New MacBooks offer 90 percent faster SSD write speeds, Skylake CPU up to 20 percent faster

By , Apr 19, 2016

Twelve inch MacBook Early-2016 Rose Gold Space Gray 001

Apple today announced a second-generation twelve-inch MacBook which brings speed increases across the board thanks to the use of Intel’s latest Skylake chip platform, PCIe-based flash storage and a speedier 1,866MHz RAM.

The Verge took the new machines briefly for a spin. Having put the new MacBook through its paces in Primate Labs’ $0.99 Geekbench 3 benchmarking app to measure the performance of the new Intel CPU and using the free Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app for benchmarking disk I/O operations, the publication was able to determine just how performant the updated flash storage and Intel’s new Skylake CPU are.

Apple lent The Verge a 1.2Ghz Intel Core m5 MacBook to test.

TL;DR: a modest CPU improvement may not be enough to seal the deal, but folks who work with large sets of data—such as 3D designers, video editors and others—will find an overhauled solid state storage worth upgrading.

Revamped solid state storage

Disk-write speeds using Blackmagic are faster between 80 to 90 percent compared to the original twelve-inch MacBook model. Disk-read speeds look like “smaller, incremental improvements”. Overall, “the thing feels about 25 percent faster to me,” writes author Dieter Bohn.

Disk-write speeds are especially important as they can greatly speed up memory swapping operations that occur frequently when you multitask a lot and your RAM is fully utilized. Apple says the new machine utilizes PCIe-based flash storage that Apple first started using in the MacBook Air.

More modest CPU improvement

Intel’s new Skylake architecture comes to the MacBook in an M-class processor which was designed for low power consumption rather than for great speeds. Geekbench 3 tests have pegged the speed improvements on raw processor operations at around 20 percent, which isn’t a lot but that’s just a benchmark.

Christina Warren tweeted out 64-bit Geekbench results that paint a more accurate picture: in her tests, a 1.2GHz CPU inside her 12-inch MacBook came in about fifteen to eighteen percent faster than last year’s equivalent model.


The new MacBook scored 2,894 on the single-core tests and has a multi-core score of 5,845. By comparison, last year’s 1.2GHz model scored 2,437 on the single-core benchmark and 5,049 on the multi-core test. The scores were confirmed by Primate Labs founder John Poole.

Curiously, Apple did not divulge how faster the new CPU is beyond stating that the new Intel HD Graphics 515 delivers up to 25 percent faster performance and that the lineup has been upgraded with faster 1,866-megahertz memory.

Summing up

Real-life effects of a faster processor—especially coupled with a lot faster SSD—will become readily observable in high load situations when the CPU is strained, like opening dozens of tabs in a browser, editing multiple video streams and more.

“Benchmarks and just a couple minutes of use are one thing, while actual extended use is quite another,” the article concludes. “My hunch is that if you were worried that the last MacBook was too underpowered for you, the new MacBook will only assuage your concerns by, well, 25 percent or so.”

Source: The Verge

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  • Blip dude

    Well, on the bright side, the 2015 model are about to get cheaper on eBay. Either that, wait to see what Apple does with the MacBook Air, or go with a Surface Pro 3.

  • nobodyblog

    I hope Surfacebook will do better. Because SSDs have slower speed and quality and reliability issues not resolved, and the Intel’s Optane changes that.
    I have many wishes did not come real. I think for today, Intel should focus on dual core laptops and more cores other things due to professional usage. A quad core 5 Ghz news claims it is on the way. It is a great news. Intel kaby lake hopefully will be a revolution, as it brings optane native support and AVX-512. Intel cannonlake completes it with A real improvement in efficiency and also better iGPU and other improvements.
    There is reason, Intel doesn’t lead its partners on how they can use Intel Products. Many brands use the same product without being innovative. Intel should do more here with some ads to let people know what they carry compared to past.
    That’s the problem of Apple, they did underestimate they can sell non-ipad Macs. They can sell, if they do well enough. I think their economy doesn’t let it, because they produce chips as Intel does, too. If so, I think a new surface phone, surface book 2, and surface pro 5 are all the news Apple won’t like it.


  • TheBoi23

    Are they going to make a updated Pro or “2015” was the update?

    • More then likely at wwdc

      • TheBoi23

        Thats what I was thinking but thanks

  • Martynet

    All I want is GeForce GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5 in new iMacs and Macbook Pros.

    • Is there a comparable external version of this card you could plug into a MacBook?

      • Martynet

        I don’t think so. We will see how the new gpus from AMD will do.

  • @sexyhamthing

    Still a rubbish laptop for anything but blending into a coffee shop.

  • LiveJoX

    RAID 0 inside MacBook SSD? That would explain its 947MB/s read and 845MB/s write speeds. But RAID 0 is the best way to lose data: if one drive or the controller fails, all is lost.