Leaked Macbook Air M3 benchmarks show a 20% increase over M2 — is it worth upgrading?

Apple MacBook Air M3 (2024)
(Image credit: Apple)

Just a day after Apple announced the upcoming Macbook Air M3 laptops, Geekbench 6.2 scores have already leaked. While the M3 chipset was already been given the Geekbench treatment back in October on the Macbook Pro line, these are the first scores for the new Macbook Air laptops. The laptops will launch this Friday, but have already made their way into the hands of reviewers.

Geekbench 6 is a multiplatform CPU performance test that measures a processor's single-core and multi-core power using a variety of real-world tasks. Geekbench 6 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 2500 (which is the score of an Intel Core i7-12700).

My Smart Price spotted the benchmark results, with a "Mac 15,13" unit achieving a single-core result of 3,157 and a multi-core score of 12,020. This is pretty close to the Geekbench 6.2 scores we saw with the Apple Macbook Pro 14 with an 8-core M3 CPU late last year (single-core: 3,163, multi-core: 11,968). 

The benchmarks have since disappeared from the Geekbench 6 archives, however, My Smart Price did get screenshots of the Geekbench results prior to the takedown, so we do have some indication of the Macbook Air M3's performance.


Apple MacBook Air M3 (2024)

(Image credit: Apple)

Official Geekbench scores for the 15-inch and 13-inch Macbook Air M3 laptops will be available on Friday when the laptops ship to consumers. However, given how close the leaked Geekbench 6.2 scores are to our previous tests of the CPU it seems safe to assume the leaked scores are an accurate indication.

For people who have the M2 version of the Macbook Air 13 and 15, the M3 chip provides about 20% more CPU performance. Last year's Macbook Air 15 with the M2 chip kicked back a Geekbench 6.1 single-core average of 2,613 and a multi-core average of 9,993. 

Given the leaked Geekbench 6 scores for the M3 (single-core: 3,157, multi-core: 12,020), the new chipset provides a 20.8% increase in single-core performance and a 20.2% increase in multi-core performance.

While Geekbench 6 does use real-world workloads to measure performance, for the average user a Geekbench 6 score mostly indicates how quick and reactive the laptop will be. While the M2 is still a reliable CPU, the M3 looks like it will offer a noticeable upgrade. 

While the difference over the M2 would be perceptible, it's a much clearer case for M1 Air or Intel-based MacBooks, we'll be able to give you a definitive answer as to who should consider the upgrade once the Air M3 has made its way through our labs and thorough review process.


Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.