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Apple M2 removes Intel Core i9-12950HX as PassMark's laptop CPU single-thread champion but trails behind Alder Lake-P in multithread benchmarking

The Apple M2 has shown some fierce single-thread performance chops against Intel Core rivals. (Image source: Apple/Intel - edited)
The Apple M2 has shown some fierce single-thread performance chops against Intel Core rivals. (Image source: Apple/Intel - edited)
The Apple M2 SoC has scored another benchmark victory by topping PassMark’s current laptop CPU chart for single-thread performance. The M2 actually removed none other than the impressively powerful Intel Core i9-12950HX from the top; however, the Apple silicon couldn’t outscore chips like the i7-1260P and i7-1280P in multithread testing.

Not long ago, we reported about how the Apple M2 processor had made an astonishing first appearance on PassMark’s benchmark site. At that time, the M2 was solely classed as a desktop chip, and it managed to compete well against Alder Lake’s finest desktop CPUs, such as the Intel Core i9-12900. Now, the Apple M2 has also taken up its position in the laptop charts, which is more appropriate considering the part is currently only available in mobile devices such as the new MacBook Air and the 2022 MacBook Pro 13. There is a similar story to tell here as the Apple silicon produces a great single-thread performance score but can’t command the wattage required for a huge multithread test result.

The Apple M2 takes its single-thread score of 4,130 points and creates a very small gap of +0.93% between itself and the highly praised Intel Core i9-12950HX. This result leaves the M2 as the laptop CPU champion while also holding fourth position in the desktop chart. However, there will be very few buying the M2 MacBook Air or M2 MacBook Pro for their outstanding performances with single-thread workloads, and a look at the CPU Mark test suite chart isn’t so glorious for the Apple silicon. Here, the latest M-series chip churns out just 15,192 points, which is unsurprisingly a long way behind the i9-12950HX’s result. In fact, with 39,136 points, the Intel part is playing in another field thanks to a +157.61% lead over the M2.

Obviously, it’s not a direct rivalry, as the Apple M2 (8 cores; ~20 W TDP) is destined for thin and light laptops whereas the Intel Core i9-12950HX (16 cores; 55 W TDP) should be headed for gaming behemoths. But the M2 even lags behind competing low-power SKUs from Intel when it comes to the multithread benchmarking suite. For instance, the Intel Core i7-1260P is currently +12.97% ahead here while the Intel Core i7-1280P enjoys a +28.37% difference. Of course, the Apple M2 wallops both of these Alder Lake-P rivals in single-thread testing (based on over a dozen samples so a medium margin for error) but looks very shy when it comes to its positioning in the average CPU Mark (multi) laptop chip performance chart.

Buy the 2022 Apple MacBook Air with M2 chip on Amazon

Apple M2 - laptop single thread. (Image source: PassMark)
Apple M2 - laptop single thread
Apple M2 - laptop CPU Mark. (Image source: PassMark)
Apple M2 - laptop CPU Mark (multi)
Apple M2 comparison. (Image source: PassMark)
Apple M2 comparison
 

Source(s)

PassMark (1/2/3/4)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 07 > Apple M2 removes Intel Core i9-12950HX as PassMark's laptop CPU single-thread champion but trails behind Alder Lake-P in multithread benchmarking
Daniel R Deakin, 2022-07-20 (Update: 2022-07-20)