Do All Apple M1 Macs Work the Same?

Apple worked overtime last week to convince the tech world to marvel at its latest chip innovations, making bold claims that its new machines are infinitely faster than the previous generation. But here’s one thing to consider: are all new Apple M1 chips created equal?

Contrary to the standard practice of Intel and AMD, Apple mainly releases a single M1 chip. You really can’t choose to upgrade your new Mac with an M1 chip that offers higher clock speeds or more boost options than another; the only exception is the MacBook Air , as the cheapest model only has a seven-core GPU and not the standard eight-core.

Otherwise, on paper, it seems like you get the same features and performance whether you buy a MacBook Air, MacBook pro, or Mac Mini. But is this also true in practice?

Not all M1 Macs will work the same

The differences between Apple’s Mac M1 are not dramatic, but noticeable. Looking at the Geekbench charts , the Apple M1 chip pushes the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini to the top in terms of single-core performance. You just won’t find a faster Mac (right now), although the Mac Mini seems to outperform the MacBook Pro (-2.4%) and MacBook Air (-4.5%) slightly.

Move on to the diagrams of multi-core processors and the difference will be a little more noticeable. Once again, the Mac Mini outperforms the MacBook Pro (-3.8%) and MacBook Air (-6.17%) in that order.

Why is this so? I assume this is a result of the thermal limitations of the various systems. In other words, Apple wants the Mac to just warm up. Allowing them to run like lava for an extended period of time increases the wear on the processor. To combat this, your computer uses a variety of cooling measures, which you may have noticed if you ever heard a jet engine howl your laptop fan as soon as you open a demanding application (or your tab). filled browser).

The cooler your Mac, the faster it runs . The M1-based MacBook Air does not have fans, so obviously they are likely more likely to slow down your processor speed when they start to heat up, compared to the MacBook Pro, which can provide some active cooling. And as a desktop, the Mac Mini has a completely different build than the MacBook Pro. Since it is not designed for portability, it will probably do a little better at handling temperature – although this is just a guess on my part.

Do minor test differences matter?

If you want the fastest Mac you can buy, no matter what, theMac Mini should be your choice. The MacBook Pro comes in second, while the blissfully quiet MacBook Air comes in third. None of this should make much of a difference when it comes to day-to-day use of your system, but if you’re the type of person who often pushes a machine to its limits while gaming or video transcoding, you might want to consider how M1 chips stack up. in every situation.

This is especially true given the difference in price between different Apple MacBooks, depending on their configuration. For example, the most expensive MacBook Air – with an 8-core GPU – is only $ 50 less than the base MacBook Pro , which gives you a touchpad and slightly improved performance (albeit half the memory). If all you need is a fast computer and you have 256GB of storage, the MacBook Pro is your choice.

However, it’s important to keep it all in perspective: we’re talking about a two percent difference in overall speeds across some benchmarks – a difference that most people will never notice in day-to-day use. If anything, I think these benchmarks are a compelling argument for the Mac Mini given its $ 700 price tag.

I wouldn’t bother with statistics unless you have a problem deciding between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, in which case the comparison might tip the scales a little. Otherwise, be aware of the differences, know that your MacBook may run a little slower when it gets very warm, and consider if you really need a laptop instead of this high-performance Mac Mini. Of course, you can free up some space on your desk …

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