M1 MacBook Air Running x86 Emulation Under Rosetta 2 Is Still Faster Than Every Mac Model in Single-Core Workloads


We’ve all seen the performance hit that Apple Silicon Macs suffer from when running x86 emulation through the company’s translation layer, Rosetta 2. However, even with the M1 MacBook Air emulating x86 with that performance decrease, a new benchmark has surfaced, showing that Apple’s latest Mac can outperform every single Mac model out there, at least in the single-core department.

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Previously leaked performance numbers showed that the M1 MacBook Air comfortably thrashed the 16-inch MacBook Pro armed with an Intel 8-core Core i9 chip. It also outpaced Apple’s $5,000 base 2019 iMac Pro in single-core workloads and was only 8.5 percent slower than the workstation in multi-core test results. This certainly reveals that Apple’s 5nm M1 chip delivers a torrent of compute punches when it needs to and still manages to hold its own when Geekbench 5 is running through Rosetta 2.

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Since there’s always a performance drop when emulating x86, the M1 MacBook Air obtains the following results. For comparison, we’ve included the previous results too, to show you the differences.

M1 MacBook Air (emulating x86 under Rosetta 2)

  • Single-core results- 1687
  • Multi-core results- 7433

M1 MacBook Air

  • Single-core results- 1313
  • Multi-core results- 5888

These differences translate into an 21-22 percent performance drop. Still, if you check out the single-core results from every other Mac model released so far below, the M1 MacBook Air outperforms them, which is nothing short of impressive. Also, keep in mind that the M1 MacBook Air features a fanless cooling design while the M1 MacBook Pro and M1 Mac mini sport an active cooling solution. The remaining new Macs' results might be different, so it will be interesting to see how these two perform under the same circumstance.

These results also have us excited for the 5nm A14T chipset reportedly in the upcoming iMac. Since rumors categorize it as a desktop-class silicon, we can’t wait to see how it performs when it’s officially released next year. Until then, do let us know what you think of the latest scores? Does the M1 chip impress you? Let us know down in the comments.

News Source: Geekbench 5