CPU ST Performance: Not Much Change from M1

Apple didn’t talk much about core performance of the new M1 Pro and Max, and this is likely because it hasn’t really changed all that much compared to the M1. We’re still seeing the same Firestrom performance cores, and they’re still clocked at 3.23GHz. The new chip has more caches, and more DRAM bandwidth, but under ST scenarios we’re not expecting large differences.

When we first tested the M1 last year, we had compiled SPEC under Apple’s Xcode compiler, and we lacked a Fortran compiler. We’ve moved onto a vanilla LLVM11 toolchain and making use of GFortran (GCC11) for the numbers published here, allowing us more apple-to-apples comparisons. The figures don’t change much for the C/C++ workloads, but we get a more complete set of figures for the suite due to the Fortran workloads. We keep flags very simple at just “-Ofast” and nothing else.

SPECint2017 Rate-1 Estimated Scores

In SPECint2017, the differences to the M1 are small. 523.xalancbmk is showcasing a large performance improvement, however I don’t think this is due to changes on the chip, but rather a change in Apple’s memory allocator in macOS 12. Unfortunately, we no longer have an M1 device available to us, so these are still older figures from earlier in the year on macOS 11.

Against the competition, the M1 Max either has a significant performance lead, or is able to at least reach parity with the best AMD and Intel have to offer. The chip however doesn’t change the landscape all too much.

SPECfp2017 Rate-1 Estimated Scores

SPECfp2017 also doesn’t change dramatically, 549.fotonik3d does score quite a bit better than the M1, which could be tied to the more available DRAM bandwidth as this workloads puts extreme stress on the memory subsystem, but otherwise the scores change quite little compared to the M1, which is still on average quite ahead of the laptop competition.

SPEC2017 Rate-1 Estimated Total

The M1 Max lands as the top performing laptop chip in SPECint2017, just shy of being the best CPU overall which still goes to the 5950X, but is able to take and maintain the crown from the M1 in the FP suite.

Overall, the new M1 Max doesn’t deliver any large surprises on single-threaded performance metrics, which is also something we didn’t expect the chip to achieve.

Power Behaviour: No Real TDP, but Wide Range CPU MT Performance: A Real Monster


View All Comments

  • UnNameless - Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - link

    Where did you get the 3000 writes number from?

    I know for a fact that I did >1000 full drive writes on my 1TB SSD in my iMac Pro and it barely hit 86% SSD lifetime! So I wrote more than 1PB of data and still got 86% life in it!
  • coolfactor - Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - link

    Hey folks, listen to turbine! He really knows what he's talking about! I mean, he's never used a Mac, or he'd know better, but hey, listen to him anyway! He can't get the OS names correct (it's macOS and iOS, with a small "i"), but hey, he's making an important point! So important! More market share obviously means better! Yah? So that $2.00 cheeseburger from McDonalds is abviously the best because it's low-cost and everywhere! Yah, that's what matters, after all! Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - link

    Don't be ridiculous. The 16" MBP with the M1 Max costs less than what I have paid for my TiBook way back when and that's without inflation considered. Oh, and back then I was just a student, tired of his Compaq Armada 1750 aka "the brick". Reply
  • xeridea - Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - link

    Developers optimize for PC, knowing that Mac has virtually no marketshare for gamers. There are decent APUs and midrange gaming laptops that aren't hot and heavy. Reply
  • Altirix - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    actually could be unlikely, Apple are trying to kill of any open-source low-level graphics API in favour of their own API metal. look at the smaller devs who are going to be less likely to go out their way to rewrite their engines to support metal especially when they also need to buy the hardware to test it on. prior to that is if macos can run it cool, if it can well that's a shame. big devs follow the money so the rest will be up to apple handing out engineers or there's enough people gaming on mac Reply
  • photovirus - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    Apple doesn't try to kill Vulkan, it's just they don't care. They've eaten OpenGL problems for years and they've had enough, thus no respect for open-source. What they want is a fast modern cross-platform framework, and that's Metal. It's tightly controlled, so it's easy to implement any new hardware feature into it.

    Since there's a quite a number of iPads and Macs with M1, I think publishers will invest into Metal optimisation.
  • bernstein - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    Metal isn‘t cross-platform. ios & macos are the same os with a different „skin“ (ui/lifecycle model). Reply
  • techconc - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    @bernstein... That's like saying Andorid and Linux aren't different platforms... you know because they share some common ground. From a developer perspective, iOS and MacOS are different platforms. Yes, there is much similarity, but there are also differences. Reply
  • tunsten2k - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    No, it's like saying Android and ChromeOS aren't different platforms, and generally, that would be a reasonable statement. Regardless, "cross platform" doesn't mean "across 2 proprietary platforms, only one of which is non-mobile and makes up only 16% of the non-mobile market". Get a grip :) Reply
  • Hrunga_Zmuda - Monday, October 25, 2021 - link

    No, they are not the same OS. They have the same base, but they are quite different in many ways. But Metal isn't one of those differences. Metal is powerful and any developer who wants to break into the Mac world will be going there in the future. Reply

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