Based on the A14 chip’s performance against high-end Intel processors, AnandTech has come to the conclusions that Apple’s claims regarding M1 chip’s performance gains are likely to be true. The website has gone through many benchmarks for A14 and compared it against the latest and greatest chips from Intel and AMD to come to this conclusion.
A14’s performance confirms Apple’s M1 chip performance claims
M1 is a major departure from the Intel Core processor architecture that Apple has used for over a decade, and still continues to use in some Macs. The new system-on-chip combines four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores in a CPU to provide the best performance and power efficiency in what Apple calls the fastest CPU core in its class. It also features an integrated GPU with up to 8 cores, which is also called the fastest integrated GPU in its class, by Apple. Along with the Neural Engine and ISP, these chips are all part of a single package, and share from a unified memory architecture which allows for faster processing and graphics.
The A14 chip architecture is similar to the M1’s “Firestorm” architecture, which is why AnandTech was able to put it through its paces to understand where it stands when compared to the latest AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 9 5950X and 11th generation Intel i7 1185G7 chips. AnandTech called it “mind-boggling” that A14 was able to compete against these processors and beat them in most cases. Andrei Frumusanu from AnandTech wrote:
The performance numbers of the A14 on this chart is relatively mind-boggling. If I were to release this data with the label of the A14 hidden, one would guess that the data-points came from some other x86 SKU from either AMD or Intel. The fact that the A14 currently competes with the very best top-performance designs that the x86 vendors have on the market today is just an astonishing feat.
Performance numbers over the past 5 years show that Apple has increased its CPU performance by 198%, while Intel has only increased it by 28%. It is important to note that laptops with Core i7 1185G7 chips a lot cost MacBook Air with M1’s base price.
These performance numbers paint a clear picture behind Apple’s decision to move Macs to its own custom Apple Silicon, starting with the M1 chip. Despite the vague graphs and comparisons that Apple showed during its ‘One more thing’ event, one thing is clear: Apple is very likely to have the fastest chip in the world inside a laptop or small form factor mini computer. If anything, Apple usually understates how fast the performance or good the power efficiency is on its chips.
Apple claims the M1 to be the fastest CPU in the world. Given our data on the A14, beating all of Intel’s designs, and just falling short of AMD’s newest Zen3 chips – a higher clocked Firestorm above 3GHz, the 50% larger L2 cache, and an unleashed TDP, we can certainly believe Apple and the M1 to be able to achieve that claim.
We will have further coverage of the M1 chip and its performance once the initial reviews are out over the next week.