As part of its recently announced transition to ARM-based silicon, Apple released the Mac Mini Developer Transition Kit. It’s a current Mac Mini fitted with the Apple A12Z Bionic Chip and 16GB RAM. This is the same chip humming along in the latest iPad Pro. Naturally, the first ARM-based Mac is an obvious target for benchmarks. Estimating its capabilities in a performance test provides a sneak peak at the upcoming consumer Macs running Apple chips. Well, the benchmark results are out and things look quite promising!
ARM-based Mac Mini on par with MacBook Pro 13
The Geekbench 5 result, first discovered by 9to5Mac, shows a multi-core score of 4,555 and single-core score of 1098. In comparison, the current 13-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i5 chip scored 4,296 (multi-core) and 1,107 (single-core) in the same test. Of note is that Geekbench 5 runs natively on the ARM SoC in the Mac Mini – there is zero resource-hogging emulation at play. Thus, native ARM apps could potentially run faster than current macOS applications on Intel silicon.
The potential for power (and iOS music apps)
Also of note is that the benchmarked Mac Mini uses a regular, unmodified A12Z Bionic SoC borrowed straight from the iPad Pro. The computer is merely a development kit for porting apps to an ARM-based platform. For the upcoming Mac computers, Apple is expected to distribute specialized silicon to better cover the needs of a production laptop/PC. Computers have more component space and are capable of greater power draw, so Apple has a clear advantage here. But it’s safe to say that because the iPad Pro chip already bests Intel silicon, we can expect the new ARM Macs to be even more powerful than the current models.
More power is always good news for those running resource-hungry VSTis and large track counts. But what’s even cooler is that ARM Macs will be able to run all those awesome music making apps which used to be iPhone and iPad exclusives. This could greatly expand your production palette with a whole new world of synths, instruments, and effects. I am fairly excited for this proposition.
via Tom’s Guide