The $1,799 13-Inch MacBook Pro Is Nearly 16.5% Faster than the Entry-Level Model [Update: More Than 40% Jump in GPU Performance]

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020

Apple unveiled the new 13-inch MacBook Pro last week with Magic Keyboard and upgraded storage tiers. However, only the higher-priced variants of the new laptop use 10th Gen. Intel Core processors, while the entry-level variants continue using 8th Gen. Intel Core processors. Is there any difference between the processing performance of those variants, and if there is, by how much? Let’s find out.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020’s starting price is $1,299, and it comes powered by 1.4GHz quad-core 8th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor. It is the same processor that was used in the 2019 version of the laptop. According to Geekbench, a popular processing benchmark application, this version scores 927 points in the single-core CPU test and 3,822 points in the multi-core CPU test.

On the other hand, the $1,799 variant of the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 is powered by 2.0GHz quad-core 10th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor. In the Geekbench test, it scores an average of 1,236 points in the single-core CPU test and 4,455 points in the multi-core CPU test. That makes the $1,799 version of the laptop around 16.5 percent faster than the $1,299 version in CPU performance.

There’s a difference in the performance of RAM, too. The entry-level variant still uses LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM, while the $1,799 version uses LPDDR4X 3,733MHz RAM. So, if you were thinking that all Intel Core i5 CPU equipped variants of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro would perform the same, you would be wrong.

Apple states that consumers who are upgrading from the dual-core CPU version of the previous-generation MacBook Pro 13-inch would be able to see up to 2.8x the performance.

When you compare the new $1,799 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro to the previous-generation $1,799 version of the laptop, the newer one performs around 14 percent faster in the CPU department. Some early reviews of the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro have arrived already, and you can read their summary in our review roundup.

Update: New 13-inch MacBook Pro models with 10th Gen. Intel Ice Lake processors also deliver huge improvements in terms of graphics performance, thanks to integrated Iris Plus Graphics. Although Intel Iris Plus Graphics were also in the 8th Gen. CPUs, the new Intel Iris Plus eGPU has more execution units (64 vs. 48) and has better video encoding.

As you can see in the graphs below, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor scored 8,376 points in the OpenCL test in Geekbench. In comparison, the old 13-inch MacBook Pro with 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor managed to score 7,456 points, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz octa-core Intel Core i9 processor scored just 5,229 points.

13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 OpenCL GPU Performance Comparison
13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 OpenCL GPU Performance Comparison

In the Metal GPU performance test, the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Core i5 quad-core processor scored 10,096 points, while the older 13-inch MacBook Pro with 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor scored just 6,957 points. That’s a 45% jump in graphics performance in the Metal test. Compared to the 16-inch MacBook Pro and its octa-core Intel Core i9 processor, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with 10th Gen. Core i5 processor scored 100% jump. That’s quite impressive!

13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 Metal GPU Performance Comparison

Our Take

Even though the new 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t come with a dedicated GPU, it still offers anywhere between 40% to 100% jump in GPU performance. That’s a huge jump from previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro with 8th Gen. Intel Core processor. And there’s an even larger jump compared to the 16-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor. However, it has a dedicated GPU, which offers a massive graphics performance boost in productivity, editing, and gaming tests.

[Source: Geekbench, Geekbench]