Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air (Core i7 1.8GHz) Review Updateby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 1, 2011 6:08 PM EST
In our 2011 MacBook Air review I presented a couple of numbers that showed up to a 27% increase in performance from the i7 over the stock i5 in the 11. I ran the upgraded 11 through our complete performance suite and came up with an average increase in performance of about 22%. Given the increase in base clock speed is only 12.5% for the i7, the rest of the performance improvement had to have come from the higher turbo ratios and larger L3 cache.
I tend to follow the 10% rule: performance improvements greater than 10% are noticeable. In the case of the 11-inch MacBook Air, the upgraded i7 delivers a noticeable increase in performance.
Note that due to the smaller chassis, the upgraded 11 isn't always as fast as the 13-inch MacBook Air with the same CPU. Maximum single threaded performance looks pretty similar but under a prolonged heavily threaded workload the upgraded 13 is actually a bit faster:
|Core i7 1.8GHz Comparison: 13-inch vs 11-inch MacBook Air|
|Cinebench R10 (1 thread)||Cinebench R10 (4 threads)||Cinebench 11.5 (4 threads)|
|Core i7 1.8GHz (13-inch MBA)||4083||8234||2.46|
|Core i7 1.8GHz (11-inch MBA)||4087||7785||2.36|
The advantage is around 5% in Cinebench so I doubt it's anything noticeable.