Apple’s M1-powered 2020 Mac mini has done nothing but impress since it was unveiled last week. While half of Apple’s audience is in awe of the sheer amount of computing power the company has managed to fit into the Mac mini’s tiny frame, the other half is left speechless by the device’s initial benchmarks.
The benchmark specialists at Phoronix took it upon themselves to put the 2020 Mac mini through the wringer, obtaining comprehensive benchmarks for the M1 processor’s performance relative to its current competition.
Phoronix tested the M1-powered Mac Mini against a 2018 Mac Mini with an Intel Core i7 8700B processor, a MacBook Pro with a Core i7 6700HQ processor, and an older Mac mini with a Core i5 4278U Haswell processor. For the sake of consistency, all of the Macs tested were running macOS 11 Big Sur.
To see how the Apple M1 squares up against x86_64 CPUs, Phoronix later pit the 2020 Mac mini against a laptop with a Core i7 1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, and one with a Ryzen 5 4500U Renoir processor, with both laptops running Ubuntu Linux.
To be completely thorough, the M1 Mac mini and its competitors were put through 100+ comprehensive tests, with Rosetta 2.0 on the Mac engaged where x86_64 binaries needed to be translated to ARMv8.
The comments on the site are also worth reading since the audience is comprised of mostly Linux users, and it’s interesting to see how impressed they are with Apple Silicon, despite Macs only capable of running macOS.
All in all, the detailed performance benchmarks of Apple’s 8-core ARM-based CPU are pretty impressive — the M1 performs definitively better than Macs with Intel CPUs while consuming less power, and holds its own against the latest and greatest Intel and AMD processors for laptops.