20-core Apple M1 Ultra posts sturdy PassMark CPU Mark score but can't break Alder Lake's power-hungry iron grip on the single-thread top 10
Typically, Intel parts offer the highest single-thread or single-core performances in synthetic benchmarks, and this has been further demonstrated by the overall success of Alder Lake processors in this discipline. The 20-core M1 Ultra is not targeted for use by gamers or overclockers, so it is arguable that its single-thread score on PassMark is actually quite admirable. The Apple silicon clocked up 3,899 points, leaving it in 11th position in the current desktop CPU single-thread chart. The i7-12700 pips it on 3,934 points while the table is still headed by the Alder Lake powerhouse Intel Core i9-12900KF on 4,218 points.
It's worth pointing out that the Apple M1 Ultra has achieved this decent single-thread score on a typical TDP of 60 W; the i7-12700 could rely on 65 W up to 180 W and the i9-12900KF is recorded at 241 W with a TDP down of 125 W. Obviously, the amount of power a chip can utilize does affect the single-thread scores, so the M1 Ultra actually looks very tasty here when performance per watt is considered. In addition to posting a respectable single-thread result, the M1 Ultra has also scored 41,482 points in CPU Mark overall, which is above anything from Alder Lake.
Only eight M1 Ultra samples have been tested at the time of writing so there is a medium margin of error. However, the Apple SoC is impressively rubbing shoulders with some of AMD’s lower-end Threadrippers and EPYC chips and Intel's Xeon CPUs for the most part. It just manages to outscore the Intel Core i9-12900KF here (41,482 points vs. 40,968 points) but is way beyond the poor i7-12700 that languishes on 31,538 points. This benchmark is more representative of the audience that the Apple M1 Ultra is targeted at, as it includes a whole suite of tests rather than just focusing on pure single-thread peak performance.