New CPU benchmarks show that Apple’s powerful M1 Ultra chip outperforms Intel’s 12th-generation Alder Lake Core i9 12900K chip in multi-core performance, and AMD Ryzen 5950x, in both multi-core and single-core performance.
Compared to the Xeon W chip used in the 2019 Mac Pro, the M1 Ultra chip outperforms in all areas of CPU performance.
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M1 Ultra benchmarks
Before we jump to the benchmarks, here is a quick look at the M1 Ultra specifications:
- Process: 5nm
- CPU Frequency: 3.20GHz
- Cores: 20 – 16x Firestorm (high performance) + 4x Icestorm (high efficiency)
- GPU frequency: 3.20GHz
- Execution units: 2048
- Maximum Memory: Up to 128GB
- Memory type: LPDDR5-6400
- Memory Channels: 8
- Memory bandwidth: 800GB/s
- PCIe version: 4.0
- TDP: 60W
- Max TDP: 120W
- L2 cache: 52.00 MB
- FP32 performance: 21200 GFLOPS
As per new benchmarks posted on Geekbench for the M1 Ultra, here is how the chip performs:
M1 Ultra (with 64-core GPU)
- Single-core: 1793
- Multi-core: 24055
- Single-core: 1562
- Multi-core: 23566
- Aztec Ruins Normal Tier (offscreen): 42512 fps
- Aztec Ruins High Tier (offscreen): 31117 fps
- Car Chase: 23424 fps
- Manhattan 3.1: 53179 fps
- Texturing (offscreen): 530780 MTexels/s
Pugetbench for Premiere: 1388
Pugetbench for After Effects: 876
During the event, Apple claimed that M1 Ultra is 90% faster than the Core i9 in the same power envelope. However, in terms of these benchmarks, the situation is different.
Intel Core i9 12900K
Compared to the above, the Intel 12900K Alder Lake chip achieves the following scores, with 16 cores and 24 threads, and an upper limit of 241W TDP.
- Single-core: 1979
- Multi-core: 17934
- Single-core: 1997
- Multi-core: 27472
Result: In Geekbench, Intel’s 12900K has well reputed single-core performance, primarily due to its high power draw, which helps it outperform M1 Ultra. However, it loses when it comes to multi-core performance.
Intel Xeon W
The fastest Intel Xeon W ships with the $12,999 Mac Pro, if you don’t buy any other upgrades. This chip features 28 cores and 56 threads and a 255W TDP.
- Single-core: 1091
- Multi-core: 17196
- Single-core: 1107
- Multi-core: 28051
Result: In Geekbench, Intel’s Xeon W loses out in both single-core and multi-core performance to the M1 Ultra. The Xeon W chip alone costs approximately $3,000, while you can get a Mac Studio with M1 Ultra for $4,000.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950x
AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950x is the company’s fastest non-Threadripper processor. Here is how it fares in Geekbench benchmarks, with its 6 cores and 32 threads, and 105W TDP:
- Single-core: 1607
- Multi-core: 16504
- Single-core: 1651
- Multi-core: 28641
Result: In Geekbench, AMD’s 5950x is a popular choice for gamers looking for the best performance from their systems. In both single-core and multi-core performance, M1 Ultra outperforms the 5950x.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
The Threadriper 3990X is AMD’s fastest chip when it comes to multi-core performance, thanks to its 64 cores and 128 threads, and a TDP of 280W.
- Single-core: 1219
- Multi-core: 34670
- Single-core: 1254
- Multi-core: 74422
Result: In Geekbench, M1 Ultra outperforms the 3970X in single-core but lags behind in terms of multi-core performance.
This is just an early look at how the M1 Ultra fares against the top-of-the-line chips from Intel and AMD. There will be more benchmarks and comparisons to follow in the coming days as the Mac Studio is made available to reviewers, and users put it through the paces using different software like Cinebench, GFXbench, and the likes.
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