Apple MacBook Spring 2010 (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz review: Apple MacBook Spring 2010 (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz

The biggest under-the-hood change to the MacBook is that it now has Nvidia's GeForce 320M graphics chip. It's technically still an integrated GPU, and a close relative to the previous MacBook's GeForce 9400M chip. However, just as we loved the 9400, the new 320M is even better, providing decent 3D graphics and HD video playback without the need for a discrete GPU. In Call of Duty 4, we got 28.9 frames per second at the system's 1,280x800-pixel native resolution with 4x anti-aliasing turned on, and 48.3 frames per second at lower graphics settings without the anti-aliasing. In comparison, the current 15-inch MacBook Pro, with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 330M running at 1,440x900-pixel resolution gets 34.9fps and 59fps on the same tests.

With the introduction of Steam for Macs, there's never been a better time to be a Mac gamer. While it may not be perfect for hardcore gamers, mainstream users will find they can use the non-Pro MacBook for most current and upcoming games (provided the game publishers release an OSX version).

Juice box
Apple MacBook spring 2010 Average watts per hour
Off 0.26
Sleep 0.88
Idle 8.72
Load 33.83
Raw kWh 36.05
Annual power consumption cost $4.09

Annual power consumption costs
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Apple MacBook - spring 2010 - Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch - 2.4GHz
$4.09 
Asus U30Jc
$4.20 

Apple continues to dominate in our battery life tests. Thanks to a modest change in the chemistry of the sealed-in MacBook battery, the current 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro both last significantly longer than their predecessors did. This model ran for 6 hours and 27 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, while the fall 2009 MacBook ran for only 5 hours and 14 minutes. Outside of low-voltage Netbooks--and then even just a handful of those--it's nearly impossible to get a longer workday out of a laptop. The trade-off is that the sealed battery compartment means that you can't swap in a second battery, or replace an old battery yourself.

Apple still includes a one-year parts-and-labor warranty, but only 90 days of telephone support. Upgrading to a full three-year plan under AppleCare will cost an extra $249 and is pretty much a must-buy, considering the proprietary nature of Apple products. Support is also accessible through an online knowledge base, video tutorials, and e-mail with customer service, or through in-person visits to Apple's retail store Genius Bars, which in our experience have always been fairly frustration-free encounters.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

System configurations:
Apple MacBook - spring 2010 - Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch - 2.4GHz
Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz; 2,048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce GT 320M; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Apple MacBook - fall 2009 - Core 2 Duo 13.3 inch - 2.26GHz
OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz; 2,048MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VPC-Z116GX/S
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 M520; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M; 256GB Intel SSD

Apple MacBook Pro - Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch - 2.4GHz (Silver) OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard; Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce GT 320M; 250GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Asus U30Jc
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.27Hz Intel Core i3 M350; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M + 64MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

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Where to Buy See all prices

Apple MacBook Spring 2010 (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD)

Part Number: MC516LL/A Released: May. 18, 2010
MSRP: $999.99 Low Price: $3,999.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 18, 2010
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Color white
  • Weight 4.6 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) - fixed
  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M
  • CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz