2018 MacBook Pro performance shows dramatic improvement

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The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar up the ante for pro users.
2018 MacBook Pro performance offers the biggest year-over-year improvements since the release of the 2011 models.
Photo: Apple

The 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pro models launching this week boast significantly faster processors. Tests with the Geekbench benchmarking tool show speed increases as high as 86 percent.

The improvements come from faster Turbo Burst frequencies and more processor cores.

“The 2018 MacBook Pro is the most substantial upgrade (at least regarding performance) since the introduction of quad-core processors in the 2011 MacBook Pro,” wrote John Poole in a Geekbench blog post.

Poole is the Founder of Primate Labs, the developer of the widely-used Geekbench cross-platform CPU and GPU benchmarking tool.

15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro performance

Apple offers the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro with three processor options: a 4.8 GHz Intel Core i9, a 4.3GHz Core i7, and a 4.1 GHz Core i7. Each has 6 cores, up from 4 processor cores in the equivalent mid-2017 MacBook Pro.

“For the 15-inch models, single-core performance is up 12-15%, and multi-core performance is up 39-46%. Since the underlying processor architecture hasn’t significantly changed between the 2017 and 2018 models, the increases in performance are due to higher Turbo Boost frequencies, more cores, and DDR4 memory,” wrote Poole.

13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro performance

The 13-inch version of this new macOS laptop is available with either an Intel 4.5 GHz Core i7 processor or a 3.8 GHz Core i5. Both processors have 4 cores, up from 2 cores in the equivalent mid-2017 model.

Poole wrote “For the 13-inch models, single-core performance is up 3%-11%, and multi-core performance is up 81%-86%. Again, higher Turbo Boost frequencies and more cores are responsible for the increases.”