2011 MacBook Air benchmarked; outperforms all 2010 MacBook Pros

“Using Geekbench as a baseline, the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air scored 2681 with its Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz processor while the 11-inch 1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo managed a respectable 2024,” Nick Marshall reports for Electricpig.

“The new 13-inch MacBook Air earned a Geekbench score of 5860, a bump in performance of over 100 percent compared to last year’s model,” Marshall reports. “The 11-inch MacBook Air was even more impressive, skyrocketing from 2024 to 5040 for 149 percent increase.”

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Marshall reports, “To put these benchmarks into perspective, the 2010 17-inch 2.67 GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro scored 5423. For £849 the 11-inch MacBook Air offers a benchmark on par with last year’s £2099 17-inch MacBook Pro.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple debuts new MacBook Air with Intel Core i5 & i7, Thunderbolt I/O & backlit keyboard – July 20, 2011


    1. … why? The MBP is not in the same class as the MBA. Give the MBP the same internals – well, mostly – and it will be faster. For example – a faster CPU and a small system RAM-“disk” … that’s all it needs. The GPU would be gravy.
      Now … how do I convince my doubting wife that our perfectly fine MacBook (no A or P) needs to be replaced? Hmm. Help me out, here.

      1. Arguments
        -It’s better to upgrade right after a line has been updated
        -Weight (close to 2 pounds less)
        -Speed (new CPUs, SSD, Thunderbolt)
        -Aluminum case instead of plastic

    1. Why? Did your 2010 MBP suddenly become slower in protest? 🙂

      My Late 2006 iMac is one of the oldest Macs that can run Lion. And it is driving the built-in display, plus a larger external display. Lion works surprisingly well on it (with all the “eye-candy” going on), and I’m sure Apple will optimize things a bit more over the first few incremental updates.

      Tiger -> Leopard -> Snow Leopard -> Lion\

      It’s been quite a good investment, although I did have to replace the original built-in hard drive recently (should have put an SSD in there).

      1. Me, too! — I just popped in a replacement 7200 RPM 1TB to my 24″ white iMac. The speed difference was worth the small price of the spinning drive and the fun of opening an iMac. My model might meet the minimum Lion requirements but it can still roar! (…and I don’t mean the fans). Got my money’s worth of fun and good times, that’s for sure…since my Apple II+ days…

  1. @FTB

    Don’t worry mate – assume you have an HDD. Change that for a SSD linked @ 3Gbps and trust me – you will see you machine fly again ;-))
    Geek bench and real world performance and 2 different things. Good indicator however.
    Old June 2009 2.53GHz C2D – Boot time from start of cog spinning on screen to live desktop – 4.7s !!!!!!! Had 256GB OCZ Vertex in and a finely tuned 10.6.8 System with 8GB RAM. Only just sold it…

  2. @FTB

    If you can’t afford a SSD, check out Seagate’s Momentus XT. It’s a 500 GB HDD married to a 4GB SSD. It transparently puts your most frequently read data onto the SSD. I installed mine yesterday when I upgraded to Lion, and it’s noticeably faster.

    1. I did that about a year ago by yanking the once or twice used SuperDrive out of my MacBook Pro. I also replaced the stock hard drive with an 80gb SSD, which ONLY holds my OS and apps. It boots up as fast as, and delivers data as snappily as an Air 🙂 Of course, it’s as heavy and bulky as always 🙁

    1. Geekbench only tests processor and memory performance. It’s not an overall test of system performance, and not a good indicator overall system performance. In fact, despited comments above, it doesn’t test drive speed or graphics systems. It only tests the processor and memory.

  3. The MacBook air is so limited, the ram you get can’t be changed, same with the hard drive and it has no optical drive (something that many people still rely on) and it is not as durable.

    1. Wow, I was all set to order a new MacBook Air, but after reading your scathing rational I’ve decided … yeah, I’m gonna buy a MacBook Air. You are an idiot.

    2. The solid-state drive in the Air *is* replaceable, and while you can’t upgrade the RAM, at least you can order it with 4 GB – that’s more than I can install in my “upgradeable” 2006 MBP.

      There’s no optical drive built-in, but you can use a super-slim external for the times you need it or share the optical drive from another computer on the LAN. I actually pulled the optical drive out of my MBP and put in a second hard drive – that’s how infrequently I needed the optical drive, and I’m not alone.

      As for the durability, the Air probably isn’t as sturdy as the carved-from-billet-aluminum Macbook or Macbook Pro, but in the past three years, has there been a rash of people damaging their supposedly-fragile Macbook Airs? I didn’t think so.

      The Air still isn’t a 100% replacement for the other MacBooks, nor is it intended to be. But with the recent updates, I bet it’s going to be “more than enough” for a LOT more people than before.

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