The MacBook Air starts with an Intel Core i3, but is again available with a Core i7 processor. Back in 2014, we ordered what would become our favorite Mac notebook ever (and we’ve had a lot of them): The 11-inch MacBook Air with a 1.7GHz Dual Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz. Those things were real road warrior champs!
AppleInsider has now benchmarked the base 2020 MacBook Air with i3 processor, and the high-end quad-core i7 MacBook Air to see how much of a performance difference there — and to see if the i7 is worth the higher price tag.
Aside from the processors — and corresponding price increase — there are no differences between models of the 2020 MacBook Air.
Across the board, the new machines can now be configured with up to 2TB of internal storage, start with a higher 256GB of base storage, have adopted the 10th-generation of Intel’s processors, now use the Magic Keyboard, and have more powerful Intel Iris Plus graphics that can power a 6K display.
For the base 1.1 GHz dual-core i3-1000NG4 processor, we scored a 1074 and a 2412 on the single and multi-core tests. On the 1.2GHz quad-core i7-1060NG7 machine, we managed a 1294 and a 3514 respectively.
Those are no small gains. The roughly 20% single-core benchmark gain is good, but the near 50% multi-core gains are excellent. This is due, in part, to shift from a dual-core to a quad-core chip.
MacDailyNews Take: So, if you plan to use your MacBook Air for some processor-intensive apps, that $250 for the quad-core i7 will be money well invested.