Real world speed tests: 2013 MacBook Air vs. 2012 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display

“The ‘mid 2013’ MacBook Air is a year newer than the 2012 MacBook Air,” rob-ART morgan reports for BareFeats. “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?”

“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,” morgan reports. “If you want a laptop that ‘peels rubber,’ as you can see from the graphs [in the full article], the Retina MacBook Pro is the ‘ride’ you’ll need.”

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morgan reports, “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… 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.”

Check out all of the benchmarks in the full article here.

Related articles:
Mossberg: Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air offers amazing, all-day battery life – June 19, 2013
TIME Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Pushes battery life to new, productivity-changing heights – June 19, 2013
ZDNet reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: The new standard for laptops, a stunning achievement – June 14, 2013
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Astonishing, astounding; Editors’ Choice – June 14, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Stunning 12+ hour battery life – June 13, 2013
Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Air: True all-day battery life – June 13, 2013
Why the MacBook Air didn’t get a Retina display – June 12, 2013
Apple brings all day battery life to MacBook Air – June 10, 2013


    1. Ok I’ll tell you,
      Ubuntu is just debian with a lot of useless knick knacks tavcked of (in a word unessassarly ponderous , well… ok that’s two), HOWEVER OSX (BSD/mach MC) totally outshines any linux distro (as does mono BSD) in terms of efficiency security and stability under load. In addition Linux is a resource-revision nightmare (unless you are content using older tested stable software)

      Windows? are you serious? Really? COme on…
      Windows was OK by the third revision of NT (NT5 in W2K) but has been going (seriously) downward ever since.
      At this point is is more of a joke than anything else, pick Deb or OS X you will be much better off.

      1. It’s hilarious every time when an apple fan boy makes the anti Windows/Linux comment…

        Windows 7 is pretty sweet and the same goes with the latest Linux distros. Would be cool to see real world benchmarks.

        1. Actually I am a late comer to the Apple party, more of a Unix fanboy (I went from engineering design visualization systems running on Mainframes and Mini’s to Unix workstations and then to professional compositing and finishing)
          When we started to use PC’s it was NT4 and then W2K and several Linux distros (we still use Linux (deb) on one of our render farms) however as I said MS’s “pro” Operating system has been in a downward spiral since W2K.

          Windows 7 is pretty sweet??? That’s funny, and really demonstrates how completely myopic your experience (or lack thereof) is.

          1. For sure, unix is great as well (as you know, this is what Mac OS is built off of). Don’t get me wrong, Mac OS is awesome, and I use it most of the time except when not possible (ie Visual Studio development, etc).
            As far as my experience of Windows 7, I would say I am an advanced user. I did not mean any insult with my previous comment. If I went over to a PC based forum, I would see tons of anti-Apple comments. Its just amusing some of the fan boy comments I read.

            My apologizes sir…

          2. so everyone with experience agrees that windows 7 is a joke? Last time i checked, people pick things based on preference. If an os was so crappy, why do so many people use it? You have to take in account that one os might be more user friendly, or maybe another one would pack more complex features.

            No os is perfect, but I can definitely say that windows 7 should not be discarded so easily..

            Btw, the majority of ppl don’t go into so much in-dept as you do, and are not fanatics or perfectionists about operating systems.
            Take in account for others.
            As a side note, im 14, and so far, windows doesnt look like shit on my side

    2. I agree DeltaNick. These Mac to Mac comparisons are pointless and ultimately like saying it’s the fastest Ford Focus ever built. We all know any new Macs will be faster than old ones and have longer battery life; it’s a given. Many people I know use their Macs as Windows machines at work, so I’m also waiting for side by side comparisons running Linux, Windows and OSX, pitting them against industry leading laptops.

    3. I think the REAL question is how these OS’s compare on the fastest apple laptop vs. on the fastest non-apple laptop.
      PC magazine says that the fastest windows laptop is a mac (15″ MBPretna) both for computation and gaming. Now that says something!

  1. They should compare to the 13″ Retina base model – a refurbished one is only $1,300 and is worth comparing. Of course the quad-core 15″ retina is faster – but hardly worth comparing.

  2. Those benchmarks aren’t so hot. The Air is actually slower than the older model on some of the tests. I can see a big leap on one of the tests for FPS, but that’s about it.

    Still, the a/c Wifi and long battery life are pretty good.

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