Here in the Macworld Lab, we try to keep Speedmark, our Macintosh benchmark test suite, on pace with the current version of Mac OS X (for example, we updated to Speedmark 6 when Mac OS X 10.6 was released). Since the introduction of Speedmark 6, we’ve seen new releases of Photoshop, HandBrake, Aperture, and Parallels. Another application in Speedmark 6, CineBench R10, can’t handle all 24 virtual processing cores found on some 2010 Mac Pros.
Though there has been no announced release date for OS X 10.7, it has become necessary to update our Speedmark tests. To that end, we’ve been hard at work updating the applications and the tests to come up with Speedmark 6.5.
Aside from the updates to the applications, we’ve made some additions and some subtractions from the test suite. We’ve added a multitasking test, running our updated Photoshop CS5 action script while iTunes 10 converts AAC files to MP3 and the Finder compresses a 2GB folder. Due to strange issues with certain optical drives, and the absence of DVD drives on some Macs, we no longer rip a DVD from the Mac’s optical drive – we now use HandBrake to encode a video file already ripped to the hard drive. We’ve also chosen to leave out our Compressor test; Speedmark 6 was heavy on encoding tests and our iMovie and HandBrake tests seem more in-line with the tasks readers are likely to perform most often.
We use a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini as the baseline system, with a base score of 100. We compared the performance of all other Macs to the performance of the 2010 Mac mini running 17 different tests.
Speedmark 6.5 scores
Here are the benchmark results for the current Mac lineup. We’ve also included benchmarks for several older Macs – we don’t have every older Mac, but we tested what we have in the Lab. The current Mac lineup is shown below.
Speedmark 6.5 results: Current Mac lineup
|MacBook 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB (Mid 2010)||99|
|13in MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB (Mid 2010)||106|
|13in MacBook Pro 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB (Mid 2010)||137|
|15in MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core i5 4GB (Mid 2010)||132|
|15in MacBook Pro 2.66GHz Core i7 4GB (Mid 2010)||151|
|17in MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Core i5 4GB (Mid 2010)||137|
|MacBook Air 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB (Mid 2009)||54|
|MacBook Air 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB (Mid 2009)||63|
|Mac mini 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB (Mid 2010)||100|
|21.5in iMac 3.06GHz Core i3 4GB (Mid 2010)||174|
|21.5in iMac 3.2GHz Core i3 4GB (Mid 2010)||179|
|27in iMac 3.2GHz Core i3 4GB (Mid 2010)||177|
|27in iMac 2.8GHz Core i5 Quad-Core 4GB (Mid 2010)||196|
|27in iMac 2.93GHz Core i7 Quad-Core 4GB (Mid 2010, BTO)||225|
|27in iMac 3.6GHz Core i5 Dual-Core 4GB, SSD (Mid 2010, BTO)||218|
|27in iMac 3.6GHz Core i5 Dual-Core 4GB (Mid 2010, BTO)||199|
|Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad-Core Xeon Nehalem 3GB (Mid 2010)||207|
|Mac Pro 2.4GHz Quad-Core x2 (8 cores total) Xeon Westmere 6GB (Mid 2010)||216|
|Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-Core Xeon Westmere 3GB (Mid 2010, BTO)||263|
|Mac Pro 2.66GHz 6-Core x2 (12 cores total) Xeon Westmere 12GB (Mid 2010)||262|
|Mac Pro 2.66GHz 6-Core x2 (12 cores total) Xeon Westmere 6GB (Mid 2010)||261|
Higher scores are better. Best result in bold.
We will be updating this page whenever we have new test scores.
Speedmark 6.5’s task list
Mac OS X: Finder
- Duplicate 1GB file
- Compress 2GB folder
- Uncompress 2GB file archive
- Convert and open 500 page Microsoft Word document.
- Convert 42 AAC files to MP3 from hard drive.
- Import two minute clip from camera archive.
- Share two minute movie to iTunes for mobile devices.
- Import 200 photos from hard drive.
- WorldBench 6 Multitasking Test on Windows 7.
Call of Duty 4
- Timedemo run at 1024-by-768 with 4X anti-aliasing.
- CPU test
Adobe Photoshop CS5
- Action script run on a 50MB file.
- Time Photoshop CS5 action script run on a 50MB file while Finder compresses a 2GB folder and iTunes encodes 42 AAC files to MP3 in the background.
- Encode four chapters from ripped file on hard drive to H.264.
- Evaluate Notebook test.
- Import and process 200 photos.