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2013 Macbook Air: Haswell in practice

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apple-logo.pngUltrabooks and lower powered CPU parts are what Haswell is all about and it’s about time  we see those parts in action. AnandTech have taken the 2013 13″ Macbook Air and put it through its paces.

The results were extremely impressive.

The Haswell platform increased battery life from:

  • ~7.5 hours to ~11 hours in light workloads
  • ~5 hours to ~9 hours in medium workloads
  • ~3.5 hours to ~5.5 hours in heavy workloads

Those are astonishing numbers for a laptop. Apple achieved this feat by installing a CPU that’s more-or-less comparable to last year’s offerings. They also managed to increase GPU performance by approximately 16% compared to the HD 4000 graphics. When you compare to 2011’s HD 3000 graphics (my MacBook Air), the performance increase is as much as 65%.

This is the computing future that I’m intrigued by: how to get more performance while sipping as few watts as possible. Chasing performance with no regard for power envelopes or efficiency is easy, and frankly, unimpressive.

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