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CPU differences - Air and Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Melothe, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie


    I am buying a new macbook for work. The computer will do some heavy calculations, so I need a strong cpu but also would like a good battery life time.

    I was looking at a Air at first, but I am unsure how big the performance difference is between the 1.8 GHz of the Air, and the faster 2.7GHz for the Pro. I will have a 256gb SSD drive in both these configurations, and HD3000. So the performance difference should mainly be on the CPU.

    So can anyone give me specifics, I have tried searching for a good comparison between the CPUs, or Air and Pro's both with SSD drives, but have come up with nothing so far. What I mainly want to know if the higher price of the Pro (~300 euro) is worth it from the (significant?) increase in performance.
  2. Moderator


    MacBook Pro 2.7GHz i7 - 6887
    MacBook Air 1.7GHz i5 - 5940

    Difference: MacBook Pro is 16% faster.

    These are GeekBench scores, we will have to wait more for some real world benchmarks.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Thanks Hellhammer, so the difference isn't bigger. How can it be that the difference is so small, eventhough Pro has roughly 50% faster CPU? Is there a SSD on the Pro machine as well?

    I would also get the 1.8 i7 cpu for the air, that should make the match even closer I guess?
  4. macrumors 6502a


    SSDs do not come with the MacBook Pros
  5. macrumors 6502


    That's not true at all. First of all, you should be comparing the 1.8 i7 with the 2.7 i7. Now if you look at this, you can see the new airs are VERY competitive with the 2010 macbook pro 15/17's which is the same cpu as the current 13 mbp's. Go for the air, they will preform the same if not better than the mbp13.

  6. macrumors 68040


    My i7 Air scores 6846 on the 64-bit Geekbench test.

    Crazy numbers on an ultraportable.
  7. thunng8, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    You should be comparing both running 64 bit geekbench. The 2.7ghz i7 gets about 8200


    So about 39% faster

    Edit: results are all over the place, there are 64 bit results, 32 bit result and it also seems the different geekbench versions produce different results.

    Using geekbench 2.2.2 64 bit results i get:

    I7-2620m 2.7ghz: 8308 mbp
    I7-2677m 1.8ghz: 6902 mbair
    I5-2557m 1.7ghz: 6412 mbair

    Previous gen i7
    I7-620m 2.66ghz: 6829
  8. macrumors 6502


    To put that into perspective, my MBP 15 2.2QM with a intel 510 SSD only gets 10137. If i didn't need a 15 inch, i'd totally get the air.
  9. macrumors member

  10. macrumors 68040


    My old laptop was the 08 Air it scored 2353.

    When I first ran the test I thought it must be broken I reran it a few times and kept getting the same score. :)
  11. macrumors G4

    They are available as CTO options, or you can add a third party drive. However, Geekbench is CPU-specific, so SSDs shouldn't make a difference.

    Note that the HD3000 in the 2.7GHz Core i7 has a standard clock rate of 650MHz and boosts to 1.3GHz, compared to 350MHz and 1.2GHz boost in the 1.8GHz Core i7, so you'll get better graphics performance from the Pro, too.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for all the comments, I am definately leaning towards a MacBook Air. I will go to a applestore next week and have a feel on both of them before making my final decision.

    I am still very curious how it can be such small difference between the two CPU's. I have to admit I am a bit behind on the development of CPUs, but as I understand the new generation of CPU can be clocked dynamically on demand from the OS. Is this the reason why an approximate 50% difference in CPU clock speed still result in such relative small performance difference?
  13. macrumors 6502


    No. The 2010 MBP models do not have Sandy Bridge. The current 13' have dual cores vs. quad cores on the 15' and 17'.

    On topic, you should be fine with the Air, it's surprisingly powerful and since you want the 256SSD, also much cheaper.
  14. macrumors G4

    The 2011 MacBook Pros will outperform the 2011 MacBook Airs by a noticeable margin. The comparison graphs on Page 1 of the MacRumors site are comparing this year's MacBook Air to last year's MacBook Pro, which had the older Core i5/i7.

    Intel greatly improved the internal workings of the Core i5/i7 between this year and last year's versions. They really are two different chips that happen to share a name. The clock speed doesn't determine the power of a chip on its own. Think about two people walking at exactly the same speed between Points A and B. One person is carrying a large box and the other isn't. Which person can move a stack of papers more quickly from one point to the other? That's essentially what Intel did with the new chip.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    No..different vesions of geekbench get different results. Using version 2.2.2, thee is a 8300+ result for the i7-2620m, so an approx 20% difference

    It was mentioned in my post if you bothered to read
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Not to mention mixing up versions of geekbench. Last years mbp i7 in fact outperforms the macbook air 13 inch i5 model.

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