Primate Labs has released updated Geekbench benchmarks for the new 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, showing a modest improvement over the results of earlier models.

Single-core performance on the MacBook Air, which runs on Intel's 1.6 GHz Core i5 Broadwell processor, hit a score of 2576. This is 6 percent higher over last year's Haswell model, which scored 2419. Multi-core performance on the i5 model increased from 4653 to 5094, while the 2.2 GHz Core i7 showed a significant increase from 5477 in mid-2013 to 6251. The i7 model also showed a decent increase in single-core tests from 2851 to 3050.

"If you're thinking of buying the new MacBook Air, I would strongly recommend the i7 processor," said John Poole, founder of Primate Labs. "It has 20 percent faster single-core performance and 25 percent faster multi-core performance for only a 15 percent increase in price."

The performance gains were not as noticeable on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. On the 2.9 GHz Core i5 model, single-core performance peaked at 3111, slightly better than the 2943 scored by the mid-2014 model. The 3.1 GHz Core i7, on the other hand, had a single-core score of 3209 over last year's 3112. In multi-core tests, the i5 model hit a high of 6395, which is only 4 percent higher than last year's results. The i7 model fared slightly better with a 6 percent increase over last year's 6357.

"I have no recommendations regarding the processor for the new MacBook Pro," said Poole. "The performance differences and the price differences between the processors are roughly equivalent."

Earlier this week, Primate Labs released initial Geekbench results for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, showing speeds that were more or less similar to mid-2014 numbers. However, the results have changed a little bit to reflect the fact that the machines are now past the initial OS X Yosemite housekeeping tasks and are showing a bit more improvement than last year.

The modest improvements are not surprising, given the fact that Broadwell is considered an efficiency improvement in Intel's processor making model. The chipmaker uses a Tick-Tock model where Tock indicates a bigger microarchitecture upgrade to improve performance, while Tick is an upgrade to improve efficiency. Poole said he did not expect the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro benchmark results to increase significantly.

Photo: Dan Taylor | Flickr

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