Wallpaper of Apple's M1 processor on black background

The Apple M1 chipset is the first processor to ever launch that is based on Apple Silicon, as the company has been moving away from Intel processors onto its own solution for all of the latest Macs.

We have since moved on from the entry-level M1 chip, with the M1 Pro and M1 Max coming in as more powerful alternatives with more CPU and GPU cores for an improved performance overall. The MacBook Pro 2021 is the first device to sport these beefed-up processors.

Keep reading to find out everything you could possibly need to know about the M1 chipset, and don’t hesitate to contact us on Twitter if you have any further queries.

Which devices feature the Apple M1?

The Apple M1 chip is currently available in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac 2021 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021. Generally, the M1 chipset is being used for devices that need basic productivity performance, with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips being included in the latest MacBook Pro laptops.

While it has not been confirmed yet, we could see the M1 processor included in the new iPad Air 5, which is expected to launch tonight at the Apple Peek Performance event.

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Specs

The M1 chip has 8 CPU cores, made up of 4 P-cores for high performance and 4 E-cores for energy efficiency. The latter ensures that devices can stay powerful with a long-lasting battery while still being portable.

The M1 chip is available in two flavours, one with seven GPU cores and another with eight. The GPU performance has proved impressive in benchmark tests, though it is still considered to have only entry-level performance, especially when compared to the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

Since the M1 chip uses Arm architecture instead of the more traditional Intel x86, it’s not really possible to compare its specs to laptop and desktop processors developed by AMD and Intel.

Apple M1 specsA dark themed brochure with multiple images showing features of Apple's M1 processor

Benchmarks

In the time since these chipsets have come out, we have managed to test various Apple laptops to see what each M chip can do. We have only used the Geekbench 5 testing so far, but it’s still a great indicator of what each chipset is capable of in terms of processing power.

You should also keep in mind that processor performance can differ depending on the computer it’s running, especially with the likes of cooling solutions having such a big impact. Therefore, you should treat the benchmarks below as a rough guide rather than conclusive scores.

Geekbench 5: Single Core Geekbench 5: Multi-Core
Apple M1 1731 7308
Apple M1 Pro 1745 12,520
Apple M1 Max 1784 12,713
Intel Core i7-1195G7 1556 5643

Looking at the table above, you can see that the M1 chip has the lead over Intel in terms of both single-core and multi-core performance. Intel does have a more powerful H-Series range, but those chips are aimed at high-performance laptops that are far bigger and heavier than the likes of the MacBook Air.

Still, it’s important to remember that Intel is in the process of rolling out its 12th Generation Intel Core processors, so that performance gap may be closed very soon. That said, Apple is also expected to move onto its next generation shortly, with the Apple M2 chip tipped for a 2022 launch.

The benchmark results also emphasise that the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are capable of greater speeds, and so are the better option if you want a MacBook that prioritises performance over portability.

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