Apple M1 vs Intel Core i3-3120M

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M1 CPU1 vs CPU2 Intel Core i3-3120M
Apple M1 Intel Core i3-3120M

CPU comparison

In this CPU comparison, we compare the Apple M1 and the Intel Core i3-3120M and use benchmarks to check which processor is faster.

We compare the Apple M1 8 core processor released in Q4/2020 with the Intel Core i3-3120M which has 2 CPU cores and was introduced in Q3/2012.
Apple M series (25) Family Intel Core i3 (205)
Apple M1 (9) CPU group Intel Core i 3000M (29)
1 Generation 3
M1 Architecture Ivy Bridge H
Mobile Segment Mobile
-- Predecessor --
Apple M2 Successor --

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 Intel Core i3-3120M clocks with 2.50 GHz, has 2 CPU cores and can calculate 4 threads in parallel.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i3-3120M
8 Cores 2
8 Threads 4
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture normal
No Hyperthreading Yes
No Overclocking ? No
0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz)
4x Firestorm
A-Core 2.50 GHz
0.60 GHz (2.06 GHz)
4x Icestorm
B-Core --

NPU AI performance

The performance values of the processor's AI unit. The isolated NPU performance is specified here, the total AI performance (NPU+CPU+iGPU) can be higher. Processors with support for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can process many calculations, especially audio, image and video processing, much faster than classic processors.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i3-3120M
Apple Neural Engine AI hardware --
16 Neural cores @ 11 TOPS AI specifications --
-- NPU + CPU + iGPU --

Integrated graphics (iGPU)

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 Intel HD Graphics 4000
0.39 GHz GPU frequency 0.65 GHz
1.30 GHz GPU (Turbo) 1.10 GHz
1 GPU Generation 7
5 nm Technology 22 nm
2 Max. displays 3
128 Compute units 16
1024 Shader 128
No Hardware Raytracing No
No Frame Generation No
8 GB Max. GPU Memory 2 GB
-- DirectX Version 11.0

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 Intel HD Graphics 4000
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (8 bit) No
Decode / Encode Codec h265 / HEVC (10 bit) No
Decode / Encode Codec h264 Decode / Encode
Decode / Encode Codec VP9 No
Decode Codec VP8 No
No Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC Decode / Encode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode
Decode / Encode Codec JPEG Decode

Memory & PCIe

Up to 16 GB of memory in a maximum of 2 memory channels is supported by the Apple M1, while the Intel Core i3-3120M supports a maximum of 32 GB of memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s enabled.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i3-3120M
LPDDR4X-4266 Memory DDR3-1600
16 GB Max. Memory 32 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
68.2 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 25.6 GB/s
No ECC No
16.00 MB L2 Cache --
-- L3 Cache 3.00 MB
4.0 PCIe version 2.0
-- PCIe lanes 16
-- PCIe Bandwidth 8.0 GB/s

Thermal Management

The Apple M1 has a TDP of 18 W. The TDP of the Intel Core i3-3120M is 35 W. System integrators use the TDP of the processor as a guide when dimensioning the cooling solution.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i3-3120M
18 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 35 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
20 W TDP up --
10 W TDP down --
-- Tjunction max. 105 °C

Technical details

The Apple M1 has 16.00 MB cache and is manufactured in 5 nm. The cache of Intel Core i3-3120M is at 3.00 MB. The processor is manufactured in 22 nm.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i3-3120M
5 nm Technology 22 nm
Chiplet Chip design Monolithic
Armv8.5-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) x86-64 (64 bit)
Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation ISA extensions SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX
-- Socket PGA 988
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization VT-x, VT-x EPT
Yes AES-NI Yes
macOS Operating systems Windows 10, Linux
Q4/2020 Release date Q3/2012
-- Release price --
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Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 2 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M (24%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 3 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M (13%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
508 (29%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
1136 (15%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
439 (19%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
927 (11%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
Intel HD Graphics 4000 @ 1.10 GHz
282 (11%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
1682 (12%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
117 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 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%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

CPU-Z Benchmark 17 (Multi-Core)

The CPU-Z benchmark measures a processor's performance by measuring the time it takes the system to complete all benchmark calculations. The faster the benchmark is completed, the higher the score.
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 0.60 GHz
0 (0%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
613 (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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

AI performance (NPU)

The performance values of the processor's AI unit. The isolated NPU performance is given here, the total AI performance (NPU+CPU+iGPU) can be higher.

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 (100%)
Intel Core i3-3120M Intel Core i3-3120M
2C 4T @ 2.50 GHz
0 (0%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M1 Intel Core i3-3120M
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)
Unknown

News and articles for the Apple M1 and the Intel Core i3-3120M


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