M1 Mac mini faster than all Intel Macs in single-core benchmarks

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New M1 Mac mini gaming
Now that's fast!
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest Mac mini, its first desktop with an Apple Silicon M1 chip, is substantially faster than all Intel-based Macs in single-core tests, according to new Geekbench benchmarks.

The only machines that come close to matching its performance are the newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — also powered by M1 chipsets. The 27-inch iMac lags far behind in the same tests.

Previous tests carried out with the new MacBook Air showed that Apple Silicon is off to a stellar start. The new ultraportable not only outperforms its predecessors, but also every other mobile CPU.

It’s a similar story for the new Mac mini, which makes much more expensive Apple computers look like slouches on this test.

M1 Mac mini achieves insane benchmark scores

The M1 Mac mini achieves a single-core CPU score of 1,741 in Geekbench tests. In comparison, the newest MacBook Pro scores 1,699, while the new MacBook Air scores 1,662.

The fastest Intel-based Mac in the Geekbench charts is the newest 27-inch iMac with an Intel Core i9, which achieves a single-core score of 1,251. That’s followed by the Intel Core i7 model, which scores 1,249.

There are some caveats here, however. The rankings change when running multicore tests, with the M1 Mac mini falling to 13th place in the chart, well behind the latest iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro.

That means that in certain scenarios — when carrying out tasks that rely on multicore performance — some Intel machines remain faster.

M1 chips make power more affordable

Nevertheless, these tests show that Apple’s new M1 chipset can deliver insanely good performance — and for a lot less than Mac users previously coughed up for a beefy workhorse computer.

It’s also worth noting that the M1 will shine when running Apple’s own applications, such as Final Cut Pro, which have been optimized to take full advantage of Apple Silicon.