The new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a customised Intel CPU, Iris Plus Graphics and crushes its predecessor in multi-core tasks
Apple recently announced that it would be refreshing the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, with the entry-model of the latter now being powered by an Intel Core i5-8257U processor. The CPU is a revised version of the Core i5-8250U, with Intel dropping the base clock speed from 1.6 GHz to 1.4 GHz while increasing the maximum turbo boost by 500 MHz to 3.9 GHz. It is all well and good having a higher boost clock, but Apple needs to include an effective cooling system to prevent the CPU from thermal throttling when it pushes beyond 3.4 GHz.
Intel has also replaced the seemingly evergreen UHD Graphics 620 with the Iris Plus Graphics 645. The latter is more powerful than the former, theoretically allowing the MacBook Pro to achieve better graphics performance than its UHD Graphics 620 and Core i5-8250U powered competitors. Incidentally, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro can be upgraded to a Core i7-8557U, a customised version of the Core i7-8550U that can boost up to 4.5 GHz.
Apple is promising that the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro will deliver "up to two times faster performance" than its predecessor, the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro. A recent Geekbench listing does not verify this, but it does demonstrate that the device can achieve up to 83.4% better multicore performance than its Core i5-7360U powered predecessor.
According to MacRumors, the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro averages 16,665 points in the multi-core portion of Geekbench 4, with its predecessor managing just 9,084 points. The jump from 7th to 8th generation CPUs yields less than a 10% uplift in single-core scores though. You can view the full Core i5-8257U scores here.
Overall, it should come as no surprise that the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro whups its predecessor in multi-core tasks. The former has a quad-core CPU compared to the latter's dual-core, which should always deliver better multi-core performance. Still, it is good to fact check a company's claims, right?