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Benchmarks: Upgraded graphics boost new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

James Galbraith | Oct. 28, 2013
We found out that the internal updates in new pro laptops help to increase performance in nearly every application.

Much has been made about the new PCIe attached flash storage that the new MacBook Pros use in place of the SATA-connected flash of previous models. As we've seen in the most recent MacBook Airs, PCIe attached SSDs are really fast. The 256GB flash in the new 2.6GHz model was 33 percent faster than February's 2.6GHz MacBook Pro when copying 6GB of files and folders from one spot on the internal drive to another. Interestingly, though, the 128GB PCIe SSD in the 2.4GHz late 2013 model wasn't any faster than the SATA SSD in this test. And neither of the new 13-inch MacBook Pros could beat the older model in the compressing and uncompressing our 6GB set of files and folders. To triple-check our findings, we ran Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test on all three 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros and found that the 500GB flash storage in new 2.6GHz model was more than twice as fast in the write test as the 120GB flash storage in the new 2.4GHz system, 710 MBps versus 315.9 MBps. The read speeds were closer, with the new 2.4GHz's flash storage reading at 700 MBps and the new 2.6GHz reading at 733.9 MBps. The early 2013 2.6GHz Retina system had a write speed of 393.1 MBps, faster than the new 2.4GHz model, and a read speed of 451 MBps, significantly slower than the new low-end model. We'll continue to investigate as our testing progresses.

Macbook pro comparison 1

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