Back in August, Apple entered the era of Snow Leopard. Today, Macworld’s Speedmark test suite enters the Snow Leopard’s den.
Speedmark is Macworld Lab’s standard test tool for benchmarking new and upgraded systems running Mac OS X. It uses real-world applications and everyday tasks. It is a general-purpose suite that includes tasks everyone from a high-end user to a new user performs every day.
Macworld Lab follows a detailed script to perform the 17 tasks. Each task is performed three times. We compare the results to a 2.13GHz MacBook with 2GB RAM (Mid 2009), which is assigned a score of 100. We then take the geometric mean of the normalized scores.
Apple’s latest Mac OS X operating system, 10.6, focuses more on refinements rather than features. But the new OS does boast some new technologies meant to help your Intel Mac take better advantage of its central and graphics processing units. Unfortunately, in order to make these refinements and improvements, Apple made the decision to pull the plug on Power-PC equipped Macs, offering no support for any pre-Intel hardware.
The Macworld Lab has been hard at work tweaking Speedmark, our overall system performance testing tool, to better accommodate Snow Leopard and to test the Macs on which it runs. Of course, that means that the new version, Speedmark 6, runs on Snow Leopard and supports only Intel-powered Macs.
We have Speedmark 6 scores for 19 Intel Macs, including the new MacBook, iMacs, and Mac minis released last month. Please note that because Speedmark 6 uses different tests and a different OS, Speedmark 6 scores can’t be compared to the scores of Speedmark 5, the previous version of our test tool.
For your convenience, we offer the complete scoresheet as both a Microsoft Excel file and a PDF for download. These scoresheets have the Speedmark 6 scores, as well as the performance scores for each application.
17″ MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Core i5 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.66GHz Core i7 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Core i5 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core i5 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
13″ MacBook Pro 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
13″ MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2010)
17″ MacBook Pro 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2009)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2009)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2009)
15″ MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM (Mid 2009)
13″ MacBook Pro 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB RAM (Mid 2009)
*The Mac mini 1.83GHz with 2GB RAM (Mid 2007) was unable to run Call of Duty.
Like Speedmark 5, Speedmark 6 consists of 17 tests. Many of the tests are new and few of the new tests reflect reader suggestions. Here’s a look at the new task list.
Mac OS X Finder
Duplicate 1GB file
Compress 2GB folder
Uncompress 2GB file archive
Open 500 page Word document
Convert 28 AAC files to MP3 from hard drive
Import two-minute clip from camera archive
Share two-minute movie to iTunes for mobile devices
Import 150 photos from hard drive
WorldBench 6 Multiple Page Loading Test on Windows 7
Call of Duty 4
Timedemo run at 1024-by-768 with 4X anti-aliasing
Convert DV file to MPEG-2 for DVD
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Actions script run on a 50MB file
Encode one chapter from DVD to H.264
Evaluate Notebook test
Import 150 photos and build thumbnails and previews
[James Galbraith is Macworld’s lab director.]
[Editor’s note: Updated 11/9/09 at 10AM PT with score for 24″ iMac 3.06GHz (Early 2009). Updated 11/9/09 at 4:10PM PT to correct for the 24″ iMac 2.66GHz 4GB RAM (Early 2009) test results. Updated 11/20/09 at 3PM PT with scores for Core i5 and Core i7 iMacs and the 17″ MacBook Pro 2.8GHz 4GB RAM (Mid 2009). Updated 8/5/10 at 4:45PM PT with scores for the Mac mini 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB RAM (Mid 2010), MacBook 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB RAM, the Mid 2010 MacBook Pros, and Mid 2010 iMacs.]