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

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.

mba-march-2015-multicore
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.

mbp-march-2015-multicore

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.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13"
Related Forums: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Klae17 Avatar
85 months ago
Waiting for the quad-core sky lake 15in rMBP.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattopotamus Avatar
85 months ago
tick-tock always has seemed backwards to me. I would think tick would be the new microarchitecture and tock would be the improvement.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
85 months ago
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!
YESSSS! Because nobody needs bootcamp or Parallels compatibility with Windows, nor does anyone mind waiting a couple of years for OS X software by entities other than Apple to be re-written (AGAIN) to support yet another CPU (and now GPU) change, likely leaving a few important programs for some without a re-written upgrade. Just loved the switch from PowerPC to Intel back in '06. When can we go through that again (this time without a "rosetta" to keep third party software working until they can get around to re-writing their software again)?

Personally, I think Intel and the others are quite good (great!) at what they do. And the utility that comes from also using Intel is pretty valuable to me (some software that I need only exists for Windows and some client tools only work with windows). 2 fully functional computers in one case is quite great for those who need access to both.

----------

Out of curiousity how many ports do you (or anybody else reading this) use day to day on a notebook?
It's not always about day-to-day. Does your car have optional 4-wheel drive that you can use when you need it? Does your house have heat to use when you need it (in the winter) and AC to use when you need it (in the summer)? Depending on where you live right now, why do you have the other one (heater or AC) you are not using right now?

I like having standard ports for when I need them. For example, anyone buying this very portable, "only 2 pounds" laptop to take on the road for work will almost certainly need the ability to connect to some wired things. Ethernet is still very common- even when wifi is available. For me, I have both at the hotel where I am right now: the wifi is too slow to use but the ethernet screams-- glad I have the dongle for that one with me.

Just needed to print some airline tickets and that involved either plugging in a regular USB cable OR plugging in a USB drive to then plug into the printer (no wireless printing at this hotel). If I had this new MB with me, I'd need another dongle to do the same.

I put a few movies on this MB because I may have some downtime while flying or between flights. However, right now, I have some downtime in the hotel room. The HDTV has basic cable hooked up (glorious SD upscaled to HD for that blurry, "where's the HD???" quality). If I had the HDMI jack or HDMI dongle, I could connect and actually watch something I want to watch in HD on this HDTV (the hotel might even have a HDMI-to-HDMI cable I could borrow, but they certainly would not have a USB-C to HDMI dongle). Back home, no problem, I have the movie in iTunes and an AppleTV. But here is another one of those "when I need it" situations.

Back at home, I have everything wireless so I could get by with just one port for charging. But I'm not always at home or where I can depend on the same kind of setup. Instead- for work- I can be in all kinds of situations where there are no direct connections for USB-C (yet). Depending on "just bring an adapter" and/or "just bring a dongle for what you'll need" when you can't always know exactly what you need translates into having to bring ALL of your adapters and dongles so that you are ready for just about anything you'll encounter... OR just trying to deal with ultra slow wifi and/or not being able to print those airline tickets, etc. If a client has wifi access restrictions such that I can only hook in via ethernet, I'd have to have that ethernet dongle along. Etc.

I can't completely swallow the argument for "thinner & lighter" if the price of that is to carry along several accessories to make it work well for what was previously common uses of a mobile computer. Apple might as well move the battery and circuit board outside too to make the next one even thinner & lighter. It seems if they did, some of the faithful would help spin that as a positive as well: "Why does anyone need a battery inside? I just have mine plugged into the wall socket here at home."
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
x34 Avatar
85 months ago
Out of curiousity how many ports do you (or anybody else reading this) use day to day on a notebook?

several all at once:

-magsafe
-usb
-usb

+sd card here and there


--> 1 usb-c = LOL
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TWSS37 Avatar
85 months ago
Tick-tock...

Be careful, Katniss!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redheeler Avatar
85 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...