Apple is about to wrap up its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA in a few days. During the kick off ceremony, Tim Cook and his band of merry men unveiled a number of new products to the event’s guests. One of these products is the updated MacBook; now with Intel Kaby Lake processor.
Many would know by now that, by far, the MacBook is the most basic Mac laptop in Apple’s entire lineup. In terms of performance, it goes below the MacBook Air with its Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.
MacBook vs iPad Pro
The MacBook still features Intel’s line of mobile processors. The top-tier model of the laptop sports an Intel Core m7 processor that runs on a base clock of 1.3GHz.
On the other side of the spectrum, the iPad Pro is also equipped with a mobile processor. However, the one on the laptop is totally different in architecture from the one on the tablet. For one, the iPad Pro’s chip is based on the ARM architecture rather than Intel’s x86 architecture. These two are quite different in structure as well as internal features.
Another major difference is the type of market where the chips are used. Intel’s mobile chips. are mainly used on low-end ultra-light laptops like the MacBook. Meanwhile Apple’s ARM chip is used only on iPhones and iPads. Nevertheless, a recent GeekBench benchmark somewhat shed a mysterious light on the relevance of the MacBook compared to the iPad Pro.
It’s all in the core performance
A GeekBench result appeared recently on the Internet showing just how good the new iPad Pro is. From the results, on can see that the single core performance of the new A10X Fusion chip is quite phenomenal; managing 3832 points.
Comparing this to the most recent MacBook GeekBench benchmark score, the iPad Pro actually managed to outstrip the laptop by a few points. Apple’s ultra-light laptop managed only 3700 points on single core processing.
What is even more interesting is the multicore comparison between the two devices. The MacBook managed a meagre 7133 on GeekBench while the iPad Pro got a whopping 9091. To break it down further, that is a 27 percent performance gain in favor of the iPad Pro.
These jaw-dropping gaps in performance are due to a couple of important factors. First, the MacBook’s Intel m7 chip runs at a slower pace of 1.3GHz. On the other hand, the iPad Pro’s A10X Fusion chip purrs at an impressive 2.36GHz clock. This is why the single core score of the iPad Pro is greater than the MacBook.
Finally, it has something to do with the core count. The Intel Core m7 chip on Apple’s laptop only has two physical cores and with hyper threading enabled, a total of four virtual cores. The iPad Pro, however, packs a total of six physical cores working hand in hand to give it the performance boost it needs.
Why would I need a MacBook then?
Perhaps the next question now is “why the heck would I buy a MacBook if I can get the iPad Pro instead?” Well, there is a grain of truth to that. To add insult to injury, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage is still cheaper, by a mile, than the MacBook. The former racks at around $1,029 while the latter is priced at $1,299. Furthermore, it has a touch display, support for Apple Pencil, and a lot of macOS apps are also now on iOS. We could go on and on and all that it will ever prove is that the iPad Pro out trumps the MacBook.
That may be the case right now. Although this might still be debatable since Apple is yet to release the new MacBook with Kaby Lake processors. Nevertheless, knowing Intel, the performance increase on the new processor will only be around 15 percent compared to the Skylake line. This is still not enough to outperform the iPad Pro.
Intel would need to add more cores to its Core m line as well as increasing the base clock in order to compete with the A10X Fusion. Unfortunately, this will not happen as Intel has already released its lineup for the new Kaby Lake architecture.
Debunking Apple’s marketing strategy
At the end of the day, the MacBook is still a full-fledged computer. It runs macOS, the best desktop operating system there is. In terms of performance, value-added features, and robustness, the macOS is still far superior than the iOS. There are hundreds of applications that are available on the macOS and not on iOS. Applications like emulation, Boot Camp, will remain to be with the macOS.
Perhaps this is the idea behind Apple’s strategy. The macOS is deeply rooted in the company’s history. Therefore, it is only fitting that it remains to be one.
Apple still wants to highlight the major differences between its mobile and desktop products. Although, in hindsight, the company is marketing the iPad Pro as a laptop of notebook replacement.
It will still take a considerable amount of time before we see the merge between a mobile and a desktop operating system. Until then, these two will continue to coexist with each other.
Professional users will still rely on the macOS for much of the heavy lifting. Things like 3D rendering, video processing, and more. These are real world scenarios that go far and beyond synthetic tests like the ones on GeekBench. Meanwhile, for simpler tasks, the iOS and the iPad Pro are there to pick up the slack.
For more updates on the MacBook, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.