Apple’s M1 processor and Macs were undoubtedly the biggest tech news that closed last year. Its performance, especially for a first try at a desktop-class ARM-based processor, left many questioning Intel’s supremacy in that space. There are, of course, still things that Apple’s silicon may not be capable of at this time but that is also just a matter of time. Meanwhile, Intel is seemingly going on the offensive with a set of benchmarks that it claims show how actually inferior the Apple M1 is.
Given that it’s Intel that is making the claims in favor of its own products, it’s not really that hard to take things with more than just a grain of salt. The chipmaker did provide the figures to tech news sites to let them spread the good word but that strategy may have backfired instead. Those sites naturally tried to scrutinize those claims and revealed a few uncertain aspects to Intel’s boasts.
Intel naturally picked its fights and focused on areas of performance and, surprisingly, battery life. While there may be little argument that the benchmarks did really yield those scores, the question is whether those benchmarks really conveyed the complete story. Some, for example, are calling out Intel’s choice of software like Topaz Labs’ AI tests since the apps are designed to specifically take advantage of Intel-specific hardware acceleration, giving it an unfair advantage.
There are some points that are almost no-brainers that Intel doesn’t even need to point them out anyway. It’s no surprise that the Apple M1 has “zero performance” in some games for the simple fact that it can’t run them. Intel’s point, of course, is that software compatibility is a problem on Macs but that also depends on what you’re measuring it up against. Similarly, the Apple M1 Macs fail in the Evo Platform tests since the metrics for those are ones that Intel itself created.
To be fair, there are also some things that Intel-based Windows PCs do have an edge over Macs, like in terms of form factors and choices, but that has always been the case even with Intel-based Macs anyway. That doesn’t exactly count as a performance benchmark anyway and only sounds like a company that’s scrambling to point out any and all its new rival’s flaws, regardless of the context.