If the Apple M1's processing power didn't leave you impressed, maybe the 5nm chip's graphical prowess will. A new GFXBench 5.0 submission (opens in new tab) for the M1 exhibits its dominance over oldies, such as the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and Radeon RX 560.
The Apple M1 marks an important phase in the multinational giant's history. It's the start of an era where Apple no longer has to depend on a third-party chipmaker to power its products. The M1 might be one of the most intriguing processor launches in the last couple of years. Built on the 5nm process node, the unified, Arm-based SoC (system-on-a-chip) brings together four Firestorm performance cores, four Icestorm efficiency cores, and an octa-core GPU in a single package.
Much of the M1's GPU design continues to remain a mystery to us. So far, we know it features eight cores, which amounts to 128 execution units (EUs). Apple didn't reveal the clock speeds, but it wasn't shy to boast about its performance numbers.
According to Apple, M1 can simultaneously tackle close to 25,000 threads and deliver up to 2.6 TFLOPS of throughput. Apple is probably quoting the M1's single-precision (FP32) performance. If you're looking for a point of reference, the M1 ties the Radeon RX 560 (2.6 TFLOPS), and it's just a few TFLOPS away from catching the GeForce GTX 1650 (2.9 TFLOPS).
Apple M1 Benchmarks
|GPU||Aztec Ruins Normal Tier||Aztec Ruins High Tier||Car Chase||1440p Manhattan 3.1.1||Manhattan 3.1||Manhattan||T-Rex||ALU 2||Driver Overhead 2||Texturing|
|Apple M1||203.6 FPS||77.4 FPS||178.2 FPS||130.9 FPS||274.5 FPS||407.7 FPS||660.1 FPS||298.1 FPS||245.2 FPS||71,149 MTexels/s|
|GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||159.0 FPS||61.4 FPS||143.8 FPS||127.4 FPS||218.3 FPS||288.3 FPS||508.1 FPS||512.6 FPS||218.2 FPS||59,293 MTexels/s|
|Radeon RX 560||146.2 FPS||82.5 FPS||115.1 FPS||101.4 FPS||174.9 FPS||221.0 FPS||482.9 FPS||6275.4 FPS||95.5 FPS||22,8901 MTexels/s|
Generic benchmarks only tell one part of the story. Furthermore, GFXBench 5.0 isn't exactly the best tool for testing graphics cards either, given that it's aimed at smartphone benchmarking. As always, we recommend treating the benchmark results with caution until we see a thorough review of the M1.
The anonymous user tested the M1 under Apple's Metal API, making it hard to find apples-to-apples non-Apple comparisons. At the time of writing, no one has submitted a Metal run with the GeForce GTX 1650. Luckily, there is a submission for the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, so the Pascal-powered graphics card will have to serve as the baseline for now.
In a clear victory, the Apple M1 bested the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti by a good margin. The Radeon RX 560 didn't stand a chance, either. Admittedly, the two discrete gaming graphics cards are pretty old by today's standards, but that shouldn't overshadow the fact that M1's integrated graphics outperformed both 75W desktop graphics cards, but within a pretty tight TDP range of its own.
The M1 will debut in three new Apple products: the 13-inch MacBook Pro starting $1,299, the Macbook Air at $999, and the Mac Mini at $699. Nobody really buys an Apple device to game. However, if the in-house SoC lives up to the hype, casual gaming could be a reality on the upcoming M1-powered devices.