How Powerful are the Latest Mac Devices Powered by Apple M1 SoC?
Apple had introduced the latest Mac devices powered by its first silicon System on a Chip (SoC) last month. The ARM-based silicon processor, called the Apple M1, finally helped Apple transition to its next generating of computing devices, moving beyond the previously used Intel processors.
The company launched three M1-powered mac devices during the event – MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. All the tech enthusiasts across the world were longing to get their hands on these devices right from the moment Apple announced them. They were all eager to see how the machines fair against the claims made by the company while introducing them.
It’s been a while now since the devices are out in the real world. The tech fanatics have spent a significant amount of time with the machines and are more than satisfied with their real-world performances. In fact, most of them have been blown away by how these machines are able to handle graphics-intensive tasks so smoothly. Indeed, the Apple M1 is a performance beast, and the company’s claim of it offering ‘the world’s best CPU performance per watt’ does hold water.
The M1 Chip
The ARM-based SoC utilizes revolutionary 5-nanometer process technology and contains about 16 billion transistors. Before diving deep into specific devices for analyzing their performance, let’s look at some of the highlights of the new Apple M1 SoC.
- Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) – Enables high-bandwidth and low-latency memory access
- 8-Core Central Processing Unit (CPU) – Features 4 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores
- Up to 8-Core Integrated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) – capable of running up to 25000 threads simultaneously
- 16-Core Neural Engine – Offers about 15 times faster Machine Learning (ML) performance with the capability of executing 11 trillion operations per second
- Power Efficient – Offers best ever battery lives to the new Mac devices
Apple had used the phrase ‘small chip, giant leap’ while unveiling the M1 and we need to admit that the chip does make a giant leap as far as the performances of new Mac devices are concerned. Apple had made other extraordinary claims regarding the chip. Though, they were sort of vague and not in comparison with any particular real-world device. That was a smart strategy by the company, said many tech experts after the event. However, Apple has done what it’s known for doing. Delivering what promised.
In terms of real-world performance, the latest M1 Macs are not only going past some of the high-end, Intel-powered Macs but are literally knocking them down. Some technology experts are in awe of the superior performance these devices are offering.
Let’s look at the three M1-powered devices one by one and study their real-world performances.
- The MacBook Air
The MacBook Air was the first device unveiled by Apple that was powered by its first-of-its-kind M1 SoC. The $999 device makes a giant leap in terms of performance as well as battery life. The instant-on from standby on the MacBook Air is similar to modern smartphones. The device loses a mere 6 percent of the power while it is on standby for almost 16 hours. Even with no fans to cool the system down, the device gives a great thermal performance.
Geekbench, a processor benchmarking program, uses a series of tests for evaluating the performance of a device. The official Geekbench scores of the M1 MacBook Air are overwhelming. On Geekbench 5 test it scores 1643 for a single-core and 7468 for a multi-core. As far as the single-core performance is concerned, the device is faster than every Intel-powered Mac device that ever existed. Let that sink in. In terms of multi-core performance as well, the device gives some serious competition to high-end devices that costs 2 to 3 times the M1 MacBook Air.
Apple’s claim of the battery lasting up to 15 hours on the wifi web surfing and 18 hours while watching movies on the Apple TV application is approximately right. Provided, the screen brightness is under 50 percent.
The M1-powered MacBook Air is an encouraging sign of what Apple would be delivering in the coming years. The performance and power-efficiency of the device outcompete its Intel counterparts by a huge margin. On the whole, the lightest, thinnest notebook has been completely transformed by the Apple M1 SoC. The device offers unbelievable performance.
- The MacBook Pro
Similar to the M1 MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro has received a huge boost in terms of its speed and power-efficiency. The device underlines Apple’s potential to build a powerful device with premium performance and long battery life.
The official Geekbench 5 scores of the machine are just as impressive as that of the M1 MacBook Air. In terms of single-core performance, the device scores an astonishing 1726. As far as the multi-core performance is concerned, the device gets a score of 7471. The device not just outscores other Macs but does that in quite some style. Its single-core test score shows a 34 percent improvement compared to the 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro powered by the Intel Core i5 processor. In terms of multi-core performance as well, the M1 MacBook Pro blew past its Intel counterparts. It shows a multi-core performance improvement of 91 percent compared to the Intel Core i5, 1.4 GHz quad-core variant.
The graphics performance on the new MacBook Pro powered by the Apple M1 SoC is also exceptional. The powerful internal graphics on the SoC makes the device suitable for games and high-end graphics applications like Final Cut Pro.
In terms of battery life as well, the device is capable of running non-stop videos for about 18 to 20 hours. It shows how power-efficient the M1 SoC has made the new MacBooks. All in all, the M1-powered MacBook Pro is a performance beast that gives some of the high-end devices a run for their money.
- The Mac Mini
The M1 Mac Mini was the last device that Apple launched on the November 10th event. With a cost of $699, it is the most affordable M1 device. Hence, the price to performance ratio of the base model is spectacular, to say the least.
The base variant has a single-core Geekbench 5 score of 1699 and a multi-core score of 7179. The device outscores the Intel Core i7 variant that Apple launched in 2018 by a significant margin. In terms of graphics performance as well, the device is capable of handling high-end graphics requirements with ease. With its superior performance and affordable price, the latest M1-powered Mac Mini will sure encourage many Windows users to switch to Mac.
The claims that Apple made regarding the performance of the M1-powered devices do actualize. Very much close to the extend Apple had promised during the launch. All the devices offer great real-world performance and comfortably outperform some of the best available devices in the market.
Both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro are highly power-efficient. Most of the tech experts are highly impressed by how these devices are able to handle some of the most CPU-intensive and graphics-heavy tasks smoothly. Also, how they are able to run longer even with the same battery size as that of their Intel counterparts, launched in early 2020. These improvements speak volumes about the potential of the Apple M1 chip.
What the SoC does further, is promises a great future of computing devices from Apple. Something that will take Apple years ahead of Intel and other computer chip manufacturers. Indeed, the Apple M1 revolutionizes the computing world.