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10-25-2010, 05:33 PM #1
New MacBook Air: Slow MacBook or Fast iPad?
According to early benchmark results of the new MacBook Air line, it would appear that tradeoff of speed versus portability is still significant but less dramatic than it was in previous models. Primate Labs, the devs behind Geekbench, took a look at the new 13-inch MacBook Air and found it faster than the previous Air models but slower than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The all-new "mini" MBA, though, is still way off in the weeds with its 1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo. However, tests don't take into account performance improvements from the flash drive and fast graphics card.
Geekbench is a set of benchmark tests that are intended to serve as a reasonable standard for measuring the relative processor and memory performance of computers running different hardware and operating systems. Primate Labs used their Geekbench Browser to aggregate results from the MacBook Airs that users had benchmarked so far. The results were interesting, showing somewhat improved performance, but still on the wrong end end of the price/performance curve.
Since the release of the smaller MacBook Air, pundits have been trying to figure out the target market for the new product. The 13-inch model seems clearly focused at power users who want a lighter, slimmer laptop. And in point of fact, the performance statistics are respectable, if underwhelming for the price: the top-of-the-line MacBook Air scores a 2695 as compared to a 3349 for a MacBook that costs $600 less, and a 3358 for a MacBook Pro that costs $300 less. The 11-inch MacBook Air, however, is a bit harder to classify: it's a small, light, and very slow laptop. Primate gave it their best shot, saying that there's "two ways you can look at the new 11-inch MacBook Air; it's either a much smaller but slower MacBook Pro, or a much faster but larger iPad." However, a significant caveat is that Geekbench focuses only on CPU and memory. Actual performance of the new MBA should be notably faster due to the improved access time on the solid-state drive and the faster NVIDIA 320M that the Air shares with the MacBook.
The bottom line is that the 2010 MBAs are still a niche product, mostly targeted at people who are willing to pay a premium for Apple's fit and finish. However, the formerly huge distance between the Air and the regular MacBook line has decreased significantly, especially when you take the flash drive into consideration.
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10-25-2010, 05:40 PM #2
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R U serious? Im keeping my old macbook air.
10-25-2010, 05:45 PM #3
I vote slow MacBook since it has the name and has proper OS.
10-25-2010, 06:39 PM #4
10-25-2010, 06:52 PM #5
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10-25-2010, 07:10 PM #6
Thread moved to Mac News.
10-25-2010, 07:21 PM #7
I think I'm going with the 13" with 4GB RAM
10-25-2010, 08:25 PM #8
I'd rather just go with 13 MacBook Pro..... All though it is pretty sexy looking.
10-25-2010, 08:29 PM #9
10-25-2010, 08:46 PM #10
10-25-2010, 08:47 PM #11
10-25-2010, 09:11 PM #12
Howabout a slow MacBook with no storage, seriously, 64GB?Name? whereswaldo
iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
Computer + OS? Dell Inspiron 15R 2nd Gen i5, 2.3 Ghz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM Windows 7 HP
Found yet? No
10-25-2010, 09:22 PM #13
What the article doesn't explicitly say is that because of the Nvidia graphics it benchmarks triple the scores of other 11" notebooks when doing graphics testing. Read this earlier today. Link tomorrow.
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10-25-2010, 10:12 PM #14
My coworker just bought the 13" air and brought it in to show it off. It's really quite a nice piece of hardware. Really light yet quite sturdy. Apparently it only takes 8 seconds to boot up from a complete power off, and it really is instant on after you put it to sleep. That being said, it's still a super niche product and quite expensive for what you get.
10-25-2010, 10:23 PM #15
10-25-2010, 10:26 PM #16False benchmark
Your using a top end MacBook pro vs the lowest rated MacBook air. Go buy the good one and do it agism.
10-25-2010, 10:34 PM #17
10-25-2010, 10:48 PM #18
I'll be getting the 11" MBA with 4gb of ram for Christmas. I played with one in the store and it was really fast. Hopefully it's fast enough to run windows using bootcamp.
10-26-2010, 06:16 AM #19
I don't really see the point of this benchmark. Did anyone REALLY think that the air was going to hold its own against a similarly priced macbook pro performance-wise? REALLY?
That said I think it's a little silly of Apple to even offer a 2GB (RAM) version on EVERY model. I guess low end is fine, but 4GB+ should be the base model. I got a macbook pro (when they were first introduced aluminum unibody and still called a macbook in the 13") and it came with 2GB of RAM. Doing some simple iMovie was often times painful with that thing until I upped it to 4GB. Even booting out of sleep to pop into firefox was occassionally a pain, and I keep virtually NOTHING running EVER.
Last edited by sziklassy; 10-26-2010 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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10-26-2010, 08:42 AM #20
Haha ya I really was curious for these numbers to come out before I decided to jump on one.