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Macworld posts MacBook Air benchmark results

When the new MacBook Airs were introduced, many were shocked to see a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor in the standard 11-inch model and a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor in the standard 13-inch model. Isn't that a step backward? The previous generation had either a 1.83GHz or a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor standard.

The folks at Macworld ran some formal benchmark tests on both the 11.6-inch and the 13-inch Airs, comparing them to their predecessors and even a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The results may surprise you. To begin, the Speedmark 6.5 score doubled when comparing the 13-inch 1.86GHz MacBook Air and the 2009 13-inch 1.86GHz MacBook Air (Speedmark is Macworld's benchmark test suite). Most of the gains were made over drive-based tests, as the new Air's flash storage was able to show off a bit. Duplicating a 1GB file on the new Air took 13 seconds; compare that to 69 seconds on the model from 2009. Likewise, compressing a 2GB folder was 21% faster on the new Air.

Other benefits include graphics improvements, despite the new Air's integrated subsystem. The nVidia GeForce 320M in the current Air produced over 3 times as many frames per second while running Call of Duty 4 when compared to the nVidia GeForce 9400M that's in the 2009 MacBook Air.

Processor-intensive tasks were also better on the current Air and the 13-inch model even out performed a 13-inch MacBook Pro when it came to drive-related tasks. Specifically, both models of the Air were faster in the file-duplication tests and compression tests.

There's much more of course, and we recommend you read the full report. In short, flash storage is a huge benefit, the battery life is improved and the current line of processors needn't make us cringe so severely.



When the new MacBook Airs were introduced, many were shocked to see a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor in the standard 11-inch model and a...