Mac mini with M1 chip

When Apple introduced its in-house M1 chip and the new Mac trio powered by it earlier this month, the company touted a performance boost that sounded almost too good to be true. After all, this was a first-gen PC chip, and optimizing it to extract the maximum performance out of it was expected to be a challenging task. But the reviews are in, and so are the benchmarking results – both of which are overwhelmingly positive. Talking about the new Mac Mini though, the M1-powered machine leaves Intel’s best far behind. 

As you can see in the image below, the single-core Geekbench tally of the new Mac Mini stands at an impressive 1689, which is even higher than Intel’s top-of-the-line 10th gen Core i9 processor fitted inside the 27-inch iMac. For comparison, the Intel chip was a distant second with a multi-core Geekbench 5.0 score of 1251. What this essentially means is Apple has rewritten the rules of price-to-performance ratio by offering a machine that starts at just $699, but performs way better than Intel-powered hardware that costs thrice as much or even higher.

Mac Mini with M1 chip
Geekbench V5.0 tally of Mac Mini with M1 chip

Another impressive feat is that not only the Mac Mini, but the new M1 chip-powered MacBook Air also scored way better with a single-core tally of 1678 compared to the 1251 ceiling touched by the Core i9-powered iMac. It is worth keeping in mind that the new MacBook Air has a fanless design, but still offers a fire-breathing octa-core chip that leaves Intel’s best silicon far behind. Earlier results have also shown that the new MacBook Air is more powerful than Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro model, while the onboard GPU beats NVIDIA and AMD’s discrete graphics too.

It goes without saying that a higher single-core benchmark score indicates that the chip can sustain demanding workloads with ease. Even an 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core i7 laptop like the Dell XPS 13, when tested by the folks over at Tom’s Hardware, could only achieve a peak single-core tally of 1521. While the numbers are in favor of Apple’s new M1 Mac lineup – which includes the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini – their performance will receive even further boost as developers optimize their apps to run natively instead of Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation layer. 

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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