Monday, February 8, 2021

Intel’s M1 Benchmarks

Joe Rossignol:

Nearly three months after the launch of Apple’s rave-reviewed M1 Macs, Intel has fired back, but there are some asterisks involved.

In a slideshow shared by PCWorld this week, Intel highlighted what PCWorld described as “carefully crafted” benchmarks in an attempt to prove that laptops with the latest 11th Generation Core processors are superior to those with Apple’s custom-designed M1 chip.

Andrew E. Freedman (Hacker News, Slashdot):

Intel claims the 11th-Gen system, an internal whitebox with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 and 16GB of RAM, is 30% faster overall in Chrome and faster in every Office task. This largely goes against what we saw in our 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 review, where benchmarks showed M1 to be largely on the same level, if not better.


Intel also claims that the i7-1185G7 is six times faster than M1 on AI-tools from Topaz Labs and Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and Lightroom functions.


In battery life, Intel switched to an Intel Core i7-1165G7 notebook, the Acer Swift 5, rather than sticking with the Core i7-1185G7 in the whitebook it used for performance testing. It also tested a MacBook Air. They ran Netflix streams and tabs and found the MacBook Air came ahead with a six-minute difference.

Jason Snell:

Inconsistent test platforms, shifting arguments, omitted data, and the not-so-faint whiff of desperation.


Update (2021-02-19): Juli Clover:

In ads shared on Twitter, Intel has been highlighting the shortcomings of Apple's M1 Mac lineup. An ad this week, for example, points out the gaming capabilities of Intel chips. Intel mentions Rocket League, a game that is not available on Apple's platform.

Filipe Espósito (tweet):

The new campaign has been running on Twitter and other websites claiming that there are some tasks that only Windows PCs can do. In one of the new ads, Intel says that “only a PC offers tablet mode, touch screen and stylus capabilities in a single device,” which is similar to what Microsoft does in Surface ads.

Another ad in the campaign is even more aggressive by claiming that Macs are not ideal for engineers and games, as Windows has a broader catalog of software and games than macOS.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Intel is really worried. They and ARM should move to ARM.

Intel has been doing this for years — it’s nothing new at all. And, to be fair, wouldn’t *you* cherry-pick benchmarks that show your product better?

Every company cherry-picks benchmarks, but companies only ever show *direct comparisons* against the category leader, never the other way around. When you're #1 and you know it, you say you're #1. You don't mention competitors. When you're not #1, you show comparisons to try to demonstrate that you're as good as them.

AMD commercials used to show Pentium/Athlon side-by-side competitions, while Intel commercials never mentioned AMD. In the 1980's/90's/00's, Apple ads repeatedly attacked Windows, and Microsoft advertising ignored Apple. Pepsi had the Pepsi Challenge -- Coke would never stoop to putting other beverages on the same level as theirs.

Apple is skirting this with the M1, because they only sell computers, not CPUs. All they have to do is show how their own 2021 products are better than their own 2019 products, which is what they would be doing anyway.

The very fact that Intel made this comparison tells me that they're admitting they've been dethroned, and who they think did it. I never saw Intel feel the need to attack AMD Ryzen this way.

The Topaz Labs comparison is particularly egregious because that is machine learning stuff that doesn't use the M1 "Neural Engine", which Apple claims does 11 Trillion operations per second. Probably doesn't even use the GPU.

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