Ask Apple Matters: MacBook Pro 2.0 or 2.16Ghz?

by Aaron Wright Aug 28, 2006

A sad story to tell this week as one user, Nemin, has recently had his PowerBook G4 stolen. Of course things could have been a lot worse for him, but losing a computer can be quite painful for many, especially if your business or school rely on you to have that computer. However, he seems to have gotten over the worst and is now on the prowl for a replacement, the MacBook Pro.

I’m sure many potential Mac buyers will wonder where the difference lies between the MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz and 2.16Ghz versions, especially with a $500 price tag increase on the latter. For many it’s a case of what they’ll want the system for, which at the end of the day, can only be decided by the buyers themselves. But this week Haye321 and myself give a little buying advice.

Question Of The Week


Hi guys, on Saturday someone stole my 15-inch PowerBook G4. I’m still grieving but I’m already thinking about which Intel Laptop to buy. I already made up my mind, I want the 15 Inch MacBook Pro, but I can’t decide which one to buy.

Is there any noticeable difference in performance between the 2.0 and 2.16 GHz processor? Because there is a very noticeable difference in $$$ and I don’t want to buy something that I’ll never really use.

Also: Should I get the standard screen or the Glossy one? Which one is better??

Submitted by: Nemin


Submitted by: Haye321

I have a 2.16 and I say that it really depends on what you are going to use it for. And I also have the Glossy Screen and I can honestly say that it is a major improvement over the standard screen so you should definitely get the glossy screen.


Submitted by: Aaron Wright

Hi Nemin, thanks for your question.

There are a few noticeable differences between the two models that justify upping the price a bit.


  • The 2.16Ghz model has 1GB of RAM compared to the 2Ghz versions 512MB of RAM.

  • The 2.16Ghz model has a 100GB hard-drive compared to the 2Ghz versions 80GB hard-drive.

    And of course, the processor speeds vary a little bit. You’d only really need the 2.16Ghz model if you wanted a bit more ‘oomph’. When I first got my iMac it was fast but I noticed areas where it was slowing down a bit, especially when using Adobe Photoshop. I quickly installed another module of 512MB (upping it to 1GB of memory) and I have noticed a considerable speed difference since upgrading.

    You’ll have to work out what applications you’ll be using the most. If those applications require more power than most, then you could consider the 2.16Ghz, otherwise I’d stick with the 2.0Ghz version to save $500. The difference in processor speeds won’t make much of a difference anyway.

    With regards to the Glossy screen, I remember putting a new Sony Viao on display at PC World two years ago and it was quite a pretty sight. Other than what I’ve quoted below, the major benefit of having a Glossy screen is that they’re easy to clean, but from experience they pick up fingerprints all too well. Slap a “do not touch” sign on your computer and you’ll be laughing though.

    Anyway, according to the Apple Store

    Choose the glossy widescreen display to make your graphics, photos, and videos appear with richer color and deeper blacks — great for watching DVD movies. If you prefer a display with anti-glare coating for a matte rather than glossy viewing experience, choose the standard widescreen display.

    Both widescreen displays are significantly brighter than previous Apple notebooks. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is 67% brighter than the 15-inch PowerBook G4, and the 17-inch model is 36% brighter than the 17-inch PowerBook G4.

    By the way, I’m extremely sorry to hear about your loss of computer. I hope the above can help in some way.

    If anyone else has any tips of suggestions for Nemin, please feel free to log on and leave a message in the forum 2.0 GHz or 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro in our message board Ask Matters.

    Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forums and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of regular readers or even a member of staff. If you want a more direct answer, however, feel free to e-mail applematters.

  • Comments

    • Hi

      Sorry to hear you got your PowerBook stolen… horrible (my works was broken into in January and they took all my office Macs… never felt so sick I don’t think!)

      I have a 2.0GHz MacBook and it rocks… but with the stock 512 it was a bit gutless - upgraded to 1.5Gb it flies.

      I was not sure about the glossy screen but actually it is fine, yes it takes fingerprints really easily… avoid touching it as much as possible. It can reflect a bit but it is not the problem I feared it is really just a minor shift of you or it to negate it (indoors, never used it outside…)

      Can’t comment on the Pro options obviously, but more RAM is worth more than the small increase in CPU cycles in my experience.

      Serenak had this to say on Aug 28, 2006 Posts: 26
    • I have a 2.16ghz macbook pro with a matte screen. If you are a designer you MUST get matte to know what the colors really look like. Also, I have very sensitive eyes so glossy was out of the question(can’t stand reflections). Also a big difference no one else mentioned is that the 2.16ghz has twice as much video ram…128mb vs the 256mb. Personally, I would tell you spend more and get the 2.16ghz. I will tell you what I tell all my friends….buy now what you can’t upgrade later(or is a bitch to upgrade later). You won’t be able to upgrade the processor or video card so I say spend a bit more. I would also recommend getting the 7200rpm 100gb harddrive for another big speed boost. Whatever your choice definitely get the 7200rpm harddrive.

      Well I hope this helps you as I wish someone helped me choose when I was buying mine. Good luck and sorry to hear about the laptop being stolen.

      mynameisjesse had this to say on Aug 28, 2006 Posts: 12
    • The 2.16Ghz model has 1GB of RAM compared to the 2Ghz versions 512MB of RAM.
      The 2.16Ghz model has a 100GB hard-drive compared to the 2Ghz versions 80GB hard-drive.

      The difference between the two models is $500!  Not sure if that’s really worth another 516MB of RAM and an extra 20GB on the HDD.

      I think the video RAM might be an issue, but again, the price difference between the models is not insignificant.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Aug 28, 2006 Posts: 2220
    • I’d recommend you get a system the most VRAM you can afford.

      Leopard will likely see the activation of Quartz 2D Extreme, which pushes the entire rendering process to the GPU and caches pre-rendered bitmaps in VRAM.

      While Apple added a virtual VRAM system Jaguar, you’ll get a performance hit when VRAM is swapped to your system RAM (just as things slow down when RAM is swapped to your HD)

      The more VRAM you have, the better.

      Scott had this to say on Aug 30, 2006 Posts: 144
    • Hi guys, thanks for all the sympathy, I sure hope nobody has to go through the experience of having their laptop stolen, it’s a nasty sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach and through your spine when you first realize your pride and joy, the thing that sets you apart from all the other PC lemmings is gone, then you realize ALL of your school work was in that baby, all of your memories, pictures, videos etc. you realize you have to start from scratch.

      But I have good news, I already have, on my desk, the brand spankin’ new 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, I ordered it from the apple store online and it really flys, I made up my mind because, as an engineering student/gamer/amateur video editor I wanted the most bang for my buck and when you add the 100 GB disk, the 1GB RAM and other goodies, the price difference between the 2.0 and the 2.16 GHz was a mere 250 dollars, personally I think 250 dollars for an extra .16 GHz. oomph! is well worth it, I just hope they don’t steal my baby again, I couldn’t stand the loss twice.

      Nemin had this to say on Sep 03, 2006 Posts: 35
    • , the thing that sets you apart from all the other PC lemmings is gone

      Yep, you deserve pity alright.  Your personal identity, wrapped up as it were in a giant corporation’s slick product, was wisked away, leaving you a shallow, empty idiot of a shell.

      Glad to see all it took to get it back was a couple of thousand bucks.

      Beeblebrox had this to say on Sep 03, 2006 Posts: 2220
    • Hey…this is a wonderful website buddy and an informative post!!! i am new here and i found this site very interesting and informative ,, you are a professional blogger i think i have a great interest in such things…thank you for the post buddy and keep on posting nice stuff like this smile i am a student.
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      williamrichard611 had this to say on Aug 10, 2011 Posts: 12
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