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Intel's Iris Graphics Boost 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro GPU Performance by 50% or More

Apple's new 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro has seen some impressive performance gains with its new Intel Iris integrated graphics, according to several benchmarking tests performed by Macworld. The site compared both the entry-level and high-end versions of the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to an early 2013 Ivy Bridge model, which utilizes Intel's older HD 4000 graphics.

In the Cinebench r15 OpenGL test and the Unigine Valley Benchmark, the new Retina MacBook Pros saw frame rate improvements of 45 to 50 percent, and in the Unigine Heaven Benchmark, gains were even more impressive, at 65 percent.

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The GPU gains are in line with performance estimates provided by Intel in May, which suggested Iris graphics offered double or triple the performance of the Ivy Bridge Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Macworld also did several CPU benchmarks, finding an eight percent improvement with MathematicaMark 8 and a five percent gain with Cinebench CPU on the higher-end Retina MacBook Pro. The lower-end model saw just a one percent improvement on both tests over its Ivy Bridge predecessor. These improvements mirror early Geekbench results published earlier this week, which saw minor speed enhancements with the Haswell processors.

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Finally, Macworld took a look at the PCIe-based flash storage that was included with the newest Retina MacBook Pros, finding that the higher-end Haswell model with 256 GB of flash storage was 33 percent faster than the older Ivy Bridge model when copying 6 GB of files from one folder to another. The lower-end Retina MacBook Pro didn't fare quite as well, seeing no speed gains.

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To triple-check our findings, we ran Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test on all three 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros and found that the 500GB flash storage in new 2.6GHz model was more than twice as fast in the write test as the 120GB flash storage in the new 2.4GHz system, 710 MBps versus 315.9 MBps.

The read speeds were closer, with the new 2.4GHz's flash storage reading at 700 MBps and the new 2.6GHz reading at 733.9 MBps. The early 2013 2.6GHz Retina system had a write speed of 393.1 MBps, faster than the new 2.4GHz model, and a read speed of 451 MBps, significantly slower than the new low-end model.
Apple's newest Haswell-based 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros debuted on Tuesday and are currently available from both the online Apple Store and retail locations. Apple offers three different models, at varying price points that start at $1,299.

Top Rated Comments

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25 weeks ago
Still, 4Gb on the base 13-inch Retina is ridiculous.
Rating: 27 Positives
25 weeks ago
And probably decreases performance for the 15" :/
Rating: 16 Positives
25 weeks ago

guys !!! i need to know where i can be legitamly herd by apple when i say this whole COMMUNITY DISSAPROVES OF THE REMOVAL OF dGPU IN THE 15 inch !

its a serious offence to not even offer it in the options when you customize it. INTEL IRIS PRO SUCKS and is 6% SLOWER THAN THE nVIDEA gtx 650m let alone the 750. DO NOT BUY the base 15inch LET THAT **** TANK in sales so they remove it and put it back together the right way PLEASE @@@@@@@@


I love posts like this. If you only knew how little 90%+ of retail, and business alike, customers use MAYBE 1/2 of their machines potential you would realize why Apple does this. The fact is if you could get away with doing the same in your own business for the sake of any number of financial gains to be had you would, plus, like I mentioned, most people will never know the difference and there is zero that is hidden about it. If you want the higher end goodies, pay to play.
Rating: 10 Positives
25 weeks ago
Seriously?? $3000 for a 13" dual-core machine? More expensive than an expensive mobile workstation?
Rating: 9 Positives
25 weeks ago

It had to be a lot for them to take the card out of the Base 15" Retina. I was curious about that.


Eagerly awaiting the 15" benchmarks. Still can't believe they dropped the dedicated graphics from the base model.
Rating: 7 Positives
25 weeks ago
The new integrated graphics is great. For the 13". I wish they kept the 1GB card in the 15" baseline, for when 50% more integrated graphics just isn't enough.
Rating: 7 Positives
25 weeks ago
Intel has gotten much better at integrated graphics.

They are trying and they are succeeding.
Rating: 6 Positives
25 weeks ago

Seriously?? $3000 for a 13" dual-core machine? More expensive than an expensive mobile workstation?


What are you smoking? They start at $1299. Even the most maxed out ridiculous model with 16GB of ram and 1TB of flash storage is only $2699.

Anyway, is it just me or does it not seem like laptop/desktop performance has gone up very much in recent years? These don't bench much higher than machines from a few years ago. I know they have better battery life, but you'd think there would be just a little bit more in terms of CPU performance. I thought by now 13" machines would have received quad-core chips. I'd be all over a quad-core 13" retina. It seems like iPads are catching up really quick to the speed of these machines. The late 2013 base-model 13" retina has a Geekbench of 5362 and the iPad Air should bench around 2800, or about 10-15% faster than the iPhone 5S. So the iPad Air is about half as fast as a MacBook Pro 13". Pretty crazy to think about!
Rating: 6 Positives
25 weeks ago

guys !!! i need to know where i can be legitamly herd by apple when i say this whole COMMUNITY DISSAPROVES OF THE REMOVAL OF dGPU IN THE 15 inch !


Did you know that Safari has a built-in spelling checker?

BTW. Speak for yourself. I totally approve of replacing a discrete GPU with a quite speedy integrated one that costs a lot less and uses a whole lot less power.
Rating: 5 Positives
25 weeks ago
guys !!! i need to know where i can be legitamly herd by apple when i say this whole COMMUNITY DISSAPROVES OF THE REMOVAL OF dGPU IN THE 15 inch !

its a serious offence to not even offer it in the options when you customize it. INTEL IRIS PRO SUCKS and is 6% SLOWER THAN THE nVIDEA gtx 650m let alone the 750. DO NOT BUY the base 15inch LET THAT **** TANK in sales so they remove it and put it back together the right way PLEASE @@@@@@@@
Rating: 5 Positives

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