Apple M1 vs Intel Core i9-10900K

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M1 CPU1 vs CPU2 Intel Core i9-10900K
Apple M1 Intel Core i9-10900K

CPU comparison

In this CPU comparison, we compare the Apple M1 and the Intel Core i9-10900K 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 i9-10900K which has 10 CPU cores and was introduced in Q2/2020.
Apple M series (25) Family Intel Core i9 (78)
Apple M1 (9) CPU group Intel Core i 10000 (43)
1 Generation 10
M1 Architecture Comet Lake S
Mobile Segment Desktop / Server
-- Predecessor Intel Core i9-9900K
Apple M2 Successor Intel Core i9-11900K

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 i9-10900K clocks with 3.70 GHz (5.30 GHz), has 10 CPU cores and can calculate 20 threads in parallel.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i9-10900K
8 Cores 10
8 Threads 20
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture normal
No Hyperthreading Yes
No Overclocking ? Yes
0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz)
4x Firestorm
A-Core 3.70 GHz (5.30 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 i9-10900K
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 UHD Graphics 630
0.39 GHz GPU frequency 0.35 GHz
1.30 GHz GPU (Turbo) 1.20 GHz
1 GPU Generation 9.5
5 nm Technology 14 nm
2 Max. displays 3
128 Compute units 24
1024 Shader 192
No Hardware Raytracing No
No Frame Generation No
8 GB Max. GPU Memory 64 GB
-- DirectX Version 12

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 UHD Graphics 630
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 / Encode
No Codec AV1 No
Decode Codec AVC Decode / Encode
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 Intel Core i9-10900K supports a maximum of 128 GB of memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 46.9 GB/s enabled.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i9-10900K
LPDDR4X-4266 Memory DDR4-2933
16 GB Max. Memory 128 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 2 (Dual Channel)
68.2 GB/s Max. Bandwidth 46.9 GB/s
No ECC No
16.00 MB L2 Cache --
-- L3 Cache 20.00 MB
4.0 PCIe version 3.0
-- PCIe lanes 16
-- PCIe Bandwidth 15.8 GB/s

Thermal Management

The Apple M1 has a TDP of 18 W. The TDP of the Intel Core i9-10900K is 125 W. System integrators use the TDP of the processor as a guide when dimensioning the cooling solution.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i9-10900K
18 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) 125 W
-- TDP (PL2) --
20 W TDP up --
10 W TDP down 95 W
-- Tjunction max. 100 °C

Technical details

The Apple M1 has 16.00 MB cache and is manufactured in 5 nm. The cache of Intel Core i9-10900K is at 20.00 MB. The processor is manufactured in 14 nm.

Apple M1 Characteristic Intel Core i9-10900K
5 nm Technology 14 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, AVX2
-- Socket LGA 1200
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization VT-x, VT-x EPT, VT-d
Yes AES-NI Yes
macOS Operating systems Windows 10, Windows 11, Linux
Q4/2020 Release date Q2/2020
-- Release price 490 $
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Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 4 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K (80%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 7 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (68%)
Intel Core i9-10900K (91%)

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 i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
80 (71%)

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 (54%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
936 (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 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
1382 (92%)

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 (49%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
15945 (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 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
1417 (81%)

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 (67%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
11344 (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 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
1743 (74%)

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 (95%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
8990 (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 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel UHD Graphics 630 @ 1.20 GHz
461 (18%)

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 (49%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
240 (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 (61%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
23706 (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 M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 3.20 GHz
314 (100%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
126 (40%)

Cinebench R20 (Single-Core)

Cinebench R20 is the successor of Cinebench R15 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
0 (0%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
645 (100%)

Cinebench R20 (Multi-Core)

Cinebench R20 is the successor of Cinebench R15 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
0 (0%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
6419 (100%)

CPU-Z Benchmark 17 (Single-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 @ 3.20 GHz
0 (0%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
580 (100%)

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 i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 3.70 GHz
7347 (100%)

Cinebench R15 (Single-Core)

Cinebench R15 is the successor of Cinebench 11.5 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
0 (0%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 5.30 GHz
232 (100%)

Cinebench R15 (Multi-Core)

Cinebench R15 is the successor of Cinebench 11.5 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
0 (0%)
Intel Core i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 4.90 GHz
2668 (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 i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
3.70 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 i9-10900K Intel Core i9-10900K
10C 20T @ 3.70 GHz
0 (0%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M1 Intel Core i9-10900K
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 i9-10900K


Comparison of the two processors

A direct comparison between the Apple M1 and the Intel Core i9-10900k suggests that the Intel processor is superior in all respects. So you are all the more surprised when you look at the benchmarks.

The Apple M1 is the first ARM processor that was developed by Apple and is specially designed for use in notebooks and desktop computers.
Compared to classic desktop PC CPUs, the M1 is manufactured in just 5nm. Its 8 cores clock with a frequency of up to 3.20 GHz. The integrated graphics solution supports up to 8 GB of shared GPU memory and can control a maximum of 2 screens.

LPDDR4X-4266 RAM up to a maximum of 16 GB are also supported. A PCIe 4.0 connection is also used. Compared to the Intel processor, the ARM from Apple only consumes 15W. Apple's ARM is currently only used in Macbooks or Mac Mini. Due to the performance, however, it can be assumed that more and more devices will appear with the in-house processor.
After all, this is also perfectly matched to the Apple devices and can fully develop its performance.

Its opponent, the Core i9-10900k, is clearly aimed at a different target group. This is a classic desktop CPU that clocks up to 5.30 GHz. Usually, however, the clock is 3.70 - 4.90 GHz (on all cores).
The Intel is manufactured with the Comet Lake architecture in 14nm, supports 128 GB RAM up to DDR4-2933.
So on paper, the Intel is clearly superior to the Apple.

In the benchmarks, the first test available then comes as a surprise.
The lead of the Intel Core i9-10900k is much smaller than one would assume.
Even better, the M1 can even beat the Intel in individual benchmarks, if only just barely.

However, the Apple M1 cannot keep up in the well-known multi-core benchmarks and has to admit defeat to the classic desktop CPU.
For the fact that the Apple M1 is an ARM processor, these results are really not expected.

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