M1 vs i3 macbook air: MacBook Air i3 vs M1 Comparison | Worth Upgrading?

Apple M1 vs Intel Core i3-1005G1: What is the difference?

69points

Apple M1

48points

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

64 facts in comparison

Apple M1

Intel Core i3-1005G1

Why is Apple M1 better than Intel Core i3-1005G1?

  • 8.67x faster CPU speed?
    4 x 3.2GHz & 4 x 2GHzvs2 x 1.2GHz
  • 533MHz higher ram speed?
    4266MHzvs3733MHz
  • 4 more CPU threads?
    8vs4
  • 5nm smaller semiconductor size?
    5nmvs10nm
  • 11MB bigger L2 cache?
    12MBvs1MB
  • 2.9x higher PassMark result?
    15127vs5217
  • 1.2W lower TDP?
    13.8Wvs15W
  • 32KB bigger L1 cache?
    192KBvs160KB

Why is Intel Core i3-1005G1 better than Apple M1?

  • 0.2GHz higher turbo clock speed?
    3. 4GHzvs3.2GHz
  • 48GB larger maximum memory amount?
    64GBvs16GB
  • Has AES?
  • Uses multithreading?
  • Has AVX?
  • 1 more displays supported?
    3vs2
  • Has F16C?
  • Has MMX?

Which are the most popular comparisons?

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core i7-12700K

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Core i3-1115G4

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core i7-11800H

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Celeron N4020

Apple M1

vs

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

AMD Ryzen 3 3250U

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core i7-11700

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

AMD 3020e

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core i7-10870H

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Core i3-10110U

Apple M1

vs

AMD Ryzen 5 5500U

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Core i5-8250U

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core m3-6Y30

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Celeron N5100

Apple M1

vs

Intel Core i5-11500

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

AMD Ryzen 3 3200U

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

Intel Pentium Silver N5030

Intel Core i3-1005G1

vs

AMD Ryzen 3 5300U

Price comparison

User reviews

Overall Rating

Apple M1

7 User reviews

Apple M1

9. 0/10

7 User reviews

Intel Core i3-1005G1

6 User reviews

Intel Core i3-1005G1

8.3/10

6 User reviews

Features

Value for money

8.7/10

7 votes

7.4/10

5 votes

Gaming

8.4/10

7 votes

6.8/10

6 votes

Performance

9.1/10

7 votes

8.0/10

6 votes

Reliability

9.3/10

7 votes

8.8/10

6 votes

Energy efficiency

9.1/10

7 votes

7.7/10

6 votes

Performance

1.CPU speed

4 x 3.2GHz & 4 x 2GHz

2 x 1.2GHz

The CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second can be executed by a CPU, considering all of its cores (processing units). It is calculated by adding the clock rates of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors employing different microarchitectures, of each group of cores.

2.CPU threads

More threads result in faster performance and better multitasking.

3.turbo clock speed

3.2GHz

3.4GHz

When the CPU is running below its limitations, it can boost to a higher clock speed in order to give increased performance.

4.Has an unlocked multiplier

✖Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-1005G1

Some processors come with an unlocked multiplier which makes them easy to overclock, allowing you to gain increased performance in games and other apps.

5.L2 cache

A larger L2 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.

6.L3 cache

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

A larger L3 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.

7.L1 cache

A larger L1 cache results in faster CPU and system-wide performance.

8.L2 core

1.5MB/core

0.5MB/core

More data can be stored in the L2 cache for access by each core of the CPU.

9.L3 core

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

2MB/core

More data can be stored in the L3 cache for access by each core of the CPU.

Memory

1.RAM speed

4266MHz

3733MHz

It can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.

2.maximum memory bandwidth

68.25GB/s

55.63GB/s

This is the maximum rate that data can be read from or stored into memory.

3.DDR memory version

DDR (Double Data Rate) memory is the most common type of RAM. Newer versions of DDR memory support higher maximum speeds and are more energy-efficient.

4.memory channels

More memory channels increases the speed of data transfer between the memory and the CPU.

5.maximum memory amount

The maximum amount of memory (RAM) supported.

6.bus transfer rate

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

The bus is responsible for transferring data between different components of a computer or device.

7.Supports ECC memory

✖Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-1005G1

Error-correcting code memory can detect and correct data corruption. It is used when is it essential to avoid corruption, such as scientific computing or when running a server.

8.eMMC version

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

A higher version of eMMC allows faster memory interfaces, having a positive effect on the performance of a device. For example, when transferring files from your computer to the internal storage over USB.

9.bus speed

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

The bus is responsible for transferring data between different components of a computer or device.

Benchmarks

1.PassMark result

This benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using multiple threads.

2.PassMark result (single)

This benchmark measures the performance of the CPU using a single thread.

3.Geekbench 5 result (multi)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor’s multi-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2022)

4.Cinebench R20 (multi) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Cinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU’s multi-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.

5.Cinebench R20 (single) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Cinebench R20 is a benchmark tool that measures a CPU’s single-core performance by rendering a 3D scene.

6.Geekbench 5 result (single)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures a processor’s single-core performance. (Source: Primate Labs, 2022)

7.Blender (bmw27) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

The Blender (bmw27) benchmark measures the performance of a processor by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render the scene in less time.

8.Blender (classroom) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

The Blender (classroom) benchmark measures the performance of a processor by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render the scene in less time.

9.performance per watt

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

This means the CPU is more efficient, giving a greater amount of performance for each watt of power used.

Features

1.uses multithreading

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-1005G1

Multithreading technology (such as Intel’s Hyperthreading or AMD’s Simultaneous Multithreading) provides increased performance by splitting each of the processor’s physical cores into virtual cores, also known as threads. This way, each core can run two instruction streams at once.

2.Has AES

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-1005G1

AES is used to speed up encryption and decryption.

3.Has AVX

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-1005G1

AVX is used to help speed up calculations in multimedia, scientific and financial apps, as well as improving Linux RAID software performance.

4.SSE version

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

SSE is used to speed up multimedia tasks such as editing an image or adjusting audio volume. Each new version contains new instructions and improvements.

5.Has F16C

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-1005G1

F16C is used to speed up tasks such as adjusting the contrast of an image or adjusting volume.

6.bits executed at a time

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

NEON provides acceleration for media processing, such as listening to MP3s.

7.Has MMX

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-1005G1

MMX is used to speed up tasks such as adjusting the contrast of an image or adjusting volume.

8.Has TrustZone

✔Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-1005G1

A technology integrated into the processor to secure the device for use with features such as mobile payments and streaming video using digital rights management (DRM).

9.front-end width

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Intel Core i3-1005G1)

The CPU can decode more instructions per clock (IPC), meaning that the CPU performs better

Price comparison

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Which are the best CPUs?

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel): Should you upgrade?

Apple held yet another major event this week, this time marking the announcement of its new M1 chip. The MacBook Air is one of the first laptops to be powered by Apple Silicon, but how does it compare to this year’s Intel-run Air?

The new MacBook Air, along with the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac mini, are the first three laptops in Apple’s two year transition to its own Arm-based chips. The Mac lineup has been powered by Intel for over a decade now, so the switch is bound to bring some exciting changes to the MacBook Air.

That said, it’s still early days for Apple Silicon. It might be tough to decide whether the M1 is worth rushing out for an upgrade, especially considering how impressive the current Air is. We gave the MacBook Air with Intel four out of five stars in our review.

Read on to find out how the MacBook Air with Apple Silicon compares to this year’s Intel-powered Air.

Related: Apple Silicon

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Release date

Apple released its most recent Intel-powered MacBook Air just eight months ago in March, so the laptop is hardly outdated.

The MacBook Air with the M1 chip will be available from selected Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorised Resellers from November 17, with pre-orders open right now.

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Price

The MacBook Air and the Air with M1 are priced at a similar level, meaning you won’t have to pay too much extra for the new chip.

Prices for the Intel-kitted MacBook began at £999/$999 at launch. The ultrabook is no longer available from the Apple Store, but many retailers continue to stock it. Very, John Lewis and Currys PC World all currently offer around £50 off the Air with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

The price of the MacBook Air with M1 varies depending on your specs, but prices start at £999/$999.

The base model will get you the M1 chip with an eight-core CPU, seven-core GPU and 256GB of storage. There’s also the option to upgrade to the eight-core CPU, with an eight-core GPU and 512GB of storage for £1249/$1249.

While both laptops launched at the same price, the MacBook Air with Intel currently seems to be the cheaper of the two, albeit not by much.

Read our review of the MacBook Air 13 2020

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Specs

Like the price, the specs for the two MacBook Airs are near identical. The most obvious difference is the processor and what that entails for the ultrabook’s performance and battery life.

You can see all the specs at a glance in the comparison table below:

MacBook Air with M1 MacBook Air with Intel
Price From £999 From £999
Display 13. 3-inch, 2560×1600 13.3-inch, 2560×1600
Processor Apple M1 Up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7
GPU Apple M1 Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM Up to 16GB Up to 16GB
Storage Up to 2TB SSD Up to 2TB SSD
Dimensions 304 x 212 x 16.1 mm 304 x 212 x 16.1 mm
Weight 1.29kg 1.29 kg
Colour options Gold, Space Grey and Silver Gold, Space Grey and Silver

March’s MacBook Air came with the 10th Gen Intel Core i3 at its base model, with the option to upgrade up to the Core i7. The newer Air comes fitted with the new Apple M1.

The i7 processor includes four cores, while the M1 packs eight – four performance cores and four efficiency cores. The M1 also includes up to an eight-core GPU, whereas the older MacBook takes advantage of Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics.

You can discover more about what this means for the Air’s performance in the next section of this guide.

Related: MacBook Air M1

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Performance

It’s difficult to compare the performance without testing out the MacBook Air with M1 ourselves. Luckily, we’ve had plenty of time with the Intel-powered MacBook Air 2020.

You can read all about the Air’s performance in our in-depth review, but we were impressed with the laptop’s performance. The base i3 model had no issues keeping up with 30 plus Chrome tabs, video calls and chat notifications, as well as RAW photo editing and light gaming. The Intel Iris Plus isn’t designed to handle heavy workloads, but for everyday use this laptop performs very well.

According to Apple, it only gets better from here. The new MacBook Air’s CPU is said to be three and a half times faster than the laptop’s predecessor. The M1 also allows for five times faster graphics and nine times faster machine learning.

SSD performance is twice the speed for lightning fast file imports, and the battery life is the longest ever recorded on a MacBook Air. The Air with M1 offers up to 15 hours of browsing or 18 hours of Apple TV playback compared to the Intel-powered Air’s 11 hours of browsing or 12 hours of Apple TV playback. That’s a four to six hour improvement thanks to the Arm architecture.

We’ll have to wait until we get our hands on the new Air to put these figures to the test, but it looks like the Air has been given a pretty big performance boost from the M1 chip.

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Keyboard

Apple ditched its controversial butterfly keyboard earlier this year, meaning both the Intel and the M1-powered Air feature the improved Magic Keyboard.

Both keyboards are backlit and include the Touch ID sensor and the Force Touch trackpad to support Multi-Touch gestures. Neither comes with a Touch Bar, with Apple reserving that feature for its Pro model.

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Design and features

The design of the Air doesn’t appear to have changed at all, with the biggest differences taking place under the hood.

Both laptops boast the same super-slim dimensions and weigh a measly 1.29kg. Both also come in Silver, Gold and Space Grey colours.

The port layout is slightly different, with the new Air packing two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, while the Intel-based Air has stuck with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C. Both include 3.5mm headphone jacks and the 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Related: Best MacBook

MacBook Air (M1 chip) vs MacBook Air (Intel) – Early verdict

Apple doesn’t appear to have changed a lot in the eight months since it launched the MacBook Air 13 with Intel. The biggest change is the introduction of the M1 processor, which appears to offer a substantial boost in performance.

Everything is faster with Apple Silicon, from the CPU to the GPU to the SSD. The battery life is significantly longer, too. The design, on the other hand, has seen little to no change.

If you’re just on the hunt for a 2020 MacBook Air and like the sound of saving a bit of cash, look toward the Intel-powered Air. Otherwise, the new MacBook with M1 is gearing up to be well worth the upgrade. Keep an eye out for our upcoming review for an even more in-depth analysis.

Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020) vs MacBook Air (Intel, 2020): which is better?

61
out of 100

VS

50
out of 100

Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

Apple MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

You can select specific configurations for the laptops to get a more accurate comparative review

Review

Evaluation of Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020) and MacBook Air (Intel, 2020) important characteristics

Performance

System and application performance

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

65

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

33

Gaming

Performance in popular 3D games

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

42

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

39

Display

Viewing angle, color accuracy, brightness

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

55

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

55

Battery Life

Potential battery life in light and average use

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

82

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

63

Connectivity

Ports, webcam and other interfaces

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

74

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

56

Case

Design, materials, durability and usability

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

95

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

95

NanoReview Score

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

61

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

50

Key Differences

What are the key differences between the notebooks

Advantages of the Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

  • Around 5. 1x better multi-core CPU performance in the Cinebench R23 test
  • Supports next-generation Wi-Fi 6 wireless networks

We may earn commissions from Amazon for purchases made via the links below. This does not affect our assessment methodology.

Tests and Specifications

Comparison table of test results and technical specs

Laptop:

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

vs

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

Weight 1.29 kg (2.84 lbs) 1.29 kg (2.84 lbs)
Dimensions 304.1 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm
11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches
304.1 x 212.4 x 16.1 mm
11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches
Area 646 cm2 (100.1 inches2) 646 cm2 (100.1 inches2)
Screen-to-body ratio ~79. 4% ~79.4%
Side bezels 8.8 mm 8.8 mm
Colors Silver, Gold, Gray Silver, Gold, Gray
Transformer No No
Opening angle 140°

Size comparison

Cooling solution
Cooling system Passive Active
Vapor chamber Yes No
Number of fans 1
Max. fan speed (RPM) 8100 RPM
Noise level 45.8 dB

Display

2560 x 1600

2560 x 1600

Size 13. 3 inches 13.3 inches
Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Refresh rate 60 Hz 60 Hz
PPI 227 ppi 227 ppi
Aspect ratio 16:10 16:10
Resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels 2560 x 1600 pixels
HDR support Yes, HDR10 Yes, HDR10
Touchscreen No No
Coating Glossy (Antireflective) Glossy (Antireflective)
Display tests
Contrast 1069:1 1300:1
sRGB color space 99.8% 98.3%
Adobe RGB profile 85. 9% 64.2%
DCI-P3 color gamut 98.6%
Response time 35 ms 35 ms

Max. brightness

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

400 nits

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

400 nits

Battery

Capacity

49.9 Wh

Voltage 11.4 V 11.4 V
Full charging time 2:23 hr 2:50 hr
Battery type Li-Po Li-Po
Replaceable No No
Fast charging Yes Yes
USB Power Delivery Yes Yes
Charging port position Left Left
Charge power 30 W 30 W
Cable length 2 meters 2 meters
Weigh of AC adapter 172 gramm

CPU name

Apple M1

Intel Core i3 1000NG4

Intel Core i5 1030NG7

Intel Core i7 1060NG7

Base frequency 2. 1 GHz 1.1 GHz
Turbo frequency 3.2 GHz 3.2 GHz
Cores 8 2
Threads 8 4
L3 Cache 4 MB
Integrated GPU Apple M1 GPU Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4
Fabrication process 5 nm 10 nm

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)
+76%

1744

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

991

Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)
+298%

8237

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

2070

Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)
+64%

1500

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

912

Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)
+414%

7740

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

1506

Graphics Card

GPU name

Apple M1 GPU (8-core)

Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4

TGP 15 W 15 W
Type Integrated Integrated
Fabrication process 5 nm 10 nm
GPU base clock 450 MHz 300 MHz
GPU boost clock 1278 MHz 1100 MHz
FLOPS 2. 6 TFLOPS
Memory size System Shared System Shared
Memory type LPDDR4X LPDDR4X
Memory bus 128 bit
Memory speed 4.27 Gbps 3.73 Gbps
Shading units (cores) 1024 384
Texture mapping units (TMUs) 64 48
Raster operations pipelines (ROPs) 32 6

GPU performance

Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

2.6 TFLOPS

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

n/a

RAM size

8GB

16GB

8GB

16GB

Channels 2×4 GB 2×4 GB
Clock 4266 MHz 3733 MHz
Type LPDDR4X LPDDR4X
Upgradable No No
Total slots 2

Storage

Storage size

256GB

512GB

1024GB

2048GB

256GB

512GB

1024GB

2048GB

Bus Custom Custom
Storage type SSD (M2) SSD (M2)
Channels 1×256 GB 1×256 GB
Upgradable No No
NVMe Yes Yes
Speakers 2. 0 2.0
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Loudness 79.6 dB 75.8 dB
Microphones 3 3

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard v6 v5
Bluetooth v5 v5
Fingerprint Yes Yes
Optical drive No No
Webcam Above the display Above the display
Webcam resolution 1280 x 720 1280 x 720
Ports
USB-A No No
USB Type-C 2x USB 3. 1 2x USB 3.1
Thunderbolt Thunderbolt 3 Thunderbolt 3
HDMI No No
DisplayPort No No
VGA No No
Audio jack (3.5 mm) Yes Yes
Ethernet (RJ45) No No
SD card reader No No
Proprietary charging port No No
Keyboard
Keyboard type Island Island
Numpad No No
Backlight Yes Yes
Key travel 1 mm 1 mm
Touchpad
Size 12. 1 x 8.1 cm 12.1 x 8.1 cm
Surface Glass Glass
Windows Precision No No

*Disclaimer! Ports, speakers, display, and other specifications can be different depending on the laptop’s particular configuration or region.

Cast your vote

So, which laptop would you choose?

Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020)

70 (90.9%)

Apple MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

7 (9.1%)

Total votes: 77

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M1 MacBook Air vs Intel MacBook Air: What’s the Difference?

Apple yesterday announced the M1 Apple Silicon-powered MacBook Air. While the exterior design of the new MacBook Air is the same as the Intel-based model it replaces, there are some major under the hood changes which have led to a noticeable increase in performance and battery life. If you are considering buying the new M1 MacBook Air, check out our comparison below to know how it is different and better than the Intel-based MacBook Air.

There are a lot of differences between the 2020 MacBook Air and the M1 MacBook Air. The major heart change inside means the new M1 MacBook Air is better in almost every key department despite being available in the same form factor and design.

Read: The Best M1 Apple Silicon MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Features

Dimensions

  • MacBook Air: 0.16–0.63 inch x 11.97 inches x 8.36 inches, 1.29 kg
  • M1 MacBook Air: 0.16–0.63 inch x 11.97 inches x 8.36 inches, 1.29 kg

Despite the gut change, the M1 MacBook Air weighs the same as the 2020 MacBook Air. The dimensions of both machines are also the same meaning you still get a very sleek and ultraportable laptop which now offers better performance.

Display

  • MacBook Air: 13.3-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 400 nits brightness, True Tone, Wide color
  • M1 MacBook Air: 13.3-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 400 nits brightness, True Tone, Wide color

When it comes to the display, the new M1 MacBook Air is exactly the same as the Intel-based MacBook Air released in March 2020. This means you still get a 13. 3-inch Retina Display with chunky bezels surrounding it.

Performance

  • MacBook Air: Base: 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3; High-end: 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7
  • M1 MacBook Air: M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU in the base model, 8-core in high-end, 16-core Neural engine

With the Intel-based MacBook Air, Apple shipped the $999 MacBook Air with a dual-core Core i3 Intel CPU that was barely powerful enough for even moderate activity. There was a higher-end quad-core Core i7 model but that was more expensive and had overheating issues. In comparison, Apple is now only offering the M1 MacBook Air in two variants: one with 256GB storage and another with 512GB storage. Both models feature the same M1 chip albeit the one on the 512GB variant comes with an 8-core GPU.

When it comes to performance, the M1 MacBook Air is miles ahead of the Intel-based one. The performance leap is simply gigantic and it is something that one needs to experience themselves to understand just how big it is. Below are some performance improvements that Apple claims the new M1 MacBook Air offers:

  • Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster.
  • Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster.
  • For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
  • Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
  • Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.

Connectivity and Ports

  • MacBook Air: Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • M1 MacBook Air: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

The new M1 MacBook Air finally comes with Wi-Fi 6 which means it will offer better Wi-Fi connectivity and higher speeds than the existing Intel-based Air. However, you must already have a Wi-Fi 6-compatible router for this. Disappointingly, Apple is still sticking to two USB-C ports on the new MacBook Air, though they are now USB4 ports.

Another thing to note here is that despite the M1 MacBook Air coming with a 720p FaceTime camera, its quality is much better thanks to the inclusion of an ISP in the M1 chip. This means your video calls will look and sound much better on the new M1 MacBook Air. Apple even claims up to twice the battery life on the M1 MacBook Air on FaceTime or other video calls.

Battery Life

  • MacBook Air: 49.9 wh battery, Up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing, Up to 12 hours of Apple TV movie playback
  • M1 MacBook Air: 49.9wh battery, Up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing, Up to 18 hours of Apple TV movie playback

Apart from performance, the new M1 MacBook Air brings a massive leap in battery life as well. Apple claims an improvement of 4 hours in web browsing and a massive six hours while playing back videos. What’s impressive is that the new MacBook Air is delivering this improved battery life despite the battery capacity itself remaining unchanged.

Price

  • MacBook Air: Starts from $999
  • M1 MacBook Air: Starts from $999

Better performance and battery life and yet the same starting price. For students, the new MacBook Air is available for $899 which makes it an even better deal. Remember that the Intel-based MacBook Air shipped with a dual-core processor so the new M1 MacBook Air is actually offering more bang for the buck here.


The previous base MacBook Air made little sense since its dual-core CPU was too weak for any kind of medium to a heavy workload. With the new MacBook Air and its M1 chip, Apple has resolved all such issues and the machine is more than ideal for someone with light to medium photo and video-editing workloads.

New MacBook Air (M1 Silicon) vs MacBook Air (Intel)

At a Glance

Our Verdict

The addition of the powerful new M1 SoC could be a real turning point in terms of the Mac, with the hardware and software now perfectly joined by Apple’s own silicon in the middle. If the specs that the company has released are correct, then the new MacBook Air Silicon will wipe the floor with the models they replace. But the best part? There’s no additional cost. Somehow, Apple has added considerable gains in power and performance, without jacking up the price. It’s certainly a breath of fresh Air.

Best Prices Today: Apple MacBook Air (2020) M1

$899.99

View Deal

$999.00

View Deal

Apple promised earlier this year that it would release new Macs before the end of 2020 that would feature its own custom-made processors. These Apple Silicon models have now arrived, with the first out of the blocks being the
New MacBook Air Silicon. We take a look at how it compares to the Intel-based model it succeeds and whether you should start saving now to enter the Silicon age.

We also have a full
review of the M1 MacBook Air.

Price and availability

With the fancy new M1 processor onboard (more on that below), you may expect that the prices for the new MacBook Air would rise slightly. Well, you’d be wrong, and like us you’re probably shocked too. The truth is that Apple has announced that prices will start from £999/$999 just as they did with the Intel-based Airs updated earlier this year.

This means the line-up looks like this:

MacBook Air Silicon

  • MacBook Air Silicon, Apple M1 chip with 8-Core CPU and 7-Core GPU, 256GB storage, 8GB memory – £999/$999
  • MacBook Air Silicon, Apple M1 chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 512GB storage, 8GB memory – £1,249/$1,249

These replace the Intel-based MacBook Airs released at the start of 2020, which lined up like this:

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

  • MacBook Air (2020), 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: £999/$999.
  • MacBook Air (2020), 1.1GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD: £1,299/$1,299

If you look closely, you’ll even notice that the 512GB version has had a price cut on the Silicon model. With the release of the Silicon Airs, the previous models have now been discontinued, but you should still find them selling through from various retailers, at least in the short term until stocks run out. Read our
MacBook Air deals round up for the best offers.

The new Silicon powered Air models can be
ordered immediately from Apple, with the release date set for 17 November 2020.

Design and features

There’s little doubt that the major changes that have been made to the MacBook Air are all found on the electronic components rather than construction. The new model is practically identical to its predecessor, with the classic wedge-shaped chassis measuring 304.1mm x 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm and weighing in at 1.29kg.

Ports

On the flanks there are two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports with support for USB 3.1 (Gen 2), but the newer models have the new USB 4 variant, presumably because of Apple’s departure from Intel. You’ll also find 3. 5mm headphone jacks on either model and the Touch ID sensor for unlocking the device and using Apple Pay online.

Display

There are a couple of differences though, in that while there’s no change with the backlit Magic keyboard that dispels the issues that plagued Apple’s ill-conceived butterfly variant, the display has seen an upgrade on the new MacBook Air. It’s still a 13.3in LED IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and True Tone technology, but Apple has added Wide Colour (P3) support to bring out more vibrant hues on its new favourite son.

Silent Running

Another significant upgrade is that this model comes with no-fan, allowing the new MacBook Air to offer silent running even when things get busy, as they are bound to when you see how the processor has been beefed up.

For a full in-depth look at the new model, read our
complete guide to the MacBook Air (Apple Silicon 2020).

Performance and specifications

There’s no doubt that the headline feature in the new MacBook Air comes in the small, square shaped processor that lies at the heart of the upgrade.

No gridlock on the M1

Apple’s debut silicon for the new age of Macs is the M1 SoC, and it looks to be a grandstanding way to begin. Boasting 8-Core CPUs (4 high performance and 4 high efficiency) and either 7-Core GPUs or 8-Core GPUs, depending on which model you buy, it seems to be an absolute beast.

Apple states that the new processor bests the Intel version in the previous MacBook Air in a number of ways. These include the following capabilities:

  • Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster. 
  • Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster. 
  • For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
  • Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
  • Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
  • Watch more movies and TV shows with up to 18 hours of battery life, the longest ever on MacBook Air.
  • Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a single charge.

That’s a pretty compelling list, especially when you consider that Apple is eviscerating its own previous product rather than that of a rival. The claims don’t stop there though, as Apple says that due to the M1’s storage controller, SSD performance can be up to twice as fast as the old MacBook Air, while machine learning (so facial recognition and the like) are up to nine times the speed. CPU performance is three times faster, graphics are five times faster, and all of this while battery life has been extended so that you can get up to 15 hours of web browsing or 18 hours of video playback.

The M1 even gives the lamentable 720p FaceTime HD webcam a boost by reducing noise and improved camera image quality, something that has become an essential element in these days of endless Zoom calls.

There are some other improvements here and there, with WiFi 6 now standard and the tight integration with macOS Big Sur meaning that older apps should run on the new hardware without issue. The older MacBook Air will also be able to take advantage of new feature in
macOS Big Sur, but it’s clear that Apple is now gearing things towards the M1 powered devices, with the newly announced
Mac mini Silicon also now available. We look at the
M1 Mac mini vs Intel Mac mini in a separate article.

Of course, we’ll need to test these claims in our own full review, but Apple is usually pretty accurate when comparing its own products, so expect the new MacBook Air Silicon to deliver some truly impressive results compared to the Intel-based version of 2020. Early
benchmarks for the MacBook Air are promising so we have high hopes. 

For more information about Apple Silicon read our
Guide To Apple Silicon And Apple’s ARM Mac plans. We also have this comparison of
Intel vs Apple Silicon. We also
compare the M1 MacBook Pro and the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro.

Here’s a breakdown of specifications for both models:

  MacBook Air Silicon MacBook Air (2020)
Display 13. 3-inch LED IPS display; 2560-by-1600 resolution, 227ppi pixels, 400 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology 13.3-inch LED IPS display; 2560-by-1600 resolution, 227ppi pixels, True Tone technology
Processor M1 SoC, 8-core CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores, 7-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3
Memory 8GB (configurable to 16GB) 8GB (configurable to 16GB)
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB
Touch ID Yes Yes
Graphics  M1 7-core GPU Intel Iris Plus
Ports 2xThunderbolt 3 /USB-C (USB4). 3.5mm headphone jack 2xThunderbolt 3/ USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
WiFi WiFi 6 WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5 5
Camera 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD
Battery  49. 9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery 49.9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery
Speakers Stereo Stereo
Operating system macOS Big Sur macOS Big Sur
Dimensons 304.1mm x 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm 304.1mm x 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm
Weight 1.29kg 1.29kg
Price £999/£1249 £999/£1299

Verdict

The new MacBook Air Silicon models look to be a huge step forward for the range, without adding higher prices or changing the classic, sleek design. There are possible teething problems ahead, as with any major change of hardware, but if the M1 processor lives up to even half of its potential then the new Airs will indeed fly.

Author: Martyn Casserly, Contributor

Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews for Macworld and its sister site Tech Advisor.

Which Mac processor? Mac processor comparison: M1 vs Intel

If you’re choosing between two different types of Mac, or two generations of the same Mac, you may be wondering just how much of a difference the processors will make.

While most of the Macs launched since autumn 2020 feature Apple’s own processors: either the M1, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, or the M1 Ultra, or the M2 which was introduced in June 2022, there are still some Intel processors in the line up. And, of course, if you are looking at buying a discounted discontinued model from a reseller, or a refurbished or second-hand Mac, you will be confronted by many different processor options.

Luckily in this Mac processor comparison we aren’t just interested in Apple’s new M1 series of processors that have marked the beginning of its transition away from Intel, we will also compare the various types of Intel processor Apple has used, including the differences between the Intel processor generations (e. g. Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge). We will also discuss what you can expect from an i3, i5, i7, i9 or even a Xeon processor.

We will also examine whether you should choose Apple’s M1 processors now – or if you should wait a little longer for Apple to introduce the M2 generation of its processors.

Which processor should you choose for your Mac? And does it really matter? Read on to find out.

On thing to bear in mind: if you get an M1 Mac you can only run macOS Big Sur or Monterey on it. Sadly it isn’t possible to run older versions of macOS on M1 Macs.

Read how the M2 compares to the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra here: M2 vs M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra: When the newest chip isn’t the best.

What processor is in my Mac?

Whether you want to know what processor is in your existing Mac, or you are trying to find out which processor is in the Mac you are planning to buy, you should be able to find out the answer below.

If you have purchased a brand new Mac in the last year or so it is likely that your Mac has an Apple processor, likely one of the M1-series made by Apple using the ARM architecture and sometimes referred to as Apple Silicon.

If your Mac isn’t brand new it will feature an Intel processor (if your Mac is very old – pre-2007 – then it could even have a Power PC processor, but we doubt that there are many of these still around!) While Apple is phasing out the Intel chips there are still some Macs that feature them. It is likely that it will be possible to buy Intel Macs from resellers and on the second hand market for some time, so we will discuss the options in this feature.

The processor inside a Mac makes a big difference to how powerful the Mac is. However, it can actually be quite confusing if you aren’t familiar with the terminology. The processor is sometimes referred to as the CPU (central processing unit), this is different to the GPU (graphics processing unit), but sometimes people will refer to the ‘processor’ when they actually mean the SOC (system on chip) that contains both the CPU and GPU. You may even hear it referred to as a SiP (system in package).

Apple’s M1-series are system on chips that combine CPU and GPU. M1-series chips offer a variety of CPU and GPU cores. Similarly there are a number of different Intel chips which combine a number of CPU cores with integrated or discrete graphics options, all of which we will discuss below.

The M1 arrived with the MacBook Air, 13in MacBook Pro and Mac mini at the end of 2020.

Here’s a list of the various processors you will find in the current line up of Macs and the build-to-order options. The vast majority of Macs are powered by Apple’s M1-series chips (as of April 2022 anyway).

MacBook Air ( buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU
  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU 

13in MacBook Pro ( buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU

14in MacBook Pro (
buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 Pro chip with 8‑core CPU, 14‑core GPU
  • Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU, 16‑core GPU
  • BTO: M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU or M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU

16in MacBook Pro ( buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU, 16‑core GPU
  • Apple M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU
  • BTO: M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU

Mac mini ( buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine
  • Intel 8th-gen, 3. 0GHz 6-Core, i5, Turbo Boost: 4.1GHz 
  • BTO: Intel 8th-gen, 3.2GHz 6-Core, i7, Turbo Boost: 4.6GHz

24in iMac (
buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU
  • Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU 

Mac Studio ( buy from Apple here)

  • Apple M1 Max chip with 20‑core CPU, 24‑core GPU
  • Apple M1 Ultra chip with 20-core CPU, 48-core GPU
  • BTO: M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU
  • BTO: M1 Ultra chip with 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU

Mac Pro ( buy from Apple here)

  • Intel Xeon W, 3.5GHz, 8-core, Turbo Boost: 4.0GHz 
  • BTO: Intel Xeon W, 3.3GHz, 12-core, Turbo Boost: 4.4GHz 
  • BTO: Intel Xeon W, 3.2GHz, 16-core, Turbo Boost: 4.4GHz
  • BTO: Intel Xeon W, 2.7GHz, 24-core, Turbo Boost: 4.4GHz
  • BTO: Intel Xeon W, 2.5GHz, 28-core, Turbo Boost: 4.4GHz

Mac processors made by Apple

Here’s more information about the Apple SOCs you will find inside the current range of Macs. We have more information about the various M1-series chips in a separate article.

M1

In June 2020 Apple announced that it would transition Mac from Intel to its “world-class custom silicon.” This process began with Apple’s M1 processor, which was introduced in November 2020 and it features inside these Macs:

  • MacBook Air (2020)
  • 13in MacBook Pro (2020)
  • Mac mini (2020)
  • 24in iMac (2021)

The M1 has eight processor cores (four of which are high performance and four are high-efficiency). It also has up to eight graphics cores. The M1 was Apple’s first chip designed by Apple specifically for the Mac and it made shockwaves in the industry with giant leaps in performance. .

M1 Pro

Apple introduced the M1 Pro in October 2021.  It features in these Macs:

  • 14in MacBook Pro (2021)
  • 16in MacBook Pro (2021)

The M1 Pro is an enhancement to the M1 with more processor cores and more graphics cores. You will find either a 10-core or an 8-core CPU. The 10-core version features eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores.

The M1 Pro also offers a 14-core GPU or a 16-core GPU. Apple claims the GPU in the M1 Pro is 2x faster than the M1. (Apple also claims the GPU is up to 7x faster than the integrated graphics on the latest 8-core PC laptop chip.)

The M1 Pro also adds a ProRes accelerator in the media engine to speed up video processing. Apple also claims that the M1 Pro can deliver up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is nearly 3x the bandwidth of M1. It can support up to 32GB RAM (compared to a maximum of 16GB for the M1).

M1 Max

The M1 Max was also introduced in October 2021 as a standard option for the 16in MacBook Pro, and a build-to-order option for the 14in MacBook Pro. Then in March 2022 the M1 Max became one of the options for the Mac Studio.

  • 14in MacBook Pro (2021)
  • 16in MacBook Pro (2021)
  • Mac Studio (2022)

The M1 Max has the same 10-core CPU as the M1 Pro, but everything else is significantly enhanced.

The GPU is probably the most important difference between the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The M1 Max GPU goes all the way up to 32-cores (there is also a build-to-order 24-core option.) Apple claims the graphics performance of the 32GB GPU is up to 4x faster than the M1.

M1 Max also has two ProRes accelerators that help it deliver up to 2x faster video encoding than M1 Pro. Apple says the M1 Max powered MacBook Pros can edit up to 30 streams of 4K ProRes video or up to seven streams of 8K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro. That’s more streams than on a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner.

Apple states that the performance of the M1 Max is “similar to that of the highest-end GPU in the largest PC laptops while using up to 100 watts less power.”

M1 Max also offers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth. That is 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1. As a result 64GB RAM is possible with the Max.

M1 Ultra

The M1 Ultra was also introduced in March 2022 as an option for the Mac Studio.

  • Mac Studio (2022)

The M1 Ultra is essentially two M1 Mac chips, so it can offer a 20-core CPU and up to 64-core GPU. Apple achieves this using UltraFusion architecture to connect the two M1 Max chips to avoid trade-offs such as increased latency, reduced bandwidth, and increased power consumption. Apple claims to offer “4x the bandwidth of the leading multi-chip interconnect technology” and explains that the M1 Ultra behaves like, and is recognised by software, as one chip.

Apple claims that its 64-core GPU delivers faster performance than the highest-end PC GPU available – all while using 200 fewer watts of power.

The M1 Ultra can be configured with up to 128GB unified memory – according to Apple the most powerful PC graphics cards max out at 48GB. The ‌M1‌ Ultra also offers twice the media engine capabilities of the ‌M1 Max‌, for accelerated video encoding and decoding.

Mac processors made by Intel

Apple has used various generations of Intel processor over the years. Here’s more information about some of the Intel chips you may find inside any Macs that predate Apple’s move to the M1 and beyond.

The only Macs Apple currently sells with Intel processors include:

  • Mac mini, 8th generation, 3.0GHz
  • Mac Pro, 8-core Xeon W, 3.5GHz 8-core (and various build-to-order options)
  • Various Macs in Apple’s refurbished store

In recent years Apple has specified an Intel processor generation for each Mac in its marketing materials. So you will probably see a description such as 2.0GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. That should help you identify how old the model is and whether a different Mac might be a better choice. If you are considering buying one second hand we would recommend that you don’t! Read Should I buy a second hand Mac?

Here’s how the Intel processor line up has looked since around 2011:

  • 1st Generation – Nehalem (2011)
  • 2nd Generation – Sandy Bridge (2011)
  • 3rd Generation – Ivy Bridge (2012)
  • 4th Generation – Haswell (2013)
  • 5th Generation – Broadwell (2015)
  • 6th Generation – Skylake (2015)
  • 7th Generation – Kaby Lake (2017)
  • 8th Generation – Coffee Lake (2018)
  • 9th Generation – Coffee Lake Refresh (2018)
  • 10th Generation – Ice Lake (2019)

It’s not only processor generation you need to consider with Intel though. There is a lot of variety in terms of processor speed, number of cores, Turbo Boost figures and whether it is an i3 or an i9. Wondering how i5 is better than i7, or if i3 is going to be inadequate? We look through the different processors right up to i9 below.

Core M – The M is a mobile versions of Intel’s chips – it appeared in the first Retina MacBook when it launched in 2014. There were three M processors with increasing performance: m3, m5 and m7.

Core i3 – i3 processors featured in some Macs. They don’t feature Turbo Boost.

Core i5 – The majority of Macs used to use Intel’s i5 processors. The i5 tended to be quad-core or 6-core. If you find a dual-core it’s an older generation.

Core i7 – The i7 is worth looking out for if you are thinking of purchasing an older Mac because, in older generations of Macs, when it came to quad-core the i5 and i7 versions were not equal. The quad-core i7, which was once used in the 15in MacBook Pro offered some features that the quad-core i5 didn’t, one of which was Hyper threading. Another difference was the size of the cache. Thanks to these features, i7 processors were better for multitasking, multimedia, high-end gaming, and scientific work.

Core i9 – Intel’s i9 processors arrived with the 9th generation Coffee Lake refresh, and have up to 8-cores.

Xeon – Intel’s Xeon processors are workstation or server processors. Xeon processors support more memory than the i5/i7/i9 processors.

How to check Mac processor generation

It’s likely that the Mac you are looking at has either an Apple M1-series processor or an Intel processor.

Over the years Apple has furnished Macs with various generations of Intel processor, with the last being the 10th generation (codenamed Ice Lake). While the processor may be listed as being a certain clock speed, or a number of cores, the generation of processor can be important if you are trying to decide between two different Macs – a newer processor may offer significant improvements over an older one. The problem is that it is not easy to see what processor generation is inside an Intel Mac.

Depending on the Mac you own it is either very easy to find out what processor is inside, or quite tricky.

If you have an M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max or M1 Ultra you can follow the steps below. We will address how to find out which processor is inside an Intel Mac next.

How to tell which Apple processor generation

  1. Open the About This Mac information (click on the Apple logo in the left corner of the screen > About This Mac). 
  2. Here you will see details of the specs of your machine, including the chip details – in this case Apple M1.

How to tell which Intel processor generation

However. If you have an Intel processor in your Mac there will be no processor generation listed in the overview tab. You will just see the amount of GHz and how many cores.

This means that it can be pretty tricky to find out which generation of processor you have inside an Intel-powered Mac. In fact you might want to go and grab your detective hat and spy glass.

  1. First you need to find out what kind of processor is inside your Mac. Go to About This Mac and note the details of the processor (e.g 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5). 
  2. Next note the launch date – this will be included in the product name, e.g. MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015).
  3. Now you have that information you can attempt to locate it at
    Everymac.com. Once you have found it you can view a page that gives you the specific processor information (in this case Broadwell)

If you want to find out more about the specs of your Mac we suggest you read our guide to how to check the specs of your Mac.

The above method for identifying which processor you have can still be a bit confusing because Intel processor generations are sometimes referred to by their code name (usually a bridge or a lake) and sometimes just by a number (e.g. 7th generation). Since each generation builds on the one before it the important information to seek is which generation the chip is. You can check with generation the Intel chip in question is by referring to the list of Intel processors above.

M1 vs Intel

The Intel processors that Apple used in its Macs since 2006 were x86 chips. The processors Apple makes in house are based on ARM, but include a number of Apple technologies (so they aren’t ARM chips, strictly speaking).

When we tested them we found that even Apple’s M1 chips delivered performance that was equal to, or even better, than the most powerful Intel laptop chips found in Macs – and the M1 Macs aren’t even targeted at the kind of people who need the most powerful laptops. The M1 really is better than a comparable Intel chip – just as Apple claimed.

With the M1 delivering on Apple’s promises there was a lot of anticipation for the successor, so when the M1 Pro and M1 Max arrived and were shown to be even faster we couldn’t help but feel a little bit sorry for Intel (who’s CEO now
wants Apple back as a customer, having
mocked Apple in a cringeworthy marketing campaign earlier in October).

The M1 Max will be overkill for the majority, and it does have a high price, but benchmarks have shown that it beats the Mac Pro with the best graphics card option, suggesting that Apple knows exactly what it is doing with its CPUs and GPUs.

Then in March 2022 Apple introduced the M1 Ultra, which Apple claims “delivers 90 percent higher multi-threaded performance than the fastest available 16-core PC desktop chip in the same power envelope.”

There is no reason to avoid buying an M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max or M1 Ultra over an Intel-powered Mac. The only reason to delay would be if you want to wait for the M2, which could arrive in the second half of 2022 – but note that there may be a much longer wait for the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra versions.

The M1-series Macs are beating the Intel models.

How to choose a Mac processor

Whether you are comparing two Macs with Apple chips, or one Apple chip and one Intel chip, or even two Intel chips, this is what to consider:

How many CPU cores?

You will notice that Apple’s M1 has eight CPU cores, the M1 Pro and M1 Max have ten CPU cores, and the M1 Ultra has 20 CPU cores.

Among the Intel Macs you would generally find dual-core, quad-core, 6-core, 8-core and 10-core CPUs, while the Mac Pro offers a Xeon processor with 8, 12, 16, 24, or 28-cores.

Having more cores available means that your Mac will be able to run multiple processes at once. Apple’s M1-series Macs have two kinds of cores: high performance and high efficiency cores. The difference between high performance and efficiency cores is that the efficiency cores are power saving while the performance cores can be used for more demanding tasks. So while the performance cores focus on demanding tasks there won’t be a hit on power efficient processing, both can happen in tandem.

How many GHz?

GHz reflects the number of clock cycles per second. So a 2.3GHz processor’s internal clock beats 2.3 billion times per second. Hence people referring to the number of GHz as the clock speed.

You’ll notice that it’s not that easy to compare the M1 with an Intel processor because while Intel lists GHz Apple doesn’t. However you can find out the maximum clock speed of the M1-series Macs. The M1 is known to be clocked at 3.2GHz, for example.

Each range of Intel-equipped Macs usually has more than one option in terms of GHz. Sometimes it will look like a more powerful Mac has a slower clock speed. This is invariably due to the Mac in question having more cores available. For example, the 3.1GHz 6-Core iMac costs considerably more than the  3.6GHz Quad-Core model. At first glance that might look like a bad deal, but that’s six 3.1GHz cores, rather than four 3.6GHz cores. And the more cores the better.

With Intel Macs it’s not only GHz you need to consider, but how many cores and the generation of processor.

What is Turbo Boost?

There is no Turbo Boost figure to consider with Apple’s M1-series, but is a significant part of Intel’s marketing so we will discuss it here.

The simplest way to think of Turbo Boost is as a way of safely over-clocking the cores on a processor. This figure can sometimes give a clue as to how one generation’s processor compares to the next.

The Turbo Boost controller samples the power consumption and temperature of the cores hundreds of times a second while monitoring the demands made of them by software. If any of the cores are being driven to their theoretical maximum, Turbo Boost can, if enough power is available and the temperature is at a safe level ‘over-clock’ the core and enable it to work faster.

So the eight cores in a MacBook Pro’s 2.3GHz 8-Core i9 processor can, if needed, be pushed to 4.8GHz subject to power consumption and heat dissipation.

Not all processors can Turbo Boost. The i3 processors, found in the 3.6GHz Quad-Core iMac do not include Turbo Boost, so the 3.6GHz speed is never going to be over-clocked.

Why would you need Turbo Boost? Turbo Boost kicks in when you aren’t using all the cores, so the clock speed can be increased on the cores that are in use. So, Turbo Boost is a feature that will benefit you most if you aren’t using applications that use multiple cores.

Why you might not want Turbo Boost? When Turbo Boost is in use your computer will be using more power, so if you have a laptop it might not be in your interest to have Turbo Boost.

Apple would quote Turbo Boost figure for older Macs, like the iMac above.

CPU Cache

The more processor cache you have the better. Cache is on-board memory and it helps the processor deal with repetitive tasks faster, because information can be held in the memory. Greater amounts of cache will also help with multitasking, because several tasks can be run simultaneously.

Hyper threading

Hyper threading allows the processor to handle twice as many ‘streams’ as it has cores, by fooling software into thinking it has twice as many cores. So a quad-core processor with hyper threading should be able to execute four times as many sets of instructions in a given time period as a dual-core processor with the same clock speed but without hyper threading.

This means that a quad-core i7, for example, can act like it has eight cores, but a quad-core i5 will only be able to use the four cores available to it.

Which Mac Processor to choose?

Now that Apple has almost completed its transition from Intel to the M1-series of chips – the Apple’s M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra – the question of which processor is no longer a choice between Intel and Apple. We have in the past recommended waiting for a second generation product, but the M1 chip impressed us and we would suggest that if the Mac you need has an M1 chip you should buy it. It’s a similar story with the M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra, if you need a powerful Mac go ahead and buy one. The only reason to delay would be if you want to wait for the M2, which could arrive in the second half of 2022 – but note that there may be a much longer wait for the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra versions.

For more advice read: Should I buy an Intel Mac or Should I buy an M1 Mac. We can also help you choose the best Mac for you.

And for the best deals right now check out our:

  • Best iMac deals
  • Best Mac mini deals
  • Best MacBook Pro deals
  • Best MacBook Air deals

Apple M1 vs Intel Core i3-10100: What is the difference?

69 Ballla

Apple M1

51 Ballla

Intel Core i3-10100

VS

64 Facts compared to

Apple M1

Intel Core i3-10100

Why Apple M1 Why Apple M1 is better than the Apple M1?

  • 44. 44% higher CPU speed?
    4 x 3.2GHz & 4 x 2GHz vs 4 x 3.6GHz
  • 1600MHz faster memory speed?
    4266MHz vs 2666MHz
  • Is 9nm semiconductor smaller?
    5nm vs 14nm
  • 11MB more L2 cache?
    12MB vs 1MB
  • 1.69x higher PassMark score?
    15127 vs 8974
  • 51.2W below TDP?
    13.8W vs 65W
  • 1.25MB/core more L2 cache per core?
    1.5MB/core vs 0.25MB/core
  • 26.65GB/s more memory bandwidth?
    68.25GB/s vs 41.6GB/s

Why is Intel Core i3-10100 better than Apple M1?

  • 1.1GHz higher turbo clock speed?
    4.3GHz vs 3.2GHz
  • 64KB more L1 cache?
    256KB vs 192KB
  • 112GB more max memory?
    128GB vs 16GB
  • Has AES?
  • Uses multithreading?
  • Has AVX?
  • Supports 1 more displays?
    3 vs 2
  • Has F16C?

What are the most popular comparisons?

Apple M1

VS

Intel Core i7-12700k

Intel Core i3-10100

Intel Core i5-7400

VS

9000 INTEL CORE ATEL INTEL INTEL INTEL INTEL INTEL INTL -10100

vs

Intel Core i3-10105

Apple M1

VS

AMD Ryzen 7 5800h

Intel Core i3-10100

VS

Intel Core i3-10100f

Apple M1

VS

Intel i7-117-11700 9000 9000 9000

VS

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

Apple M1

VS

Intel Core i7-10870h

Intel Core i3-10100

9000 9000

APPLE M1 9000

000 APPLE M1 9 Ryzen 5 5500U

Intel Core i3-10100

VS

Intel Core i5-3470

Apple M1

VS

Intel Core M3-6Y30

Intel Core i3-10100

AMD RyZen M1

VS

Intel Core i5-11500

Intel Core i3-10100

VS

Intel Core i5-10400

Intel Core I3-10100

VS

Intel Core I7-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-3777-377ETE -10100

9

The price ratio

8. 7 /10

7 Votes

/10

5 Votes

8.4 /10

7 VOTES 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 5 Votes

performance

9.1 /10

7 Votes

/10

5 Votes

Reliability

/10

9000 7 VOTES

9.2 /10

5 Votes

Energy efficiency

/10

7 Votes

9.2 /10

5 VOTES

performance

2 1. Oschas of the central processor 9000 4 000 4 000 4 000 4 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 $ 4,000 4 GHz & 4 x 2GHz

4 x 3.6GHz

CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second the processor can perform, considering all its cores (processors). It is calculated by adding the clock speeds of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors, each group of cores.

2nd processor thread

More threads result in better performance and better multitasking.

3.speed turbo clock

3.2GHz

4.3GHz

When the processor is running below its limits, it can jump to a higher clock speed to increase performance.

4. Has an unlocked multiplier

✖Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-10100

Some processors come with an unlocked multiplier and are easier to overclock, allowing for better performance in games and other applications.

5.L2 Cache

More L2 scratchpad memory results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning.

6.L3 cache

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

More L3 scratchpad memory results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning.

7. L1 cache

More L1 cache results in faster results in CPU and system performance tuning.

8.core L2

1.5MB/core

0.25MB/core

More data can be stored in the L2 scratchpad for access by each processor core.

9. L3 core

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

1.5MB/core

More data can be stored in L3 scratchpad for access by each processor core.

Memory

1.RAM speed

4266MHz

2666MHz

Can support faster memory which speeds up system performance.

2.max memory bandwidth

68.25GB/s

41.6GB/s

This is the maximum rate at which data can be read from or stored in memory.

3. DDR version

DDR (Dynamic Dynamic Random Access Memory Double Data Rate) is the most common type of RAM. New versions of DDR memory support higher maximum speeds and are more energy efficient.

4.Memory channels

More memory channels increase the speed of data transfer between memory and processor.

5.maximum memory capacity

Maximum memory capacity (RAM).

6.bus baud rate

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

The bus is responsible for transferring data between various components of a computer or device.

7.Supports memory troubleshooting code

✖Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-10100

Memory error recovery code can detect and repair data corruption. It is used when necessary to avoid distortion, such as in scientific computing or when starting a server.

8.eMMC version

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

A newer version of eMMC — built-in flash memory card — speeds up the memory interface, has a positive effect on device performance, for example, when transferring files from a computer to internal memory via USB.

9.bus frequency

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

The bus is responsible for transferring data between various components of a computer or device

Geotagging

1. PassMark result

This test measures processor performance using multi-threading.

2. PassMark result (single)

This test measures processor performance using a thread of execution.

3.Geekbench 5 result (multi-core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform benchmark that measures the performance of a multi-core processor. (Source: Primate Labs,2022)

4. Cinebench R20 result (multi-core)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Cinebench R20 is a benchmark that measures multi-core processor performance by rendering a 3D scene.

5.Cinebench R20 result (single core)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Cinebench R20 is a test to evaluate the performance of a single core processor when rendering a 3D scene.

6.Geekbench 5 result (single core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform test that measures the single core performance of a processor. (Source: Primate Labs, 2022)

7. Blender test result (bmw27)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

The Blender benchmark (bmw27) measures CPU performance by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render a scene in a shorter time.

8.Blender result (classroom)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

The Blender (classroom) test measures CPU performance by rendering a 3D scene. More powerful processors can render a scene in a shorter time.

9.performance per watt

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

This means that the processor is more efficient, giving more performance per watt of power used.

Functions

1.uses multi-threading

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-10100

into logical cores, also known as threads. Thus, each core can run two instruction streams at the same time.

2. Has AES

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-10100

AES is used to speed up encryption and decryption.

3. Has AVX

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-10100

AVX is used to help speed up calculations in multimedia, scientific and financial applications, and to improve the performance of the Linux RAID program.

4th SSE version

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

SSE is used to speed up multimedia tasks such as editing images or adjusting audio volume. Each new version contains new instructions and improvements.

5.Has F16C

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-10100

F16C is used to speed up tasks such as image contrast adjustment or volume control.

6.bits transmitted at the same time

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Apple M1)

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

NEON provides faster media processing such as MP3 listening.

7.Has MMX

✖Apple M1

✔Intel Core i3-10100

MMX is used to speed up tasks such as adjusting image contrast or adjusting volume.

8. TrustZone

✔Apple M1

✖Intel Core i3-10100

The technology is integrated into the processor to ensure device security when using features such as mobile payments and video streaming with Digital Rights Management (DRM).

9.interface width

Unknown. Help us offer a price. (Intel Core i3-10100)

The processor can decode more instructions per clock (IPC), which means the processor performs better

Price comparison

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Which CPUs are better?

price, convenience, design, autonomy, performance, which one to choose

Maxim Avramov

studied the secondary market of Macbooks

Author profile

Damir Kamaletdinov

has been using MacBooks since 2015

Author profile

In March, Apple stopped shipping products to Russia, and this also affected MacBooks.

In official stores, the cheapest model costs 149,000 R. Macbooks used to be expensive, but now the price may seem too high. Therefore, it makes sense to look at the secondary market, where there are still enough offers at more affordable prices.

We studied the offers on Avito and, based on our experience with Apple technology, compiled a selection of MacBooks that you should pay attention to in the secondary market. The list includes models not older than 2015: earlier devices are already outdated and may not be suitable for some tasks. In addition, support for many models from earlier years has already ended, and components inside may have worn out.

The latest generations were also not included in the list: they are too expensive, and there are problems with deliveries to the country — there are also few of them on the secondary market. Therefore, we limited ourselves to MacBooks until 2020 and compiled a selection for different purposes: for study and office work, more serious tasks or professional use.

When preparing the material, we took into account the number of offers and intentionally did not include very rare models that are difficult to buy from the hands. Prices are valid for the Moscow region.

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How to choose a MacBook

Decide why you need a MacBook: for writing texts and working with documents, mastering a creative profession, working with graphics or consuming content. The answer to this question depends on which model and in what price category will suit you.

Find out about the wear and tear of the device. It is worth paying attention to the known shortcomings of the model, the deterioration of components, such as the battery. It is better to clarify with the previous owner whether individual parts were repaired or replaced. All this can become an argument to refuse a purchase or ask to reduce the price.

The test of time is one of the main advantages of buying devices from your hands: you can read about the weaknesses of a particular model. For example, butterfly keyboards break more often than others, while 2017 models quickly wear out the screen cable. Sometimes you can ask for a free replacement even after purchase: the problematic keyboard will be repaired.

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«We can say lucky»: gadgets that we managed to buy before the price increase

Specify specifications. It is always important to check not only the appearance, but also the characteristics on the device itself. Under the guise of a top model, the seller may well offer a minimal package with weaker characteristics. To be sure, you need to turn on the device, click on the button with the Apple logo and select «About this Mac».

In the same menu, you can check the degree of wear of some components, including the battery. To do this, click «System Report» and select «Power Options». The utility will show the current battery capacity and the number of recharge cycles — this is the key parameter that they are guided by to replace it. Under normal conditions, it is recommended to change the battery after 1000 charge-discharge cycles.

Most affordable

MacBook 12″ 2015

How much it costs per hand: from 27,000 R
Suitable for: students, copywriters, as well as lovers of thin and light laptops. Only suitable for basic document work and web surfing.

The 12-inch MacBook is the most compact in the brand’s history: it weighs 907 grams and is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet. It combines portability and the «desktop» macOS operating system. Powered by dual-core Intel Core M processor with a low frequency of 1.2 GHz. It can only perform basic tasks, but it consumes less power and does not heat up as much. This made it possible to save the laptop from active cooling and fan noise. And also — to make it thinner, lighter and better protected from dust.

The troublesome first-generation butterfly keyboard was introduced to the 12-inch MacBook for the first time. This is one of Apple’s most controversial laptop decisions. Due to the imperfection of the design, any tiny debris — say, a grain of sugar — could disable individual keys. Because of this, it was necessary to replace the keyboard: it is tightly connected to the case, so the company changed the entire lower part.

Which Macbook models qualify for the free keyboard replacement program — Apple

In the event of a purchase, it should be borne in mind that the laptop could have repeatedly fallen under the free or paid replacement of the keyboard. In addition, the “butterfly” has a low key travel — they do not rise high from the case, so you will have to get used to typing on it.

12-inch MacBook equipped with a Retina display with a high resolution of 2304 × 1440 pixels. This is no longer a surprise to owners of the latest MacBooks, but this screen outperforms even some later models like the 2017 Air.

One of the features of the MacBook 12, for which it is often criticized, is the only USB-C port, so it will not work to charge and work with files on the flash drive at the same time. To do this, you need a splitter for extra money. Or, alternatively, store files in the cloud.

Alternative. In 2017, Apple updated the model with an improved «butterfly»: the keyboard became less likely to break and turned out to be more responsive. The laptop was also equipped with more powerful Intel Core i3 and i5 instead of Core M. In the browser, the model works an hour longer.

Everything else remains the same. If you want compactness and just such a form factor, then it is better to take a closer look at the 2017 version: it costs from 39,000 R, but it will be better in key issues.

Best choice

Macbook Air 2017

How much it costs: from 28,000 R
Suitable for: for those who need mobile remote work with documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It holds a charge for quite a long time, but allows only basic work with graphic content.

Air is Apple’s most popular laptop in the aftermarket. It is universal: suitable for browsing websites, sending emails, working with documents, spreadsheets and presentations. But there is enough power to edit photos or edit small videos in 1080p resolution without complicated effects.

The Air 2017’s display resolution is 1440×900, which means that even when watching a 1080p movie, the pixels on the screen will be visible. Such a resolution is not enough by today’s standards: high quality content will look worse than it really is.

Another weak point of the device is cooling. Putting the laptop on your lap will close the fan openings. Then the system will reduce performance to prevent overheating.

Despite the aging display, the 2017 Air with an Intel Core i5 processor is still good for basic workloads. It is enough for simple work with video in programs like Adobe After Effects or with photos in Photoshop.

Another plus is more connectors than the latest models. You can connect two USB devices, headphones with a 3.5mm cable, or peripherals with Thunderbolt Gen 2 if you can find the right accessories. There is also a built-in SD card slot. Although this is not the most important thing in working with a MacBook, it can greatly simplify the life of photographers.

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Air 2017 is the best choice not only for a combination of qualities. It is sold on Avito more often than other models: in preparation for the material, we managed to find at least 1,200 ads throughout Russia. But it is worth considering that in the five years since the release of the device, the internal components could wear out. Let’s say a good battery from China will cost about 5000 R. You can replace it yourself, you only need a set of screwdrivers.

Alternative. Model 2017 is the last Air in the old design. After that, Apple relaunched the line — with Retina displays and in a lighter and more compact case with reduced bezels. Retina is a marketing name for high resolution screens where pixels are difficult to distinguish with the naked eye.

The 2018 MacBook Air is more expensive, no SD card slot, no separate Thunderbolt 2. Instead, there are USB-C combo ports with Thunderbolt 3, for which you will have to buy adapters. The model can be found on Avito from 40,000 R — more expensive, but a high-resolution screen with reduced frames, as well as an enlarged trackpad with Force Touch vibration feedback can justify such a price.

Best option

MacBook Air on M1, 2020

How much: from £85,000
Who it’s for: is a good choice for most tasks that don’t require heavy graphics. It will be supported for a long time, which means that the device remains a universal solution for different needs.

In 2020, the already updated Air was the first to receive the Apple M1 processor. The laptop has become more productive and more energy efficient: it can cope with serious tasks better and last longer. Also, the laptop became silent: the new processor made it possible to abandon active cooling with a fan.

In terms of battery life, the Air M1 outperforms not only Windows laptops, but also past Apple solutions. You can work with it all day, and there will still be 20-30% of the charge left in stock.

The 2020 model has inherited the Air 2018 body. Compared to the 2017 generation, the device has become more compact, while the display diagonal remains the same. Now this is a Retina screen with a resolution of 2560 × 1600. You can watch and work with content, although not in 4K, but in high quality.

For most users, the Air M1 is the best Macbook you can buy on Avito. It is versatile, can handle many tasks and at the same time combines high autonomy and the latest Apple technologies. If Intel Macbooks stop receiving macOS updates in the next few years, then Air on M1 will definitely be supported for a long time.

Beginner Professional

MacBook Pro 13″ 2017

How much it costs: from 50,000 R
Suitable for: for those who are just learning or are going to master machine learning development, video editing or photo retouching.

Suitable for creating videos, graphics, animations and working with large amounts of data. Due to the cooling system and battery, it is heavier and larger than the MacBook Air.

I considered the version without the Touch Bar: firstly, such a MacBook is cheaper, and secondly, over the years, it has not found a worthy application. Therefore, the latest 2021 MacBook Pro models have completely abandoned the Touch Bar.

This MacBook was produced with two screen sizes: 13 and 15 inches. The younger MacBook Pro model is not as productive, but more mobile. It has only integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 and 8 GB of RAM: this is enough for the first stages of immersion in the profession of a motion designer, photographer or smm.

The main problem with these models is the butterfly keyboard. It caused inconvenience to those who bought devices when they first appeared on sale, and may become a reason to refuse to buy a laptop now.

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The MacBook Pro is often used as a desktop computer, so battery life is not so critical: in this situation, the device is located next to the outlet. At the time of release, this model could work 10 hours on a single charge, but it is unlikely that such results should be expected from a five-year-old device. During this time, the battery could wear out, and programs have become more demanding and consume power faster.

This MacBook will not work with heavy graphics or play demanding games. But it is suitable for teaching editing or professional work with photography. A screen with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 transmits «millions of colors», so there will be no difficulties with content processing.

However, the display has a problem. In the MacBook Pro, released in 2016-2017, there is a factory defect called Flexgate: due to the raising and closing of the laptop lid, the cable connecting the screen and the lower part of the case wears out until the display backlight is completely turned off. When buying, you should pay attention to the year of manufacture of the device. You can do this through the Apple website.

Alternative. In 2019, Apple released an updated version: it can also be found on sale, but much more expensive — for 80,000 R. In many respects, they are similar to each other, but the butterfly keyboard has been updated to the third generation. It still breaks, like all versions before it, but it still happens less often. According to synthetic tests, the 2019 version shows up to 83.4% performance increase compared to the 2017 model.

Most productive

MacBook Pro 15″ 2017

How much it costs: from 86,000 R
Suitable for: for those who work with graphics. 3D modeling requires a more powerful, discrete graphics card, which is installed here. Complex editing and color correction will also be performed better with a full-fledged GPU.

The laptop weighs almost two kilograms, but can become a real mobile office. The dimensions allowed engineers to install more powerful components and an improved cooling system.

15-inch models are considered the most productive in the line of Macbooks. They have full-fledged graphics cards installed, and not just integrated graphics: with them, the MacBook will not slow down when processing animation or 3D.

You can find bundles with powerful Intel Core i7 processors, which received a performance increase every year, as well as AMD Radeon Pro 555 graphics with 2 GB or Radeon Pro 560 graphics with 4 GB of video memory. The power of the GPU is also enough for narrowly focused tasks: editing long and complex videos, 3D modeling.

Image and movie processing is faster with 16 GB of RAM. It cannot be expanded, but this volume is enough for Adobe, Cinema 4D and others.

The 2017 model is only available with the Touch Bar and all ports have been upgraded to USB-C compatible with Thunderbolt 3. USB-C adapters are required to connect external devices or memory cards.

Alternative. Among other 15-inch MacBook Pro models, the 2015 Core i7 version is the most popular. Due to the earlier year of release, it costs from 55,000 R, but it works about the same. They are very different in appearance due to the old square body. The 2015 version has a screen nearly twice as dimmer, weaker processors, and a not-so-modern AMD Radeon R9 graphics cardM370X with 2 GB VRAM.

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It also has all the classic ports: two Thunderbolt 2 (up to 20 Gb / s), two USB 3 (up to 5Gbps), HDMI, 3. 5mm headphone out, SDXC card slot. This is the basic model for those who work with simple graphics. For professionals with serious projects, its capabilities are hardly enough — there are faster and more powerful devices on the market.

Also available on the aftermarket is the 16″ Core i9 version, which is still popular with professionals today. It will cost about 250,000 R. New models with 14- and 16-inch displays on the M1 Pro and M1 Max are even more expensive. Therefore, if you want a more powerful MacBook Pro, it is better to take a closer look at the 13-inch version with the M1 processor, which can be found on Avito from 100,000 rubles.

Habr

Apple Vice President Craig Federighi spoke to Ars Technica about the creation of the Apple Silicon M1 with ARM architecture and the future of the platform, including running Windows on it.

Apple has been planning the transition to ARM for several years. After years of development, a group of engineers gathered in the building of the company’s campus. They took the innards of old MacBook Air laptops and fused them with their own prototype boards to create the very first computers to run macOS on Apple’s own Silicon processor.

When asked about the reasons for such a radical change in Apple, Federighi replied that the Mac is the soul of Apple, and the company really needed its own chips to make new and better Macs. So Apple decided to create the M1 chip, which takes into account all the lessons learned from years of improvements in mobile chips for the iPhone, iPad and other products of the company. Then, all kinds of additional features were added to the M1 to meet the growing needs of users.

Federighi said that the engineers did a lot of analysis of various applications on the Mac, studied the requirements for a GPU that would satisfy all typical Mac workloads, analyzed the types of texture formats required, they immediately planned to add support for various types of computing and virtualization to the new chip . They were able to put a lot of features into the M1 that were required for the Mac. And this is not a «chip for the iPhone A14X on steroids», but a new development.

According to Federighi, one of the key ingredients in the mobile chip’s high performance and relatively low power consumption is the unified memory architecture (UMA). In the M1, all components — the Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), Neural Processing Unit (NPU), Image Signal Processor (ISP) — share a single pool of very fast memory that is located physically very close to the M1 chip. This architecture is contrary to the common desktop paradigm where, for example, one pool of memory is allocated to the CPU and another to the GPU. The resulting increase in Mac performance on the M1 is precisely due to the rejection of such an inefficient paradigm both at the hardware and software levels.

Federighi explained that for several years now, the Apple Metal graphics API has been using «deferred tile-based rendering», which is fully implemented in the M1 GPU.

Regarding the further development of Apple Silicon, Federighi stated that the M1 is only the first chip in the series. No additional comments. He also explained that within a few years, new Macs, including the MacBook Pro, will be released with more RAM, such as 32GB or 64GB, than is currently available in devices with an M1 chip (up to 16GB).

When asked by Ars Technica if Apple would release cheaper Macs based on the assumption that it would be more economical to use their own chips, a company spokesperson replied that they have not and will not make cheaper solutions.

The new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini with the new ARM-based Apple Silicon M1 chip are now available. Now they still lack native software and development environments.

Currently, all Macs with an M1 processor do not support Boot Camp, preventing users from running Windows applications on them.

Federighi explained that new Macs with the M1 can technically run Windows for ARM, which in turn supports x86 applications. Apple has implemented in M1 all the basic technologies for this. Now it’s up to Microsoft to make the decision to license Apple and users the technology to run Windows on the new Macs.

Microsoft is now releasing an ARM version of Windows 10 and licensing it for pre-installation only to ARM-based PC companies. For Mac users on M1, this option is not suitable. This case requires a public build of Windows 10 on ARM that Microsoft did not release.

Federighi suggested that running Windows in the cloud on a Mac with M1 might be a possible solution to this problem in the future. He also highlighted CrossOver, a product that can run 32-bit Windows applications on Mac M1 computers. But the approach to emulation in CrossOver is not as consistent as Parallels or VMWare virtualization software on a Mac with Intel. So perhaps Apple has yet to overcome this hurdle on its own.

In addition, Federighi explained that it will be some time before we see the future of Windows-on-Apple-Silicon-Mac unfold. For now, Apple plans to continue to provide software updates for Intel-based Macs.

“Software-wise, we didn’t branch macOS. There is no macOS version for M1-based Macs and no other version of macOS for Intel. It’s literally the same installer. This is the same source tree. It’s the same OS we build every night. This is a single project, and it will continue to be so.

So by releasing a new release of macOS next year and so on, we’re building it as a universal OS that runs on both systems. So, if you buy a Mac from Intel today, or if you already own one, you’ll continue to get free macOS updates for years to come, as you’d expect,» Federighi said.

An Apple spokesperson also explained that the company will continue to produce products based on Intel for some time and even make new ones, for example, a new iMac with an Intel processor will be introduced in a few months.

At the end of the interview, an Apple representative summed up that “there were many situations during the development of the M1 where it was difficult and difficult, but no one in their team ever doubted that the decision was the right one, and they brought the development to the end, and managed to the date that was planned several years ago.

See also:

  • «Apple unveils MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13 and Mac mini with new M1 ARM processors»
  • «First experience: Mac Mini on M1»
  • «Apple M1 chip in MacBook Air outperforms 8-core Intel Core i9-9980HK in MacBook Pro in Geekbench 5»
  • «Apple M1 integrated graphics on par with GTX 1050 Ti in GFXBench 5.0»
  • «CrossOver, the software for running Windows apps on Chromebooks, is out of beta»

Apple MacBook Air 2020 Ultrabook Review

Over the past few years, Apple laptops have continued to have a nasty history with keyboards, the keys of which are easily clogged and quickly fail. A large number of users faced such a problem and scolded the company at every opportunity. As a result, the keyboard went through a couple of modifications, but this did not change the situation much and they abandoned the “butterfly”, returning to the previous version — the Magic Keyboard. This year, the MacBook Air has changed the keys, and along with them, the configuration has also been refreshed. In this article, we will see how Apple’s ultrabook has changed.

Help

ZMIST

  • 1 Employment MacBook Air
  • 2 Design and Ease of use
  • 3 MacBook Air display
  • 4 Keyboard, Tuchpad and Multimedia
  • 5 Autonomics and

  • 5 Authority and on
  • 5 Author

Package contents of MacBook Air

If there are changes inside the laptop itself, then nothing changes in the contents of the box with it: there is also a laptop, a power supply with a detachable cable, information papers and stickers in the color of the device body. It is worth noting that despite the laptop having Thunderbolt ports, the cable in the box is a regular USB Type-C for charging.

In most cases, along with this laptop, they immediately buy hubs with the necessary set of ports. Since Apple abandoned USB-A, HDMI and other connectors, the world around has not changed and the Air owner still needs an adapter to connect a banal flash drive or memory card. Of course, you can find accessories with USB-C or Thunderbolt, but sooner or later the user will still “catch up” with something less modern, for which an adapter is needed.

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Design and usability

One of the most popular ultrabooks has been updated for 2018. Then, of course, we got to know each other. A few months ago, he changed minimally, returning to the old keys. Visually, this is almost imperceptible, but it slightly affected the case. Now the dimensions of the Air are 30.41 × 21.24 × 0.41-1.61 cm, while earlier in the “thickest” place it was 1.56 cm. And if the weight of the previous model was 1.25 kg, now it’s 1.29kg. True, these are all the changes that are in the design of the MacBook Air 2020.

They did not affect the user experience in any way (we will return to the keyboard itself later). Air remains the same aluminum ultrabook with a perfect build: all the details fit exactly, it can also be opened with one hand, and compactness and mobility are still a priority in development. The new model looks exactly the same as the previous one, so if this appearance suited you, then this one will not disappoint. There are three body color options: dark gray, gray and gold. The latter, depending on the lighting, can quite noticeably change the shade, which is clearly visible in different photos of the test version.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are not so many options for connecting external devices. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left and a combo headphone jack on the right. All. And in the kit there is no hub to help, you have to buy it separately. Fortunately, there are a lot of them and finding a suitable one is not a problem, but they can even cost a couple of hundred dollars if they include a lot of ports.

The weak spot on the body is the apple logo. It is still specular and can be damaged relatively easily. You need to be a really careful user so that there are no traces left on the logo after, for example, a year of use. At the same time, the logo looks good, but a slight nostalgia for the backlight in the lid still remains.

The former enthusiasm for such an ultrabook is gone. Competitors offer lighter options with more ports, and MacBook Pro models with the same screen size don’t weigh much more and are even a tad thinner. They have only the shape of the body is not narrowed. But the Air is still very good to use and definitely won’t upset the buyer.

MacBook Air Display

It’s been two years since the big update to the MacBook Air, and it’s been the third iteration since. She also received the already familiar Retina display with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10. On a 13.3-inch screen, this number of dots is still enough for a clear image, and for a comfortable system operation that is not overloaded during, for example, streaming video in high quality.

The matrix remains the same — a well-tuned IPS. Her color reproduction has not changed much, but even in the previous model (2019), she “learned” to adjust the temperature to the lighting. Yes, this is True Tone technology, well known from other devices of the company. In my case, it mainly made the picture noticeably “warmer” than the norm. For some, this may not be very comfortable, but the desire to refuse this function has never arisen. Unless, when processing a photo, it made sense to turn it off for a while.

There is not as much backlighting around the screen as we have seen in some other laptops. The limit value was 323 cd/m². But this is not so little. The display, of course, is glossy, but it has a polarizing layer, which, in combination with such a backlight, is enough not to see your reflection on the screen even in a sunny room. When working in complete darkness, the brightness can be «screwed» up to 4.6 cd / m². It is very convenient that the laptop has an automatic backlight adjustment.

Keyboard, Touch ID, touchpad and media

The biggest change for the MacBook Air was a keyboard upgrade. Well, how to say «upgrade» … Like the Pro, Air also returned to the Magic Keyboard, which was in Apple laptops before the advent of «butterflies». Personally, I am one of those users who have not had any problems with the new generation of keyboards and I really enjoy working with them to this day. In the same way, I understand people for whom these keys stuck and failed, but it is impossible to clean them easily. Apparently, there were so many problematic cases that the company still abandoned the new switches.

If the user has nostalgia for old keyboards, then in the new MacBook models, including Air, they will delight: typing on this one is also wonderful, the navigation key block returned to its previous state, where the left and right arrows » are small, and the white backlight is in place. The key travel has become less, but after the “butterflies” you can’t say that. Opponents of the TouchBar also have nothing to fear, because a number of F-keys are also familiar here. In general, the issue of the keyboard in the MacBook will obviously be closed until the next generation of switches, because before there were no global problems with them.

Among the changes in the Magic Keyboard, you can also mention Touch ID. The fingerprint scanner button isn’t new to Apple, but it’s matte this time around. The sensor works perfectly and can help not only log in, but also enter passwords (there is even support for third-party services, such as 1Password), confirm purchases in the App Store and payments using Apple Pay.

The trackpad is in its usual position and has not changed in any way. It’s still a large glass surface that doesn’t need extra keys. Of course, it has a feedback that simulates a “click”, and also recognizes different degrees of pressure (Force Touch) to implement additional system functions. Subjectively, it’s still one of the best trackpads you’ll find on modern laptops, but for, say, photo editing or other precision tasks, a mouse could be better. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but the shade of the trackpad is slightly different from the case.

I don’t really remember how the speakers of the previous Air we had sounded, but they certainly didn’t get any worse. The sound of even large laptops can rarely please, especially during music playback, but Apple has long found a solution to this issue. The new MacBook Air may not be up to par with the Pro models, but it will still be enough for music in small rooms or the kitchen. Separately, it is worth noting that at maximum power there will be no strong distortions, but the case can significantly resonate.

The FaceTime HD webcam hasn’t been swapped out for something decent yet on any of Apple’s laptops. It is noisy in some conditions, but suitable for video communication. And the microphone remained near the Fn key. Due to the proximity to the keyboard, the sounds from the keys will get into the conversation, as well as other ambient noise, but the voice quality itself is quite good.

Performance and software

When it comes to Ultrabooks, there is usually no such thing as headroom. Such computers must first of all provide a long operating time and very good portability, which is not much comparable to high performance. The previous two MacBook Air models were equipped with an Intel Core i5-8210Y processor, and starting this year there is a choice between the Intel Core i3-1000NG4, i5-1030NG7 and i7-1030NG7. In all cases, only Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. Memory is also available with options: 8 or 16 GB of RAM (3733 MHz, LPDDR4X), and from 256 GB to 2 TB of storage. Wi-Fi here is still ac standard and there is Bluetooth 5.0.

Test configuration is the most basic, with Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. Its cost in the US is $1,000 (excluding state tax). This user will be quite enough for simple everyday tasks. Moreover, in the “typewriter” mode with a browser, music, instant messengers and other “little things”, Air works the same way as my, albeit not the most recent, but 15-inch MacBook Pro. Although it is worth launching Lightroom and, say, removing dust particles from the photo, it immediately becomes clear that this is not a configuration that likes to “strain”. It makes no sense to think about games, because in the banal Dota 2 with a resolution of 1440 × 900 and low graphics settings, the FPS mostly moved in the range of 20-30 frames.

Alas, the temperature sensor is not available in the system, and iStat does not yet read the indicators (at least not on the sample that came across to us). But getting the MacBook Air to spin the fans is pretty tricky if there’s nothing «heavy» in the list of open apps. So, while working on the reviews, I never heard the cooling system, and the case was at maximum room temperature. With such work, this is a very comfortable ultrabook. But with the same Lightroom or during an attempt to play, the fan is perfectly audible, and the case starts to noticeably heat up.

And of course, the latest version of macOS is available for the MacBook Air with all its new features. Most likely, for a few more years, most of the upcoming «chips» will also work on this configuration. But for now, such an Air is the weakest of the representatives of the line and is unlikely to be able to be kept in shape as much as more powerful representatives. And by the way, as before, all components are soldered on the motherboard and you should think about the right set of components before buying.

MacBook Air 9 autonomy0019

One of the most important points for an ultrabook is autonomy. The MacBook Air doesn’t disappoint in this regard. There are not particularly popular autonomy tests for Mac, so you have to start only from personal observations. In my work mode, I got 7 to 9 hours of activity between charges. That is, a little more than 10% of the charge was lost per hour. This does not at all deny itself the comfort of the backlight level, music and the number of running applications. The two-hour film took away 23%. In general, this is a good option for such a modest laptop. Battery capacity is 49.9 Wh (same as previous models).

If you need to take a power supply with you, then its ridiculous size will definitely not cause discomfort during the trip. But if the battery is completely discharged, then it will take two and a half hours to recover.

4.5

ITC.UA score

Pros:
Nice design, good assembly, body materials; display; sound; touchpad; performance; TouchID; hassle free keyboard

Cons:
The need for adapters; price

Conclusion:
The 2020 Apple MacBook Air is a little better than its predecessors, with a less problematic keyboard that many Mac users (especially those who have had bad luck with butterflies) have forgiven for.