Originally Posted by Wiggin
Thanks! I actually found the spec sheet last night, but didn't have a chance to come back here to update my post. The other thing I noticed on the specs is that Intel lists a price difference between the two CPUs at about $200 (obviously, who knows what Apple's actual prices are). Apple charges $250 for the upgrade, so not a total price gouging like on RAM upgrades.
So, $250 gets you 0.1 GHz increase in baseline and Turbo Boots speeds and 8 vs 6 MB L3 cache. Like you, I'm leaning towards "not worth it". It'd be better to take the money and upgrade both the RAM to 8 GB and the HD to a 750 GB/7200 rpm drive, and still have a little change left over.
What price gouging on RAM? Sounds like one of those fallacies that have held over since the days of There is no software for Macs for that crop up from time to time. I remember when the cost of RAM was quite different than what you could get from Newegg, except for the best RAM options they offer, but its been a couple years since it wasnt more advantageous for me to just buy the RAM upgrade from Apple instead of saving a a couple dollars on comparable good quality RAM, having to install it myself, not getting warranty on that RAM from Apple*, and then having to hold on to or throw/give away** a couple of lesser RAM sticks that I know Ill never need.
Something else to consider with the cost from Intel. Those are per 1000 unit pricing. Apple does get better pricing across the board, but consider that typical unit sales will have more of the cheaper models sold than the more expensive BTO models. That means that Apple will buy more of the 2.2GHz Core-i7s than the 2.3GHz Core-i7s.
Also consider they could easily get such a reduction in price and want to encourage more sales of machines with that processor that they are given an even larger discount for that model to encourage more competitive sales for that speed processor for comparative notebooks, and therefore charge a little more for the BTO option to make up for that introductory price. This isnt just common, its the way it works.
On top of that, if they had to buy x-many of one chip to get a certain price they might have to charge more or less to optimize their revenue, profit and unit sales. Its a tricky business and we cant possibly know the details without a masters in accounting and lot of time spent go over Apples records.
* Sure, the RAM suppliers offer warranties, and probably lifetime warranties, but they are inconvenient and costly since you have to send them the RAM in the mail on your dime and wait weeks for a replacement. No thank you!
** Sure, I could sell it, but that is more trouble than what I could get for it. No thank you!