MacBook Air: High-end BTOs are 21 percent faster than base models
Macworld has tested the high-end built-to-order upgrades for the new MacBook Airs. The 2.0GHz i7/8GB/256GB 11in Air is the one I bought and I'm encouraged to see that it is 21 percent faster overall than the stock high-end model (1.7GHz i5/4GB/128GB). Aperture import/export is 22 percent faster, which bears out my unscientific and subjective comments yesterday. Tester James Galbraith:
While the BTO system ended up costing us 50 percent more than the stock high-end model, it boosted overall performance by 21 percent. Every single test we ran benefitted from the extra RAM, extra storage, extra processing power, or a combination of the upgrades.
All this confirms my contention that if you want the mostest in the smallest and lightest package, the BTO 11in Air is currently the way to go.
As a matter of record, what I bought and what Macworld describe as "built to order" is actually a stock model, at least in London Apple stores. Austin White of ThoughtfulDesign also found this model in his local Apple store in the USA. I suspect Apple has realised this will be a popular choice and has decided to stock it.