Which one’s the new 11.6″ Macbook Air?
We bought the new Macbook Air 11″ yesterday so we can get you a more realistic review of this new ultraportable from Apple. We did the first review of the 11.6″ here last year so we’ll do an update on that based on the new hardware improvements.
From the outside, you won’t be seeing anything different between the 2010 MacBook Air 11.6″ and the 2011 model. The only thing you will probably notice would be the back-lit keyboard when you turn on the device.
The second one would be the FN keys on the keyboard — there are additional shortcuts in the function keys, including control for the brightness of the backlit keyboard.
The rest of the differences would be due to the new Max OS X Lion, most prominent of all is the reversed scrolling function (which could be really annoying at first).
SO we fired up a couple of simple benchmarks and see how much improvement we are getting from the upgraded hardware.
Here’s what we got from NovaBench:
2010 Macbook Air 11.6″ (1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, NVidia 320M)
RAM score: 98
CPU Tests: 112
Graphics Test: 53
Hardware Tests: 11
3D Frames Per Second: 121
Write Speed: 72 MB/s
RAM Speed: 2013 MB/s
NovaBench Score: 274
2011 Macbook Air 11.6″ (1.6GHz Core i5, Intel HD Graphics 3000)
RAM score: 123
CPU Tests: 303
Graphics Test: 22
Hardware Tests: 28
3D Frames Per Second: 54
Write Speed: 227 MB/s
RAM Speed: 5767 MB/s
NovaBench Score: 446
Here’s the GeekBench scores:
2011 Macbook Air 11.6″: 4630
2010 Macbook Air 11.6″: 2202
The new 11.6″ Macbook Air got much better scores from the 2010 model, except for the graphics department. Although numerous benchmarks comparing the NVidia GeForce 320M and Intel HD Graphics 3000 are showed both integrated graphics processors (IGPs) perform at par with each other, frame rates will vary from game to game or benchmark tool. In our NovaBench test, the 320M scored better than Intel HD 3000.
So far, the biggest performance improvements I noticed is with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and with iMovie. More on this once I finish the full review.