I just recently purchased a new Core2Duo 15″ MacBook Pro to replace the CoreDuo 15″ MacBook Pro that I bought last year. While one could look at this as a testament to my pronounced level of nerdery, I prefer a different explanation: Aperture performance.
The MBP that I had before was one of the very first ones to roll off the line and it was extremely flaky. It had the noisy screen problem, exhibited really weird, random crashes, would wake up after I closed the lid, and on and on. It was also not a great Aperture machine. Though it had the exact same specs and video card as the 17″ MacBook Pro, as Derrick Story and I discovered one day, the 17″ machine was noticably faster when running Aperture. The most reasonable explanation that I’ve heard for this difference is that Apple underclocked the video card on the original 15″ MacBook Pro due to heat issues.
When the new machine came out, I was very excited to see both the faster processor, and an improved video card. Asking Apple directly if video performance would be better yielded very promising answers. So, I finally bought the new machine. So far, Aperture is indeed peppier than on the old machine, but I haven’t had the chance to take it out in the field for serious Aperture work.
However, in the process of upgrading, I did discover something about the Aperture 1.5 installation disk: it doesn’t include the camera updater that adds support for numerous cameras such as the Nikon D80. I found myself out shooting with a D80 and my MBP one day after I’d set up the machine, but with no way to view my images within Aperture.
So, if you find yourself re-installing or installing for the first time on a new machine, don’t forget to grab the updater even if you’re using a 1.5 installation disc.