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M1X to shake SoC foundations to the core: Apple M1 still tops PassMark's CPU charts as successor likely brings mammoth GPU boost

Processor competition is no longer about AMD vs. Intel thanks to Apple Silicon. (Image source: Apple/Reddit - edited)
Processor competition is no longer about AMD vs. Intel thanks to Apple Silicon. (Image source: Apple/Reddit - edited)
Apple is expected to soon launch the M1X MacBook Pro 14 and 16, with the 10-core SoC being one of the highlights of the 2021 laptop refresh. The older 8-core M1 Apple Silicon still sits at the top of both the desktop and laptop single-thread performance charts at PassMark, with Intel and AMD so far unable to remove the ARM competitor.

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Actual benchmark leaks of the Apple M1X have seemingly been non-existent, leaving YouTubers and Twitter champions to make their best guesses and predictions. Earlier this year there was a very sketchy specs and benchmark leak for the M1X, which still hasn’t been officially named by Apple although it did turn up in a list of keywords for an official video, but in the passing months plenty of the data included in this “pre-sample” test has been proved to be erroneous. For instance, it has been reported that the M1X will have up to 10 CPU cores, whereas the alleged benchmark leak claimed 12 cores. The release date of Q3 2021 is also incorrect as we are now in the fourth quarter of the year and still waiting to meet the M1 successor.

So ignoring implausible leaks has left us with little data about the M1X chip, with Apple performing a superlative job in safeguarding its secrets. But with the older M1 silicon still topping both the laptop and desktop charts for single-thread performance on PassMark, we can presume that the M1X should be able to relieve its predecessor in that particular position. The Apple M1 (8 cores, 8 threads, 3.2 GHz clock, 15 W TDP) actually reached the top of these charts, beyond the reach of the Intel Core i9-11900KF and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, back in April of this year. At the time, the ARM processor had an average score of 3,630 points – and that figure is now 3,779 points as additional tests have increased its lead over the i9-11900KF (desktop) and i7-1195G7 (laptop).

If an 8-core chip from 2020 can tame Team Blue and Team Red in such a manner then what can a 10-core SoC from late 2021 manage? One prediction suggested a small single-core performance increase of around +2%, which may sound unimpressive, but it is much-rumored that Apple has heavily focused on the GPU part of the M1X that could result in massive graphics performance improvements over the M1. That latter SoC came with a 7-core or 8-core GPU; rumors for the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 have the GPU part of the M1X chip with either 16 cores or even 32 cores (allegedly the 16-inch model only). Either way, this is a big upgrade from the predecessor, so the slight CPU boost could be seen as an additional bonus. All will likely be revealed soon at Apple’s Unleashed event.

Buy the M1 MacBook Air laptop on Amazon

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PassMark single-thread performance desktop chart. (Image source: PassMark)
PassMark single-thread performance desktop chart. (Image source: PassMark)
PassMark single-thread performance laptop chart. (Image source: PassMark)
PassMark single-thread performance laptop chart. (Image source: PassMark)

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Daniel R Deakin
Daniel R Deakin - Managing Editor News - 2570 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > M1X to shake SoC foundations to the core: Apple M1 still tops PassMark's CPU charts as successor likely brings mammoth GPU boost
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-10-17 (Update: 2021-10-17)