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Is Intel Core i7 better than Apple M1?

Is Intel Core i7 better than Apple M1? Let's find out

Updated: Feb 22, 2023 10:37 am
is intel i7 better than m1

Apple’s impressive M1 chip was released in 2020 and remains a top-tier processor for their mobile devices even now, almost 3 years later. At the time, it was thought to be the most powerful mobile processor, but things have changed. Intel’s latest i7 mobile processors have also proved themselves to be pretty capable, so let’s compare the two. 

Now Read: Best CPU for gaming 2023

Today, we find out: is Intel i7 better than M1?

What is the Intel Core i7?

Intel Core i7 is a family of high-end desktop and laptop processors. CPUs feature above-average specs and deliver incredible performance, but also have a fittingly high-end price point. 

Today, we’re focusing exclusively on the mobile processors from the Core i7 lineup, since it would be unfair to compare the mobile Apple M1 chip with a desktop i7 processor. 

Back when the M1 processor was released, it was often compared to the i7-1165g7. But with the release of Alder Lake, Core i7 mobile processors saw a considerable upgrade to their core and thread count, thanks to the inclusion of smaller efficiency cores on the CPU die. 

The best i7 mobile processor we have available currently is the Core i7-1370p. It was released only recently and features some impressive specs. 

  • Cores: 6 P.cores / 8 E.cores
  • Threads: 20
  • Boost clock frequency: P.cores 5.2GHz / E.cores 3.9GHz
  • Base TDP: 28 W
  • Max TDP: 64 W
  • iGPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Apple’s M1 specs

The base Apple M1 chip has the following specs:

  • Cores: 4 P.cores / 4 E.cores
  • Threads: 8
  • Boost clock frequency: P.cores 3.2GHz / E.cores: 2.1GHz
  • TDP: 15 W
  • iGPU: 8-core GPU

How do Intel Core i7 processors compare to Apple’s M1 chip?

As obvious from the above specs, Intel Core i7 processors offer much better performance than the Apple M1 chip. While the M1 chip is optimized very well for the Mac, software optimization can only get you so far, and it can’t make up for a physical lack of cores or a lower clock speed. 

The recent Core i7 CPUs are just incredibly powerful. Even the older 1165g7 outperformed the M1 chip in most scenarios, and the difference has only grown since. 

If you’re looking to carry out CPU-intensive workloads on your mobile device, Intel Evo laptops outfitted with a mobile Core i7 processor will be the better option. 

However, it’s worth noting that the base Apple M1 chip still retains its throne in one area – power efficiency. It consumes a mere 10 to 15 watts of power, which is so low that the MacBook’s battery can last up to an impressive 18 hours.

Core i7 mobile processors, while they do offer better raw performance, aren’t close to being as power-efficient with their 64-watt max TDPs, and will cause their laptop’s battery to die sooner when placed under a heavy burden. 

Raw performance is less of a concern on mobile devices than it is on desktop computers because factors such as portability, convenience, practicality, and battery life take precedence. 

In battery life, at least, the M1 outperforms the Intel i7. If you’re looking for a laptop that has an extremely long battery uptime, go with an M1-equipped Macbook. 

Final word

Intel i7 is indeed better than M1 in terms of raw performance. However, i7 mobile processors consume much more power than the M1 chip, reducing battery uptime. If you’re looking for power, go with the Intel i7. If you’re looking for longer battery life, go with Apple M1. 

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