Thursday, September 13, 2012

MacBook Pro with Retina Benchmarks

I was really impressed with the latest MacBook refresh so much so that I purchased the new 15" MacBook Pro with Retina a few months after its release. Owning a portable computer is a lot more convenient for writing and testing – far more than any tablet could be. (I do like using my iPad for reading, testing iOS apps and taking notes.) As I’ve done in the past let’s look at the benchmarks for this new computer.

The specs of my new 15” MBP w/Retina:
  • 15.4” LED display with 2880-by-1800 resolution 
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor 
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive 
  • 16 GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory 
  • Weight: 4.46 pounds 
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory 
  • Mac OS X 10.8 
  • 7 Hours battery life 
  • … and many other impressive attributes
First on the Windows side (I always boot camp my MBPs) I ran AS SSD Benchmark 1.6:

The new MBP has sequential read speed of almost 464 MB/s and sequential write speed of roughly 415 MB/s. If you compare those numbers to the MBP’s from two years ago with the 128 SSD you’ll see a big difference: sequential read speed was only 196 MB/s and sequential write speed was only 160 MB/s. For reference look at the post I wrote two years ago.

On the Mac OSX side things are a bit different in terms of how I can measure performance (SSD or other), so this time I used Xbench (without the thread test) and these are the performance numbers I got:

  • Overall results 207.40 
  • CPU test 236.61 
  • Memory test 590.69 
  • Quartz Graphics test: 156.41 
  • OpenGL Graphics test: 143.42 
  • User Interface test: 125.37 
  • Disk test: 599.37
I don’t have any comparison numbers on older MBPs with SSDs for Xbench. The closest thing I have are Xbench scores for my old 13” MBP with the following specs:

  • 13" MacBook Pro Core i5 
  • 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor 
  • 320 GB Hard Drive (I think 5400 RPM) 
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM 
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory 
  • Mac OS X 10.7
The Xbench scores for this machine are:

  • Overall results 137.52 
  • CPU Test 217.26 
  • Memory Test 535.29 
  • Quartz Graphics Test 322.97 
  • OpenGL Graphics Test 130.36 
  • User Interface Test 122.29 
  • Disk Test 54.91
The thing I take from these Xbench scores is the consistency of the quality of the components Apple uses (maybe I'm wrong since, technically I don't know much about the components). CPU and Memory scores are very similar across generations of machines. The major differences between my old 13” MBP and the new 15” MBP w/Retina are the disk scores and possible the graphics. I wonder why the graphics got lower scores on my new machine? Perhaps the new retina display is harder to measure?

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