Apple’s announcement of the first generation of Macs running on its own Silicon processors was, unsurprisingly, filled with bold claims. Given the novelty of the M1 chip and its ARM-based design, there may be some apprehension as to whether the new MacBooks will be able to withstand Intel’s most powerful processors. Geekbench scores for these new computers began to appear, which seems to confirm Apple’s claims, outperforming Intel-based MacBooks, except in one case.
Given the fact that Apple rarely reveals many technical details about its processors, one must rely on the company’s word about the technical superiority of its own ARM-based processors. You can also pick up some clues, like what AnandTech did, or, in this case, expect some people to upload the results of the Geekbench for all to see.
Scores for what is labeled MacBook Air (2020) and MacBook Pro (2020), both running on the Apple Silicon M1, provide very impressive numbers. The MacBook Air scored 1,687 points in the single-core test and 7433 in the multi-core, while the MacBook Pro yielded 1714 and 6802, respectively. The discrepancies can be attributed in part to the different cooling systems used in the two MacBooks, with the Air featuring a fanless design, while the Pro receives a new cooling system.
Regardless of these differences, the two scores still outperform Apple’s best iOS devices. Most importantly, however, they also revolved around the latest Macs and MacBooks that advertised Intel Core i7 and even Core i9 processors, verifying Apple’s claims.
The only caveat, however, is that the MacBooks M1, unsurprisingly, lag behind their Intel cousins that have discrete graphics cards when it comes to GPU performance. This disadvantage will be felt even more with the lack of eGPU support that Intel models have. That said, synthetic benchmarks show only one side of the story and will be used in the real world, with real-world applications that really matter to users.