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Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Benchmarks: Should you get 7 or 8 GPU cores? – Notebookcheck.net

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Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1
The new MacBook Air 2020 is equipped with Apple’s own M1 processor by default, but there are two GPU versions with 7 or 8 cores. We have both units in our editorial office and had the chance to compare the two iGPUs. Is the 8-core model worth the additional price?

The new MacBook Air (Late 2020) has finally arrived. It looks the same, but there is a very interesting change inside the chassis. Apple announced it in the beginning of the year, and we have speculated about this in our last review of the MacBook Air with an Intel CPU: Apple now uses its own ARM processors. All versions of the new MacBook Air are equipped with the M1 chip, but there are differences in terms of the integrated graphics unit. The base model for $999 has 7 GPU cores, while the more expensive unit for $1249 has 8 GPU cores. We now have both models in our hands and were able to perform some initial benchmarks.

Synthetic Benchmarks

Both the M1 chip as well as macOS Big Sur are still very new, so not alle benchmarks are available as native apps yet, some benchmarks are still emulated Intel version. During our initial tests, this worked well in general, but there can still be some smaller issues.

The results of the two versions are usually very close to each other and we rarely see a difference of more than 10%. We have also included the results of the current MacBook Pro 16 with the Radeon 5500M, which is still faster, but the differences are not huge. Considering that the M1 chip inside the MacBook Air is completely passively cooled, these results are very impressive. The new A14 chip in the Apple iPad Air 2020 on the other hand is clearly beaten by the M1 chip.

Basemark GPU 1.2
3840×2160 Metal High Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171




30 (25min – 42max) fps ∼100% +43%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

21 fps ∼70%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1




19.24 (15min – 24max) fps ∼64% -8%
1920×1080 Metal Medium Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171




356 (57min – 763max) fps ∼100% +26%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

283 fps ∼79%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1




276 (63min – 506max) fps ∼78% -2%
3DMark
Wild Life Unlimited Score
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

17731 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

16159 Points ∼91% -9%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

8955 Points ∼51% -49%
Wild Life Score
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

10017 Points ∼100%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

6632 Points ∼66% -34%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

55.5 fps ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

51.4 fps ∼93% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

42.7 fps ∼77% -23%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

35.6 fps ∼64% -36%
2560×1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

94.7 fps ∼100% +17%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

81.2 fps ∼86%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

72.4 fps ∼76% -11%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

32.9 fps ∼35% -59%
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

60.1 fps ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

60 fps ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

59 fps ∼98% -2%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

40.5 fps ∼67% -32%
1920×1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

254 fps ∼100% +18%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

214.4 fps ∼84%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

192 fps ∼76% -10%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

105.6 fps ∼42% -51%
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

210 fps ∼100% +19%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

176.6 fps ∼84%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

162 fps ∼77% -8%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

87.2 fps ∼42% -51%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

58.7 fps ∼100% +3%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

57.2 fps ∼97%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171

53.5 fps ∼91% -6%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

40 fps ∼68% -30%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

268.3 fps ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

240 fps ∼89% -11%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

136.8 fps ∼51% -49%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1

60 fps ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 Entry (M1, 7 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB)
M1 7-Core GPU, M1

59.8 fps ∼100% 0%
Apple iPad Air 2020
A14 Bionic GPU, A14, 256 GB NVMe

45.4 fps ∼76% -24%

Gaming Performance

We have decided to use the game Borderlands 3 for our initial tests, because it allows a fair comparison thanks to its integrated benchmark. The game is emulated, but it worked very well in general. The only problem was when we tried to end the game, when the system sometimes froze and required a restart. 

The low preset still shows a pretty big advantage for the 8-core GPU, but the results between the two models are very close in the more demanding quality presets. The comparison with the rivals is much more interesting. For starters, the old MacBook Pro 15 with the 560X is hardly any faster, and both the Nvidia GeForce MX350 as well as the Intel Xe Graphics (96 EUs) from the current Tiger Lake chips are clearly beaten in higher quality settings.

The performance of the M1 GPU was surprisingly stable in a first stress test, but we want to perform more benchmarks before we can give our final verdict on this topic. We will also test more games with the new M1 chip for our final review.

First Impressions

Our initial tests clearly show that Apple’s new M1 chip offers a significant performance improvement over the old MacBook Air powered by Intel CPUs. The annoying chassis fan is finally gone as well, so the new MacBook Air is a completely silent device. It is also the only MacBook with dedicated function keys and no TouchBar.

The choice of the GPU (or the number of cores) does not really matter to be honest. It really depends on the storage you want. If 256 GB is sufficient for you, then you can go ahead and get the entry-level SKU with 7 GPU cores. If you prefer 512 GB, however, you can upgrade the entry-level SKU, but it would make more sense just to get the more expensive unit with the 8-core GPU instead.

We are currently working on the review of the new MacBook Air. The initial results are definitely promising. Please leave us a comment if you have special questions or suggestions for the review.

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Here are the free games hitting Xbox Games with Gold in February 2021 – MobileSyrup

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Every month, Microsoft offers four Xbox games at no additional cost to those subscribed to its Xbox Live Gold service.

In February 2021, however, the company is offering five titles as part of its Games with Gold program.

Here are the games:

  • Gears 5 (regularly $49.99 CAD) — Available February 1st to 28th [also on Xbox Game Pass]
  • Resident Evil (regularly $25.99) — Available February 1st to 28th
  • Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition (regularly $14.99) — Available February 16th to March 15th
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (regularly $9.99) — Available February 1st to 15th (original Xbox game playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility)
  • Lost Planet 2 (regularly $19.99) — Available February 16th to 28th (Xbox 360 game playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility)

Notably, the inclusion of Resident Evil — an enhanced version of the 2002 GameCube remake of the series’ first game — comes hot on the heels of Capcom’s announcement that Resident Evil Village is releasing on May 7th.

The addition of Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, meanwhile, comes just one week after Lucasfilm announced a partnership with Bethesda on a brand-new Indiana Jones game.

It’s also worth noting that Gears 5 — which recently got a downloadable story add-on — was developed by Vancouver’s own The Coalition.

Keep in mind that all of the Games with Gold titles are playable on Xbox One as well as Microsoft’s new consoles, the Xbox Series X and S, thanks to backward compatibility.

It’s important to note, however, that alongside the new Games with Gold announcement, Microsoft is also increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold. Until now, Xbox Live Gold cost $11.99/month in Canada or $29.99/three months.

Now, one-month Gold memberships are increasing by $1 USD (about $1.27 CAD) and the price of a 3-month membership is being raised by $5 USD (roughly $6.34 CAD). More information on that can be found here.

That said, Xbox Live Gold is also included in a $16.99/month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership alongside Game Pass for Console and PC, game streaming on Android and EA Play.

Additionally, you can read more on what’s come to Games with Gold in January here.

Image credit: Capcom

Source: Xbox

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Report: The MacBook Air is getting a major redesign, too – Ars Technica

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There’s been on onslaught of Apple leaks out of business publication Bloomberg over the past week, and the latest goes into a little more detail about an upcoming MacBook Air redesign.

Like the others, the report cites anonymous people familiar with Apple’s plans. It claims a newly redesigned MacBook Air (presumably with either Apple’s M1 chip for Macs or a successor to that chip) will “be released during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022.”

But buried in this MacBook Air report is perhaps equally big news for a certain set of Mac users: it claims that Apple plans to reintroduce the SD card slot in new MacBook Pros—a detail that was left out of a story on those computers earlier this week.

The current M1 MacBook Air will remain in the lineup, while this new MacBook Air will be a “higher-end” alternative that will be sold alongside it. Why is it higher-end, you might ask? Well, Bloomberg’s sources claim that it will be even thinner and lighter than the model that’s available now.

Further, the footprint of the laptop will be smaller because the bezels will be reduced, but the screen will still measure 13 inches. This is a different approach than Apple has taken before (and is expected to continue to take) with its MacBook Pro line. In November of 2019, Apple launched a 16-inch MacBook Pro to replace the prior 15-inch model, but the footprint was the same, while the screen occupied much of the space that was previously bezel, bringing the display size up.

The report also says the new MacBook Air will have MagSafe—something that was stated by the same publication a few days ago about upcoming MacBook Pro models. MagSafe was a key feature of Apple laptops of yore, but Apple gradually removed it from the product line over the past few years before reintroducing it in the iPhone 12 in 2020.

In the Mac, MagSafe is a power port and accompanying cord that lightly, magnetically attach. The cord is easy to slot in, but if the cord is pulled on, it will pop out gently rather than tugging the laptop with it. The goal was to prevent situations where an owner of the device might trip on the cord and accidentally yank the laptop off a desk or table, damaging it.

Finally, today’s Bloomberg report says that Apple “considered” making a MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen, but that plan won’t happen this generation after all.

The reports earlier this week claimed that Apple plans to introduce a new iPhone in 2021 with an in-screen fingerprint reader.

They also said we should expect a 14-inch MacBook Pro with a larger, better display to replace the current 13-inch model, as well as faster graphics and CPU performance. Also coming is a successor to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which would also have a better screen and which would bring Apple’s own silicon to that product.

Finally, the leaks predicted that an iMac redesign is coming, with Apple Silicon and a new design, as well as a cheaper alternative to Apple’s ProDisplay XDR monitor aimed at consumers.

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Looked out your window lately? There's bound to be something wild – CBC.ca

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In a drawing that stretches 35 feet long, B.C. artist Sarah Ronald has sketched a ghostly night-time universe. In this inky landscape — which is comprised of 14 connected scenes — nocturnal creatures come out to play: bats, coyotes, bears … and a garden gnome.

Let it be a reminder: there’s a whole world outside your window if you take the time to look. And from Ronald’s house in the Vancouver suburbs, all those animals (plus garden statuary) are a common sight.

“That panorama is about the [animal] activity that’s come and gone through my backyard,” says Ronald. And it appears in Territory, her current solo exhibition, which is on now at the Gibsons Art Gallery to Feb. 7. 

Installation view of Panorama, a 2020 drawing by Sarah Ronald, at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. (Sarah Ronald)

The show includes paintings, animation and several more of her drawings — many rendered in white pencil crayon and pastel to mimic the eerie blur of animals caught on security cams. 

Animals have long been her favourite subject matter, and while researching another project several years ago, she was struck by the incredible wildlife footage that people were getting by rigging cameras in forests and front decks. She loved the blown-out, night-vision aesthetic. “It’s so dreamy and haunting,” says Ronald.

But another aspect was even more intriguing: there was something powerful about seeing an animal in such a candid way. “These [images] exist because we’re not there,” she says. “It really got me thinking about how to incorporate this into my work.”

Sometime in 2019, Ronald began mimicking the look of this found footage in her art. She has her own cameras installed outside her house, actually — though her home security system pre-dates this project. “I know there are a lot of critters out there,” she says, even though the yard itself is not especially big. She estimates it’s roughly 30 feet deep — so a little shorter than the panoramic drawing in Territory. But she’s observed a sort of “wildlife corridor” between her street and a townhouse complex up the hill. 

Sarah Ronald, Territory (XI). 2019. (Sarah Ronald)

“They travel through the neighbourhood behind my fence,” she says. “I’ll go out and see a coyote pop his head around. Or, more often, it’s raccoons. Sometimes I think the raccoons just come here to hang out,” she laughs. The cameras, she explains, just confirmed what she already knew — while capturing all the fauna-drama on video. And when she experiences a wildlife encounter — on camera, or in person — she says that’s usually her cue to hit the studio. 

The panorama drawing, she says, was especially inspired by those backyard happenings. Created over November and December this past year, it actually captures a much longer timeline of her outdoor space. A detail might document specific events: a fallen tree, a visit from a family of raccoons. Other scenes are more speculative. (She confesses, for example, that she’s never seen a bear back there, though they have been known to invade her neighbour’s place.)

“You kind of get a sense of the space when you’ve been there long enough, what kind of activities happen,” says Ronald, but she explains that the image serves as more than a journal. The piece uses her yard as a stand-in for the natural world at large, a place forever churning with change. 

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (5). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (7). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Panorama (11). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

With two further exhibitions planned for later this year, Ronald says that she’s continuing to add new works to Territory, and she’s especially interested in producing hand-drawn animation for the series.

A 17-minute piece (Encounter) appears at the exhibition in Gibsons, and the film aims to capture the sensation of crossing paths with a coyote. “Imagine being out in the woods in the middle of the night. Or even on the street at two in the morning when there’s nobody out there,” she says. “I’m interested in using animation as a way to almost have a one-on-one with wildlife.”

[embedded content]

The entire series is an invitation to connect with the wild world around us, and one could argue the pandemic’s already prompted more of that. Yard space is precious. Birdwatching is trending. A knife-wielding Toronto squirrel can capture international headlines. And prior to lockdown, was there ever a time when gawping out a picture window was such a mainstream pastime? 

Ronald was already working from home when the pandemic struck, but she understands what happens when you spend a lot of time within your own property lines. It is, after all, a driving creative force behind Territory. “When you stay in a space for a really long time, you don’t feel ownership — you feel like you’re a part of that space. So to spend time outside, you’re part of it.”

“There’s something about that — that connection — where you can just be present with [nature] instead of trying to control it. Maybe with COVID a lot more people are being present.”

Sarah Ronald, Territory (V). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Nocturnal Journey (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Territory (III). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald, Wanderer (I). 2020. (Sarah Ronald)

Sarah Ronald. Territory. To Feb. 7 at Gibsons Art Gallery, Gibsons, B.C. www.gpag.ca

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