MacBook Air IS Quicker Than An iBook G4

Speed Report on MacBook Air DisappointThe super svelte and lovely MacBook Air that many people have been drooling over … nay, dreaming of, after having seen it just over a week ago at the MacWorld Keynote doesn’t appear to be impressing with it’s sluggish performance.

Engadget got hold of one to run some tests on it – Xbench 1.3 to be exact. The test numbers place it at the bottom on the league for speed of current machines.

Out of interest, and for personal interest, we ran the same tests on an old iBook G4 running a 1.33 Ghz PowerPC chip (on Tiger not Leopard) and you’ll be pleased – but perhaps not too surprised – to hear that the iBook was slower, quite a lot slower (but iBook owners will know that there’s not much around that’s slower than an iBook there days anyway:) ).

The Air could be worth the wait
So for all of you patient iBook owners who have been holding on during successive generations of MacBook upgrades, it could well be worth getting an Air.

While numbers give some indication, the important thing is how it will work when you use it … and I guess we’re not going to find out that until people have had it in their hands for a while having been using it for a couple of weeks, working with them in a normal way.

Of course the argument is that the Air isn’t a power machine, it’s meant for working while you’re travelling … and looking rather swish, of course.

Full details of the shameful performance of the iBook
Results 37.60
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.4.11 (8S165)
Physical RAM 1536 MB
Model PowerBook6,7
Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.33 GHz
L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
L2 Cache 512K @ 1.33 GHz
Bus Frequency 134 MHz
Video Card ATY,M12
Drive Type FUJITSU MHV2040AT
CPU Test 59.47
GCD Loop 101.54 5.35 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 36.55 868.42 Mflop/sec
AltiVec Basic 144.37 5.75 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 71.14 2.35 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 38.64 6.73 Mops/sec
Thread Test 57.29
Computation 55.32 1.12 Mops/sec, 4 threads
Lock Contention 59.39 2.56 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
Memory Test 28.67
System 26.62
Allocate 115.75 425.06 Kalloc/sec
Fill 27.36 1330.36 MB/sec
Copy 14.81 305.86 MB/sec
Stream 31.06
Copy 34.10 704.26 MB/sec [altivec]
Scale 35.79 739.45 MB/sec [altivec]
Add 29.11 620.13 MB/sec [altivec]
Triad 26.91 575.73 MB/sec [altivec]
Quartz Graphics Test 56.32
Line 52.02 3.46 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 52.85 15.78 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 53.90 4.39 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 63.96 1.61 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 60.80 3.80 Kchars/sec
OpenGL Graphics Test 54.36
Spinning Squares 54.36 68.96 frames/sec
User Interface Test 20.37
Elements 20.37 93.48 refresh/sec
Disk Test 31.47
Sequential 43.95
Uncached Write 36.98 22.70 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 38.33 21.69 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 60.73 17.77 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 46.70 23.47 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 24.52
Uncached Write 10.00 1.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 37.44 11.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 48.54 0.34 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 63.24 11.73 MB/sec [256K blocks]