It looks like Apple has plans to give the MacBook Pro 13-inch a considerable power boost in 2020. And, it’s about darn time, especially since 8th-generation Intel Core processors are aging at this point, especially on a premium laptop.
A 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, recently leaked by @_rogame on Twitter, shows a new 13-inch MacBook Pro boasting marked performance improvements over 2019’s second highest configuration. If you’re not familiar with this serial leaker, he was responsible for uncovering a Geekbench 4 benchmark of the 16-inch MacBook Pro boasting the Radeon 5500M graphics card before it came out. So, you know this is coming from a reliable source.
The unreleased 13-inch MacBook Pro model is fitted with an Intel Core i7-1068NG7 processor with a 2.3GHz base clock, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz clocks and a TDP of 28W. Based on an earlier tweet, it also boasts 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage (SSD).
It’s worth noting that the i7-1068NG7 could be a variant of the i7-1068G7, which Wccftech.com praises as the best performing mobile chip in the Ice Lake U family.
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Improvements all around
If we were to go by this leak, we could be looking at a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a respectable boost in power.
The benchmark pitted the i7 model against a 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch with an 8th-generation Intel Core i5-8279U with 2.4GHz base, maximum Turbo frequency of 4.1GHz and a TDP of 28W. And, it shows the i7 having a 12% lead over the i5 in CPU testing and about a 29% increase in graphics performance.
It’s unclear whether it has the same Iris Plus 655 graphics or is armed with a more powerful next-generation GPU. However, the presence of 32GB RAM could indicate that there might be more options for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020 in terms of memory. Currently, you can only upgrade to 16GB from 8GB. This is great news for folks who need more power, but want something more portable than the 16-inch MacBook Pro, however impressive it may be.
There’s one other thing to note here: the i5 model is only the second highest configuration in the 2019 model. So, we’re wondering why this benchmark isn’t pitting the 10th-generation i7 with the highest one, which boasts 8th-generation i7 chip. It’s something to think about, especially if rumors about a 14-inch MacBook Pro – with suitably slim bezels but only slightly bigger chassis – are actually true.
At the very least, we’re hoping that the 2020 entry-level MacBook Pro will, in fact, drop the awful Butterfly switches and adopt the 16-inch’s Scissor switches, which are by far the “best keyboard we’ve used on a MacBook.”
We won’t have to wait long to find out. If we were to go by Apple’s recent EEC filings and the fact that the 2019 MacBook Pro 13-inch was refreshed back in July 2019, we’ll be seeing the 2020 model soon.
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Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.