FAQ: How Much Faster Are Apple’s New M1 Macs vs Intel-Based Models?

Apple M1 MacBook Air Credit: Tada Images / Shutterstock
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Apple’s new M1 Macs are crazy fast. The M1’s speed, especially when compared to Apple’s Intel models, is the one feature that everyone talks about. But, just how much faster is an M1 Mac than models with Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors? We delved into Geekbench and other performance metrics to find out.

GeekBench Scores

GeekBench is the de facto standard for testing the performance of computer hardware. It’s quick and easy to complete and collects a ton of data from a large number of users.

In nearly every test, the M1 MacBook Pro and the M1 MacBook Air outperform their counterparts.

In some tests, the M1 shows a slight improvement, but in most tests, the M1 blows the Intel version away.

In the multi-core tests, the 13″ M1 MacBook Pro (2020) scored 7710, while the comparable Intel Core i5 13″ MacBook Pro (2020) score only 3836. That’s almost double the performance.

The M1 also dominated in single-core tests scoring 1746 as compared to 1025 from the Intel version.

When testing the GPU performance, the M1 Mac scored 18296, and the Intel Iris Plus powered Mac scored just 7322.

SSD Performance Claims

An SSD benchmark posted to MacRumors by user abbotsford1980 suggests Apple’s claim that the M1‌ chip’s storage controller and latest flash technology “deliver up to 2x faster SSD performance” is accurate.

According to the Blackmagicdesign Disk Speed Test results, the SSD inside the M1 MacBook Air is twice as fast as previous generations with 2190 MB/s writing speeds and 2675 MB/s reading speeds.

4K/6K/8K Video Rendering

The guys at Constant Geekry tested the M1 Mac against the i9 iMac, i9 MacBook Pro, i7 MacBook Pro, and a Mac Pro. The M1 models hold their own against the powerhouses in Apple’s lineup, especially in 4K tests, but slipped with the 6K and 8K.

In the end, they conclude that the M1 MacBooks are an incredible debut, especially when the software is optimized for the Apple silicon. They advise people to wait for the next-generation M1, which will presumably take performance up a notch with up to 20 cores.

Filmmaker Max Yuryev compared the video editing performance of the 13″ M1 MacBook Pro to the newest Razer Book 13 which is equipped with Intel’s 11th-gen processor. In one test, the M1 MacBook Pro stabilized a 20-second video clip in 3:06, beating out the Razer (4:12) and a 2019 Mac Pro (4:30).

This is just one test of several in which the M1 mac outperformed its rivals.

File Transfers and Other metrics

A series of unofficial tests by MacRumors hint that the M1 Mac beats the Intel mac on almost all metrics.

The M1 mac is faster at file transfers taking 27 seconds to transfer a 40GB file compared to 90 seconds with the Intel Mac.

The M1 Mac also is noticeably faster at starting up and shutting down and feels faster when tabbing through multiple Safari tabs and when opening multiple apps simultaneously.

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