-third of notebook buyers leaning to Apple, Spaces made for ‘Books, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.14. Also Apple’s ‘special deals’ site, good-bye to a faithful TiBook, bent Unibody MacBook Pro, 10 hour battery for MacBook Pro, 6 GB RAM solutions and benchmarks, bargain ‘Books from $480 to $2,399, and more.
- Kensington Ci95m Wireless Mouse: Great battery life, smooth performance, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.13. Kensington’s slim wireless mouse is well built, works smoothly, has great battery life, and avoids Bluetooth pairing and wake-up issues.
- Refurb MacBook Pro value, MacBook too big to replace 12″ PowerBook, Pismo noise, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.12. Also installing OS X using FireWire Target Disk Mode, running Virtual PC under Leopard, and how to use filters in iCab.
- Targus USB 2.0 High-Speed File Transfer Cable helps offset loss of FireWire, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.10. Although it can’t replace Target Disk Mode, Targus’ $40 cable makes it easy to transfer files quickly between two Macs, two PCs, or one of each.
- Recent MacBooks support 6 GB of RAM, USB 2.0 faster in Unibody ‘Books, graphics shootouts, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.11.07. Also FireWire-to-USB, workaround for glossy screens, 3G MacBooks planned, checkpoint-friendly bags for new MacBooks, bargain ‘Books from $480 to $2,399, and more.
- Unibody MacBook the logical successor to the 12″ PowerBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.11.05. All things considered, the thinner, lighter aluminum MacBook is a worthy successor to the 12″ PowerBook beloved by so many.
- Best refurb MacBook Pro value, AirPort Card thermal issues, Opera vs. iCab, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.05. Also more thoughts on the lack of FireWire on the Unibody MacBook.
- MacBook Pro could use both GPUs at once, 9600M GT smokes 9400M for 3D gaming, new cases, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.10.31. Also MacBook Pro doesn’t support 8 GB of RAM, matte screen petition, spill sensors in new ‘Books, MacBook Pro reviews, hard drive vs. SSD benchmarks, bargain ‘Books from $259 to $2,399, and more.
- Debunking the Apple Tax, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.31. “…no one else is offering the quality of computer construction that Apple offers in the same price range.”
- The Unibody MacBook FireWire fiasco didn’t have to happen, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.10.30. Some are claiming that Apple had no choice but to eliminate FireWire with the new MacBook design, but Apple could have eliminated ethernet instead.
- One OS to rule them all, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.10.29. With Fusion or Parallels letting you run Windows at full speed, Mac OS X gives you the best of both worlds.
- No FireWire on MacBook a deal breaker, getting Pismo working with AirPort, and Pismo screen replacement, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.10.29. For those with FireWire peripherals, the Unibody MacBook falls short. Also fixing a Pismo that won’t recognize AirPort and replacing its display.
- New Unibody MacBook or discontinued 15″ MacBook Pro?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.10.28. The new aluminum MacBook is tempting, but the older MacBook Pro has so many more expansion options.
- Apple more green, new MacBook details, FireWire on MacBook petition, benchmarks, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.10.28. Also Nvidia controller inside new ‘Books, death of matte displays, MacBook Pro distorted video service program, bargain ‘Books from $259 to $2,399, and more.
- New Unibody MacBooks provide some reasons to buy an earlier MacBook Pro, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.10.27. While the new MacBook line offers some improvements, Rev. A fears and the lack of a matte display can make the previous design a better choice.
- Apple’s new production technology: Is it worth it?, Tim Nash, Taking Back the Market, 2008.10.27. Carving MacBook bodies from a block of aluminum simplifies production, increases assembly automation, and gives Apple a leg up on the competition.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here’s the simple process.
- Apple Trumps Microsoft in Making the 64-bit Transition Transparent to Users, Frank Fox, Stop the Noiz, 2008.09.18. To use more than 4 GB of RAM under Windows, you need a 64-bit PC and the 64-bit version of Windows. On the Mac, OS X 10.4 and later already support it.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly – but can’t if your Mac is off or asleep.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- Kensington Portable Power Outlet a great accessory for the road warrior, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.22. With three AC outlets and two USB charging ports, this compact device is a great way to have extra power outlets when you’re on the go.
- Free VirtualBox for Mac now a virtual contender, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.07.21. A year ago, the Mac version of VirtualBox lacked some essential features. Over the past year, it’s grown into a very useful tool.
- Win the depreciation game by buying on the low end, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.06.24. The worst depreciation afflicts high-end models. By buying a less powerful version, choosing certified refurbished, or picking up a used computer, you’ll come out ahead.
- 16:9 computer displays: Let’s not go there, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.06.17. “…there’s no reason our computer displays should match the proportions of our television displays.”
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn’t support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Windows on Macs: Three paths for integration, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.05.14. Mac users have three routes for running Windows apps: Run Windows using Boot Camp or virtualization, or use a compatibility layer such as WINE.
- 18 bits can’t display millions of colors, today’s magic is different from yesterday’s, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.04.16. Also more feedback on Mac browsers, slow dialup Internet, and a SCSI-to-USB 2.0 solution.
- 18-bit video inadequate, restoring AppleWorks speed, Macintosh display info, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.09. Also problems importing AppleWorks drawings and a damaged, unfixable mail database in Outlook Express 5.
- Millions vs. thousands of colors: What’s the difference?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.04.07. Once again Apple is being sued over a Mac that can display ‘only’ 262,144 colors per pixel, not the millions it claims. Does it realy matter?
- Mac again: Picking the right MacBook, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.02.27. The 5-year-old PowerBook needed replacing, but is the MacBook Air or the regular MacBook the better choice?
- Too few USB ports in too many Macs, developer Leopard ran on Yikes, Mac IIfx RAM heaven, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.16. Also Macworld Expo disappoints, Pismo a great field computer, using flash memory in vintage Macs, and Word vs. Pages for academic writing.
- Restore stability to a troubled Mac with a clean system install, Keith Winston, Linux to Mac, 2008.01.15. If your Mac is misbehaving, the best fix just might be a fresh reinstallation of Mac OS X – don’t forget to backup first.
- We need more than 2 USB ports in MacBooks, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.14. There’s something wrong when you can’t plug a flash drive, mouse, and printer into a notebook computer at the same time.
- External $100 Sony DVD burner likes Macs, Brian Gray, Fruitful Editing, 2007.10.10. The box and manual say nothing about Mac compatibility, but this 18x USB 2.0 DVD burner is plug-and-play (at least with Tiger).
- FastMac 8x SuperDrive and BurnAgain DVD: Fast and easy multisession disc burning, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.08. FastMac’s 8x SuperDrive upgrade is remarkably fast compared with older PowerBook burners, and BurnAgain DVD makes it easy to append files to a previously burned CD or DVD.
- Does a college freshman need to run Windows on a MacBook?, Al Poulin, My Turn, 2007.07.24. While you can run Windows on today’s Intel-based Macs, is there any reason most college students would want to or need to?
- Is more RAM more important than matched RAM in the MacBook?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.05.25. Other World Computing has benchmarked 15 configurations with six programs and concluded that more memory is better than matched modules. Are they right?
- 1 core, 2 cores, 4 cores, 8: How Much Difference Does It Make?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.04.10. Geekbench scores make it possible to compare the newest 3 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with the 1.5 GHz Core Solo Mac mini – and all the models in between.
- CrossOver: Run Windows Apps on Intel Macs Without Windows, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2007.02.28. If you need to run Windows apps on your Intel Mac once in a while, CrossOver may be the least expensive way to do so since it eliminates the need to buy a copy of Windows.
- Simple ergonomics for the road warrior, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.01.16. The benefits of external keyboards and mice, laptop stands, typing gloves, and anti-RSI software for notebook users.
- Parallels Revisited: Release Version Far More Polished than Beta, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2006.11.21. Parallels lets you run Windows or Linux without rebooting your Intel-based Mac, and it’s made great strides since the beta came out earlier this year.
- To AppleCare or not to AppleCare?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.11.20. Consumer Reports, which generally recommends against extended warranties, says AppleCare makes sense. But does it?
- Pre-2006 Software: The Big Reason You Shouldn’t Buy an Intel Mac in 2006, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.11.09. If you work with software that predates the Intel transition, you may be better off sticking with PowerPC Macs. And if you use classic apps, you definitely want to avoid Intel.
- Better laptop performance: What’s the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat, ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze – seven stands designed to keep you ‘Books running cooler.
- The Amazing Auto-muting Headphone Jack, Dan Moren, MacUser, 2006.07.01. If you have your MacBook’s volume muted and plug in headphones, it turns on the sound – and mutes it when you unplug the headphones.
- Drive matters, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.06.14. There’s more to picking the right hard drive than size, spindle speed, buffer size, and price. But how can a 5400 rpm drive ever outperform a 7200 rpm drive?
- Upgraded PowerBook vs. new MacBook: Which makes more sense?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.12. Especially for serious gamers, the older PowerBooks with their graphics processors and dedicated memory run circles around the low-end Intel GMA950 graphics of the MacBook.
- Power strategies for using your ‘Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you’re traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your ‘Book.
- Smart design and easy drive replacement will make the MacBook a winner, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2006.05.19. Although the graphics processor is far from state-of-the-art and the screen is very reflective, everything else about MacBook points to it becoming a huge success.
- Computer benchmarks and other baloney: Don’t expect 2-4x performance from Intel Macs, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2006.02.06. The Intel Macs are faster than the models they replace, but only with software written for them. With older software, they’re actually slower than last year’s Macs.
- Booting an Intel iMac from an external drive, Jonathan Rentzsch, TidBITS, 2006.01.30. Intel Macs use a different partitioning scheme (GPT) than older Macs (APM), so you can’t simply update an existing drive – your must repartition it with GPT.
- Comparing Apples to Apples: When is Macintel faster? When does PowerPC make more sense?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.01.29. Benchmarks show the Intel Core Duo flies through native code but plods through PowerPC programs. Will PowerPC or Intel give you the more productive workflow?
- Macintel stumbling block: Sometimes you need Classic, Jeff Adkins, Mac Lab Report, 2006.01.25. As nice as the new Intel Macs seem to be, the lack of any Classic environment makes it impossible for some people to upgrade.
- MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) – Technical Specifications, Apple
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