Mavericks vs Yosemite speed testing: Processor and memory
In the Geekbench 3 test the Mavericks system scored 3127 points for single-core mode, and 6650 points in multi-core mode. Yosemite returned results slightly slower for single-core and slightly faster for multi-core operation, of 3099 and 6716 points. That translates as tiny differences of 0.90 percent lower and 0.99 percent higher for single- and multi-core modes respectively. We'll call that one a draw.
Cinebench 11.5 had similar differences, moving from 1.30 to 1.29, or a 0.77 percent drop, on single-core; and from 3.11 to 3.08 points on multi-core, or a 0.96 percent lower result.
Cinebench 15 meanwhile showed a 1.75 percent drop in single core mode (114 down to 112 points); and 2.49 percent drop in multi-core mode (281 down to 274 points).
So these two benchmark applications show Yosemite as consistently slower, but by less than 1 percent difference in v11.5 and circa 2 percent with the more recent v15.
In the OpenGL graphics rendering section of the Cinebench tests, version 11.5 showed a very small change in framerate (26.30 down to 26.07, or 0.87 percent fewer frames per second). On the other hand Cinebench 15's graphics test indicated a move from 21.77 to 24.45 fps, or a 12.3 percent increase for Yosemite.
In a nutshell: With the exception of one anomalous result (Cinebench 15's graphics test), Yosemite consistently produces slower performance from our test Mac. But the difference was small: anywhere from slightly under 1 percent to 5 percent.
Mavericks vs Yosemite speed testing: Real-world games testing
We tried some real-world testing with two Mac games - Batman: Arkham City and Tomb Raider 2013 - and also the synthetic graphics rendering engine from Unigine Heaven. For all three tests we ran graphics at the MacBook's default native HiDPI setting that renders the 2560 x 1600-pixel screen like 1280 x 800. The differences were now more substantial, and typically in Yosemite's favour.
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