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Apple M1 Macs: Single-Core Performance is Awesome, Multi-Core Lags the Professional Intel Macs

re: Thoughts on Apple’s Transition away from Intel CPUs to Apple ARM, macOS Big Sur

The Apple M1 chip is quite an accomplishment, an engineering tour de force with impressive single-core performance. Ditto for GPU performance. The foregoing based on the performance benchmarks I found at

But dig a bit deeper, and it’s can be seen that new Apple M1 Macs lag well behind what a high-end Intel-based iMac or Mac Pro or MacBook Pro can do on multi-core performance. Still, that the 2020 Mac mini M1 can nearly match the 2017 iMac Pro 8-core is impressive indeed—at a small fraction of the cost.

Also, the severe memory constraints of the first crop of Apple M1 Macs is simply unacceptable for my workflow, and for many professionals. Though just fine for most users.

So for those needing performance and not keen on paying for it (a current Intel-based Mac), wait 6 to 12 months for an Apple M1 Mac offering:

  • Minimum of 64GB memory (128GB or more is better).
  • At least 50% more CPU cores or faster clock speeds.
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