A native version of Google Chrome is now officially available for Apple Silicon M1 Macs. The update was previously released but pulled back due to crashes reported by users. The ARM version of the browser can be downloaded from Chrome’s website, where it asks if you want to download it for Mac with Intel chip or Mac with Apple chip.
Chrome for Apple Silicon M1 Macs
When Chrome was recently updated with major performance improvements and new features, Google announced that it is compatible with macOS Big Sur too. A brand new icon was also part of the update. However, the browser was running on M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini using Rosetta 2 translation layer, which means that while it was fast, it was not as fast as it could be on the new Macs. Luckily, the new update is available and shows 2x better performance than the version for Intel-based Macs, in most benchmarks.
In benchmarks such as Speedometer, Jetstream2, and MotionMark 1.1, Chrome on Apple Silicon Macs simply thrashes Chrome for Intel Macs. Ars Technica conducted some tests between Safari and Chrome on M1 Mac, Chrome on Rosetta 2 on M1 Mac, and Chrome on a Ryzen Pro 4750U CPU. The results are on par with expectations that we now have from Apple’s new M1 Macs. The performance was as following:
Motion Mark 1.1:
- Safari (Apple M1 chip): 1690.1
- Chrome (Apple M1 chip): 726.4
- Chrome (Rosetta on M1 chip): 435.7
- Chrome (Ryzen Pro 4750U): 373.2
- Safari (Apple M1 chip): 227
- Chrome (Apple M1 chip): 210
- Chrome (Rosetta on M1 chip): 116
- Chrome (Ryzen Pro 4750U): 122
- Safari (Apple M1 chip): 237.7
- Chrome (Apple M1 chip): 156.9
- Chrome (Rosetta on M1 chip): 93.1
- Chrome (Ryzen Pro 4750U): 129.8
As the numbers show, Chrome is not as fast as Safari on the new M1 Macs, but it is twice as fast compared to its x86 version.
Strangely, Chrome for M1 Macs also has twice the universal app file size as its x86 version, which is why the company is still offering a separate x86 version for download. This completely goes against the logic of having a universal app, but we are sure there must be other reasons behind it.
Firefox nightly builds also support Apple Silicon Macs now, although take caution before using them as they are not as stable as beta or public builds.
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