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Is the Macbook Air slower than a Macbook Pro with the same CPU?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been reading tons of comments saying the Macbook Air is a poor CPU performer.

So, I'm wondering if I'm missing something, because the 2.13 GHz processor is similar to the processors in Macbooks Pro from 2009, and nobody dares to say that a Macbook Pro from 2009 is unsuitable for CPU-crunching tasks, such as rendering, finite element analysis, etc...

My question: Is the Macbook Air slower -for CPU intensive tasks- than a Macbook Pro with similar CPU? If affirmative, please tell me why, because I'm very interested.

If negative, I wonder where do all these comments about the Air come from, because the same people won't say a Macbook Pro with 2.x GHz Core2 Duo is unsuitable for CPU tasks.

Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

My question: Is the Macbook Air slower -for CPU intensive tasks- than a Macbook Pro with similar CPU?

Uh, yeah.

Quote:
If affirmative, please tell me why, because I'm very interested.

Three year old chip versus brand new chip.

Quote:
If negative, I wonder where do all these comments about the Air come from, because the same people won't say a Macbook Pro with 2.x GHz Core2 Duo is unsuitable for CPU tasks.

Compared to the new swath of MacBook Pros? SURE they will.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Three year old chip versus brand new chip.

I meant the CPU performance of the Macbook Air compared to the CPU performance of a Macbook Pro with a similar CPU, not with a brand new chip. If the MBA is slower than a MBP that has the same CPU, I'd be very interested in the reasons.

I found this page, with benchmarks that seem to show that performance of the MBA is similar to the MBP using the same CPU:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1552...enchmarks.html

Certainly the Mac user base has changed. Saying a MBA with 2.13 GHz can only be used for web browsing is like saying that a 17-inch MBP with Core 2 Duo can be used for web browsing only. Where did the PPC user base go? (I mean those who were still using G4 machines (and still didn't even update to G5 yet) for professional photography when Apple announced the move to Intel.
post #4 of 9
"Where did the PPC user base go? (I mean those who were still using G4 machines (and still didn't even update to G5 yet) for professional photography when Apple announced the move to Intel."

Not sure where you're coming from with this. Heck most of us just upgraded when a speed increase was warranted. For myself I just skipped the whole G5 thing altogether and made do with G4's until the Intel rollout occurred. Right now I'm waiting for TB and SSD's and peripherals to be affordable and then upgrade the whole studio because of the speed boost which hopefully will translate over into a productivity increase and generate a few more $$$. But I sure as hell ain't going to jump right now.

"Saying a MBA with 2.13 GHz can only be used for web browsing is like saying that a 17-inch MBP with Core 2 Duo can be used for web browsing only. "

That's all just spec whoreism by people. I really don't get any of that at all. Any of the machines on offer today can do very nearly anything (given IO constraints) some slower than others sure, but still pretty respectable.
Remember all the PS bakeoff's at the MacWorlds ?
Gone because they're redundant and meant very little back then anyway except to the few that simply had to have the latest and greatest no matter what.

I guess my point is that as a buyer you weigh up what's on offer and try and match that to your specific needs and your budget :-)
Sry - don't want to come across like I'm condescending but sometimes I feel people tend to over-think some of these decisions.
cheers
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

I found this page, with benchmarks that seem to show that performance of the MBA is similar to the MBP using the same CPU:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1552...enchmarks.html

The MBA chips are low voltage chips and they supposedly throttle down when they get hotter. This won't show up in short benchmark tests but will on CPU-intensive tasks.

I'm not sure if anyone has tested this to see the extent of the change but suffice to say, it will be slower than an equivalent MBP.
post #6 of 9
I thought the general consensus was that while the Air is certainly slower than a MacBook Pro based on specs, it actually feels faster to use because the SSD reads so much more quickly than an HD.

So that if you time out, say, rendering a video or doing a Photoshop action, the Air will lose every time. But in day to day use, for things like app launching, waking from sleep and UI responsiveness, the Air "feels" like the faster machine.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

I've been reading tons of comments saying the Macbook Air is a poor CPU performer.

...

You should reread Post No. 4 and take RobM's comments to heart. The Geekbench scores for a 2.13 MacBook Air are nearly double the score of my PowerMac G5 at home. My G5 can do anything that an Intel-based Mac can do except edit HD video. Not only is that MacBook Air substantially faster, but it will also slip into the lid pocket of my brief case. My PowerMac G5 is a somewhat tighter squeeze. The point is that each computer has its uses. Just because there are faster computers available does not mean that a MacBook Air isn't pretty darned fast in and of itself.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

You should reread Post No. 4 and take RobM's comments to heart. The Geekbench scores for a 2.13 MacBook Air are nearly double the score of my PowerMac G5 at home. My G5 can do anything that an Intel-based Mac can do except edit HD video. Not only is that MacBook Air substantially faster, but it will also slip into the lid pocket of my brief case. My PowerMac G5 is a somewhat tighter squeeze. The point is that each computer has its uses. Just because there are faster computers available does not mean that a MacBook Air isn't pretty darned fast in and of itself.

Agreed
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The MBA chips are low voltage chips and they supposedly throttle down when they get hotter. This won't show up in short benchmark tests but will on CPU-intensive tasks.

I'm not sure if anyone has tested this to see the extent of the change but suffice to say, it will be slower than an equivalent MBP.

According to a webpage I found (link at the footnote), this doesn't happen in Late2010 MBA, but on older MBAs. What this page says is:
Quote:
The older proccessors ran too hot and would automatically throttle down their speed to manage the heat. The new ULV (ultra low voltage) CPUs can stay full speed and still remain cool.

However, that page speaks only about the 1.6GHz processor, and I don't know if such affirmation is also valid for the 2.13GHz CPU of the late2010 MBA.

In case somebody wishes to read the whole page, it's here:
http://www.digitalintrovert.com/2010...hz-4gb-review/
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