Apple updated the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at an event earlier this weekwith a number of improvements including Intel’s new Haswell chip, and Iris integrated graphics, which has led to an increase of over 50 percent in graphics performance according to early benchmarks.
Macworld performed a series of graphics tests on the entry-level and high-end versions of the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, pitting it against the last generation 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and found a graphics performance increase of over 50 percent.
The benchmarks run were the Cinebench r15 OpenGL test, the Unigine Valley Benchmark and the Unigine Heaven Benchmark, all of which measured the frame rate (in frames per second) as an indicator of performance. In case of the first two benchmarks, the 2013 rMBP saw an improvement of 45-50 percent, while in the Unigine Heaven Benchmark, the improvement was an impressive 65 percent.
Macworld also performed CPU related benchmarks, and compared performance on the new 13″ Retina MacBook Pro versus its older generation counterpart. The CPU improvement doesn’t seem to be as significant as the GPU, with performance gains ranging from 8-11 percent for the higher end model, and a mere 1 percent for the entry-level model.
The new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has PCIe-based Flash storage as compared to the earlier generation’s SATA connected flash storage. Macworld’s tests found that the 256GB flash on the high-end 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro was 33 percent faster than the older generation MacBook Pro, but the 128GB flash on the lower-end model didn’t show any performance improvement.
In a separate teardown, the experts at iFixit found that the improvements in the new 13-inch MacBook Pros make it harder to manually repair, with the device scoring a low 1 out of 10 on iFixit’s reparability scale. iFixit says non-standard flash drive connectors, soldered non-upgradeable RAM, a glued battery assembly all contribute to the MacBook Pro’s low score.
Along with the improved performance, Apple has reduced the price of the entire Retina MacBook Pro lineup, with the entry-level model starting at $1299.