MacBook Pro (Mid 2014) review: Update offers slightly better CPU performance

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Battery life

Mac modelTime
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 10 hours 2 mins
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 9 hours 24 mins
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 7 hours 13 mins
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 6 hours 56 mins
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 9 hours 48 mins
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013)  n/a
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013)  7 hours 18 mins
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 7 hours 32 mins
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 12 hours 13 mins

Higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

To test the battery life in these new portables, we looped a playlist of shows downloaded from the iTunes store. We turned off Wi-Fi and set the screen brightness to 200 cd/m2. The 2.6GHz 13-inch model lasted just over 10 hours in this test while the 2.8GHz model lasted just under nine and a half hours. The 15-inch models lasted a respectable seven hours. The most recent MacBook Air, for comparison’s sake, lasted over 12 hours in this test.

Finder tests

Mac modelCopyZipUnzip
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 39.9 351.1 62.6
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 25.4 342.1 51.2
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 25.9 332.1 44.8
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 22.7 322.5 40.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 35.3 321.4 40.4
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 22.4 301.4 32.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 23.5 297.1 35.4
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 21.4 272.7 33.0
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 38.6 406.3 86.2

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

(Other benchmark-component test results published below.)

Bottom line

With beautiful high-resolution screens, fast PCIe-connected flash storage, Thunderbolt 2, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and USB 3.0, Apple’s latest MacBook Pros with Retina display are fantastic machines. And while the changes to the latest models are modest, they do provide higher performance in most applications than previous models, more RAM in the low-end models, and lower prices at the high-end.

iMovie 10.0.1 enhance/export

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 209.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 205.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 148.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 62.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 219.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 204.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 151.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 63.0
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 219.0

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

iPhoto 9.5.1 import

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 152.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 143.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 76.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 76.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 173.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 158.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 87.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 78.0
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 179.0

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

iTunes 11.1 AAC to MP3 encode

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 72.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 68.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 64.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 59.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 78.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 73.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 69.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 65.7
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 85.0

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

HandBrake 0.9.5 encode

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 191.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 178.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 95.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 94.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 203.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 192.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 103.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 96.3
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 224.7

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Photoshop CC action script

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 137.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 132.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 98.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 97.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 150.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 137.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 104.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 102.0
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 157.0

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Aperture 3.5.1 import/process

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 97.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 89.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 77.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 71.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 106.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 96.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 85.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 75.7
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 120.3

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Cinebench R15 CPU

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 148.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 139.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 71.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 70.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 159.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 149.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 76.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 70.0
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 174.0

Results as times in seconds. Lower results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

MathematicaMark 9

Mac modelResults (seconds)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 1.8
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 2.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 4.1
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 4.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 1.5
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 1.8
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 3.9
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 4.2
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 1.5

Higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Parallels 9-PCMark 8 Office

Mac modelScore
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 2026.1
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 2299.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 3158.3
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 3586.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 1798.0
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 2389.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 2827.0
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 3294.3
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 2027.0

Higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Unigine Heaven and Valley 1280-by-720

Mac modelHeaven 1280-by-720Valley 1280-by-720
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 21.4 17.71
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 21.6 17.91
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 35.6 27.37
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 37.3 38.28
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 20.8 16.98
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 22.3 17.97
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 35.6 27.74
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 37.4 38.08
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 19.2 15.15

Results are frames per second; higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Unigine Heaven and Valley 1920-by-1080

Mac modelHeaven 1920-by-1080Valley 1920-by-1080
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 7.9 5.74
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 8.2 5.95
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 11.8 8.31
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 16.5 16.57
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 7.9 5.74
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 8.2 6
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 11.4 8.13
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 16.5 16.56
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) n/a n/a

Results are frames per second; higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Unigine Heaven and Valley 2560-by-1600

Mac modelHeaven 2560-by-1600Valley 2560-by-1600
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 5.6 5.35
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 5.8 5.55
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 8.0 7.77
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 11.9 14.8
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 5.6 5.35
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 5.8 5.59
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 7.7 7.57
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 11.9 14.8
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) n/a n/a

Results are frames per second; higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

Cinebench R15 OpenGL

Mac modelResults (fps)
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Mid 2014) 21.7
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.8GHz (Mid 2014) 21.8
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.2GHz (Mid 2014) 27.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.5GHz (Mid 2014) 54.3
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.4GHz (Late 2013) 21.2
13" Retina MacBook Pro/2.6GHz (Late 2013) 21.7
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.0GHz (Late 2013) 27.6
15" Retina MacBook Pro/2.3GHz (Late 2013) 53.8
13" MacBook Air/1.4GHz, 256GB flash storage (Mid 2014) 18.6

Higher results are better. Best result in bold. Reference models in italics.

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At a Glance
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