Just how much faster Apple’s new M1 chip is when pitted against its Intel silicon counterparts? Well, someone with access to Apple’s new M1-powered Macs submitted alleged Geekbench 5 scores showing the chip outperforming every Mac ever made in single-core performance.
The first benchmark shows a MacBook Air running an Apple M1 chip with a base clock frequency of 3.2 GHz, featuring 8GB of RAM. The machine achieved a single-core score of 1,687 and a multi-core score of 7,433. How do these numbers compare to existing devices?
The M1 chip in the MacBook Air outperforms all iOS devices. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 12 Pro earned a single-core score of 1,584 and a multi-core score of 3,898, while the highest ranked iOS device on Geekbench’s charts, the A14 iPad Air, earned a single-core score of 1,585 and a multi-core score of 4,647.
What really blows my mind is the single-core performance. In comparison to Macs, the new MacBook Air delivers faster single-core performance than any other available Mac. It also beats out the high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro configuration powered by Intel’s tenth-generation 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 processor (single-core: 1,096; multi-core: 6,870).
Though the M1 chip is outperforming the 16-inch MacBook Pro models when it comes to raw CPU benchmarks, the 16-inch MacBook Pro likely offers better performance in other areas such as the GPU as those models have high-power discrete GPUs.
Other relevant benchmarks include the M1 Mac mini (single-core: 1,682; multi-core: 7,067) and the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro (single-core: 1,714; multi-core: 6,802).
There are likely to be some performance differences between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air even though they’re using the same M1 chip because the MacBook Air has a fanless design and the MacBook Pro has an new Apple-designed cooling system.
I’d like to underscore the importance of single-core scores over multi-core performance. While multi-threaded computing is crucial in the most demanding tasks like editing multiple 4K video streams or composing layered music, most of the experience of average users revolves around single-core computing. That is, most of the everyday tasks run on a single CPU core and the operating system allocates multiple tasks across the available cores.
The M1 chip has four high-performance cores that fire up when performing resource-intensive operations, including playing a demanding game or running video analysis. Besides, it includes an additional four low-power cores that Apple claims deliver comparable performance as the current Intel chips in the previous Macs while consuming one-tenth of the power.
Apple’s invested in single-core computing when it comes to its own chips so small wonder fruits of that labor really show now that we’re getting our first Geekbench scores for the chip.