M1 processor is so good it surprises even Apple

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Apple SVP Craig Federighi was blown away by the M1 processor.
Apple’s Craig Federighi says his company’s new M1 processor exceeds his expectaions.
Screenshot: Apple

The capabilities of Apple’s new M1 processor surprised even the people who designed it. The new chip was created to get Macs away from Intel, and Apple executives are gushing about it. Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, said the M1 is outperforming the company’s own expectations.

Federighi spoke with The Independent about the shock inside Apple when the company began internal testing of its new processor.

“We overshot,” said the exec. “You have these projects where, sometimes you have a goal and you’re like, ‘Well, we got close, that was fine.’ This one, part of what has us all just bouncing off the walls here — just smiling — is that as we brought the pieces together, we’re like, ‘This is working better than we even thought it would.’”

Early Apple M1 benchmarks back up the hyperbole

When Apple unveiled the M1 chip Tuesday, the company promised Apple Silicon would usher in dramatic increases in performance. Cupertino says the MacBook Air with the new processor runs up to 3.5 times faster. And the battery life extends up to 18 hours.

While the surprising speed could be a company blowing smoke about its products, there’s evidence to back up the claim. Early benchmark results for the MacBook Air with Apple Silicon have begun surfacing online, and they show it outperforms every other mobile CPU on the market.

The M1-based MacBook Air, along with a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a Mac mini, won’t reach customers’ hands until next week, and more performance data will be available then. That includes real-world battery tests.