New MacBook Air Benchmark Reports

We know that many people are wondering about the new MacBook Air models. Are they fast enough? How will they handle applications like Photoshop or FileMaker?

Well, according to the benchmark results obtained by Macworld’s tests, the new MacBook Airs are faster than the previous versions — flash storage is fast, the flash storage capacity did not affect overall performance and the processor performance is much improved.

Macworld also tested the build-to-order options — the “ultimate” configurations of the MacBook Airs.  The team at Macworld found that the 13-inch built-to-order MacBook Air 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo (256 GB FS, 4GB RAM) was 20% faster than the 13-inch MacBook 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.

Looking forward to seeing more tests on the flash storage of the new Airs…

N.B.  Here’s how the Macworld team tested:

Speedmark 6.5 scores are relative to those of a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini (Mid 2010) with 2GB of RAM, which is assigned a score of 100. All Macs were tested with OS X 10.6.4. All laptops were tested with the standard configuration of RAM except where noted. We duplicated a 1GB file, created a Zip archive in the Finder from the two 1GB files and then unzipped it. We converted 135 minutes of AAC audio files to MP3 using iTunes’ High Quality setting. In iMovie ’09, we imported a camera archive and exported it to iTunes using the Mobile Devices setting. We ran a Timedemo at 1024-by-768 with 4X anti-aliasing on in Call of Duty 4. We imported 200 JPEGs into iPhoto ’09. The Photoshop Suite test is a set of 23 scripted tasks using a 50MB file. Photoshop’s memory was set to 70 percent and History was set to Minimum. For our multitasking test, we timed the Photoshop test again, but with the iTunes MP3 encoding and file compression tests running in the background. We used Handbrake to encode four chapters from a DVD previously ripped to the hard drive to H.264. We recorded how long it took to render a scene with multiprocessors in Cinebench and ran that application’s OpenGL, frames per second test. We ran the Evaluate Notebook test in MathematicaMark 7. We ran the WorldBench 6 multitasking test on a Parallels 6 VM running Windows 7 Professional. We timed the import and processing time for 200 photos in Aperture.


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