will the new macbook be faster than the air?

in Current Mac Hardware edited March 2015



I have a question that may sound dumb to those of you who are tech savy, but is not as obvious to me:


1)  Will the new macbook be faster than the Macbook Airs?


My understanding is that the latest Macbook Airs will have broadwell processors with 1.6GHZ turbo up to 2.7 and the new Macbook's will have the Mobile M 1.3GHZ Turbo up to 2.6.  With the new architecture, are we expecting the Geekbench scores to be higher of lower on the Macbook.




  • Reply 1 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,541moderator
    abirozy wrote: »
    1) Will the new macbook be faster than the Macbook Airs?

    No, they're both Broadwell parts but the Core M manages the same CPU performance as the last Macbook Air:


    The Cinebench score, which uses all the CPU power was 2.48. The 2014 entry Air scores 2.57. The chip in the link is a slightly higher model Core M 5Y70 in the $1599 model but there's little difference between them.


    The new Macbook Air will use the following:


    That gets 2.86 in Cinebench (15% faster than the Macbook).

    The big difference is in the GPU as you are comparing an HD 6000 with an HD5300:


    There's only one common benchmark there but it shows the 5300 at 60% of the 6000. Quite a large difference and even when you go back to the 2013 Air with the HD 5000, that's still much faster:


    Core M is closer to 2012 Macbook Air HD4000 graphics. Higher-end games won't be playable but it manages the 2013 Tomb Raider on low so for the odd game on low settings and casual gaming, it's ok. The newer Air looks like it will be about 20% faster for the GPU than the 2014 models.

    For prolonged usage, the fanless Macbook could cut the speed down further to stay cool but it's only about 5W like the iPad so maybe not - it shouldn't get any hotter than an iPad. It's a 4-thread chip like the i5 so shows up like a quad-core and with 8GB memory and 256GB PCIe SSD, I don't think there will be much slowdown for average users. The main thing people will notice about the Macbook vs the Air is how much lighter it is, how much better the display is and that it's always silent no matter what you do on it. The experience in everyday tasks, even CPU-based video encoding should be close to identical.

    If the ports don't matter and higher-end gaming isn't important and a slightly smaller screen size is ok (made up for with the resolution), I'd say this would be a better choice than the 13" Air because they are the same price for the same RAM/SSD.
  • Reply 2 of 3



    Thanks for the response.  I think for my uses (Lawyer who doesn't game and uses mainly for internet research and business) the new Macbook would be the better bet.

  • Reply 3 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,541moderator
    abirozy wrote: »
    I think for my uses (Lawyer who doesn't game and uses mainly for internet research and business) the new Macbook would be the better bet.

    I think so, the weight would be beneficial for carrying around alongside heavy papers. It would have been nice if Apple made a larger 14"/15" model to be able to read documents more easily but at least it has a high resolution so you can get a large workspace and text will render more sharply so it will look more like printed documents.

    For situations where you need to get data from a colleague, you'd just need a USB-C to USB-A adaptor so you can plug in a USB pen. Apple sells one for $19:

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