By now, we’ve seen many benchmark results and reviews showing the breakthrough performance of Apple’s new M1 chip for Macs, but the improvements are even more impressive when coupled with battery life metrics.
TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino compiled the open source code for Safari’s browser engine WebKit on a variety of Macs, and as has come to be expected, M1-based models completed the task quicker than Intel-based models.
For example, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 compiled WebKit in 20 minutes and 43 seconds, more than twice as fast as the latest Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro, which took 46 minutes and 10 seconds. In fact, the M1-based MacBook Pro’s performance in the test was almost exactly on par with the 2019 Mac Pro.
The only exception was the MacBook Air, which was bested by the 2019 Mac Pro by about five minutes in the test, as thermal throttling eventually kicks in on the notebook due to its fanless design. It’s still impressive that Apple’s entry-level $999 notebook performs within the ballpark of its professional desktop workstation, which starts at $5,999, and makes it exciting to see what Apple Silicon will deliver in higher-end Macs.
As mentioned, things get really impressive when battery life is considered. After the WebKit compiling was finished on the various Macs, the M1-based MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro each had 91% battery life remaining, compared to 61% on a high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro and just 24% on the Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro.
All in all, Apple’s promise that its chips would deliver industry-leading performance-per-watt appears to be holding up. Panzarino’s review has lots of other useful charts and benchmarks and is worth a read as customers wait for their new Macs to arrive.