Update: “Desktop Class”

Re: last week’s post on the feasibility of ARM-based MacBooks, the A7 benchmarks are out, and it looks like an A7-based MacBook Air could be reasonably competitive with the Intel MacBook Airs. The bottom line is that the Haswell MacBook Air is 1.6x faster than the iPhone 5S in all single-threaded integer tasks (I’m less interested in floating-point performance since that has lesser impacts on perceived performance for the “average” user). If we assume a 25-30% increase in clock speed when moving to a laptop power envelope, then an A7-based MacBook Air could achieve 80% of the performance of the current Haswell MacBook Air.  I suspect that would qualify as “good enough” performance for an entry-level MacBook Air, but ultimately that’s Apple’s decision to make.

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