Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 16:18 Hardware

First Benchmarks: iPad Pro M1 vs. MacBook Pro 16" vs. iPad Pro 2020

The difference between a 2020 iPad Pro and a 2021 iPad Pro is enormous. For starters, the new iPad Pro has adopted Mini-LED (as opposed to the old 12.9" iPad Pro's standard LED) and it also comes with Apple's new M1 chip architecture. A new M1-equipped iPad Pro obviously means an obvious increase in performance in comparison to the previously A12Z-equipped model that's been in circulation since 2018. As the former iPad Pro hadn't been upgraded since 2018, it found itself surpassed in terms of performance by the most recent iPad Air – leading to a slightly awkward situation in the line-up. Now, the first benchmarks for the new M1 iPad Pro have arrived, as per Geekbench 5. The new benchmarks assuage fears that Apple would decide upon a significantly weaker version of the M1. The benchmark values show similar values to those seen with the first three M1 series Macs.

iPad Pro 2021: 7200 Points – Intel Core i9 MacBook Pro 16": 6800 Points
The A12Z iPad Pro managed to achieve 1100 points in benchmarks with one core and 4656 with the usage of all cores. The new iPad Pro with M1 made significant bounds, coming in at 1700 points with one core and 7200 combined. For the first time since 2018, the iPad Pro has finally been given a significant performance upgrade. The results of the most recent benchmarks are especially impressive when compared with those of the 16" Intel Core i9 MacBook Pro – which managed to achieve only 6800 points, and all that with more power and cooling than the new iPad Pro. Some caution is always necessary when comparing different chip architectures – especially since the MacBook Pro 16" has the potential to be slightly more productive than the iPad Pro M1 due to its platform. However, these new benchmarks point out a direct trend and further reasoning for why Apple no longer relies on Intel.

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The M1 Chip Impresses Yet Again
Regardless of the question, whether or not there's any practical use for the immense amount of computing power in the new iPad Pro, the potential of Apple's M1 chips has been proven yet again. Even more so, it will be exciting to see what future M1 chips are capable of, now that the bar has already been set so high for Apple's basic line of products. The MacBook Air 13" with passive cooling has its performance throttled by about 25% after running under continuous load and it's likely the same for this newest iPad. However, this is only applicable in the case that users are able to find an app able to continuously strain the new iPad Pro for more than 20 minutes – likely to be a difficult task on its own. However, the same throttling doesn't occur in M1 computers with a fan (Mac mini, MacBook Pro 13"). Thus, future and even more powerful M1-equipped desktop computers with even more powerful cooling could blow current benchmarks through the roof, supporting higher clock rates and more cores.

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