Mid-Range 1.2 GHz Retina MacBook CPU Shows Nice Speed Boost Over Low-End Model

Ahead of last Friday's launch of the new Retina MacBook, we saw several early benchmarks for the entry-level notebook running a 1.1 GHz Intel Core M processor, putting CPU performance for the new machine roughly on par with the 2011 MacBook Air according to Geekbench.

With the machines now available for purchase, we're starting to see Geekbench results for the mid-range 1.2 GHz processor, revealing a significant performance boost over the low-end chip for multi-core benchmarks, but less so for single-core testing.

It will take a little while for Geekbench results to firm up as the machines work through their early housekeeping tasks, but the best results we're seeing so far for the 1.2 GHz model are approaching 2600 on 64-bit single-core tests and over 5300 on multi-core tests. That performance compares to roughly 2400/4450 for the 1.1 GHz model, meaning that the mid-range model seems to be showing performance improvements at least in line with the 9 percent increase in CPU frequency. Multi-core performance in particular seems to be seeing a nice bump with the faster chip.

geekbench_1_2_ghz_macbook
These scores for the 1.2 GHz Retina MacBook are roughly in the same range as the low-end models of the previous-generation Early 2014 MacBook Air, despite the much lower power consumption that has enabled Apple to build an ultra-thin fanless design.

In addition to the 1.1 GHz and 1.2 GHz chip options, Apple is also offering a 1.3 GHz processor as a build-to-order option. We have, however, yet to see any Geekbench results for these chips, and shipping estimates for machines with these chips were at 3-4 weeks when Apple began taking orders on Friday, suggesting it may yet be some time before we see data on their performance.

Apple is taking advantage of Intel's latest "Core M" Broadwell chips for the new Retina MacBook. The chips offer extremely low power usage, but Apple is slightly overclocking these chips for higher performance. The low-end MacBook uses a 5Y31 chip that runs by default at 900 MHz but which supports overclocking to 1.1 GHz at the cost of bumping power consumption from 4.5 watts to 6 watts, and Apple has elected to use the faster speeds to improve performance.

The mid-range MacBook uses the 5Y51 chip, which defaults to 1.1 GHz but which Apple has bumped by 100 MHz to run at 1.2 GHz. The high-end custom MacBook takes advantage of the 5Y71 chip that is designed to run at 1.2 GHz, and Apple has similarly bumped this one by 100 MHz to run at 1.3 GHz.

The Retina MacBook is in very short supply following its launch last Friday, with all stock and custom configurations currently listed as shipping in 4-6 weeks from Apple's online store. The company's retail stores also have yet to begin stocking the new machines, although some (mainly in the United States) do have models on display for customers to test out.

Top Rated Comments

3bs Avatar
77 months ago
I still do not understand the selling point of this device.

It is more pricey than an Air and slower. Sure but has a nice screen but if there is an Air revision then it's expected to have the ForceTouch and also a Retina display.

The 256GB 11in Air + 8GB RAM is $100 less and much faster, and if you want a bigger screen then the 256GB 13in Air + 8GB is the same price. Both giving you more ports, performance, and the same battery life(11in Air) or more 13in).

I know I'm probably going to be based but unless you REALLY need USB-C or REQUIRE Retina on a sub 13in device I do not get why you would buy the MacBook. I'm all ears as to why ANYONE thinks this is the perfect device for them over the Air, but I have not seen a single person make that statement.

I do admit the Space Grey is sexy though.

I don't understand why people are trying to figure out why someone wants to buy it.

I'm getting it because I insist on having a retina screen and want something more portable than my 13" rMBP. I don't want to wait for the Airs to get a retina screen. I don't care about having 1 port. I don't do anything that needs a faster more capable CPU. Is this machine expensive? Yes but if I'm willing to pay that much for what it offers, why does it bother others so much?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anzio Avatar
77 months ago
Very nice machine.

Incoming: all the comments from people who are far from the target of this laptop.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
77 months ago
1.2 Ghz? What a joke. My 2001 Pentium IV was almost twice as fast at 2 Ghz.

Someone needs to get you an instruction manual.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alumeenium Avatar
77 months ago
Finally a Computer that's as fast as an iPhone ... :D
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TxExCxH Avatar
77 months ago
Very nice machine.

Incoming: all the comments from people who are far from the target of this laptop.

And who is the target of this Macbook? People with more money than brains?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MartinAppleGuy Avatar
77 months ago
Wow, even slightly faster than an iPad Air 2 :P
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...