Apple’s M4 iPad Pro just blew away Intel’s best CPU in benchmark tests

Pencil Pro drawing on iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple just introduced the M4 chip as part of the new iPad Pro lineup and it’s already posting some impressive benchmarks. The new chip is so powerful that it handily competes with Intel’s flagship Core i9-14900KS, Intel's last Core i9 processor, before the company shifts to its new Ultra next-gen chips.

Our sister site Tom’s Hardware, spotted the new benchmarks for Apple’s M4 silicon chip on the Geekbench database

From the jump, the M4 processors seem to be operating at high levels. In several benchmarks, the system on a chip (SoC) is hitting single-core scores of up to 3,800. By comparison, Intel’s i9’s high score looks to be around 3,400, a 10% difference. 

Tom’s Hardware found that in single-threaded tests, the M4 beats Intel’s desktop processor by 16%. 

The flood of single-core benchmarks is a great way to compare the CPUs, especially since there are different versions of the M4 chip across the new iPad Pro tablets. The 245GB and 512GB iPad Pros feature a 9-core configuration. However, the 1TB and 2TB storage options feature a 10–core CPU. There’s also a RAM difference, with the lower storage options having 8GB, while the 1TB and 2TB versions feature 16GB. 

So, single-core benchmarks make comparing even the configuration differences between iPad Pros easier. 

We saw some early Neural Engine Inference benchmarks yesterday after the iPad Pros launched during Apple’s Let Loose event

For a more relevant comparison, the M4 is completely blowing past the M2 in the last-gen iPad Pro. Apple’s latest chip scored 9,234 points in a Neural Engine Inference test, a considerable improvement over the 7,393 scored by M2 in the iPad Pro 2022. 

Apple’s forgotten generation of M3 scored 8,331, but for this comparison, the M3 is only in Apple laptops. Scaling is different and not exactly one-to-one between the laptops and iPads.

Some new features, a few brought over from the M3 chip, are helping the M4 top the M2, including dynamic caching, hardware-accelerated ray tracing and AV1 hardware acceleration. 

The maxed-out 10-core CPU, GPU and 16-core Neural Engine are supposed to be capable of hitting 38TOPS. In a race to bring AI to everything, Intel claims that AI chips will need to reach 40TOPS. The M4 is pretty close, and we imagine optimizations for laptops and desktop computers will probably help the chip hit that 40 mark.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.