We already knew that the Apple M1 chip was a beast, despite being a fresh face in the world of CPUs. It's now been revealed through a PassMark benchmark that the M1 defeats the Intel Core i7-11700K CPU in single-core performance, leaving it second only to the Intel Core i9-11900K.
While Apple is certainly a force to be reckoned with, the idea of a new CPU entering a market that has so long been dominated solely by AMD and Intel was certainly brave, so to have pulled off outperforming so many established products in such little time should give both team red and team blue some concerns.
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Will we see an ARM wrestle?
The PassMark benchmark results show that the M1 chip leads the Intel i7-11700K by just seven points, but given this is Apple's first release of its chip for Macs and MacBooks, it's no small feat. Indeed, single-core and single-thread workload proficiency has always been firmly Intel's domain.
Notebook Check has also pointed out that the M1 is an attractive choice when looking at the affordability vs performance, given that the Rocket Lake i9-11900K has an MSRP of $539 (around £395, AU$715) alone, while an M1-based Mac mini desktop computer with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage is available for $699/£699/AU$1,099
We also covered in our review of M1 products like the new MacBook Air that despite being firmly in the 'luxury product' market, these silicon products are now undoubtedly the best laptop devices for a surprisingly affordable price given how well they perform.
The other CPU brands certainly still have advantages of course – in a recent Intel campaign, the Apple M1 chip was mocked due to its lack of real gaming capabilities, or features such as touch screens and tablet mode that aren't present in Mac products.
The Intel Core i9-11900K is still sitting pretty for now, but these results should give both Intel and AMD reasons for concern. These scores are obviously not reflective of multi-core workloads and comparing the ARM-based M1 to other chipsets isn't a clear cut, but Apple has proved that they can close the rankings gap despite competitors having decades of developmental experience.
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