Macworld’s James Galbraith notes that Apple usually offers optional specification upgrades that facilitate tailoring a standard-configuration system to your particular needs, and that Macworld Lab ran performance benchmarks on two MacBook Air build-to-order (BTO) models.
The tested 11-inch MacBook Air had a dual-core 2.0GHz Core i7 CPU with 4MB of shared L2 cache ($150 option), 8GB of RAM (100), and 256GB of flash storage ($300), totaling out at $1649 or 50 percent more than the stock high-end model, and boosting overall performance by 21 percent.
The 13-inch MacBook Air tester started out with the high-end stock ($1499) dual-core 1.8GHz Core i5 model upgraded to the dual-core 2.0GHz Core i7 ($100), 8GB of RAM ($100), and 512GB of flash storage ($500), bringing the total cost $2199, which incidentally is the price of the 39 percent faster overall entry-level 15″ Retina display MacBook Pro, albeit the latter comes with only 250 GB of storage capacity. However, Galbraith reports that on the 13-incher the BTO upgrades only yielded an 11 percent overall performance improvement, although it was 21 percent faster overall than the $1499 2.9GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro.
Much food for thought here for anyone in the hunt for a speedy MacBook.
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