Comparing the Apple m1 MacBook vs the Intel MacBook

Comparing the Apple m1 MacBook vs the Intel MacBook
The Apple M1 chipset is Apple's first custom-designed chipset made for Macs.Business Insider India
  • The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air are the first Macs to be powered by the new Apple M1 chipset.
  • Apple boasts that the new M1 chipset is faster than Intel’s Core processors, in addition to offering two times longer battery life.
  • The new Apple M1 MacBook is the more affordable version in the new 13-inch MacBook lineup, which means it’s also the most important notebook for Apple as well as its customers.
  • If you are confused between the new M1 MacBook and the Intel MacBook, read our comparison to make your decision.
  • Check out the latest news and updates on Business Insider.
Apple’s new M1 MacBook might seem similar to the Intel MacBook lineup on the outside - the design and the basics remain the same. However, under the hood, the M1 MacBook and Intel MacBooks are radically different.

The Apple M1 chipset is an Apple-designed chipset for the Mac notebooks and computers. This system-on-a-chip (SoC) signals that Apple is preparing to eventually move away from Intel and do its own thing in the same way as it does on iPhones and iPads.
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Apple unveiled the first M1-powered MacBook in November with the launch of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air. The Cupertino-based company also announced high-end versions of the 13-inch model powered by Intel chipsets. This gives us an opportunity to look at how the Apple M1 MacBook compares with the Intel MacBook.

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Let’s dive in.

Apple M1 MacBook or Intel MacBook – which one to buy?

For a vast majority of users, the Apple M1 MacBook makes more sense – it offers good performance in most tasks, promises 20 hours of battery life, and is less expensive when compared to the Intel MacBook models.

However, for professionals, the Intel MacBook is still the better option. It offers better high-end performance, and is tried and tested when it comes to running all kinds of software. The M1 MacBook, on the other hand, is fundamentally different from Intel models, so third-party developers will need to update and optimize their software for the new M1 chipset.
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Apple M1 MacBook vs Intel MacBook – how much do they cost?

The Apple M1 MacBook Air starts at a price of ₹92,900, with 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD. There is no MacBook Air model powered by Intel processors.

Coming to the Pro lineup, the M1 MacBook Pro starts at ₹1,22,900 for the base variant with 8GB memory and 256GB SSD.

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The Intel MacBook Pro models start at ₹1,74,900 and come with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.

Apple M1 MacBook vs Intel MacBook – the similarities

The basics remain the same for the 13-inch MacBook powered by Apple Silicon and Intel’s Core chipsets.

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina IPS display with True Tone technology.
  • Magic keyboard and Force Touch trackpad.
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID.
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera.
  • Bluetooth 5.0, Dolby Atmos.
That is to say, both the Apple M1 and Intel MacBooks share the same basic structure and design. But there are some major differences under the hood.
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Apple M1 MacBook vs Intel MacBook – what’s different

ParticularsApple M1 MacBookIntel MacBook
Chipset/processorApple M1 chipset with 8 core CPU, GPU, 16 core Neural EngineUp to 4 core Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Plus graphics
RAMUp to 16GB unified memoryUp to 32GB memory
StorageUp to 2TBUp to 4TB
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Ports2x Thunderbolt / USB 44x Thunderbolt 3 (Type C)
Battery58.2 WHr58 WHr
Battery lifeUp to 20 hoursUp to 10 hours

It is worth noting that the battery life is as advertised by Apple.

The major differences lie in terms of the chipset, memory and storage – these three are amongst the most important aspects to consider while buying a new laptop. The massive difference in battery life is also an important point to keep in mind while deciding between these two MacBooks.
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Apple M1 MacBook vs Intel MacBook – which one performs better?

What sets apart both the MacBook versions is the performance. The Apple M1 is the company’s first attempt at a chipset for laptops, so it is worth keeping that in mind when you decide which version you want to buy.

The Apple M1 comes with an eight-core processor with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. This is coupled with an eight core GPU and a 16-core neural engine for enhanced machine learning algorithms.

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On the other hand, the Intel versions come with up to quad-core processors with integrated Intel Iris graphics.

The Apple M1 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) – this means that the CPU, GPU, input/output, RAM, and security features are all integrated on one chip. In comparison, the Intel versions have all of these segregated on a logic board. This gives the Apple M1 a performance advantage when compared to Intel.

The Apple M1 shines when it comes to performing basic tasks like surfing the internet, reading email or working on a document. For these tasks, the M1 uses high-efficiency cores to preserve battery life. The high-performance cores are engaged for intensive tasks like video editing, giving you the performance boost when needed.

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Comparing the Apple m1 MacBook vs the Intel MacBook
Power consumption at different levels of CPU performanceApple

This results in direct benefits when it comes to battery life – the M1 MacBook Pro is rated to last up to two times longer than the Intel MacBook Pro.

Apple also claims that the M1 MacBook is faster than the entry-level Intel MacBook it is replacing.

While the company hasn’t given statistics to back this up, some recent benchmarks suggest that the new M1 MacBook Pro beats 2019’s high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by 10th generation Intel Core i7 or i9 chipsets.
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