Apple developers allegedly they started receiving Apple ARM architecture transition kits, and now some benchmarks from those development kits have been leaked. Discovered by 9to5MacBenchmarks for the kits appear to have appeared on Geekbench, despite strict confidentiality clauses in the developer agreement that prohibit the performance of this type of performance test.
There are many interested in seeing how good the benchmarks of the new Bionic A12Z processors intended for macOS are. Although Apple presented them at WWDC, didn’t actually show its performance in a tangible or precise way. Most estimates of its performance have been based on the Bionic A12Z chip found in the latest iPad Pro. But rumors suggest that the processors are not identical. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t gone into detail about the structural differences between the CPUs, either.
There are some important details to mention about these new benchmarks available in Geekbench. It seems development kits only run on four cores instead of twelve cores rumored which will be available in the processor when it hits the market, and I guess those four cores are the dedicated performance cores (the final version of the processor is speculates which has eight of its twelve cores dedicated to performance).
If this is true, it could partly explain why the results of the development kit are lower than those of the iPad A12Z: Geekbench takes into account the four low-power cores in the iPad A12Z, while the development kit of silicon apple lacks those nuclei. The highest score for Apple’s new silicon at the time of writing is 844 for single core and 2958 for multi-core, while a 4th generation iPad Pro He got 1118 for single core and 4726 for multi-core. The iPad A12Z also operates at a higher frequency, 2490 MHz, compared to the 2400 MHz development kits.
At 9to5Mac they say development kits run Geekbench 5 non-native via Rosetta 2, which could explain the nickname ‘VirtualApple’ listed in the processor’s “Info” section. But it is strange that Geekbench 5 runs through Rosetta 2 as there is already an ARM version of the benchmarks app for iPad. However, the iPad runs iOS on ARM, so Geekbench 5 may need to be run via Rosetta 2 because there is no macOS ARM version of the benchmark software yet.
Beyond the iPad, the closest thing we have to compare with the alleged development kits currently are the Intel Core processors, specifically, a Intel Core i5-1038NG7 (4 cores, 2000 MHz) from a 2020 MacBook Pro. According to Geekbench 5, one of the highest single-core scores is 1244, and one of the highest multi-core is 4526. That Intel Core is running 400 MHz less per core than Apple’s ARM development kits, and it has the same number of cores, yet its performance is superior. Again, this could be because Geekbench 5 is not optimized for Apple’s silicon on macOS. Or it could be due to the difference on how Apple’s ARM and Intel’s ARM processors execute the instructions.
Apple’s future ARM processors are supposed to be upgraded versions of the A12Z, with supposedly 12 cores of which eight are dedicated to performance, which will definitely help Apple’s silicon compete against Intel and AMD. Judging from these numbers, you are going to need those additional cores. The first Mac with ARM should arrive later this yearBut Apple will still launch new models with Intel even after the transition begins, and its Intel devices should be officially supported for at least five years. So if you’re thinking of getting a new Mac, it might be smart to get it now.