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New Retina MPBs see modest gains: more for 15-inch than 13-inch

updated 01:34 pm EDT, Thu October 24, 2013

New MacBook Pros take the Geekbench 3 test

Both of Apple's new MacBook Pro models have been put to the test, and the higher-end model appears to show significant gains over its predecessor. Primate Labs ran both the 15-inch and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros through the Geekbench 3 benchmark tests, finding improvements in performance for both devices. The 15-inch model sees about an eight percent improvement overall, while the 13-inch rated a four percent all-around improvement.

The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro -- with its "Haswell" Core i7 2.8GHz CPU - managed a Geekbench sore of 2998. That was a gain of just 126 over the Early 2013 13-inch Pro and just 1142 over this year's MacBook Air. That is a two to four percent jump over the previous generation Pro depending on single-core or multi-core test, and just a five percent jump over the high-end MacBook Air in single-core performance. In multi-core performance, though, the new 13-inch Pro outperforms this year's Air by 13 percent.

Primate Labs notes that the slight performance jump with this year's 13-inch Pro is likely due to Apple's focus on battery life for the new model. The addition of Haswell chips for nearly every new Mac announced this year was aimed at lowering power consumption, not necessarily at significantly boosting performance.

The 15-inch model, though, saw a significant boost over the Early 2013 model. In single-core benchmarking, the new high-end 15-inch Retina model scored 3351 to the older model's 3062, a 10 percent gain over the older unit. Roughly the same jump was visible with multi-core tests.

The mid-range and low-end 15-inch models didn't see the same large jumps in performance over their predecessors. Those units saw jumps of only two to three percent over the previous generation.

Overall, Primate Labs rates the new units as only modest boosts over older Retina MacBook Pros in terms of performance. The improvements in battery life, though, along with improvements in graphics performance, are enough that they are recommended as a compelling upgrade for users with first-generation Retina MacBook Pros.




by MacNN Staff

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