Interesting Perspective on Apple M1 v Intel

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11580 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Fri May 14, 2021 7:35 pm

I started doing a bit of due diligence yesterday, trying to find an excuse to buy a new laptop to replace my two year old Dell G7. I was initially going to upgrade its system drive, which is getting very full and starting to affect performance, until it occurred to me that if I am going to go through all the effort of reinstalling everything, why not upgrade to one of those Asus dual-screen jobbies instead? I can buy it through work, where they buy it for me and take money out of my pay, pre-tax, for the next 52 weeks. So a $2500 laptop ends up costing me less than $40 a week and I get basically one-third off because I'm not paying tax on that money. Over a year, a $2500 sticker price ends up being less than $1800. It's a good deal and I can buy whatever I want.

So I started looking at benchmarks and stuff and the 11th Gen Intel chips are a big step up from the 10th gen I have now, to the point that a four-core mobile CPU should give me roughly the same performance as my current 6-core desktop CPU, especially with the Asus machine's excellent cooling. Add in a proper nVidia GeForce graphics card and it should be a good replacement, coming it at almost half the weight of the G7, despite the extra screen. Yes, it only has one SSD, not two, but I can deal with that because the Asus has two TB4 ports, so the second drive can be a tiny USB-C jobbie that will be almost as fast as an internal SATA-2 SSD.

Anyway, when I was searching for information, I came upon some interesting tests between Intel's 11th gen, AMD's current Ryzen CPUs and Apple's M1. It was quite an eye opener as to where each really sits. Ryzen is definitely at the top of the heap, not by a compelling margin, but for most of the kind of work I do - motion graphics - the Intel chips more than hold their own and mostly outperform Apple's M1. In fact in some of the important benchmarks for my work, like Cinebench, the M1 performs surprisingly poorly. Even battery life, which should be the big selling point for Apple's CPUs, isn't that much better that you'd choose it for battery life alone.

Anyway, you can read about it here - https://www.pcworld.com/article/3600897 ... tml?page=2

This article dissects Intel's own claims and basically says that most of it is believable, if a little bit cherry-picked (as you'd expect) - https://www.pcworld.com/article/3606592 ... aster.html

Of course, the M1 is only Apple's first shot across the bows, it will be interesting to see what the M2, which is rumoured to already be in production, brings to the fight. For now, though, I have to go and get an invoice for my new laptop.
Last edited by BONES on Fri May 14, 2021 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | JP6K, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Knifonium, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

KVRAF
3411 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Post Fri May 14, 2021 9:05 pm

A couple of remarks about the AMD situation:

The Ryzen 5000 laptops have launched in the months since the Dec 2020 article above, and bring with them fairly hefty performance improvements across the board. I'm not sure if it translates 1:1 from the desktop space, but performance on the new 6-core Ryzens isn't all that far away from the 8-core performance on the previous generation. And of course it trounces the previous generation on single thread workloads.

The other thing is that, if you'll be working on battery power a lot, AMD seem to allow vendors more flexibility with their power/performance curves when unplugged. I'm not sure if Intel completely lock this off, but it seems to be the pattern that Intel laptops boost up quicker and more often, battery life be damned (doubly damned since Intel's chips are more power hungry generally), whereas Ryzen is all over the shop depending on the approach the laptop manufacturer decides to take.

I appreciate you were probably hoping for answers rather than further complications, but hey...

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11580 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun May 16, 2021 5:58 pm

Yeah but Intel's 12th gen is also just around the corner, as is Apple M2, so you just have to draw a line under it at some point and make your comparison. And, let's be honest, Intel's 12th gen is likely to deliver the biggest boost, given that it will all be 10nm for the first time and they will be doing a whole new "big-little" architecture, like Apple's new silicon, offering up to 16 cores (8+8) and 24 threads. It's kind of cool that after years of incremental improvement, we are seeing processor power moving ahead in leaps and bounds again.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | JP6K, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Knifonium, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

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