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Benchmarks Confirm New MacBook Air Brings Decent Speed Improvements, MacBook Pro Less So

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Earlier this week, we shared some Geekbench benchmarks for the Broadwell processors in the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the new 13-inch MacBook Air, which pointed towards speeds that were comparable to mid-2014 models.

At the time, we noted the results might shift once more data came in and the machines got past their initial housekeeping tasks, and Primate Labs' John Poole has now shared additional benchmarks for all stock versions of the new machines. The new data indicate that performance improvements may indeed be somewhat better than initially thought, though still relatively moderate.

On the new MacBook Air, both the default 1.6 GHz Core i5 chip and the 2.2 GHz Core i7 chip available as an upgrade performed somewhat better than their predecessors on the 32-bit single-core test, but there were more significant gains in the multi-core test for the higher-end processors.


According to the new averages, single-core performance increased 6 percent from Haswell to Broadwell. Multi-core performance on the i5 chip increased 7 percent, while multi-core performance for the i7 model increased 14 percent.

Due to the more meaningful jump in multi-core performance between the 2.2GHz Core i7 chip and the 1.6GHz Core i5 chip, Poole recommends that MacBook Air buyers go for the processor upgrade.
If you're thinking of buying the new MacBook Air I would strongly recommend the i7 processor. It has 20% faster single-core performance and 25% faster multi-core performance for only a 15% increase in price.
Benchmarks of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro showed slight gains over previous-generation models, but the differences were not quite as pronounced as on the MacBook Air. Single-core performance increased between 3 percent and 7 percent from Haswell to Broadwell, depending on the model, while multi-core performance increased 3 percent to 6 percent.

I have no recommendations regarding the processor for the new MacBook Pro. The performance differences and the price differences between the processors are roughly equivalent.
Intel operates on a "Tick-Tock" chip manufacturing model. Tock upgrades represent a new microarchitecture, while tick upgrades like Broadwell are generally an improvement on tock architecture, leading to improvements in efficiency. As a tick upgrade, the minor speed improvements Broadwell brings are no surprise. Intel's last tock upgrade was Haswell, and its next tock upgrade will be Skylake, coming later this year.

Apple's new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and new MacBook Air models are available immediately from the online Apple Store and from Apple's retail stores.

Article Link: Benchmarks Confirm New MacBook Air Brings Decent Speed Improvements, MacBook Pro Less So
 
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penter

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2006
600
29
now how 'bout them new MacBooks, eh?!

can't wait to see the results for those
 
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greenbreadmmm

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2007
273
242
yeah but what about graphics, thats all we really wanna know. can we scroll without lag? is it really up to 40% better...intel is boring these days
 
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mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,894
4,441
tick-tock always has seemed backwards to me. I would think tick would be the new microarchitecture and tock would be the improvement.
 
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Corrode

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2008
992
2,121
Calgary, AB
I wonder if the Skylake version of the MBPr will get USB-C. If so, maybe they'll sacrifice the Thunderbolt port for it eventually.
 
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Edgejr

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2008
25
0
[url=http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png]Image[/url]

Geekbench benchmarks[/url] for the Broadwell processors in the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the new 13-inch MacBook Air, which pointed towards speeds that were comparable to mid-2014 models.

What I really want to know is how the 13" MBA compares to the new ultra-thin MacBook. I want to upgrade my old MBA from 2009 and don't want to make the wrong decision. If the new MB has all the power and less caffeine, then that's the one I'll snag.

Thoughts?

----------

I wonder if the Skylake version of the MBPr will get USB-C. If so, maybe they'll sacrifice the Thunderbolt port for it eventually.

That's the other annoying thing about the new MB. One port. And more dongles to buy. Ugh.
 
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redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,518
I wonder if the Skylake version of the MBPr will get USB-C. If so, maybe they'll sacrifice the Thunderbolt port for it eventually.

Thunderbolt 3 will quadruple the speed of USB 3.1 and come with a slightly thinner connector.

Eventually maybe, but not anytime soon.
 
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sundog925

macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
939
937
Were there any updates to the NON RETINA macbook pro?
Im interested in getting a new one but not sure if its still the 2013 model.
 
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redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,518
Were there any updates to the NON RETINA macbook pro?
Im interested in getting a new one but not sure if its still the 2013 model.

No updates to that model since 2012, and there aren't likely to be any more.
 
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Mr Fusion

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2007
812
853
now how 'bout them new MacBooks, eh?!

can't wait to see the results for those
I'm waiting anxiously for those results as well. However if my current MacBook Air is any indication, it'll take Apple a few years to get that machine right.

Overpriced, underpowered. I'll take Revision B or C thanks. :cool:
 
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orangezorki

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
618
17
yeah but what about graphics, thats all we really wanna know. can we scroll without lag? is it really up to 40% better...intel is boring these days

What I really want to know is how the 13" MBA compares to the new ultra-thin MacBook. I want to upgrade my old MBA from 2009 and don't want to make the wrong decision. If the new MB has all the power and less caffeine, then that's the one I'll snag.

Thoughts?

----------



That's the other annoying thing about the new MB. One port. And more dongles to buy. Ugh.

Precisely. I guess that there won't be new MacBooks out in the open for a few weeks, but the graphics power is something that can be tested.

It's a little bit depressing knowing that my i7 2012 MBA is still faster than today's i5.
 
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saintforlife

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2011
1,034
325
Can't wait for the Skylake Core M processors and 720p FaceTime camera to make it to the retina MacBook 2nd generation in 2016. That will probably be my next Mac purchase.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,686
3,148
yeah but what about graphics, thats all we really wanna know. can we scroll without lag? is it really up to 40% better...intel is boring these days

If only Apple had the skills to develop their own CPU and GPU and really show Intel, Nvidea, AMD etc, how it should be done!
 
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Akarin

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2011
290
17
Nyon, Switzerland
Although I really like how the new MacBook looks, my 2014 MBA is the best piece of hardware I've ever owned in over 30 years. It is also a mature product without the youth defects.

Typically, this type of benchmark is pushing my finger to click on the "buy" button on the Apple store :p
 
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rhaezorblue

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2012
256
48
This is a narrow benchmark showing a single measure of performance. The SSD is insanely fast in the 2015 rMBP, the RAM is faster, 40% faster gpu, the track pad is nice, but most importantly there is noticeably better battery life over last years model. This makes the rMBP 13" a no brainier, unless you absolutely need a quad core for Professional video editing work, which I'm guessing most people here aren't. A few of you, sure. The broadwell i5 chips are very fast in real world usage, this mb pro screams. I have one i can attest to it :p

My two cents.
 
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gpat

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,002
1,304
Italy
If you're thinking of buying the new MacBook Air I would strongly recommend the i7 processor. It has 20% faster single-core performance and 25% faster multi-core performance for only a 15% increase in price.

Does anybody take seriously an advice of this kind in IT?
 
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