Apple M3 lands on Geekbench: Marginal single-core gains over Snapdragon X Elite but lags by 22% in multi-core compared to Qualcomm's 80 W reference design
Apple unveiled the M3 SoC family including the base M3, M3 Pro, and the M3 Max yesterday. While the new MacBook Pro 14, MacBook Pro 16, and new iMacs featuring these chips will be available from next week, the first performance numbers of the much-vaunted M3 SoC have already made their way to the Geekbench database.
A Geekbench 6.2 run pertaining to an 8-core base M3 chip has been discovered by user @9550pro on X (fka Twitter). According to the entry, the M3 manages a single-core score of 3,076. This makes M3's single-core performance about 10% and 3% faster than the Snapdragon X Elite 23 W and X Elite 80 W reference design scores, respectively.
In multi-core, the M3 seems to have scored 11,863 points. However, both the Snapdragon X Elite reference designs have a clear advantage here owing to their 12 cores vis-à-vis the M3's 8-core configuration. The present Geekbench 6.2 multi-core run puts the M3 at a 15.6% disadvantage compared to the X Elite 23 W reference. Apple's latest chip also lags by a very perceivable 22% against the X Elite 80 W reference.
Do check out our Snapdragon X Elite early performance comparison article for more information.
The Geekbench entry also indicates that the Apple M3 SoC is running at a 4.05 GHz clock and is able to more or less sustain this throughout the run. This means that the M3 is at least 500 MHz faster than the M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, which could attain clocks up to 3.5 GHz. The A17 Pro, on the other hand, can boost up to 3.78 GHz. For perspective, the Snapdragon X Elite has a 3.8 GHz all-core boost while two of its 12 cores can attain 4.3 GHz. The M3 MacBook Pro in this run is shown to feature 16 GB RAM.
Of course, conclusions cannot be drawn from just one benchmark run. However, we can get a rough perspective of where things stand at this moment.
M3 Pro and M3 Max numbers aren't yet available, but if the M2 generation is anything to go by, they can be expected to be clocked similarly to M3. If so, this would give the M3 lineup only marginal single-core gains at best compared to the Snapdragon X Elite reference design.
We should be knowing more in the days to come, so stay tuned.