Update to White 13-inch MacBook Brings Better Graphics

January 21, 2009 | Chris Maxcer | Comments 0

By Chris Maxcer

Apple has updated its white entry-level MacBook to bring it more inline with its rock-solid aluminum unibody siblings.

whitemacbook-bigWhen Apple introduced the new MacBooks in October, it retained one of the previous generation polycarbonate MacBooks to anchor its low-end notebook line. Now, the white MacBook sports a boost in graphics to the same NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor that’s in the aluminum MacBooks.

The GeForce 9400M is a big step up from the previous Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics processor.

What’s more, the Apple beefed the default RAM up to 2 GB (though its the slightly slower DDR2 SDRAM vs. the unibody MacBook’s DDR3).

While the processor speed dropped from 2.1 GHz to 2.0 GHz, Apple beefed up the frontside bus to 1066 Mhz from 866 MHz (which should more than make up for slight processor clock speed drop). It also brings the processor inline with the entry aluminum model — it appears to be a consolidation of components issue for Apple.

Bluetooth is now at 2.1, too.

The remaining specs appear to be unchanged.

FireWire 400 Still Lives!

When Apple introduced the new unibody MacBook line, it was widely speculated that the existing white MacBooks would survive only as long as existing inventory allowed . . . or to at least get Apple through the holiday buying season with a sub-$1,000 unit to offer. Obviously, the white MacBook is still kickin’.

More importantly, with this update, customers with FireWire 400 hard drives — particularly those who like using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! to create bootable backups of their MacBooks — at least have a FireWire port to use on a newer MacBook.

Filed Under: Mac


About the Author: Chris Maxcer is editor and publisher of He's been writing about the tech industry for years. While he enjoys wicked cool gear and design, there's something to be said for turning it all off — or most of it — to go outside. To contact him, take a firstname.lastname guess at

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