MacBook Pro 2011 Benchmarks are Insane: Faster than Mac Pro!

Feb 25, 2011 - 22 Comments


Benchmarks of the MacBook Pro 2011 refresh are coming in, and they are incredibly fast. Maybe incredibly fast is an understatement:

  • The new top of the line MacBook Pro 2011 is faster than the existing Mac Pro desktop
  • The new ‘low-end’ base MacBook Pro 2011 13″ model is just as fast as last years top-end MacBook Pro models

Below are some GeekBench scores for the MBP 2011 refresh… to put these numbers in perspective, my MacBook Pro 13″ 2010 with 8GB RAM and a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo scores a 3128 in GeekBench:


These benchmarking tests focus on CPU and memory performance, and show that select new MacBook Pro models are about 3x faster than some of last years models. Notice that these tests do not use the GPU, so we’re still waiting to see real-world benchmarks of how the refreshed MacBook Pro stacks up against their predecessors in things like gaming and rendering.

The tests were found by MacRumors and 9to5Mac. MacRumors quotes PrimateLabs (their site is currently down) with the following:

The performance of the new MacBook Pros is amazing. The slowest MacBook Pro performs on par with the fastest previous-generation MacBook Pro, and the fastest MacBook Pro is 80% faster than the fastest previous-generation MacBook Pro.

In fact, if you look at our Mac Benchmark charts, you’ll see that the fastest MacBook Pro is faster than a lot of Mac Pros (including the current generation of Mac Pros). The new MacBook Pros truly are portable workstations.

In other words, all the talk about Intels SandyBridge chips being blazing fast is true.

If you’ve been holding out for a MacBook Pro upgrade for some crazily fast performance, this just may be the update for you. We’ll post more benchmarks as they come in.


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac, News


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  1. Steve says:

    “The new top of the line MacBook Pro 2011 is faster than the existing Mac Pro desktop”

    That’s a loaded statement that deserves a huge case of “IF”. Whether it’s true depends entirely on what you’re doing.

    Benchmarks tend to test burst speed of small things, which may or may not be at all relevant. For example, if you need to do some CPU-bound processing of 10 MB of data (smaller than the Mac Pro’s L3 size, but larger than the Macbook Pro’s), the Mac Pro is going to win.

    If the program uses GCD and/or OpenCL, the Mac Pro will look even better (more cores, more and better graphics cards). Or if it needs to use a lot of disk (more disks). Being an expandable workstation, for any particular workload, it’s easy to expand it to handle that.

    That means it’ll age better, too. I can buy a used Mac Pro off craigslist, buy some third-party upgrades, and have a faster computer (in general) than a new Macbook Pro, for less money.

    Newer CPUs will tend to win two kinds of contests: purely CPU-bound serial processes, and RAM latency. That happens to be exactly what this benchmark is. If you were trying to build a benchmark that made the Macbook Pro look good and the Mac Pro look bad, it’s hard to imagine how you could do any better than this, except, perhaps, “can lift it with one hand”.

    The performance of the new Macbook Pro is good, but it’s not *that* good. The Mac Pro is still king.

  2. Randall says:

    I wonder how much the benchmarks are affected by the solid-state drive (SSD)? If that matters a lot, perhaps we should put an SSD in the Mac Pro and see how it holds up?

  3. […] gli effetti. Ero ancora più eccitato dal fatto che questo particolare modello di Macbook Pro, a quanto risulta da alcuni benchmark, ha prestazioni paragonabili se non superiori ad un Mac Pro! Fantastico per me che volevo […]

  4. bob says:

    The benchmarks clearly scale linearly with the number of cores. So they beat the previous models because they have more. If ur gaming tho, and that game only makes use of one core, ull probably be better off with the higher clockspeed of the previous Macbook pros.

    Multiple cores are useful for multitasking tho…

  5. Paul says:

    Faster than a Mac Pro? Please…

    • Jake says:

      Isn’t that just comparing with the 2011 MBP integrated graphics? It certainly is not taking into account (as it says) the top graphics card option the new MBPs have.

  6. […] Update: MacBook Pro 2011 benchmarks are in and they are crazy […]

  7. Brian says:

    I just ran GeekBench on my MacBook Pro.



    • bc says:

      Useless information without knowing what model you’re talking about. It’s not one of the new ones, is it?

  8. 3lemental says:


    The battery life is actually the same (or very close to it), but they changed their testing protocols to give a better “real life” estimation of time. They’ve done themselves no favours though as many people don’t realise this and think they’ve lost battery life :/

    Possibly the first time they’ve put the consumers over profit :p

  9. Rocky says:

    What of the battery life? Didn’t they loose 20% of the battery life with these new processors? Is that worth it?

  10. Roger says:

    The interesting benchmarks will be the graphics intensive ones for the 13″ machines. I expect the results to be dismal given the embedded Intel graphics and shared memory.

    • Chris says:


      Yes, Intel integrated graphics are slower than discrete chips, but that doesn’t mean you can call them “dismal”, just slower than state of the art. I’m sure the performance will be right for the people who buy the machine. If you want faster performance, there are other machines. My current (2010) 13″ MacBook Pro drives my 27″ display just fine. I, like a lot of people, am not a hard core gamer. If I were I’d buy a different computer.

  11. Mac Mufti says:

    This is Bogus no way my Mac Pro is slower than these doodle laptops … WHATEVAAAA get an eSATA then we talk …

    • chetan says:

      aww are you sad my portable macbook pro is faster than your mac pro poor you

      • Harry says:

        And wouldn’t it just be dandy if the MBP lovers had common sense and thought – ‘Hey, laptop vs probably the most powerful consumer desktop out there, hmm, you know, I will have sense and say desktop,’

  12. Another Peter says:

    Any idea why the 17″ would be faster than the 15″ with the same CPU? That doesn’t make sense to me.

  13. Comdot says:

    Mac Pros just got an update so, probably not. But my Mac Pro geekbenched out at 20756? Which Mac Pro are they talking about?

    • Trevor says:

      Yeah exactly my thoughts… I have a 12 core Mac Pro from mid 2010, and as this was a 2011 macbook pro review I can only assume that the author is retarded in thinking the Macbook Pro has more under the hood.

      So no, it is not better than the Mac Pro nor will a laptop ever be better than the desktop counterpart anytime soon. It’s downright amazing that the new Macbook Pro reaches HALF the speeds of the 12 core Mac Pro beast, but it’s still got a long way to go before it matches that power (Also, it’s a good thing to understand the impact of RAM on a machine if one is debating Mac Pro vs. Macbook Pro – RAM is a biiig deal for most of us.

  14. hudson says:

    i ordered one yesterday, extra excited now :)

  15. Peter says:

    Holy smokes, I originally wasn’t too excited about these but those are amazing numbers. I’m anxiously awaiting graphics benchmarks and gaming FPS numbers.

    MacBook Pro outperforming Mac Pro means only one thing: Mac Pro will get an update soon.

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