2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks

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Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with a scissor switch Magic Keyboard and faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, including a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3, 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5, and 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7.


Jason Snell of Six Colors was provided with the mid-range MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 processor for testing purposes. In his first impressions article this morning, he shared Geekbench 5 benchmark results for this configuration, including a single-core score of 1,047 and a multi-core score of 2,658.


We averaged Snell's results with ten other Geekbench 5 results to end up with a single-core score of 1,072 and multi-core score of 2,714, suggesting that the 2020 MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 is up to 76 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air, which was only available with an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 chip.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower starting price of $999, many early reviews of the notebook suggest spending an extra $100 on the Core i5 processor, as the base model is limited to a dual-core Core i3 chip. Geekbench 5 results for that configuration are not very consistent yet, so it is hard to paint an accurate picture of performance, but average single-core and multi-core scores are currently 849 and 1,685 respectively, suggesting that the new $999 model could be up to 10 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air.

Article Link: 2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks
 

darkslide29

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2011
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San Francisco, California
Convinced my girlfriend to finally upgrade her MacBook Pro mid-2011! She's on board to get the i5, but would upgrading to the i7 for an extra $150 be worthwhile? Or a splurge to 16gb ram? Currently toward an i5 8gb model, and weighing what could be worthwhile for longevity. She is not a power user, but as you can see, she tries to keep her device for as long as possible. Thanks.
 

BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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Convinced my girlfriend to finally upgrade her MacBook Pro mid-2011! She's on board to get the i5, but would upgrading to the i7 for an extra $150 be worthwhile? Or a splurge to 16gb? Leaning toward an i7 8gb ram model. She is not a power user, but as you can see, she tries to keep her device for as long as possible. Thanks.
If she wants to keep it for as long as possible, 16GB of ram and an i7 is a must imo.
 

apparatchik

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2008
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Would love to have GPU comparissons and a benchmark of the i7 model, which might put it on MBP territory for some tasks.
 

Adoniram

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2016
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Fort Worth, TX
Wow, the single thread score is slightly higher than the base Mac Pro! (base Mac Pro single thread score was 1008, per this thread). I gotta say that's pretty nice for a $1300 $1100 laptop. (edit: realized you could get the base model and add $100 for the i5)
 
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calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
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Nice performance increases, but Intel is living on borrowed time with Apple. I think Apple is fed up with their delays and complacent behavior.

It will be interesting to see even more increases when/if Apple starts to produce their own laptop CPUs (ARM).

If that day comes, I think we will see, in addition to better compute performance, more efficient power (battery) utilization.
 

bsamcash

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Jul 31, 2008
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I picked up my 2019 Air new for 599USD (799USD sale plus 200USD gift card). Best Buy’s trade in value is 440USD. This is becoming a tempting upgrade even for my cheap ass.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2014
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Convinced my girlfriend to finally upgrade her MacBook Pro mid-2011! She's on board to get the i5, but would upgrading to the i7 for an extra $150 be worthwhile? Or a splurge to 16gb ram? Currently toward an i5 8gb model, and weighing what could be worthwhile for longevity. She is not a power user, but as you can see, she tries to keep her device for as long as possible. Thanks.
RAM over CPU if you can't upgrade both.
The i5 is only 50 more than the i3, but I'd spend the extra budget for 16GB of RAM before upgrading to the i7.
If I had to buy it for myself I'd go for 16GB and 512GB of storage, and at least the i5.
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
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London, UK
Convinced my girlfriend to finally upgrade her MacBook Pro mid-2011! She's on board to get the i5, but would upgrading to the i7 for an extra $150 be worthwhile? Or a splurge to 16gb ram? Currently toward an i5 8gb model, and weighing what could be worthwhile for longevity. She is not a power user, but as you can see, she tries to keep her device for as long as possible. Thanks.
I'd go for the i5 + 16GB at least - the i7 is only 100MHz more, which won't change the world, OTOH it'll add 10% to the price, for about 8% more performance (better silicon might turbo better and sustain clocks longer though). £200 for another 250GB of storage feels high, however the only upgrade is cloud or USB external, and 250GB will fill up otherwise.

However - I don't know the GPU difference between the i7 and i5 (or i3 for that matter), and that might also be a factor to take into consideration.

Quite a good deal in the UK, since the currency has collapsed against the dollar. £999 inc. VAT (20%), exchange rate is 1.17. OTOH the exchange rate is horribly low historically, and £999 feels a lot when a few years ago it would have been £799.
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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Curious to see how the 2020 MBA compares to the 2019 13" MBPs
Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 10.15.05 AM.png


Here is Geekbench for the 2019 MBP. Very close in single-core (1047/1034) with the MBP ahead in multi-core (2658/3988) by about 50%.

I do wonder how much multi-core scores even matter in low demand, day to day usage.

I have not seen anything comparing GPU scores though.
 
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