24-core M2 Ultra lands on PassMark as highest-rated Apple silicon with promising workstation-level performance
The Apple M2 Ultra processor has been benchmarked on PassMark (two samples; high margin of error), where it produced a reasonable single-thread mark of 3,868 and a very good average CPU Mark of 47,589. The latter result involves putting the M2 Ultra through a whole suite of benchmarks that go beyond testing pure single-thread speed. The Apple silicon tested here comes with 24 CPU cores (16x high-performance + 8x high-efficiency), but it is not revealed whether the samples have 60-core or 76-core GPU components.
This result for the Apple M2 Ultra SoC, which will be used in the 2023 Mac Studio and 2023 Mac Pro workstation computers, is a decent +16.24% leap over the 20-core Apple M1 Ultra. Obviously, the former has a core-count advantage over the latter, so it should achieve higher CPU Mark results anyway. But it’s also worth remembering that the M2 Ultra wasn’t designed just to bring higher CPU-based performance over its predecessor. There are also advantages in GPU core count (60-76 vs. 48-64) and transistor count (134 billion vs. 114 billion), with the latter allowing the M2 Ultra to perform calculations more quickly and efficiently.
It's worth pointing out that naysayers of Apple silicon should note that the M2 Ultra is performing on a similar level as an Intel Core i7-13700K desktop chip and a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX laptop APU in this particular case. That is, an efficient ARM processor taking on two power-hungry x86 processors for a bit of a tussle and looking good at the end of it. Of course, this is not a direct contest in the slightest: The Raptor Lake desktop part only has eight cores and the Zen 4 mobile chip only has 12 cores. What it does show is how far Apple has come with its M-series silicon against the establishment in a period of just over two-and-a-half years (Apple M1: November 2020).