MBA 13" 2012 i7: Low Windows 7 Benchmarks

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Antares.Star, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Dear Community,

    I have an MBA 13" 2012 i5 1.8GHz and i7 2.0GHz both with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD here for testing.

    Geekbench 32bit results under OSX Lion are: 6202 for the i5 and 7027 for the i7 which both is pretty fine, I guess.

    But Geekbench 32bit results under Win7 64bit showed the following: 5911 for the i5 and 4368 (!) for the i7. The slightly lower result under windows for the i5 seems to be ok for me, but such a low result for the i7 is astonished me and I am asking myself what the reason could be for that.

    Does anybody of you have made similar tests and maybe could provide their results? Or have somebody an idea why this extreme drop in benchmark results is for the i7 from OSX to Win7?

    By the way, I also ran the built in Win7 Benchmark tool which gave me the same strange picture: 6.9 Processor Score and 7.4 RAM Score for the i5 and 6.3 Processor Score and 7.2 RAM Score for the i7. The other results were the same for both machines.

    Thank you for your Feedback!
     
  2. macrumors G4

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    #2
    I haven't run Geekbench in Windows 7, but I can confirm that on the Windows Experience Index, the i7 CPU scored 6.3. It does seem a bit odd, but Windows itself seems to be running fine. Maybe run CPUID's CPU-Z application to see if the i7 is turbo boosting. Maybe it's something with the Boot Camp drivers.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Temperature / battery life

    Hi,

    give that you are so lucky to have both the i5 and the i7 versions :) would you be able to tell us something about whether there are any significant differences between the two in terms of temperature and battery life?

    Does the i7 gets hotter under normal use? Does the battery last a shorter period of time?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I think your guess was perfectly right. When I display the Core Speed of the i7 with CPU-Z while running Geekbench on it, it never goes over 1895MHz while the i5 in the same situation clocks to 2595MHz. According to the specs the i5 should turbo boost up to 2.8GHz and the i7 up to 3.2GHz, right?

    You think the reason is a problem with the Boot Camp drivers? I downloaded them online with the Boot Camp Assistant of Lion (Rev. 4.0).

    Maybe there is another interesting effect to mention: The i7 runs most of the time (maybe 9 of 10 seconds) with 1895MHz even when in idle and rarely steps down to 798MHz (maybe 1 of 10 seconds). The i5 instead runs most of the time (maybe 29 of 30 seconds) with 798MHz when in idle and very rarely steps up to 898MHz or 1298MHz (maybe 1 of 30 seconds).
     
  5. macrumors 604

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    #5
    Have you checked the advanced power options in Windows? Make sure that everything is set for performance.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Actually I did not stress test the two machines yet. But during installation and benchmark testing they both stay nicely cool - except a slim region near the hinge close to the bottom of the display gets a bit warm.

    I am sorry, I have no experiences about battery life yet, but maybe this can help you: The tests I read about the 2011 13" MBA showed almost the same battery time for the i5 and i7 models. I guess this won't change with the new 2012 models.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thank you very much for the tip. The above tests were run under the "balanced" energy setting. So I changed to "high performance" and run them again - unfortunately still the same behaviour.
     
  8. macrumors G4

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    #8
    Yes. Those are interesting results. I'll check tonight with CPU-Z. I downloaded the drivers from Boot Camp Assistant, as well. The only thing I can think of is that for some reason, Windows isn't activating the voltage step-up settings of the Core i7 but it is for the i5.

    The Core i5 3517U has a programmable TDP of 25W that operates the chip at 2.4GHz (vs. its normal base of 1.8GHz). The Core i7 3667 has a programmable TDP of 25W that operates at 2.5GHz. The i5 can turbo boost a single core to 2.8GHz while the i7 can boost a single core to 3.2 GHz. I'm thinking it is the middle setting that might be off a bit. If I can replicate the results (and I noticed it on WEI), I might send a bug report to Apple.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks a lot for the report.

    I was mainly interested in whether the i7 resulted in hotter temperatures and more noise (due to the fan) compared to the i5 in normal use.

    The price difference is not big and it should help with C++ compiling times (and the Windows7 VM), but I was mainly worried about the potential drawbacks...

    Thanks again a lot for reporting your findings! :)
     
  10. macrumors G4

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    #10
    Well, I just encoded a DVD in Handbrake 0.9.6 in Windows 7 64-bit. On my 2011, that would cause the CPU to go into Turbo Boost for much of the encode. On my 2012, according to CPU-Z the i7 never went above 2.0GHz and spent most its time at 1.9GHz. I reported this to Apple, and will also send a message to AnandTech.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Thank you very much for your investigations and doublechecking! On one hand I am glad, that you found the same effect (so it is not an individual problem of the machine I have) and on the other hand I am sad that we have to wait and see if Apple can resolve that problem.

    Could you please let us know then what Apple and Anandtech replied?

    Thank you very much again!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    goinskiing

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    #12
  13. macrumors member

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    #13
    Hi, since you have both i5 and i7, can you tell me if you feel any difference in just normal use? Like web browsing, watching video, playing some light games, viewing multiple excel/word/pdf and stuff like that? Like can you feel the i7 being faster in those tasks and if you think its worth the upgrade?:p

    Thanks
     
  14. macrumors G4

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    #14
    Anand told me last Friday that he'd look into it over the weekend for his upcoming review. We'll see what happens.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Hi, I am very sorry, I sent the i5 back already and kept only the i7.
    But as I remember, the two versions were equal in terms of reactivity when I was starting them up, browsing the web, reading/answering emails or working on text or spreadsheet documents. However, I did not do some heavy workload tasks with them so far like video editing, gaming or things like that. I would assume that this is the kind of work where the computing power will make a difference. Hopefully the professional tests from Anandtech or others can tell us more about that. For me there was no remarkable difference between the two machines just doing office tasks.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    goinskiing

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    #16
    I wish this issue would get more notice on the front page or even page 2. The performance difference in windows is definitely noticeable. Does anybody know of any workarounds, I couldn't seem to find any from a google search.
     
  17. 3bs
    macrumors 603

    3bs

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    #17
    I apologize that this is a bit off topic but I have a quick and simple question which might sound a bit stupid. Is it possible to install Windows 7 using a SuperDrive? I'm going to be using Boot Camp and I've never done this before.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Yes, though I couldn't get this to work on my MBA with an "Upgrade" version of Windows 7 Ultimate
     

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