Rumors persist that Apple wants to follow up its M1-equipped line of Macs with more powerful models as early as this year. Naturally, this requires a more capable processor. We know Apple has them in the works and it’s only a matter of time before they replace Intel products across the entire Mac range.
Upcoming Apple M1X processor benchmarked
One of these processors is a refinement of the M1, the M1X. The original M1 debuted with 4 high-performance cores and 4 performance-efficient cores for a total of 8 CPU cores. It also features 8 GPU cores with a total of 128 execution units. The M1X will boost the M1’s architecture in all the right places with 12 CPU cores (8 high-performance, 4 performance-efficient) and double the GPU core count to 16 GPU cores with 256 execution units.
Purported benchmark results of the processor are already out. The performance boost is most apparent in the Cinebench R23 multi-core benchmark. The Apple M1X achieves a result of 14,450 points which is nearly double that of the Apple M1 (7760 points). Understandably, the gains carry onto the graphics unit as well. The iGPU – FP32 performance test spits out 5200 points for the Apple M1X and 2600 points for the Apple M1. That’s in line with the two-fold increase in cores and execution units.
Compared to Intel silicon, the Apple M1X (14,450 points) ranks just 548 points short of the Intel Core i9-7900X (14,998 points) in the Cinebench R23 multi-core test. It also smokes the Core i9-9880H chip (8311 points) humming (quite hotly, may I add) in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro.
The Apple M1X is supposed to be going into the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro, where it will surely benefit from the increase in battery capacity allowed by the larger chassis. The rumored 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro is also a possible candidate, if it can contain such a beast chip at all.
You’d be right to think the M1X sounds impressive. But Apple supposedly has 16-core and 32-core variants in development for its higher-end machines. What we’re seeing here is a mere stopgap until Apple silicon enters truly “ludicrous” mode. For most music producers, however, I think the incoming performance increases are a much less significant reason to wait out on switching to an Apple silicon Mac in the near future. The more pressing question is whether the computer can run all your production software smoothly and reliably. I’d rather wait for the developers to catch up with the new hardware before going Apple silicon.