The first benchmark for the 2018 MacBook Airsurfaced on Geekbench today, giving us our first look at how the low-power 7W Amber Lake Intel chip in the machine measures up to the performance of other Macs in Apple’s lineup.
Equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y chip and 16GB of RAM, the benchmarked MacBook Air earned a single-core score of 4248 and a multi-core score of 7828.
As should be no surprise, it’s significantly better than the previous-generation MacBook Air equipped with a 1.8GHz Broadwell processor, which earned a single-core score of 3335 and a multi-core score of 6119.
It’s faster than the fastest Core M chip in the 2017 MacBook models, but not by much. The 1.4GHz MacBook earned a single-core score of 3925 and a multi-core score of 7567, while the base model with a 1.2GHz Core M chip earned a single-core score of 3527 and a multi-core score of 6654.
Compared to MacBook Pro models, it’s not too far off from the 2018 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor when it comes to single-core performance, but it can’t compete with the four cores in the 2018 MacBook Pro. That machine earned a single-core score of 4504 and a multi-core score of 16464.
It’s also slower than the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar that Apple still sells, which earned a single-core score of 4314 and a multi-core score of 9071.
- 2018 MacBook Air – 4248
- 2017 MacBook Air – 3335
- 1.4GHz 2017 MacBook – 3925
- 1.3GHz 2017 MacBook – 3630
- 1.2GHz 2017 MacBook – 3527
- 2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro – 4504
- 2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro – 4314
- 2018 MacBook Air – 7828
- 2017 MacBook Air – 6119
- 1.4GHz 2017 MacBook – 7567
- 1.3GHz 2017 MacBook – 6974
- 1.2GHz 2017 MacBook – 6654
- 2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro – 16464
- 2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro – 9071
Previous MacBook Air chips used 15W U-series chips from Intel, but the 2018 model is using a lower-power 7W Y-series chip, and there were some concerns about its performance relative to the rest of the Mac lineup.
Based on these Geekbench scores, which aren’t necessarily indicative of how these machines will perform in the real world, the MacBook Air is superior to the MacBook lineup at this time, but falls short of the base-level MacBook Pro, which is about right given its price point ($1,199 for the Air vs. $1,299 for the Pro). What the Mac lineup will look like if and when the 12-inch MacBook is refreshed remains to be seen.
Additional benchmarking results should be available soon, as the MacBook Air is set to arrive to the first customers on Wednesday, November 7, and MacBook Air reviews should come out before then.