MacBook Air with Apple M1 chip ‘more powerful’ than 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 processor
If you are planning to buy a new MacBook Pro then you have two options– 13-inch Macbook Pro with Apple’s own M1 chip or the 16-inch model with Intel Core i9 processor. The same M1 chip also powers the new MacBook Air. Now, it is quite natural to assume that the Intel Core i9-powered MacBook Pro will offer more firepower than the M1 chip. But you may be wrong to look down upon the new M1 chip just because the same chip also powers the MacBook Air
As per a listing by Geekbench, the MacBook Air with M1 chip backed by 8GB RAM and macOS 11.0.1 operating system outperformed the Intel Core i9-9880H processor which powers the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Talking about clock speed, the M1 chip has a base frequency of 3.2GHz compared to the 2.3GHz of the Intel Core i9 version.
Apple’s M1 chip scored 1,687 on a single-core benchmark and claimed a multi-core score of 7,433. This is even higher than one of the powerful processors like AMD Ryzen 9 5950X which has a single-core of 1,628. When compared to the Intel Core i9 processor, the 16-inch MacBook Pro lags behind at single and multi-core scores of 1,029 and 6,012 as per Geekbench.
What is interesting is that for the first time, Apple is powering both Air and Pro models of the MacBook with the same chip option. This means the performance on both Air and Pro models can be expected to be similar. The choice of whether you wish to buy the Air or Pro depends on features like screen size, Touch Bar, Ports and other features.
The new M1 chip has an eight-core CPU and is claimed to draw 1/4th of power to deliver peak performance. The eight-core CPU also comes with four high-efficiency cores. At the heart of the M1 is a 16-core Neural engine. Apple says the new processor will focus on power efficiency. Citing examples of popular apps, Apple said that Final Cut Pro can run six times faster on the M1 processor.