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Apple’s M1 CPU edges near Intel i9 11900K in CPU benchmark scores

Apple's Silicon is looking like a real threat to conventional x86 processors

A closeup of Apple Silicon die

Apple is in the stages of switching all of its iMac and MacBook lineup from Intel’s x86 CPUs to its own developed-in-house ARM chips, aiming to be a serious contender when it comes to performance.  According to the latest PassMark single-thread performance chart, it looks like Apple’s already achieved this – at least on paper. The tech company’s M1 processor takes second place behind Intel’s Core i9-11900K, with a score just as high as many of the models in our best gaming CPU guide.

The Apple M1’s score of 3,550 beats Intel’s i7 11700K (3,542) by a smidge, and also AMD’s high-end Ryzen 7 5800X (3,506). It’s particularly impressive when you consider the M1 is designed as a low-power processor for mobile devices such as laptops. Who knows how much performance we could see out of future Apple Silicon chips designed for desktop use?

Of course, an M1-based MacBook still isn’t a replacement for the best gaming laptop by any stretch of the imagination as the best PC games have been designed around x86 processors.

However, Apple’s achievements are good news for future PCs too. If it can offer this level of performance while offering battery life far surpassing x86 laptops, the likes of Intel and AMD will undoubtedly have to step up their efficiency and performance game in future CPUs.

That’s also a good recipe for cooler and quieter gaming laptops, with longer battery lives, in the future.