Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) vs Apple M1

Last updated:

CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) CPU1 vs CPU2 Apple M1
Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple M1

CPU comparison

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) or Apple M1 - which processor is faster? In this comparison we look at the differences and analyze which of these two CPUs is better. We compare the technical data and benchmark results.

The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) has 6 cores with 6 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 3.23 GHz. Up to 6 GB of memory is supported in 1 memory channels. The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) was released in Q3/2021.

The Apple M1 has 8 cores with 8 threads and clocks with a maximum frequency of 3.20 GHz. The CPU supports up to 16 GB of memory in 2 memory channels. The Apple M1 was released in Q4/2020.
Apple A series Family Apple M series
Apple A15 CPU group Apple M1
15 Generation 1
A15 Architecture M1
Mobile Segment Mobile
Apple A14 Bionic Predecessor --
Apple A16 Bionic Successor Apple M2

CPU Cores and Base Frequency

The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) has 6 CPU cores and can calculate 6 threads in parallel. The clock frequency of the Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) is 3.23 GHz while the Apple M1 has 8 CPU cores and 8 threads can calculate simultaneously. The clock frequency of the Apple M1 is at 2.02 GHz.

6 Cores 8
6 Threads 8
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture hybrid (big.LITTLE)
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
3.23 GHz
2x Avalanche
A-Core 3.20 GHz
4x Firestorm
2.02 GHz
4x Blizzard
B-Core 2.06 GHz
4x Icestorm
-- C-Core --

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. Algorithms for ML improve their performance the more data they have collected via software. ML tasks can be processed up to 10,000 times faster than with a classic processor.

Apple Neural Engine AI hardware Apple Neural Engine
16 Neural cores @ 15.8 TOPS AI specifications 16 Neural cores @ 11 TOPS

Internal Graphics

The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) or Apple M1 has integrated graphics, called iGPU for short. The iGPU uses the system's main memory as graphics memory and sits on the processor's die.

Apple A15 (5 GPU Cores) GPU Apple M1 (8 Core)
0.60 GHz GPU frequency 1.30 GHz
GPU (Turbo)
12 GPU Generation 1
5 nm Technology 5 nm
3 Max. displays 2
160 Compute units 128
1280 Shader 1024
8 GB Max. GPU Memory 8 GB
DirectX Version

Hardware codec support

A photo or video codec that is accelerated in hardware can greatly accelerate the working speed of a processor and extend the battery life of notebooks or smartphones when playing videos.

Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (8 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (10 bit) Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec h264 Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec VP9 Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec VP8 Decode
No Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC Decode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG Decode / Encode

Memory & PCIe

The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) can use up to 6 GB of memory in 1 memory channels. The maximum memory bandwidth is 34.1 GB/s. The Apple M1 supports up to 16 GB of memory in 2 memory channels and achieves a memory bandwidth of up to 68.2 GB/s.

LPDDR4X-4266 Memory LPDDR4X-4266
6 GB Max. Memory 16 GB
1 (Single Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
34.1 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 68.2 GB/s
No ECC No
16.00 MB L2 Cache 16.00 MB
32.00 MB L3 Cache
PCIe version 4.0
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The thermal design power (TDP for short) of the Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) is 8.5 W, while the Apple M1 has a TDP of 15 W. The TDP specifies the necessary cooling solution that is required to cool the processor sufficiently.

8.5 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 15 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
-- TDP up 20 W
-- TDP down 10 W
-- Tjunction max. --

Technical details

The Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) is manufactured in 5 nm and has 48.00 MB cache. The Apple M1 is manufactured in 5 nm and has a 16.00 MB cache.

5 nm Technology 5 nm
Chiplet Chip design Chiplet
ARMv8-A64 (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) ARMv8-A64 (64 bit)
ISA extensions Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation
-- Socket --
None Virtualization Apple Virtualization Framework
No AES-NI Yes
iOS Operating systems macOS
Q3/2021 Release date Q4/2020
-- Release price --
show more data show more data


Cinebench 2024 (Single-Core)

The Cinebench 2024 benchmark is based on the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxon's 3D program Cinema 4D. The benchmark runs are each 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
112 (100%)



Cinebench 2024 (Multi-Core)

The Multi-Core test of the Cinebench 2024 benchmark uses all cpu cores to render using the Redshift rendering engine, which is also used in Maxons Cinema 4D. The benchmark run is 10 minutes long to test whether the processor is limited by its heat generation.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
509 (100%)



Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1503 (100%)



Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)

Cinebench R23 is the successor of Cinebench R20 and is also based on the Cinema 4 Suite. Cinema 4 is a worldwide used software to create 3D forms. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7759 (100%)



Geekbench 5, 64bit (Single-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The single-core test only uses one CPU core, the amount of cores or hyperthreading ability doesn't count.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
1745 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1742 (100%)



Geekbench 5, 64bit (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 5 is a cross plattform benchmark that heavily uses the systems memory. A fast memory will push the result a lot. The multi-core test involves all CPU cores and taks a big advantage of hyperthreading.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
4777 (62%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7650 (100%)



Geekbench 6 (Single-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The single-core benchmark only evaluates the performance of the fastest CPU core, the number of CPU cores in a processor is irrelevant here.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
2245 (95%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
2369 (100%)



Geekbench 6 (Multi-Core)

Geekbench 6 is a benchmark for modern computers, notebooks and smartphones. What is new is an optimized utilization of newer CPU architectures, e.g. based on the big.LITTLE concept and combining CPU cores of different sizes. The multi-core benchmark evaluates the performance of all of the processor's CPU cores. Virtual thread improvements such as AMD SMT or Intel's Hyper-Threading have a positive impact on the benchmark result.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
5402 (63%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
8576 (100%)



iGPU - FP32 Performance (Single-precision GFLOPS)

The theoretical computing performance of the internal graphics unit of the processor with simple accuracy (32 bit) in GFLOPS. GFLOPS indicates how many billion floating point operations the iGPU can perform per second.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
Apple A15 (5 GPU Cores) @ 0.60 GHz
1500 (57%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
Apple M1 (8 Core) @ 1.30 GHz
2610 (100%)



AnTuTu 9 Benchmark

The AnTuTu 9 benchmark is very well suited to measuring the performance of a smartphone. AnTuTu 9 is quite heavy on 3D graphics and can now also use the "Metal" graphics interface. In AnTuTu, memory and UX (user experience) are also tested by simulating browser and app usage. AnTuTu version 9 can compare any ARM CPU running on Android or iOS. Devices may not be directly comparable when benchmarked on different operating systems.

In the AnTuTu 9 benchmark, the single-core performance of a processor is only slightly weighted. The rating is made up of the multi-core performance of the processor, the speed of the working memory, and the performance of the internal graphics.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
825116 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
0 (0%)



Blender 3.1 Benchmark

In the Blender Benchmark 3.1, the scenes "monster", "junkshop" and "classroom" are rendered and the time required by the system is measured. In our benchmark we test the CPU and not the graphics card. Blender 3.1 was presented as a standalone version in March 2022.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
117 (100%)



Estimated results for PassMark CPU Mark

Some of the CPUs listed below have been benchmarked by CPU-monkey. However the majority of CPUs have not been tested and the results have been estimated by a CPU-monkey’s secret proprietary formula. As such they do not accurately reflect the actual Passmark CPU mark values and are not endorsed by PassMark Software Pty Ltd.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
14463 (100%)



Blender 2.81 (bmw27)

Blender is a free 3D graphics software for rendering (creating) 3D bodies, which can also be textured and animated in the software. The Blender benchmark creates predefined scenes and measures the time (s) required for the entire scene. The shorter the time required, the better. We selected bmw27 as the benchmark scene.

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
0 (0%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
314 (100%)



Performance for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Processors with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors. The performance is given in the number (trillions) of arithmetic operations per second (TOPS).

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)
6C 6T @ 3.23 GHz
15.8 (100%)
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
11 (70%)



Devices using this processor

Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) Apple M1
Apple iPad mini (6. Gen)
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
Apple iMac 24 (2021)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (L2020)
Apple MacBook Air (2020)
Apple Mac mini (2020)
Apple iPad Pro 11 (2021)
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
Apple iPad Air (2022)

News and articles for the Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) and the Apple M1

MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ vs Apple A16 and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ vs Apple A16 and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
Posted by Stefan on 2022-09-22
With the Dimensity 9000+, Mediatek presents the latest of its smartphone chips. The successor to the Mediatek Dimensity 9000 achieves higher CPU and GPU clock frequencies thanks to better binning. The CPU clock of the prime core (A core) increases from 3.0 to 3.2 GHz. And the ARM Mali-G710 MP10 GPU can now clock at 0.9 GHz (previously 0.85 GHz).

Both are a good improvement over the Dimensity 9000 in theory but the increase in performance should not usually be noticeable in practice. In the end, the overall performance of the Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ is impressive: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is beaten in Geekbench 5 in both the single-core and multi-core benchmarks.
What we know about the new Apple A16 Bionic in Apples iPhone 14
What we know about the new Apple A16 Bionic in Apples iPhone 14
Posted by Stefan on 2022-08-23
Every year Apple releases a new iPhone series and with the release of the series always the latest Apple A processor. This has become even more important in recent years, as it has also formed the basis for Apple's M processor series since 2020. The Apple M processors are based on the same core architecture as the Apple A processors, but have been significantly upgraded in many areas such as memory bandwith, amount of memory or cache.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is more powerful and efficient
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is more powerful and efficient
Posted by Stefan on 2022-07-11
Qualcomm is changing the contract manufacturer from Samsung to TSMC for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. By switching to the TSMC 4 nm manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is not only 10 percent faster but also 15 percent more efficient than its predecessor. This makes Qualcomm's TOP SoC one of the fastest smartphone chips on the market.
Apple M2 Pro with more CPU cores and production in 3 nm ?
Apple M2 Pro with more CPU cores and production in 3 nm ?
Posted by Stefan on 2022-06-28
After Apple surprisingly presented the normal Apple M2 processor as the first successor to the Apple M1 already in June 2022, the Apple M2 Pro and the Apple M2 Max may follow in autumn. The difference in performance compared to the basic version could be even greater this time and range from 25 to 40 percent.

In this article we describe how Apple could realize this and why the price should also go up.
Apple M2 vs Apple M1 - What are the differences?
Apple M2 vs Apple M1 - What are the differences?
Posted by Stefan on 2022-06-09
During WWDC 2022 on June 6th, 2022 Apple surprisingly presented its new Apple M2 processor. This will initially be installed in a completely revised Apple MacBook Air with 13.6 inches, a even thinner form factor and new colors. Apple also updated the already known (old) Apple MacBook Pro 13.3 with touch bar.

Many leakers had counted on Apple not presenting its new second-generation M processor until the fall. But things turned out differently. And there is very likely a reason for that: the improvements in the Apple M2 are limited compared to the predecessor.

Comparison of the two processors

Although the Apple A15 Bionic and the Apple M1 SoC are based on the same technology, the processors have been designed for completely different areas of application.

The Apple A15 Bionic is a smartphone SoC that is currently used in the Apple iPhone 13 / Apple iPhone 13 Pro as well as in the new Apple iPad mini (2021). The Apple A15 Bionic is manufactured in an improved 5 nm process (5 nm +) at TSMC and is even more energy efficient than the Apple M1.

The Apple M1 processor is Apple's first proprietary processor based on ARM technology and used in a notebook (Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020) and Apple MacBook Air (2020)). For this purpose, the macOS operating system was adapted to ARM processors.

Many software manufacturers such as Adobe have already natively adapted their software to Apple's new processor architecture. Software that has not been adapted will still run on the new Apple M1 processor thanks to the "Rosetta 2" translation level. For this purpose, the software is automatically adapted to the new processor in the background once it is started for the first time. The performance can then be between 70 and 95% of how fast the program would run on an x86-64 processor.

The Apple A15 Bionic has 6 CPU cores, 2 of which are performance cores that work with another 4 small CPU cores in a cluster. Apple also uses a similar structure in the Apple M1 processor, but it has 4 high-performance and 4 small CPU cores. This structure is called a hybrid structure, since CPU cores of different sizes are combined here. This structure was first seen in classic ARM processors. This architecture is based on Apple's processors, but in a heavily adapted form.

Both processors still use LPDDR4X memory, although many competing products already use LPDDR5 memory.

Popular comparisons containing this CPUs

1. Apple M1Intel Core i9-9900K Apple M1 vs Intel Core i9-9900K
2. Apple M1Apple A14 Bionic Apple M1 vs Apple A14 Bionic
3. Apple M1Intel Core i7-10875H Apple M1 vs Intel Core i7-10875H
4. Apple M1Intel Core i5-1038NG7 Apple M1 vs Intel Core i5-1038NG7
5. Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU)Apple M1 Apple A15 Bionic (5-GPU) vs Apple M1
6. Apple M2Apple M1 Apple M2 vs Apple M1
7. Apple M1Apple A12Z Bionic Apple M1 vs Apple A12Z Bionic
8. Apple M1Intel Core i7-1185G7 Apple M1 vs Intel Core i7-1185G7
9. Apple M1AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Apple M1 vs AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
10. Intel Core i7-1165G7Apple M1 Intel Core i7-1165G7 vs Apple M1


back to index