Apple introduced its first Macs with the Apple Silicon “M1” chip, which brings the ARM architecture to the Mac with improved performance and energy efficiency. While the company said that the M1 chip is more powerful than most PC processors, a new benchmark test revealed that the new MacBook Air with M1 chip can beat all models of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel processors.
Earlier today, an independent analysis from AnandTech argued that the M1 chip in fact has the potential to be the fastest laptop CPU on the market, and the new benchmark results seem to prove this. The new MacBook Air with M1 chip scored 1687 in single-core and 7433 in multi-core tests.
For comparison, the higher-end 16-inch MacBook Pro model with an Intel Core i9 processor scores 1096 single-core and 6870 multi-core. The fact that the M1 chip in a MacBook Air was able to perform better than an Intel Core i9 processor in both single-core and multi-core seems extremely promising.
The benchmark results also revealed that the M1 8-core chip has a base frequency of 3.2GHz, while the 8-core Intel Core i9 processor found in the 16-inch MacBook Pro runs at 2.3GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz.
There are also other interesting comparisons that can be made with these results. For instance, the M1 chip delivers performance similar to the 2019 Mac Pro entry-level model — at least based on Geekbench results. Mac Pro scores 1024 in single-core and 7989 in multi-core. The numbers also confirm that the M1 chip is faster than any chip ever made by Apple for iPhone or iPad.
Apple says the M1 chip is the same for all Mac models updated this week, which includes MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. However, both MacBook Pro and Mac mini have an internal fan while MacBook Air doesn’t, which can help these other two models deliver even better sustained performance.