The first benchmark scores for the upcoming MacBook Air with an Apple M2 processor confirm that the device offers a considerable speed boost over the M1-powered version.
However, performance comes in well behind MacBook Pros with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
M2 MacBook Air is about 20% faster
The old wedge shape is gone from the new 13.6-inch MacBook Air. It’s less than half an inch thick with a design similar to the 2021 MacBook Pro. A highlight is the Apple M2 processor, which Apple promises is 18% quicker than its predecessor. And there’s confirmation of that claim.
The M2 MacBook Air won‘t reach customers until July 15, but benchmark scores for the macOS notebook can be found online now – Geekbench 5 scores for a “Mac14,2” began appearing on the Primate Labs’ website on July 8. While no actual product name is given, given the timing and the fact that the computer runs macOS on an Apple M2 processor, guessing the identity of this otherwise unknown device isn’t hard.
Its multi-core scores typically range between 8700 and 8900. Compare that to the 7420 score the M1 MacBook Air pulled in on the same test to get an improvement between 17% and 20% for the upcoming Air.
Apple still offers the M1-powered MacBook Air starting at $999, while the M2 version starts at $1199. So the extra $200 not only gets a slimmer notebook with a larger display, there’s also a nice speed boost.
Versus other M2 and M1 series MacBooks
This isn’t the first computer with an M2 processor. That honor goes to the 2022 MacBook Pro that launched in June. Tests with this notebook show that that it’s likely to be faster than the new Air is some situations. Under extreme conditions, the M2 requires thermal throttling – slowing down the chip so it doesn’t overheat. And the new MacBook Air doesn’t have a fan so it can not do active cooling.
Also, be aware that the newest chip does not offer better performance than Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max from 2021. That will have to wait for advanced versions of the M2 expected to launch in 2023. But the Air is a consumer-oriented model that’s not intended for professionals, and it has specs to match.