The M1 Apple Silicon has jumped into second place in the current PassMark CPU Mark chart for desktop chip single-thread performance, with a current score of 3,550 points. This is a few points ahead of the Intel Core i7-11700K (3,542 points), which Gamers Nexus brutally described as a “waste of sand”. While there’s no chance of the Apple M1 catching the chart champion i9-11900K on 3,741 points, it might certainly be another sign that it could be Alder Lake, and not Rocket Lake, that offers a complete reversal of fortune for Intel.
Apple looks like it threw some sand in Intel’s eyes here, with Team Blue perhaps presuming that the M1 chip wasn’t going to be as impressive in synthetic benchmarks as it has been – especially in single-thread/single-core performance tests that have always been Intel’s forte. While AMD can still settle back on the multi-core prowess of its Ryzen 5000 chips, Rocket Lake has been turned into “Rocked Lake” by Apple Silicon’s strength. If you browse through Geekbench 5 results for the i7-11700K you can see that the single-core scores are not dissimilar to those of the M1-powered devices that we have tested.
This is a processor that can be found in a Mac mini desktop computer, along with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, built-in speaker, plenty of ports including Thunderbolt/USB 4, Gigabit Ethernet, and 3.5 mm audio jack, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity all from US$699 for the base M1 model (US$669.99 on Amazon). The Intel Core i7-11700K has an MSRP of US$399 and the i9-11900K is priced at US$539. Fair enough, it might be comparing Apples with Intels, with the latter outperforming the former in multi-core workload. However, once again it does feel like Rocket Lake is simply the gap-fill for Alder Lake, which will be relying on its Golden Cove cores to take on a possible Apple M1X rival.