The 2013 MacBook Air: Core i5-4250U vs. Core i7-4650U@ 2013/07/05
The Core i7 CPU upgrade comes at a fairly reasonable cost: $150 regardless of configuration. The max clocks increase by almost 30%, as does the increase in L3 cache. The obvious questions are how all of this impacts performance, battery life and thermals. Finally equipped with a 13-inch MBA with the i7-4650U upgrade, I can now answer those questions. The two systems are configured almost identically, although the i7-4650U configuration includes 8GB of memory instead of 4GB. Thankfully none of my tests show substantial scaling with memory capacity beyond 4GB so that shouldn't be a huge deal. Both SSDs are the same Samsung PCIe based solution. Let's start with performance.