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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

REAL WORLD SPEED TESTS:
2013 MacBook Air
versus 2012 MacBook Air

Posted Thursday, June 20th, 2013 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

The 'mid 2013' MacBook Air is a year newer than the 2012 MacBook Air. It has a newer CPU chip and newer integrated GPU. Is it faster overall? And if the 2013 MacBook Air is the "Cayman" of laptops, how does its "lap times" compare to the "Carrera" of the laptops, the Retina MacBook Pro?

CPU INTENSIVE TESTS
(SHORTEST bar means FASTEST)

GRAPHICS INTENSIVE TESTS
(LONGEST bar means FASTEST in Frames per Second.)

GRAPH LEGEND
rMBP '12 = 'Mid 2012' Retina 15" MacBook Pro 2.7GHz Quad-Core i7 with GT 650M
MBA '13 = 'mid 2013' MacBook Air 13" 1.7GHz Dual-Core i7 with Intel HD 5000
MBA '12 = 'Mid 2012' MacBook Air 13" 2.0GHz Dual-Core i7 with Intel HD 4000

Both MacBook Airs had 8GB of RAM. The rMBP had 16G. The 2012 MacBook Air had 256G of flash storage. The rMBP and 'mid 2013' MacBook Air both had 512G flash storage.

INSIGHTS
The 2013 MacBook Air is faster than the 2012 for some CPU intensive functions.
The MacBook Air isn't a "fire belching dragster." It is designed more like a "hybrid gas/electric car" that balances power with long battery life.

If you want a laptop that "peels rubber," as you can see from the graphs, the Retina MacBook Pro is the "ride" you'll need.

The 2013 MacBook Air's GPU is faster than the 2012's most of the time.
The Intel HD 5000 is a clear improvement over the 2012 MacBook Air's Intel HD 4000. However, neither can compete with the Retina MacBook Pro's discrete GeForce GT 650M with its dedicated 1G VRAM.

As for the Motion test, even with 8G of RAM, the two MacBook Airs could only render half of the 600 frame Atmospheric sample project in memory.

Get the 2013.
If you are trying to decide between a refurbished 2012 MacBook Air and a new 2013 MacBook Air, I say the 2013 is worth the extra dough. Not only is it faster in most CPU and GPU intensive tasks, but it has a much faster solid state storage, longer battery life, and 802.11ac WiFi support.

Comments? Suggestions? Email , mad scientist.
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WHERE TO BUY NEW APPLE PRODUCTS
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WHERE TO BUY FACTORY REFURBISHED MACS
Apple Store USA has refurbished Macs with 12 month warranty that can be extended to 36 months with AppleCare.

WHERE TO BUY USB 3.0 BUS POWERED EXTERNAL STORAGE

  • The FirmTek MiniSwap/U3 is a fast and versatile USB 3.0 trayless enclosure that accepts various thicknesses of 2.5" SSDs and HDDs.
  • The OWC Envoy Pro EX with an Aura Pro SSD is a fast and compact USB 3.0 storage device.
  • The Angelbird SSD2Go is a fast, compact USB 3.0 storage device that comes in single and twin SSD configurations that can be custom ordered in up to 64 color combinations.

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copyright 2013 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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