iPad Air 2 more powerful than 1.1ghz Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by gusping, May 8, 2015.

  1. gusping macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    London, UK
  2. nearlycried macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2015
    To me it doesn't feel underpowered, but then I come from an old clunky HP laptop that was always lagging so I probably don't have the same standards of some Mac users.

    Its underpowered if you want to do crazy gaming, or editing or whatever.
    But I don't see why people focus so much on that.

    All I need my rMB is for web, email, writing and reading PDFs. PDFs are not as crisp in terms of scrolling as it could be but thats a issue that is prevalent on the pro's as well so probably just needs a update to fix it.
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    coming from a 2015 13" rMBP it feels just fine for what I do. In fact, I barley notice a difference. Certain things may take a second or two longer.

    I strongly suggest trying one and put the specs aside. Kinda like the iPhone vs. android spec wars. The iPhone 6 has specs similar to what android phones had years ago and look how well it performs.
  4. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    Not really. iPad Air 2 uses ARM processor where rMB uses proper x86 computer processor.

    In short, rMB is noticeably more capable than iPad Air 2. Thought iPad Air 2 is still crazy fast.
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    And the 1.2 is roughly as fast as the 2014 base model MBA. Synthetic benchmarks aside, I think you'd have to be Mr. Data to even notice a difference in ordinary run of the mill consumer applications.

    Unless you're doing some heavy lifting, in which case you shouldn't have bought the nMB in the first place. While I despise car analogies, it would be like landscapers complaining that the Fiat 500 doesn't meet their needs as a work vehicle. Duh.
  6. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    The iPhone 6 has 75% of the power of the rMB.

    A Fiat 500 doesn't cost more or less the same as a Ferrari. :D

    I'd still have a rMB over any portable if i needed one tho. :cool:
  7. seong macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I remember watching a video on Youtube where the guy commented on how GB3 might not be optimized to test the Core M processors. That might be the issue. The rMB performs quite well despite many people's criticisms.
  8. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
  9. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
  10. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    iPad Air 2 is also Tri-Core, and rMB is dual-core. But it's not really a direct comparison - ARM vs x86 as people have said.
  11. Jetcat3 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2015
    Also, the 1.1 ghz Intel core M scores 2400 in single core which is quite a bit better than the iPad Air 2's single core score of 1800.
  12. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    I came from a 2011 MBA and it’s faster than that.
  13. Kiwi 99 macrumors regular

    Kiwi 99

    Apr 4, 2011
  14. tutux macrumors member


    May 4, 2015
    1/ do not compare two different type of processors. Bench are not the same. (Compiler specialised for ipad or generic x64). Will not deep dive into details but do not read this like this.
    Geekbench can be used to compare two cpu in a cpu intensive test. Not more.
    It's usefull now that turbos and heat can limit the power in mobile and notebook.

    2/ power is like opinions feels different from one person to another. Just go and giv it a try! It'll be easier than listening to people who will say:
    - way powerfull enough ... I use safari facebook and spotify
    - way too weak: i'm video editor and used a 15" rmbp before....
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think its an apples and oranges comparison. I'm surprised to see the iPad pull out a bigger benchmark, but given what OS X can do, and how iOS is more locked down/restrictive. I can't see how the rMB would feel underpowered.

    Its doing a lot of different things that the iPad doesn't have to contend with, and for the part people seem very happy with its performance.
  16. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    It gets worse for the MacBook. According to gfxbench which tests graphics performance the MacBook gets

    21.2 fps in Manhattan 1080p offscreen

    The iPad Air 2 gets 37.6fps in the exact same test running at same resolution Quite a big difference.


    What do you mean by proper processor? ARM processor are proper processor.s I think you meant proper operating system.
  17. Dekimasu macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    When the very first rMB benchmarks came out and they were showing single-core scores in the 1900s, people were understandably unhappy with performance and talking about comparisons to 2011 laptops. Those sorts of numbers are still the ones on the retina MacBook roundup page here.

    Now the benchmarks for the 1.3GHz are consistently above those of the 2014 Airs, and only 7.5% below the new Airs, and the narrative really needs to move on.
  18. Skylitfly, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    Yes I know ARM processors are proper processors. Don't take it so literally.

    What I meant that Core M inside the rMB uses Intel's x86 architechture and is specificly designed to be used in ultrabook type of thin laptops. And it's meant to be able to run and process proper software. Thats what I menat by "proper processor".

    Instead, Apple's A8X uses ARM architechture and it's specificly designed to be used in the iPad. It's meant to run iOS and iOS apps.

    Already you can notice that these two prcessors are meant for quite different tasks. They have different architechture. They have different amount of cores and so on. They are two completely different processors for two completely different scenario.

    If rMB used A8X instead of Core M just because some people here seems to think A8X is more powerful I would be crying. Because in real world Core M is noticeably more capable and runs circles around A8X when it comes to actual usability. That is the case at the moment and I don't think we will se significant change in direction for many years to come.

    Intel x86 for proper computers, ARM for other toys.

    PS. Apple allows you to upgrade the Core M inside the rMB. The 1.3ghz Core M is already leaps and bounds ahead of A8X and only a little slower than i5's inside 2015 MacBook Air.

    PSS. Single-core performance of Core M is noticeably better compared to A8X. A8X is clocked at 1.5ghz and even the 1.1ghz variant of Core M is noticeably better on single-core performance. Multi-core performance of A8X is about the same compared to 1.1ghz Core M even thought A8X is tri-core processor vs. dual-core Core M.
    1.2 and 1.3ghz variants of Core M are already get noticeably higher scores than A8X in both single- and multi-core tests.

    This should already tell you something about Core M capabilities.
  19. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    That's even worse and more ignorant than your first comment. Nothing stopping arm processor running anything an x86 processor runs. Apple can release Mac OS X that runs on arm and it will run fine. All software can be recompiled to run on Arm. It would take some effort for the change of course, but saying one is a toy processor and one is proper illogical.

    Goes to show how much you know. Core M has a thing called turbo boost. In single core tests the 1.2ghz processor can actually run at up to 2.6ghz. Not saying turbo boost isn't a good thing, just pointing out your assumption that core m is running at lower clock is wrong.

    Btw it is that turbo boost that gets the cpu very hot. Even though Intel lists TDP of 4.5-5w, when it is using turbo boost, it will use over 10w for short periods of time.
  20. darkgremio macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2011
    Different processor architecture, you can compare the two but each processor is constructed differently. The iPad resembles an arm-based processor that is designed solely for single tasked object (in an engineering sense, where the processor actually reads data translates to binary commands) While the intel M a typical CPU processor is built to read multiple binary commands at one time. With the more cores in the iPad the faster binary commands are translated, while an intel processor (CPU) can do multiple ones at one time, but it alternates, due to turbo boost or something to those sorts
  21. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Where do people get these ideas from? Any Arm processor can multitask fine. It is just an OS limitation. There are ARM Processors in laptops and servers.
  22. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2014
    For godness sake... Yeah, A8X or any other ARM could run the software that x86 currently runs IF the software was built and optimized for it.

    Yes, I'm aware of the fact that Core M has turbo boost and A8X hasn't. Still, it doesn't change the fact that even the base configuration Core M used in rMB is more capable than A8X and 1,2 and 1,3ghz variants are even better. A8X and ARM is not there yet, software for them isn't there yet, and Apple isn't there yet to make the change.

    We're not talking about what could be done, we're talking about the present. If you take look at the present you should immediately realize that Core M is noticeably more capable processor for rMB than A8X. Otherwise I think you're delusional.
  23. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Stop confusing processors and software when talking about CPUs.

    And I am completely right about turbo boosting. Core M runs at much higher frequencies for small tests like Geekbench
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    <opens door of this thread>
    <sticks head in>


    <quickly closes door>:eek:

    But to be completely serious, hasn't the emphasis of the intel mobile processor line for the last couple of years been more about power efficiency and battery life than about raw processing power? And if so, doesn't that really lessen the whole dispute about which one is faster?
  25. jeffg819 macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2006
    In real world usage by this "33 years since my first PC" user all I can say is its solid performance. Combined with the size and the screen, it's one of the best computers I've used given the context of its design.

    Think of it as a Moleskin computer. Very nicely made, very easy to carry around, and very comfortable to use. It feels like it will become an old friend soon.

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