Apple M1 vs Apple M3

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M1 CPU1 vs CPU2 Apple M3
Apple M1 Apple M3

CPU comparison

In this CPU comparison, we compare the Apple M1 and the Apple M3 and use benchmarks to check which processor is faster.

We compare the Apple M1 8 core processor released in Q4/2020 with the Apple M3 which has 8 CPU cores and was introduced in Q4/2023.
Apple M series (25) Family Apple M series (25)
Apple M1 (9) CPU group Apple M3 (6)
1 Generation 3
M1 Architecture M3
Mobile Segment Mobile
-- Predecessor Apple M2
Apple M2 Successor Apple M4

CPU Cores and Base Frequency

The Apple M1 is a 8 core processor with a clock frequency of 0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz). The processor can compute 8 threads at the same time. The Apple M3 clocks with 0.70 GHz (4.06 GHz), has 8 CPU cores and can calculate 8 threads in parallel.

Apple M1 Characteristic Apple M3
8 Cores 8
8 Threads 8
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture hybrid (big.LITTLE)
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz)
4x Firestorm
A-Core 0.70 GHz (4.06 GHz)
4x P-Core
0.60 GHz (2.06 GHz)
4x Icestorm
B-Core 0.74 GHz (2.75 GHz)
4x E-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 M1 Characteristic Apple M3
Apple Neural Engine AI hardware Apple Neural Engine
16 Neural cores @ 11 TOPS AI specifications 16 Neural cores @ 35 TOPS

Internal Graphics

Graphics (iGPU) integrated into the processor not only enable image output without having to rely on a dedicated graphics solution, but can also efficiently accelerate video playback.

Apple M1 (8 Core) GPU Apple M3 (10 Core)
0.39 GHz GPU frequency 0.39 GHz
1.30 GHz GPU (Turbo) 1.40 GHz
1 GPU Generation 3
5 nm Technology 3 nm
2 Max. displays 2
128 Compute units 160
1024 Shader 1280
No Hardware Raytracing Yes
No Frame Generation No
8 GB Max. GPU Memory 24 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.

Apple M1 (8 Core) GPU Apple M3 (10 Core)
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 Codec VP8 Decode
No Codec AV1 Decode
Decode Codec AVC Decode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG Decode / Encode

Memory & PCIe

Up to 16 GB of memory in a maximum of 2 memory channels is supported by the Apple M1, while the Apple M3 supports a maximum of 24 GB of memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 102.4 GB/s enabled.

Apple M1 Characteristic Apple M3
LPDDR4X-4266 Memory LPDDR5-6400
16 GB Max. Memory 24 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
68.2 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 102.4 GB/s
No ECC No
16.00 MB L2 Cache 20.00 MB
-- L3 Cache --
4.0 PCIe version 4.0
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The Apple M1 has a TDP of 18 W. The TDP of the Apple M3 is 22 W. System integrators use the TDP of the processor as a guide when dimensioning the cooling solution.

Apple M1 Characteristic Apple M3
18 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 22 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
20 W TDP up --
10 W TDP down 15 W
-- Tjunction max. 100 °C

Technical details

The Apple M1 has 16.00 MB cache and is manufactured in 5 nm. The cache of Apple M3 is at 20.00 MB. The processor is manufactured in 3 nm.

Apple M1 Characteristic Apple M3
5 nm Technology 3 nm
Chiplet Chip design Chiplet
Armv8.5-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) Armv8-A (64 bit)
Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation ISA extensions Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation
-- Socket --
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization Apple Virtualization Framework
Yes AES-NI Yes
macOS Operating systems macOS, iPadOS
Q4/2020 Release date Q4/2023
-- Release price --
show more data show more data


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Here you can rate the Apple M1 to help other visitors make their purchasing decisions. The average rating is 4.8 stars (242 ratings). Rate now:
Here you can rate the Apple M3 to help other visitors make their purchasing decisions. The average rating is 4.9 stars (1236 ratings). Rate now:


Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 4 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (79%)
Apple M3 (100%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 5 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (74%)
Apple M3 (100%)

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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
112 (82%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
137 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
509 (77%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
659 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1503 (76%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
1965 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7759 (74%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
10437 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
1742 (81%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
2150 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
7650 (73%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
10450 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
2369 (76%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
3125 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
8576 (72%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
11863 (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 M1 Apple M1
Apple M1 (8 Core) @ 1.30 GHz
2610 (74%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
Apple M3 (10 Core) @ 1.40 GHz
3550 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
14463 (76%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
18951 (100%)

CPU performance per watt (efficiency)

Efficiency of the processor under full load in the Cinebench R23 (multi-core) benchmark. The benchmark result is divided by the average energy required (CPU package power in watts). The higher the value, the more efficient the CPU is under full load.
Apple M1 Apple M1
7,759 CB R23 MC @ 18 W
431 (91%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
10,437 CB R23 MC @ 22 W
474 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 0.60 GHz
11 (31%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 0.70 GHz
35 (100%)

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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
117 (100%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
0 (0%)

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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
314 (100%)
Apple M3 Apple M3
8C 8T @ 4.06 GHz
0 (0%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M1 Apple M3
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)
Apple iMac 24 (2023)

News and articles for the Apple M1 and the Apple M3


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