I recently purchased Apple’s newest MacBook Pro with its in-house M1 “Apple Silicon” chip. This paradigm shift in CPU architecture will take place over the next few years, but the results are already astonishing. Although benchmarks don’t necessarily translate to “real world” performance, they ARE objective metrics. Let’s compare my 2018 MacBook Pro (MBP) to the new 2020 MBP M1… and just for fun my iMac Pro. 🙂 All the devices are running MacOS Big Sur 11.0.1. Geekbench (GB) 5.3.1 and Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test 3.2 were used for benchmarking.
When comparing the outer shells of the 2020 M1 MBP to the 2018 MBP, there’s no difference. In fact, the only discernible differences are that the 2020 MBP has a dedicated “esc” key (previously it was built into the touch bar) and the arrow keys are in the upside-down T configuration seen in many notebooks.
|2018 MacBook Pro||2020 MacBook Pro||2017 iMac Pro|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-8259U (2.3 GHz, 4 cores)||Apple M1 (3.2 GHz, 8 cores)||Intel Xeon W (3 GHz, 10 cores)|
|GPU||Iris Plus 655||M1 integrated||Radeon Pro Vega 64 16 GB|
|RAM||8 GB||8 GB||64 GB|
|GB CPU (single-core)||933||1726||1163|
|GB CPU (multi-core)||3965||7534||9727|
|GB Compute (OpenCL)||7696||19309||60505|
|GB Compute (Metal)||7116||21956||59453|
The benchmarks speak for themselves, and I can tell you the “real world” performance feels much snappier around MacOS and optimized apps. I upgraded from the 2018 MBP because my defective butterfly keyboard (so glad Apple did away with that) made it ridiculously difficult to type, and I’m very happy so far! 🙂