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Wednesday | January 20, 2021
What about the Apple M1 chip?

What about the Apple M1 chip?

The announcement of Macs running on the “home-made” processor was expected. After 10 years of speculation and rumours, Apple has therefore launched its own processor, based on the ARM architecture. Apple M1 Of course, we’ve had the traditional orgy of superlatives on this processor and even with a little hindsight, it’s difficult to get an accurate idea of the real performance of this SoC M1. The figures that leak out here and there come from Geekbench and we are all here perfectly aware of the inconsistencies that this benchmark can produce. It was therefore necessary to find other ways to get an idea.

A first idea of the Apple M1 chip under Cinebench R23

The first indication comes from the all-new Cinebench R23, which has seen an Apple M1 pass through its net. Cinebench R23 can run natively with the new Apple CPUs. The interest of this new test protocol is, as we said during its presentation, to have a more complete state with measurements over a longer time. The test therefore makes it possible to take into account changes in frequency during the sequence (and not just a boost ), the effects of heating on the sequence, etc… The Apple M1 has a single-core score of 990 points versus a multi-core score of 4530 points. For comparison, a Core i5-8300H (4 cores + 8 threads at 2.30 / 4.00 GHz with a 45W PDT), scores 1038/4284 points. It should be noted that the version of the Apple M1 measured is the version used in the MacBook Air. This SOC is therefore entirely passive and consumes about 10W, while the Intel, which is a CPU, and not a SOC, consumes a minimum of 45W at its base frequency. If we now switch to “cooler” CPUs, we will compare this M1 to a Ryzen 4800HS (8 cores / 16 threads, TDP 45W) and a Ryzen 3600X (6 cores / 12 Threads, TDP 95W).

Cinebench R23 test Apple M1 AMD Ryzen 5 3600X AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
Single thread 990 1300 1230
Multi-thread 4530 9500 10600

It seems obvious that the Cinebench really measures performance on heavy applications and that a MacBook Air user is not really going to use his or her laptop for that. So let’s turn to “productivity” applications…

Apple M1: Excellent performance on optimized applications

Hexus, for its part, tells us about the return of Andy Somerfield from Serif Software in the UK, publishers of Affinity productivity applications. He shared an interesting set of results from Affinity Photo’s integrated CPU and GPU benchmark. He compared his Mac M1 to an iMac with a 9th generation Intel 6-core 3.7 GHz processor (i5-9600K, according to EveryMac ) and an AMD Radeon 580X graphics processor. It is important to note that the version used was also a dedicated version and fully optimized for the M1 chip.

A big potential but not really (yet?) a monster

The results of this chip show that Apple’s choice is not a last-minute foot change. Apple has been working on its subject for years with targeted buyouts and hiring galore, our friends in Vonguru had talked at length about this well calculated strategy. So yes, this chip is surprising and undoubtedly a real benefit to the market by shaking up the main players. However, the few remaining questions regarding the functioning of Rosetta in particular and its autonomy will still have to be answered. It will also allow Apple to further enhance its ecosystem by optimizing hardware and software at the same time, a real advantage. Finally, we will wait until the beginning of the year to measure this chip with the Tiger Lake processors at Intel and the Zen 3 at AMD. Ultra-mobility will therefore be Apple’s first target, and it remains to be seen in the course of next year how Apple intends to approach designers with its Apple Silicon chips. So let’s remain curious about this excellent work of the brand but let’s not forget that while Apple “revolutionizes the world” at each Keynote, the other advances also.

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Edited by Calliers

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