Apple M2 smashes its way to i9-12900 levels in astonishing PassMark single-thread performance but barely matches an i3-12300 in average CPU Mark
The Apple M2 has made an impressive appearance on the PassMark benchmark website. The ARM-based processor currently sits in fourth position in the single-thread performance chart – for desktop CPUs. This is despite the fact that the M2 has only appeared in laptops such as the 2022 MacBook Pro 13 and new MacBook Air so far, although it will undoubtedly feature in desktop-type machines (Mac mini, iMac, etc.) further down the line. So, in this case, the ARM M2 chip in a laptop has had to go up against power-hungry x86 desktop processors, and it has held its own and more, at least in the single-thread showdown.
PassMark has awarded the Apple M2 SoC with 4,116 points for its single-thread effort, which places the chip behind only the Intel Core i9-12900KF, i9-12900K, and i9-12900KS in the chart. It’s even four points more than the i9-12900, which can hit a 5.1 GHz max turbo frequency for short periods and guzzles up to 202 W (MTP – Maximum Turbo Power). In contrast, the M2 has to settle for a 3.5 GHz rate for its four Avalanche performance cores (2.8 GHz for the efficient Blizzard cores) while relying on a 20 W TDP. There is a medium margin for error listed here, but it’s unlikely the M2 will drop too much.
However impressive piercing a block of a dozen powerful Alder Lake desktop processors is, there is still a lackluster multiple test result to report for the M2. It was the same situation for the Apple M1, which managed to hit heady heights on PassMark in single-thread performance but was strictly a mid-ranger in average CPU Mark. The Apple M2 scores 14,933 points here, leaving it in 466th position in the rankings. Just above it, in 464th place, is the Intel Core i3-12300 that has only 4 cores (but 8 threads), which has been praised for its credible performance ability.
In terms of generational improvement, the M2’s single-thread performance certainly bodes well for future SKUs such as the M2 Max and M2 Ultra. The new Apple silicon currently sits +9.61% ahead of the Apple M1 in this discipline but is only a puny 2.44% in front when it comes to the CPU Mark benchmark test suite. All things considered, it should be seen as a remarkable (but highly specific) performance achievement for the M2, especially as its current mobile-use cases will likely be vastly different to those of the Alder Lake desktop parts it has been pitted against here.