Apple M1 vs Samsung Exynos 990

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CPU comparison with benchmarks


Apple M1 CPU1 vs CPU2 Samsung Exynos 990
Apple M1 Samsung Exynos 990

CPU comparison

In this CPU comparison, we compare the Apple M1 and the Samsung Exynos 990 and use benchmarks to check which processor is faster.

We compare the Apple M1 8 core processor released in Q4/2020 with the Samsung Exynos 990 which has 8 CPU cores and was introduced in Q1/2020.
Apple M series (23) Family Samsung Exynos (46)
Apple M1 (9) CPU group Samsung Exynos 990 (1)
1 Generation 4
M1 Architecture Exynos M5/Cortex-A76/-A55
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 Samsung Exynos 990 clocks with 2.73 GHz, has 8 CPU cores and can calculate 8 threads in parallel.

Apple M1 Characteristic Samsung Exynos 990
8 Cores 8
8 Threads 8
hybrid (big.LITTLE) Core architecture hybrid (Prime / big.LITTLE)
No Hyperthreading No
No Overclocking ? No
0.60 GHz (3.20 GHz)
4x Firestorm
A-Core 2.73 GHz
2x Exynos M5
0.60 GHz (2.06 GHz)
4x Icestorm
B-Core 2.50 GHz
2x Cortex-A76
-- C-Core 2.00 GHz
4x Cortex-A55

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 Samsung Exynos 990
Apple Neural Engine AI hardware Samsung AI engine
16 Neural cores @ 11 TOPS AI specifications 2 NPU cores @ 15 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 ARM Mali-G77 MP11
0.39 GHz GPU frequency 0.80 GHz
1.30 GHz GPU (Turbo) --
1 GPU Generation Vallhall 1
5 nm Technology 7 nm
2 Max. displays 1
128 Compute units 11
1024 Shader 176
No Hardware Raytracing No
No Frame Generation No
8 GB Max. GPU Memory 4 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 ARM Mali-G77 MP11
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 Decode
Decode Codec AVC Decode / Encode
Decode Codec VC-1 Decode / Encode
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 Samsung Exynos 990 supports a maximum of 12 GB of memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of -- enabled.

Apple M1 Characteristic Samsung Exynos 990
LPDDR4X-4266 Memory LPDDR5-2750
16 GB Max. Memory 12 GB
2 (Dual Channel) Memory channels 4 (Quad Channel)
68.2 GB/s Max. Bandwidth --
No ECC No
16.00 MB L2 Cache 1.50 MB
-- L3 Cache 2.00 MB
4.0 PCIe version --
-- PCIe lanes --
-- PCIe Bandwidth --

Thermal Management

The Apple M1 has a TDP of 18 W. The TDP of the Samsung Exynos 990 is --. System integrators use the TDP of the processor as a guide when dimensioning the cooling solution.

Apple M1 Characteristic Samsung Exynos 990
18 W TDP (PL1 / PBP) --
-- TDP (PL2) --
20 W TDP up --
10 W TDP down --
-- Tjunction max. --

Technical details

The Apple M1 has 16.00 MB cache and is manufactured in 5 nm. The cache of Samsung Exynos 990 is at 3.50 MB. The processor is manufactured in 7 nm.

Apple M1 Characteristic Samsung Exynos 990
5 nm Technology 7 nm
Chiplet Chip design Unknown
Armv8.5-A (64 bit) Instruction set (ISA) Armv8-A (64 bit)
Rosetta 2 x86-Emulation ISA extensions --
-- Socket --
Apple Virtualization Framework Virtualization None
Yes AES-NI No
macOS Operating systems Android
Q4/2020 Release date Q1/2020
-- Release price --
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Average performance in benchmarks

⌀ Single core performance in 2 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (100%)
Samsung Exynos 990 (51%)
⌀ Multi core performance in 3 CPU benchmarks
Apple M1 (100%)
Samsung Exynos 990 (35%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
923 (53%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
2779 (36%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
1144 (48%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
2645 (31%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
ARM Mali-G77 MP11 @ 0.80 GHz
1126 (43%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
5511 (38%)

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 (73%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
15 (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 (100%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
0 (0%)

AnTuTu 8 Benchmark

The AnTuTu 8 Benchmark measures the performance of a SoC. AnTuTu benchmarks the CPU, GPU, Memory as well as the UX (User Experience) by simulating browser and app usage. AnTuTu can benchmark any ARM CPU that runs under Android or iOS. Devices may not be directly compareable if the benchmark has been performed under different operating systems.

In the AnTuTu 8 benchmark, the single-core performance of a processor is only slightly weighted. The evaluation consists of the multi-core performance of the processor, the speed of the RAM and the performance of the internal graphics.
Apple M1 Apple M1
8C 8T @ 0.60 GHz
0 (0%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
510697 (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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
8C 8T @ 2.73 GHz
0 (0%)

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%)
Samsung Exynos 990 Samsung Exynos 990
2.73 GHz
0 (0%)

Devices using this processor

Apple M1 Samsung Exynos 990
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)
Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung Galaxy S20+
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

News and articles for the Apple M1 and the Samsung Exynos 990


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