Apple May Have Considered Releasing a 2018 MacBook Air With Faster Core i7 Processor
While the new MacBook Air with a Retina display can only be configured with one processor option, a 1.6GHz dual‑core eighth‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Apple may have prototyped a faster version too.
A benchmark result on Geekbench last week has surfaced via Slashleaks for an unreleased Mac, codenamed AAPJ140K1,1, powered by a dual-core eighth-generation Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz. The exact model is not listed, but its logic board has the same part number as the new MacBook Air.
As further evidence, the benchmark result lists 16GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, an existing upgrade option for the new MacBook Air. And the Core i7-8510Y appears to be part of Intel's low-power Amber Lake lineup, as is the Core i5 in the new MacBook Air, although it's not listed on Intel's ARK database.
The apparent MacBook Air with a Core i7 chip has a multi-core score of 8,553 on Geekbench, which would make it roughly 8.5 percent faster than the average multi-core score of the existing option with a Core i5.
Geekbench founder John Poole told MacRumors that nothing about the benchmark result looks fake to him, although that possibility can't be entirely ruled out. If real, however, it suggests that a 2018 MacBook Air with a Core i7 exists within Apple, but obviously hasn't been released to the public.
It's reasonable to assume that Apple prototypes several different versions of its products, and not all of them see the light of day. Why the MacBook Air with a Core i7 wasn't released is anyone's guess — maybe it ran too hot, or Apple elected to keep the dual-core Core i7 a MacBook Pro option, or something else.
If Apple does plan to add the Core i7 as an upgrade option for the new MacBook Air, it's hard to envision that it would do so anytime soon considering the notebook was just refreshed. Apple has bumped up the MacBook Air's processor mid-product-cycle in the past, though, so there is some precedence for the move.
All in all, there is possibly a new MacBook Air with a Core i7 in the wild that Apple decided not to ship or may ship at a later date.