M1 all the same in whatever Container?

Am I wrong in assuming that you get the exact same performance with an iPad/iMac/iBook when they are equipped with M1s?
If this is correct any review of a „new“ M1 device could forgo analyzing the logic board and its components and concentrate on marveling at the beauty of the container.

Yes and no. Although the M1 SoC is the same there are other parts of a complete system that can affect performance.

In addition to the obvious - different memory and storage capacities (and maybe also clock speeds), the cooling solution (or lack thereof) can have a significant impact.

Like most modern processors, the M1 will thermally throttle if it overheats. A system with a more robust cooling solution can run at full power for longer than a system with a less robust cooling solution. For example, Linus Tech Tips ran a video in December comparing the M1 Mac Book Air vs. Pro and showed that the Pro (having a cooling fan) can run at higher sustained performance levels than the Air (which only has passive cooling). And using a tool to force the Pro’s fans to always run at maximum speed further improved its sustained performance.

In other words, although there may be little point in comparing things like the number of cores and such (until the next-generation Apple Silicon Macs (M2?) come out, of course), it still makes sense to perform benchmarks to compare performance, because there are factors (like cooling) external to the SoC that will have an impact.


For ‘burst’ performance they will be very close. The MBA will score lower on long sustained performance because it has to throttle earlier/more due to lack of fan.

From all we’ve seen so far, perhaps the largest difference is in terms of battery life. The MBP will last substantially longer than the MBA under real-world use conditions, it’s just got a larger capacity battery. The MBA on the other hand doesn’t come with the silly TouchBar.

My wife got an M1 MBA and is super happy with it. She charges it about every third day. :slight_smile: I’ll be getting a 14" MBP with M1x (or whatever they call) as soon as it’s released. If anybody wants a fully tricked out 2020 Intel 13" MBP, I’ll be more than happy to sell off this dinosaur. :laughing:

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