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MacBook Air

Apple's thinnest and lightest.

May 29, 2008



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Performance tests

Performance tests will hardly interest people who buy this notebook. Centimeters, grams, and design are much more important here than megabytes per second and FPS. It's clear that, given the "player" hard drive and compact processor, even MacBook outperforms MacBook Air. So, you will hardly meet a user, who wants MacBook Air for serious tasks, like photo/video processing.

Below are XBench performance results - we compared MacBook Air with a mid-end MacBook (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB of system memory). Note: the rightmost column (the one with MacBook performance results) contains only numbers to save room - it uses the same units of measure as in the column with MacBook Air results.


MacBook Air MacBook
Test Score Performance Score Perf.
Total score 50.66 176.73
CPU Test 92.36 136.23
  GCD Loop 176.78 9.32 Mops/sec 280.94 14.81
  Float. Point Basic 82.96 1.97 Gflop/sec 135.78 3.23
  vecLib FFT 64.25 2.12 Gflop/sec 74.21 2.45
  Float. Point Library 99.68 17.36 Mops/sec 201.46 35.08
Thread Test 145.99 265.68
  Computation 140.76 2.85 Mops/sec, 4 threads 463.61 9.39
  Lock Contention 151.62 6.52 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads 186.19 8.01
Memory Test 134.21 170.36
  System 129.28 188.64
    Allocate 131.78 483.96 Kalloc/sec 299.21 1100
    Fill 118.73 5773.00 MB/sec 150.68 7326.42
    Copy 138.98 2870.62 MB/sec 168.80 3486.43
  Stream 139.53 155.31
    Copy 129.35 2671.58 MB/sec 146.26 3020.88
    Scale 127.47 2633.53 MB/sec 144.49 2985.14
    Add 153.38 3267.33 MB/sec 166.80 3553.18
    Triad 152.18 3255.55 MB/sec 166.60 3564.00
Quartz Graphics 100.92 182.20
  Line 104.63 6.97 Klines/sec [50% alpha] 173.05 11.52
  Rectangle 111.42 33.26 Krects/sec [50% alpha] 218.96 65.37
  Circle 90.36 7.37 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha] 175.55 14.31
  Bezier 100.39 2.53 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha] 178.06 4.49
  Text 100.18 6.27 Kchars/sec 172.90 10.82
OpenGL Graphics 16.39 25.45
  Spinning Squares 16.39 20.79 frames/sec 25.45 32.28
User Interface 126.34 240.18
  Elements 126.34 579.83 refresh/sec 240.18 1100
Disk Test 29.23 37.32
  Sequential 43.73 57.47
    Uncached Write 49.92 30.65 MB/sec [4K blocks] 67.55 41.48
    Uncached Write 59.77 33.82 MB/sec [256K blocks] 77.70 43.96
    Uncached Read 25.26 7.39 MB/sec [4K blocks] 32.38 9.48
    Uncached Read 66.12 33.23 MB/sec [256K blocks] 90.57 45.52
  Random 21.96 27.63
    Uncached Write 7.41 0.78 MB/sec [4K blocks] 9.62 1.02
    Uncached Write 70.82 22.67 MB/sec [256K blocks] 64.85 20.76
    Uncached Read 50.24 0.36 MB/sec [4K blocks] 66.70 0.47
    Uncached Read 76.21 14.14 MB/sec [256K blocks] 96.17 17.84

Prices

MacBook Air costs this much in the USA. You shouldn't expect prices for this notebook to drop much, or new powerful configurations to roll out. It has been presented just recently for a definite target audience that is ready to pay.

Pros:

  • Ultraslim
  • High-quality case
  • Full-size keyboard
  • Wide touchpad
  • Remote Disk (using an optical drive in another computer via Wi-Fi)

Cons:

  • Users cannot replace the battery
  • Only one USB port
  • No optical drive
  • Only one speaker
  • Low-capacity hard drive

Bottom line

It's a very thin high-quality and stylish notebook. Don't forget that it does not have a built-in optical drive, it's equipped with a low-capacity hard drive, it has one mono-speaker and one USB port. If it's not a problem to you, MacBook Air may be your choice. This product will especially attract users, who travel a lot (including planes), who do not work with resource-intensive programs, but who want a stylish and slim notebook to highlight their image and produce a good impression at presentations and business meetings.



Eugeny Myatin (evgeniy@ixbt.com)
May 29, 2008


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