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M3-powered MacBook Air benchmarks surface, up to 21% faster than M2-powered predecessor in CPU tests

Leaked Geekbench 6 scores hint at improved CPU performance for the passively-cooled MacBook Air, thanks to the M3 refresh. (Source: Apple)
Leaked Geekbench 6 scores hint at improved CPU performance for the passively-cooled MacBook Air, thanks to the M3 refresh. (Source: Apple)
Apple recently released an updated MacBook Air lineup featuring the new M3 SoC, resulting in notable performance improvements over the previous M2 model. Initial benchmarks show significant gains, with the M3-powered Air outperforming its predecessor by approximately 18% in multi-core and 21% in single-core tests.

Apple recently refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with the new M3 SoC, and initial performance benchmarks have begun to surface. According to a Geekbench 6 listing spotted by MySmartPrice, the M3-powered MacBook Air demonstrated significant improvements over its M2-powered predecessor.

In the Geekbench 6 tests, the M3-powered MacBook Air achieved a single-core score of 3,157 and a multi-core score of 12,020. In comparison, the previous generation M2-powered Air scored approximately 2,600 in the single-core test and 10,000 in the multi-core test. This represents an approximate 18% increase in multi-core performance and a 21% improvement in single-core performance for the M3-powered Air over its predecessor, showcasing rather impressive gains with this generational upgrade, as can be expected from the M3.

However, it's important to note that while both the M3-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro share the same SoC, unlike the passively-cooled MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro benefits from active cooling, allowing for far better sustained performance. Additionally, the MacBook Pro offers many other benefits such as a much superior Mini-LED display, longer battery life, and a wider array of ports.

The M3 SoC, introduced during Apple's "Scary Fast" event in October of last year, boasts an 8-core setup, comprising of 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. Its GPU configuration boasts up to 10 cores and features hardware-accelerated ray tracing - a first for any Apple product, and dynamic caching for optimized memory utilization.

The newly refreshed 13 and 15-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,099 in the United States, with deliveries slated to begin on Friday, March 8th. As a result of the update, the M1 MacBook Air has been discontinued, while the M2 version is now available at a discounted price of $999.

Purchase the M3-powered Apple MacBook Pro 14 on Amazon

M3-powered MacBook Air's Geekbench 6 benchmark scores. (Source: Geekbench)
M3-powered MacBook Air's Geekbench 6 benchmark scores. (Source: Geekbench)
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 03 > M3-powered MacBook Air benchmarks surface, up to 21% faster than M2-powered predecessor in CPU tests
Sambit Saha, 2024-03- 5 (Update: 2024-03- 5)