Can you get 2011 MBP performance in a 2015 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by darcyf, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. darcyf macrumors 6502

    darcyf

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    Wondering if anyone knows of any benchmarks published online that show a late 2011 MacBook Pro against a 2015 MacBook Air.

    I use my Pro for freelance video editing part time, but the projects are fairly basic. The most processor-intensive work is transcoding camera footage into ProRes upon import, and then later when I export just spitting out a ProRes master and encoding for the web with MPEG Streamclip.

    I'm satisfied with the speed of my MBP for this, but the size of this thing is a bit more for everything else I do, which is mostly writing. So I'd like to replace it with a MBA - just so long as I can get similar performance out of it compared to what I'm currently used to.

    I know the clock speeds can't compare, but in terms of architecture we're talking about a four year leap in CPU technology. With turboboost, could a 2015 Air i7 compare to a 2011 Pro i7 when doing processor intensive stuff like transcoding?

    The Air has an advantage with a built in SSD drive - not so much of a help with transcoding since I work with external drives for that, anyway, but in terms of general performance within FCPX, I'm thinking this might be a boon.

    My Pro has 16GB of ram where the Air can only go to 8GB. But for the type of editing I do, I'm not sure how much the extra 8GBs really come into play.

    Selling my Pro wouldn't cover all the costs of the new Air, but I'd be willing to pay the extra money for the added convenience the Air would bring to the rest of my life.

    I've considered the 13" MBPr but I actually want to go 11" with the Air, plus I like the idea of having something that's even thinner than the current Pro.

    TL/DR If you have any info on whether or not the 2015 MacBook Air can perform as good or better than the late 2011 MacBook Pro, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  2. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2

    Was the 2011 model a quad core i7 (a 15 or 17" model)? If it was, the answer is no, you can't even come close. If it was the dual core (from the 13"), you can come pretty close or beat it in peak speed, though the thermal envelope will allow the MBP to run at higher speeds for longer.
     
  3. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #3
    Yeah, it's a quad core 15".

    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB

    Dang. But super helpful to know that. Thanks!
     
  4. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    In Geekbench your computer performs around 11500. The fastest 2015 Air is around 6900, so roughly half that. The individual core scores are nearly identical though, both just over 3000. The problem is that CPU performance hasn't increased all that much since 2011. Intel has focused on efficiency, so they get much longer battery life from slightly faster performance per core.
     
  5. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #5
    Interesting... I knew clock speeds hadn't changed much, but I figured under the hood the real-world performance gains were still significant enough.

    One thing I've considered is getting an Air for my "every day" Mac, and an iMac for my workhorse. But if today's CPUs aren't that much faster than my 2011 MB Pro's i7, then maybe I'm just better off getting an Air as mentioned but throwing an SSD in my MB Pro and keeping that as the workhorse.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Imacs are a different story

    They are quad core and desktop class so are a fair bit more powerful, an Imac with an i7 is some 60% better than your MBP. Take a look here for all your mac benchmarks...

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
     
  7. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #7
    Ah, so at every configuration class - say, ultra portable, portable and desktop - there are classes of processor that perform better than their more portable counterpart.

    In that case, maybe an Air for light stuff and an iMac for heavy stuff really is the way to go. Thanks!
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    yep

    That pretty much sums it up. Basically the desktop processor has more power available and more space for better cooling so can run faster for longer.

    Remember if you are looking at imacs then the i5 is quadcore, the i7 is quad with hyperthreading giving 8 virtual cores, however thsi si only useful if your software leverages virtual cores.

    I would look at the software you want to run and then spec what you need based on what that software needs to run to the standard you require.
     
  9. darcyf thread starter macrumors 6502

    darcyf

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #9
    My research suggests Final Cut Pro X does take advantage of hyperthreading on the i7, but finding specifics on the performance gains over non-HT i7's in FCPX is proving challenging.

    Seems clear an iMac would be a better bang for buck than a MBP for editing, and I always edit from home... so investing money in an SSD for my 2011 MBP seems like a waste when I could just put that towards the cost of a much more powerful iMac.

    This has been very helpful. Thank you!
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    for FCPX

    You will be better off with a better graphics card rather than an upgraded CPU but both of course is even nicer...
     
  11. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Get a Sandisk Exteme Pro or a Samsung 850 Pro, replace the crappy HDD and watch your machine fly. I bought a new 'old stock' 2012 Mac mini a few months ago and picked it over a 2014 for the reason that the 2014 only came with dual core. For video transcoding, the 2012 destroys the 2014.
     

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