We are just a couple of days away from Apple's November event and what’s expected to be the big reveal of the first Apple Silicon MacBook Pro, and a new benchmark leak hints at some seriously impressive performance.
Spotted by AppleInsider, a new Geekbench 5 leak reportedly shows off the performance of the “A14X," a boosted version of the A14 Bionic found in the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4. It’s thought that this could be the chip that powers the first ARM-based MacBooks.
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In Geekbench 5, the A14X yields a single-core score of 1,634 and rakes in 7,220 in the multi-core test. Comparatively, our Geekbench 5 test of the iPhone 12 Pro yielded respective scores of 1,595 and 3,880. And our multi-core test of the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro saw it get a score of 4,399 from its Intel 10th Gen Core i7 processor.
We need to take these benchmarks with a serious pinch of salt, but if they are accurate, they show how the A14X could be a multi-core powerhouse. And the chip could tear past the multi-core capabilities of Intel’s best laptop processors.
The latest Dell XPS 13 with Intel's 11th gen Core i7 processor, benchmarked by Laptop Mag, reached 5,254 on Geekbench 5. That's well behind the score of the A14X's leaked score.
That’s all good news for Apple Silicon MacBooks, which could debut with a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Combined with the optimizations Apple is likely to make to macOS to get it to run on the ARM RISC architecture, which underpins Apple’s A-series chips and pretty much all smartphone chips, the A14X could make for some very powerful MacBooks.
There are issues of software compatibility for Apple to overcome. MacOS apps tend to be configured to work on the x86 architecture that underpins AMD and Intel processors; the same is true of Windows 10. So to then get popular macOS apps to run on Apple Silicon MacBooks, Apple will need to provide the means for developers to reconfigure their software for RISC.
Apple’s walled-garden approach to software arguably gives it more scope than Microsoft to ensure that a move from x86 to RISC goes more smoothly. And with tight control over the hardware side as well, the Apple Silicon MacBook could be the triumph ARM-based Windows 10 laptops have yet to be.
We're sure to hear a lot more about Apple Silicon MacBooks on November 10 at Apple’s “One More Thing” event. And we’re quietly optimistic that ARM-based MacBooks and other Mac machines could herald a compelling future for the computing world.