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When Apple quietly refreshed its MacBook Air lineup last week it not only increased the speed of its low-end model’s processor from 1.3GHz to 1.4GHz. While no doubt an improvement – we’re always happy to get more horsepower in our machines – possibly the most important change is the fact that the model now also comes with a price tag that’s $100 lower than it was previously. If you were on the fence about picking up a MacBook Air then there’s never been a better time to do just that.

Keen to see what that extra 100MHz means to the new MacBook Airs, Primate Labs set about putting a few MacBook Airs through their paces using the benchmarking tool Geekbench, with the results fitting in nicely with the increased CPU speed that the new model comes with.

MacBook Air

The results from both the 2013 and 2014 MacBook Airs are unsurprising, as with both models featuring Intel Haswell processors the only difference is that improved clock speed. As you might expect, a 7% processor speed increase yields around a 5-7% increase in performance which isn’t going to set the world alight. It’s when you compare results with older 2012 and 2011 models that things get interesting.

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Using single-core processes those coming from a 2011 MacBook Air will see around a 45% increase in performance, while those with the slightly newer 2012 model will see an almost 20% speed bump. Based on those two stats we’d say that anyone coming from MacBook Airs that are from the 2011 and 2012 generations will see a reasonable speed bump when upgrading to the new models, but those with devices from last year probably don’t need to splash the cash just yet. With a rumored Retina display-powered 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, we’d rather hold out for that if it was us.

mba-may2014-mc@2x

We’ll hopefully find out what Apple has under its sleeve at the upcoming WWDC event, and fingers crossed that it’s a 12-inch MacBook shaped like an Air!

Do you think this recent refresh is worthy enough for an upgrade over the notebook which you currently have? Or are you going to hold back and see what Apple has in store for us in the coming months?

(Source: PrimateLabs)

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