Real World Speed Tests: 2013 MacBook Air Versus 2012 MacBook Air

BareFeats’ rob-ART morgan notes the obvious that the ‘mid 2013’ MacBook Air is a year newer than the 2012 MacBook Air, and has a newer CPU chip and newer integrated GPU. But is it faster overall? And if the 2013 MacBook Air is the “Cayman” of laptops, how does its “lap times” compare to the “Carrera” of the laptops, the Retina MacBook Pro?

Morgan observes that the MacBook Air isn’t a “fire belching dragster,” but rather designed more like a “hybrid gas/electric car” that balances power with long battery life, and if you want a laptop that “peels rubber,” the Retina MacBook Pro is the “ride” you’ll need.

However, he determines that the 2013 MacBook Air’s GPU is faster than the 2012’s most of the time, and the Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics processor is a clear improvement over the 2012 MacBook Air’s Intel HD 4000, but neither can compete with the Retina MacBook Pro’s discrete GeForce GT 650M with its dedicated 1G VRAM.

For those trying to decide between a refurbished 2012 MacBook Air and a new 2013 MacBook Air, Morgan contends that the 2013 is worth the extra dough, being not only faster in most CPU and GPU intensive tasks, but it has a much faster solid state storage, longer battery life, and 802.11ac WiFi support.

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