Play it straight @Intel and @AMD, @Apple’s M1 is game now

Since Apple launched the M1-chip-based Mac everyone is loving them. Especially Macbook Air and Mac Mini as both are money savers. Well, it’s a surprise for all the tech lovers to see the benchmarks of these devices. A $4000 iMac is failing performance in front of $700 new generation Mac Mini.

Apple M1 Mac Mini
Apple M1 Mac Mini

(Image Source:

After seeing the real tests of M1 Macs are not just defeating the best Intel Macs, it is killing them on the ground. The faster response, better battery life, optimization with the hardware are just impeccable. All these things are mind-boggling once you see them, in person. Even GeekBench reports are charting with M1 chips.

Now, these performance benchmark raises doubts about:

  1. Why Apple’s M1 is so fast? What technical choices Apple made to make this happen?
  2. Will it be easy for Intel or AMD to pull off these technical tricks to beat the competition?

Let’s dig in and answer these questions.

M1 is not just a Processor or a CPU!

Apple M1
Apple M1

(Image Source:

Apple M1 is a whole system of bunch of chips putting on single silicon package and a CPU is one of these chips.

Technically M1 is a computer on a chip. Apple’s new silicon contains CPU, GPU, Memory, Input and Output controllers, and many more things making up a whole computer. In short, M1 is a System-on-Chip (SoC).

Apple M1 Chip Architecture
Apple M1 Chip Architecture

(Image Source:

Now a days you buy any Chip or a processor it is supposed to be an SoC as that chip will consisting of many things in that silicon pack. Earlier all the processing stuff used to happen on a different chip. Means CPU and GPU used to run different independent chips. So, now many things comes under a single frame as different cores, so calculations for those tasks becomes quick and spontenous.

So what Apple did now instead of adding more CPU cores they started adding specialized chips for specialized tasks. Benefit of adding these specialized chips is that these chips tend to perform their task much faster with consuming less electricity than a general purpose CPU. So Apple M1 contains:

  • Central processing unit (CPU)
  • Graphics processing unit (GPU)
  • Image processing unit (IPU): to speed up common tasks done by image processing applications
  • Digital signal processor (DSP): for intensive mathematical functions also includes decompressing music files
  • Neural processing unit (NPU): for machine learning and AI tasks such as voice recognition, camera processing
  • Video encoder/decoder: efficient conversion of video files and formats
  • Secure Enclave: for security, authentication,  encryption
  • Unified memory: to quickly exchange information among CPU, GPU, and other cores

So these factors are the reason why M1 chip based Macs are performing good for:

  • Video editing/rendring
  • Image processing/editing
  • Speedy improvements in performance

Otherwise a consumer has to spent a lot on specialized computers for these tasks. Whereas, here a new decent pricing Mac Mini can give better output for the same.

Now what from Intel and AMD?

There is no saying that Intel and AMD are the kings of CPU market. Now they have plan their chips and make a unique business model to compete for the same. They can still follow the M1 approach to make their SoCs much faster but here is a kick, Apple designed their chip in a way that their ecosystem is fully supported with their macOS, hardware, apps, and all other Apple related stuffs. Whereas, Intel and AMD chips are used for a great range of computers for Windows and Linux. Will those OS adopt those features? that’s the major question now. Because hardware and software together makes the fun and keep the ball rolling.

Let’s see what Intel and AMD with their next generation of CPUs and will those compete with M1 performance.

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