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Detailed evaluation of Apple silicon M1 MacBook Air

via:威锋网     time:2020/11/18 1:09:36     readed:1632

The first day I left Intel, I didn't think about it at all. This article is all edited on the M1 MacBook Air. A brief summary of the M1 MacBook Air.First put the configuration. The most basic configuration of the 2020 M1 is air, and 7199 yuan for teachers. I received the goods at 7:00 a.m. and have been testing for a whole day. Now I'm going to make a summary.


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Apple online store (China) - Mac

1. The performance of M1 is better than expected, and its speed is terrible

2. As powerful as Intel Mac, it is even more powerful

3. M1 heating is greatly reduced, and the endurance is greatly improved

4. Compatibility is not a big problem, and surprisingly, running x86 applications with M1 is much faster than running x86 applications with Intel

5. There is no change in the design

6. Add P3 wide color gamut and Wi Fi 6

7. Can run IOS app

Octa CPU(4 Big 4 Small GHz 3.2

Seven core GPU

Sixteen core ne

8GB UMA memory

49.9 watt hour lithium polymer battery

Compared with the other 2020 Intel's highest configuration air, 9799 yuan is given to teachers.

I7-1060ng7 four core eight thread 1.2Ghz Rui frequency acceleration 3.9ghz

Iris Plus G7 GPU

16GB lpddr4x memory


49.9 watt hour lithium polymer battery

1. Performance

Get to the point and talk directly about feelings.

Visual experience of system level flow: one word: fast, smooth silk!

With MacOS Big Sur 11.0.1 official version (20b29), the air of M1 chip is much more fluent than Intel air in various system operations. It is especially reflected in the animation effect, opening / switching applications, sliding, page zooming in and out, typing fluency, and sleep wake-up speed.

Thanks to the stronger GPU, frame dropping is almost non-existent, which is common on Intel air.

Thanks to the low latency UMA memory and the new memory controller, switching applications respond quickly.

Thanks to the new air SSD, only 1200MB / s read / write capability is achieved. Random reading and writing ability has also been greatly improved. This makes it possible to open applications and wake up from sleep, which can be said to be a revolutionary improvement.

For sleep wake-up, Intel MAC takes 2-3 seconds to wake up from sleep, just like ordinary PCs. And this M1 MAC is just like the one in your handiPhoneSame, instant wake-up, instant unlock. Don't underestimate the improvement of these seconds. It brings a very comfortable and "apple" experience.

For example, if you open Safari and quickly slide a web page like Apple's website, there will always be a little bit of lag and stuck on Intel, like the processor is still processing data. And the M1 MAC is just like sliding a web page on the iPhone, without any sense of block.

If I have to find some words to describe it, I can only say this oneMacBookAfter getting Apple silicon, air is like a fish in water, and has a new kind of Apple siliconiPadThe silky smoothness and quickness of the time. However, when I used Intel MAC before, I couldn't feel this kind of fluency. On the contrary, there were always some small details stuck and sluggish blocking feeling.

After intuitive experience, we will talk with data to test the performance of CPU and GPU. Because there are many software that do not fully adapt to M1, but use Rosetta simulator to operate, it will be specially marked in the figure.

Gekbench is the first part of the CPU. Two intuitive pictures should tell the story.

Interestingly, because the latest geekbench 5.3 is suitable for arm Mac, but also suitable for rosetta2 to translate x86 running points. The results were unexpected. In the case of rosetta2 simulating x86, the M1 chip ran 1265 points for a single core and 5647 points for multiple cores. The performance of M1 chip still easily surpassed my top configuration i7 air, and also exceeded the desktop i5-9400f. In other words, M1 is still faster than most Intel native x86 applications when running x86 applications.

Then iMovie renders a 1080p 60 frame video. Using prores, the size is about 3gb.

The test results are almost exactly the sameApple3.5 times the increase described on the official website.

In terms of GPU, the first is gfxbench score, and the test items are Aztec rain and Aztec ruin off screen.

Young people don't talk about martial arts. The strongest core of Intel once showed iris had no face. Apple claims that M1 has 2.6t floating-point computing capability, so it easily takes away the Intel iris core display. According to other scoring data on the Internet, its score is equivalent to that of desktop gtx1050ti and rx560. It is worth noting that my air is residual M1, and there is one less GPU core. If it is full blood M1, the actual force will be stronger (according to the proportion of a12x and a12z in the past, the difference is about 15%).

Then the game, I choose dota2 Vulkan, medium quality, 1440 x900, according to the average frame rate calculation.


Through the above performance test, we can see that compared with my i7air, m1air has achieved a significant increase in various performance indicators, bringing a leap in the system fluency experience. There is a popular rumor in the Chinese Internet: arm's performance can't match the desktop level processor, and now it seems that it has failed. The performance of xarm will be so fast in the future. Of course, the good play is far more than that, I will continue to test, please look down.

2. Continuous performance, heating and heat dissipation test

We used cinebench R23, a 10 minute cycle roasted chicken and a game, which compared crush performance.

The frequency reduction, heating and fan conditions were recorded.

Cinebench R23 adapts arm aarch64 in the first time.

So let's find out the real performance of the 10 minute roast chicken.

In cinebench's 10 minute test, the performance of M1 air without fan is significantly lower than that of Pro M1 and mini M1 by 7500 points. It is obvious that the frequency reduction of heating caused by fan free is quite large. However, 1500 minutes of single core and 6500 minutes of multi-core, still get rid of the i7 air fan a large distance.

Let's take a look at the frame rate stability of the game

Intel air can only maintain 40-50 frame rate in the first six seconds, and then it begins to decline in a straight line after 6 seconds, and only 30 frames in 30 seconds. At this time, the fan starts to blow gradually, and the frame rate fluctuates repeatedly, jumping back and forth from 15 frames to 25 frames.

The performance of M1 was unexpected. There was no fan, but there was no effect in the first three minutes. After five minutes, the number of frames dropped slightly, and the frame number fluctuated in the next 30 minutes, jumping back and forth between 80 and 90. Touch the bottom of the screen and the back of the motherboard, there is scalding, but the Intel model is more serious than the M1 model.

Since the M1 air has no fan, it keeps quiet at 0 dB throughout the whole process.

Intel air has a small fan with a speed of 5000rpm, which keeps running at high speed throughout the rendering of video and games. The noise is still very disturbing. The noise value measured by Apple watch reaches 42db.

Conclusion: Although the air of M1 chip has no fan, its continuous performance output time is still longer than that of Intel. Apple's 3.5-fold CPU performance improvement and 5-fold GPU performance improvement are also more accurate conclusions drawn under the continuous stress test state.

To put it bluntly, Intel's actual performance is not as high as that of geekbench peak because of its low frequency heating. The low heating of M1 makes its continuous performance output better, which is more in line with the peak performance of geekbench. As we can see from dota2's 10 minute test, the Intel model is still "physically overdrawn" after 10 minutes of testing, and the fan free M1 continues to strengthen.

The degree of fever on the back was no more serious than that of Intel. It also keeps the temperature lower than Intel in daily operation (like the iPad, it's basically cool). I7-1060ng7, such a high configuration low-voltage 10 generation Core i7, Intel is proud of the first generation of 10 nm technology, not only the performance of the first generation of 5 nm M1 chip, but also in the performance of heat and sustained performance, it is also a terrible failure. As for M1, it performs well on the air, has good heat control, and its continuous performance will still have frequency reduction, but it is not serious. Air, after all, is air. Without the lightweight design of fans, it is doomed to be unable to give full play to its full strength for a long time. I believe that M1 can explode into a more lasting and amazing potential under the better cooling environment of macbook pro and mac mini.

3. Endurance

The M1 not only brings performance, quiet and low heat, but the improvement of endurance is another exciting place. Because of the time relationship, there is no detailed measurement. According to the reference given by Apple's official website, Intel's air uses 12 hours of video playback, while M1's air uses 18 hours of video playback. Six hours more. Here we use the remaining power of video playback for 3 hours to conduct a comparative experiment. (in the control, the i7 air battery cycle was 42 times, which basically did not affect the accuracy of the results, while the M1 air cycle was 0 cycle.)

It can be seen that the low power consumption of M1 chip does improve the battery life. Compared with many windows computers, which can only improve the battery life by making them bigger and thicker, this will be another big leap. Now, you don't need to carry a charger even if you're out to work all day.

4. Design

The shape, design, circumference and weight of the 2020 M1 and 2020 Intel are exactly the same.

As always, the simple lines, delicate and flawless metal, as well as the durable and comfortable aluminum shell.

It is still an unforgettable and comfortable laptop experience.

But it is not a comprehensive screen design, the proportion of the screen is still not high, it seems to be a bit out of date. So I guess it's possible to have a new air with a big design change next year.

Keyboard is still using 2020 scissors keyboard, typing experience is more comfortable.

This article was hand written on the 2020 M1 MacBook Air. In short, it meets the ideal standard of laptop keyboard. It is worth mentioning that I am a clerical worker, and the typing speed is very important to me. Thanks to the M1 chip, no matter how busy it is, whether in word or latex, typing fluency has reached the peak level. On the Intel air, if the computer is busy or hot, my typing speed often exceeds that of Intel.

5. Compatibility

However, it should be noted that the translation of rosetta2 needs a little time. For example, if you open the x86 software for the first time, you need to wait for more than ten to twenty seconds to bounce on the dock column, indicating that it is being translated, and there is no need to translate again when you open it later. Most of the software can be translated quickly and function normally. At present, I haven't encountered x86 software that can't be used. According to other online evaluations, only a few software can't be translated temporarily or there will be errors.

The conversion efficiency of rosetta2 is very high. Apple's official website also said that the frame rate performance of many game and graphics intensive apps after conversion with rosetta2 is much higher than that of Intel (it's not good to hit Intel GPU laterally once again). Adobe's software migration will be completed at the latest next year.

Of course, this is only for Mac OS users. If you are a major user of Windows operating system, I'm sorry that boot camp is not supported for the time being. As a digression, Microsoft has long been in love with arm, and a translator similar to rosetta2 is also being developed by Microsoft. Therefore, windows 10 will not run indefinitely, but it will not be realistic in the short term.

And windows virtual machines such asParallelsAt present, it is also in the process of intensive development. In view of the need for virtual machine win to handle tasks, I believe that parallels or VMware can still cope with the problem.

(to repeat the old saying, if you use windows as the main system, why do you want to buy a Mac? Isn't the xps13 next door delicious?)

6. Screen

:: Still Retina IPS the screen is clear and delicate

Apple is still a good color manage

:: Still macOS seamless support for high-score screens

:: Section 2020 M1 increased support for P3 wide gamut

:: Original colour display of 400 nit screens consistent with section Intel ,2020

7. Other parts

The most exciting parts are over. In other ways, there are not many surprises.

This Air is not a new design, but an old bottle of new wine, the highlight is M1 chip

:: Are still excellent screens, sound quality, trackpad strength and smooth and delicate Bug Su

The new ISP has slightly improved the quality of the front-facing camera, but the 720 p camera is still hard

:: Upgrade from Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac) to Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax)

:: The frequently faulty T2 chip has been removed and the new security chip is integrated into the M1

:: M1Air do not currently support eGPU( external graphics cards)

A 30-watt USB-C charging head charging head, not environmentally friendly!

8. Write at the end

Overall, from Intel to Apple Silicon is another great new revolution. This is not the only time apple's computer processor revolution has gone through self-developed chips from motorola to PowerPC, from PowerPC to Intel, to today over the past four decades. Looking back on 2004, Steve Jobs announced at the developer conference that Intel processors have better performance and lower power consumption, which is the trend for convenient computers in the future, so they will give up PowerPC.

I can't help but sigh that in 15 years, Intel has also embarked on the old road of PowerPC, and has become a "toothpaste factory" with high energy consumption and low performance, which has finally been abandoned. With its powerful performance and ultra-low power consumption, apple silicon M1 chip has proved that Apple has made a correct choice. The rumor that the popular arm performance on the network can not match the desktop level x86 has been defeated. With the efficient translation of Rosetta developed by Apple itself, compatibility during the transition period will not be a problem. In addition, the world has endured Intel for a long time, and the PC industry has been stagnant in the past decade, which is closely related to Intel's performance toothpaste extrusion in the past decade. Nowadays, enterprises such as Microsoft take the lead in actively adapting to more advanced arm, and AMD, a toothpaste competitor, is also manufacturing and investing in the research and development of ARM processor. In the future, the old x86 will inevitably fall into the situation of falling into the wall and being pushed by everyone. In my opinion, competition is a good thing. This is also a wake-up call to Intel and its x86 CISC architecture for years of low energy consumption and low energy consumption.

For M1 chip MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13 purchase suggestions. From the price point of view, the minimum difference between the two is 2000 yuan. Pro has 100g more weight, 2-hour endurance, touchbar, 100nit brightness, better speakers and microphones, and a small fan that helps improve continuous performance output performance.

In addition, mini, pro and 512gb air provide full blood version M1 (with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU), while 256gb air provides slightly residual blood version M1 (with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU).

There is little difference between the two. Refer to a12z and a12x. It should be a batch of poor physical fitness M1 castrated a GPU core, CPU and other parts of the same.

If you're not interested in laptops, but particularly interested in M1 chips, then the Mac Mini desktop is a good choice. The starting price of 5299, with full blood M1 and better cooling environment, there is no need to worry about power limit. Currently, the maximum UMA memory of the three M1 devices is 16GB. I believe Apple's honey optimization, for example, the 6GB ram of iPhone 12 can beat up the 12gb ram of Android.

At present, I have purchased 8GB air. From the current point of view, it is not a big problem to open 10 Safari taps in a row and open several documents. However, opening a large application or loading a large project will still touch the swap file, causing slight performance degradation. It is also possible that the optimization of these software is not in place. Due to the improvement of SSD performance bandwidth delay response, touching swap only causes slight performance degradation. But in short, if you need more pro or expect to use it for 2-3 years, I would still recommend that you choose to customize 16GB ram or apple silicon chips with larger ram capacity next year.

Because the first generation M1 chip is only used in air, pro13 and mini. Although the strength of M1 has been amazing, I believe the killer's mace is still far behind. If you don't want to be a mouse on the first chip, or you want to buy itiMacAnd mbp16, the enhanced version of m1x / m1z / m2, which is expected to be more mature next year, may be a better choice to deploy on all series Macs. In addition, it is reported that the new 12 inch and 14 inch macbooks with full screen design are also on the way. They are likely to be released together with M2 chip in 2021, so we can wait and see.

All the tests and articles are completed by ourselves. If there is any help, please reprint it and indicate the source.


1. The data of i7-1070ng7 and M1 are obtained by testing. Data sources of other chips (processors)

Geekbench browser, cinebench R23 app

2. For the system and software versions involved in the test, both M1 and i7 are installed with MacOS Big Sur 11.0.1 (2b029), Safari 14.0.1, geekbench 5.3, cinebench r23.200, iMovie 10.2.1, blackmagic disk speed test 3.2, all settings are consistent.

3. The test involves timing. Use iPhone and apple watch for timing, and round to 0. X seconds.

4. In terms of battery performance, air i7 battery cycle is 42 times and air M1 cycle is 0 times. According to the battery cycle performance, there is no significant statistical difference, which basically does not affect the accuracy of the results.

5. The test conducted in this paper has tried to eliminate the interference factors to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. The opinions put forward are also summarized by myself, not by the will of other teams and individuals. However, the test is limited and can not fully reflect the full function and performance of the computer. All data and views are only for rational reference and exchange.

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