Apple claims that Mac “M1” processor can outperform 98% of laptops is questionable

Apple officially announced the 5nm M1 processor based on ARM architecture at the “One More Thing” event. It also introduced the new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini with this new own processor instead of the Intel x86 processors of the past.

From the looks, the new notebooks looks the same (except the Mac mini). Apple claims the performance of the new processor is 3 times faster than it’s previous generation in computing and 5 to 6 times in graphics performance. Machine learning and energy consumption performance are improved. The M1 processor will be able to run iOS and iPadOS App.

At the press event, Apple did not provide much back up on it’s claim that the new notebooks will outperform 98% of the WIndows notebooks sold last year.

PCWorld” also questioned that if it is “faster than 98% of laptops”, it seems to mean that the fanless M1 MacBook Air will beat the ASUS ROG Zephyrus equipped with Ryzen 4000 processor and GeForce RTX 2060 discrete graphics card in terms of performance. G14, or gaming laptops like Alienware’s 17-inch Area 51M, and MSI Creator 17, but “PCWorld” believes that the fanless design should be unlikely.

So far, Apple has not published any data on how they determined that the new processor outperforms 98% of yester years notebooks. There were some references that the comparison is made against an Intel processor The previous generation – the M1 version of the MacBook Pro, has a CPU performance of 2.8 times higher, which is compared with the previous generation MacBook Pro with a 1.7GHz 4-core Intel Core i7 processor, and uses Xcode 12.2, Apple Clang 12.0.0 , Ninja 1.10.0.git, CMake 3.16.5 build test.

Overall, even compared with the previous generation of Intel processor versions of MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini, the M1 processor version of the Mac “CPU is approximately 3 times faster” and “GPU is 5 ~ 6 times faster.” Compared with the highest-end version of the customized post-processor, it should be convincing. Therefore, for Mac users, starting with the M1 version should get higher performance, which is only possible in the optimization of third-party apps. There will be problems, but for other PC users, it is open to discussion.

Mac notebook users (previous generation using Intel) might have issues with software compatibility with the new macbook on M1 processor. For example, the popular Windows emulator “Parallels Desktop” on the Mac platform currently does not support running on the M1 version of the Mac. Users in the M1 version of Mac who want to use Microsoft Windows in the same way as before, may have many compatibility issues.

I hope to see some benchmark numbers of the M1 processor e.g. Cinebench results to determine if it really can justify it’s claims. If it does, the x86 world will have to relook into using other power saving ARM processors to stay in the competition for portable lightweight notebooks,.

Pricing

MacBook Air S$1,449
MacBook Pro 13″ S$1,849
MacBook Pro 16″ S$3,499
Mac Mini S$979

The HP AMD Ryzen 4000 series notebook is a pretty affordable convertible with great performance.