2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks

Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with a scissor switch Magic Keyboard and faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, including a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3, 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5, and 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7.

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Jason Snell of Six Colors was provided with the mid-range MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 processor for testing purposes. In his first impressions article this morning, he shared Geekbench 5 benchmark results for this configuration, including a single-core score of 1,047 and a multi-core score of 2,658.

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We averaged Snell's results with ten other Geekbench 5 results to end up with a single-core score of 1,072 and multi-core score of 2,714, suggesting that the 2020 MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 is up to 76 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air, which was only available with an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 chip.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower starting price of $999, many early reviews of the notebook suggest spending an extra $100 on the Core i5 processor, as the base model is limited to a dual-core Core i3 chip. Geekbench 5 results for that configuration are not very consistent yet, so it is hard to paint an accurate picture of performance, but average single-core and multi-core scores are currently 849 and 1,685 respectively, suggesting that the new $999 model could be up to 10 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

recoil80 Avatar
9 months ago


Convinced my girlfriend to finally upgrade her MacBook Pro mid-2011! She's on board to get the i5, but would upgrading to the i7 for an extra $150 be worthwhile? Or a splurge to 16gb ram? Currently toward an i5 8gb model, and weighing what could be worthwhile for longevity. She is not a power user, but as you can see, she tries to keep her device for as long as possible. Thanks.

RAM over CPU if you can't upgrade both.
The i5 is only 50 more than the i3, but I'd spend the extra budget for 16GB of RAM before upgrading to the i7.
If I had to buy it for myself I'd go for 16GB and 512GB of storage, and at least the i5.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
9 months ago
Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard it before, mate. :(

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Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RightMACatU Avatar
9 months ago
Curious to see how the 2020 MBA compares to the 2019 13" MBPs
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
triangletechie Avatar
9 months ago
This further confirms how severely under powered the 18-19 models were. I briefly had the 2018 model when it first came out and I saw lots of pinwheels while using it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lambertjohn Avatar
9 months ago


proper cpu with proper thernals...not that joke of 2018 model without heat pipe and 7W cpu

I own that joke of a 2018 model and it's been a fabulous computer for me. Typing on it right now, actually pounding on it right now. Zero issues. Runs everything I throw at it perfectly. And I get an average of 15 hours of battery usage. I'm sure the 2020 Air is awesome, but so is the 2018 Air. I have no plans to upgrade.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ascender Avatar
9 months ago
Very interesting from a price v performance point of view - I suspect the i5 one will make quite a few people think about whether or not they really need a MBP.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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