Boot Performance

Although boot performance doesn't change substantially with the faster CPU, I did notice that the new system was posting better boot times than what I had previously recorded. My guess is all of my SSD torturing hadn't been TRIMed away before I presented the previous results. Either way the new MBA seems capable of a sub-12 second boot time. I even recorded some boots as low as 10.8 seconds. That PCIe SSD comes in handy for sure.

Boot Performance

Single Threaded FP & 3D Rendering Performance

These next two charts look at single and multithreaded floating point performance using Cinebench 11.5. This test also gives us the rare opportunity of comparing to some older Mac Pro hardware as well from 2008 - 2010. Single threaded performance remains extremely important to overall system responsiveness, so it's always good to look at.

3D Rendering Performance - Cinebench R11.5

Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything. We get near perfect scaling here, showing a massive 27% increase in performance over the default Core i5 1.3GHz setup. The single threaded performance of the upgraded 13-inch MacBook Air is almost able to equal that of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Anyone underwhelmed by Haswell should keep this in mind. What we're seeing here is a combination of IPC improvements and awesomely aggressive turbo, all within a 15W TDP.

3D Rendering Performance - Cinebench R11.5

The multithreaded story is a bit less impressive, but still quite good. Showing a 17% increase in performance, the 1.7GHz Core i7 delivers nearly the same performance as the 2GHz Core i7 upgrade from last year's MBA. The rMBP15 distances itself from the MacBook Air though - there's no replacement for more cores.

Video Transcoding Performance

Video transcoding is really best suited for the higher end machines, but that doesn't change the fact that it's done on MacBook Airs as well. We'll start by looking at performance under iMovie. Here we're importing 1080p video from a Nikon D7000 and optimizing it during import.

iMovie '11 Performance (Import + Optimize)

iMovie '11 Performance (Export)

We're showing ~25% reductions in import and export time here over the base configuration. In both cases, performance equivalency with last year's upgraded configuration seems restored.

Final Cut Pro X falls on the professional end of the video production spectrum. The test file is the same here, but the workload is far more strenuous.

Final Cut Pro X - Import, Optimize, Analyze Video

The same is true for our FCPX test. Last year's 2.0GHz model is about 5% quicker than this year's 1.7GHz Haswell ULT system, but obviously with the newer machine you get much better battery life. The improvement over the base CPU configuration is over 20% again.

Photo Editing & Export Performance

Our photo editing & export tests agree with what we've seen elsewhere. The gains here are north of 20% and put the i7 system within range of last year's 2GHz model.

Adobe Lightroom 3 Performance - Export Preset

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Performance

Xcode Performance

In our desktop review of Haswell I noted that performance in our compile test improved tremendously with the new architecture. As it's quite obvious that Haswell's IPC advantages don't surface all that much in our traditional suite, I wanted to see if perhaps things would be different in something that might lend itself better to Haswell's IPC improvements. I repeated our Firefox build test but under OS X. It's a multithreaded compile, with the number of threads set to 2x the number of cores (not threads) in a system.

Xcode - Build FireFox (-sjN, N=2x Core Count)

When Haswell's IPC advantage can shine, the higher clocked configuration does even more so. Here the 1.7GHz Core i7-4650U is over 20% faster than the fastest MacBook Air you could build last year. Serious developers will still want more cores but if you need ultimate portability, Haswell ULT really can shine.

Introduction Core i7 vs. Core i5: Understanding the Power Story
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  • Esko747 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Thought: Would using an efficient laptop cooler increase the performance at noticeable rate? The chassis in these are after all used as a heatsink, and the main thing stopping the processor from using higher clocks for longer periods of time is heat. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    That depends on whether cooling solution in the Macbook Air is good enough for the TDP or not.

    Yes, if the system is substandard, minor to zero if its not. Haswell uses similar Turbo system to Sandy/Ivy Bridge where it has a "guaranteed" Turbo and higher "opportunistic" Turbo, which the latter would turn off after a certain period regardless of how cool its running(to keep it at 15W power use averaged out over longer periods).

    I'm guessing the 2.8GHz reached for the Core i7 in the Multi-threaded suite is the "opportunistic" Turbo, and in infinite time periods with sufficient cooling, it'll settle at 2.4-2.5GHz.
    Reply
  • SteveKen - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
    http://goo.gl/FdFf2
    Reply
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    This reminds me of the Nexus 4 freezer test. Anyone willing to stick their MBA in a freezer??? All in the name of science of course. Reply
  • mavere - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Based on my past experience, the Macbooks don't thermal throttle until ~100C, so within the context of this article, I doubt there'd be much difference.

    That might change with the fan gets dusty, though. One can also reapply the thermal paste inside the machine for a (frustratingly) consistent 10-15C drop and lower fan noise.
    Reply
  • dsumanik - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything."

    -anand lai shimpi

    Direct acknowledgement the initial 2013 air review left you with a sense of disappointment, and sub par performance. Yet you read that review and its all roses, praises and recommendations, furthermore followed by a direct advertising "best mac laptops - June 2013" article, which recommends purchasing the same laptop.

    I mean after all if the 2013 MBA was so great there would be nothing to "fix"

    RIGHT?

    RIIIIIGHT?????

    Samsung made a new PCIE SSD and intel released a new processor.
    Apple put it in the same package. That is ZERO ZERO ZERO innovation.
    They are still recycling products from the JOBS ERA thats why the stock is going to continue to fall.

    You want them to start innovating again Anand?

    Rip apple a new asshole when they re-release this same junk!!!!

    I have been coming to this site for over a decade.

    You, anand, personally, directly, have lost your impartial journalism and professionalism.

    is Tim Stevens on your speed dial or what?

    What possible motive could you have for ignoring the facts and promoting their products blindly like this?

    There is only one explanation......like many other media blogs, AT has substantially invested and now lost money in apple stock, or are directly, or indirectly getting kickbacks and are now trying to stop the bleeding.

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything."

    EXCEPT

    - same design as last year- stethoscope when plugged in, switch the TB PORT!!! NO BRAINER!!!

    - in 2013 a "premium apple experience" delivers 1366 x 768 resolution.. I mean come on 1998 era 1600x1200 would have been at least SOMETHING LOL..and absolutely technologically possible.
    I mean come on you have double the battery life now!!!!!!!

    - no 16gb ram option???? so cheap and easy to do. But nah, peeps will still buy it. Thaty is exactly how the board meeting on that one went.

    - no LTE or modem support, you should buy an iPhone for that.

    - there are wifi problems galore with the new model, and wifi limitations within OSX itself....don't believe me? .... you reported it in your last article but any MBA owners running boot camp have known this for over a year now....you need to transfer a big file? Boot into windows and cut the time in EXACTLY half.

    Eff this shit im out, this site's owner is straight up corrupt...at least he got burned on apple stock for it.

    Pay backs a bitch huh.
    Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    People like you are a cancer on this Earth. I hope you finally succumb to your syphilis infection. Good day, sir. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Apple haters are more annoying and idiotic than any Apple fanboy, which is quite an achievement. People like this are amazing Reply
  • iwod - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Yes, Apple Fanboy and Haters, the irony. The truth is, Anyone, absolutely anyone who work within the industry would have had at least a little bit of respect to Apple. Be it Intel, AMD, or heck even Samsung or Google. And by ALL standards Apple has consistently put fourth one of the best hardware.
    So in that sense Apple Fanboy are at least better, because even if they know jack about Apple it still have a product that is worth talking about.
    And Apple haters, are like you said annoying as hell as most of the time they dont have a clue about what innovation actually means and literally knows nothing about design, engineering and tech. And what's even worst is that they "think" they know a lot. And They just hate because they hate.
    And back to those work within the industry and why they actually have a little respect for Apple? Because they actually know their stuff. Not just clueless mind bogging trolls who goes on the internet everyday reading mostly incorrect and false statement and pretend they know a lot.
    Reply
  • dsumanik - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    nothing to do with apple love or hate...I've pointed out that anand wrote a positive article about the MBA, then in his own words, revealed deep down inside he felt it needed "fixing"

    He then went on to write a second article further promoting this product, specifically promoting it.

    Connect the dots folks, stop changing the subject to apple vs microsoft and goole, i know your hamster brains are trained to do that...its reflex now....but my point was ananda bias, and then advertising of a product he was surprised to find slow, and at best on par with last years model... and still unchanged as a platform and product as a whole.

    dont hate me cuz it has an apple logo on it.
    Reply

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