MacBook Air benchmarks for maxed-out 11-inch model
Those sweet, thin little MacBook Airs are sure making a lot of Mac-heads drool, even though they are not the speediest Macs in the world by a long shot. While the diminutive 11.6-inch model isn't really designed to be used with Pro apps or CPU/RAM hogs like Adobe Photoshop, that didn't keep the folks at AnandTech from running a suite of tough benchmarks on that tiny Air.
Their results weren't exactly surprising. If you get the slightly faster 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and double the standard RAM to 4GB, you'll get about 16 percent better performance over the base 1.4GHz / 2GB model. Most of that improvement is probably due to the extra RAM; the benchmarks didn't show the performance of the slower CPU model with 4GB of RAM.
Anandtech also ran Aperture 2 RAW import, battery life, video encoding and 3D rendering tests, all of which demonstrate (duh!) that the MacBook Pro is really the laptop to use for these types of applications. As many Mac pundits have pointed out, the MacBook Air is great for web surfing, writing, iLife and iWork. If you're going to be running graphics or CPU-intensive applications, though, you're going to be disappointed with a MacBook Air.
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