11vs13 and i5vsi7


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 25, 2013
I recently dropped my 11in Air and can no longer use it properly the display is cracked and its dented up. Fell down stairs when I tripped.

I will be getting 8GB instead of 4GB this time and have a couple questions.

1. Is the i7 noticeably faster than the i5?
2. Does the i7 have a faster GPU than the i5?
3. Does the i7 have any thermal issues?
4. If YES to #3, does the fact the 13in is bigger let the i7 run cooler/throttle less than in the 11in?


macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2014


Those are the exact specs (directly from Intel) for the i5 and i7.

Something to note is that both the i5 and i7 have hyper threading so the difference between the two chips essentially comes down to the clock rate (hyper threading is disabled in desktop i5 processors and is usually responsible for the performance differences between desktop i5 and i7 chips).

The thermal performance of both chips should be roughly identical.

The GPU in the i7 can reach a slightly higher peak frequency (1100MHz vs 1000MHz in the i5). This is according to Intel though and it's possible that apple sets the clocks themselves (they sometimes underclock the graphics in their laptops) in which case, the clocks are likely to be the same. Either way, the difference is pretty small.

I doubt the size (11" vs 13") has much impact on thermals. The battery in the 13" is quite a bit larger (takes up the majority of inside space) so the 13" is just as cramped inside. Keep in mind that the 13" does get noticeably better battery life due to the larger battery.

Personally, I wouldn't really bother with the processor upgrade in the Macbook Air. If you really have a significant need for that kind of processing power, you might want to consider the Macbook Pro (the 13" Pro isn't much larger than the Air). As always though, it depends on what exactly you intend to do with the computer.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 25, 2013
I am just looking as the i7 as a way to keep the machine more useful for longer


Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I went from a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb MBA to a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA. The new machine is about 30% faster for demanding tasks such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. But for "everyday" stuff - using the Finder, e-mail, Safari, Mail, etc. the difference is not very noticeable.

I am glad I got the new machine, and especially like the 11" size/weight. But for someone who doesn't use especially demanding software, I doubt that they would notice much difference (especially when comparing i5 vs i7 on the current model instead of 2011 vs 2013).