Benchmarks indicate that Apple Silicon is no longer the performance king. But what does that mean for creatives?
When Apple Silicon was announced, it was met with cautious skepticism. Unfortunately, for those that wanted the marketing chart to miss the mark, Apple's M1 and now M2 chips were killer SOCs that cut through editing like a hot knife through butter (at least for mobile setups). But now, the Windows crowd seems to be slowly catching up.
AMD has announced the release of the AMD Ryzen 7040HS laptop processor, which could be more powerful and energy efficient than the Apple Silicon M1 Pro Chip, according to the company. The Socket AM5 chip was designed as a mobile processor, but AMD still claims that it can deliver 34% more performance than the M1 Pro, and 50% better energy efficiency than the latest Apple M2 CPU.
If the benchmarks are anything to go by, then that's amazing news for Windows-based editors.
But are benchmarks the end-all and be-all? Let's find out.
A.I. Dominated Hardware
AMD was able to accomplish this feat thanks to their Ryzen AI technology, hardware-built artificial intelligence circuitry which can manage power flow and performance according to various power needs and situations.
As such, AMD claims that the Ryzen 7040HS mobile processor for laptops offers a richer, real-time experience in video content creation, productivity, and even gaming.
“Leveraging AMD silicon along with our AI investments in Windows will unlock groundbreaking experiences for our customers,” states the press release.
Head-to-Head on Benchmarks
Benchmark tests pitted an M1 MacBook Pro with 32 GB of RAM against a comparable Windows-based AMD laptop running the Ryzen 7040HS mobile processor with 16 GB of DDR5 RAM and Radeon 780M graphics with the first dedicated AI hardware in an x86 processor. AMD ran these benchmarks using DaVinci Resolve, V-Ray, Blender, Cinebench, and Handbrake.
The results are quite impressive to say the least.
The Ryzen 7040HS mobile processor features up to eight Zen 4 Cores with integrated AMD RDNA 3 graphics processors with 4 nm processes. The cores provide what the company says is a “massive horsepower” boost in the thinnest and lightest laptop systems.
Although AMD boasts about their new high-performance CPUs, they stop short of providing comparison performance data on the MacBook Pro. They seem to switch from the M1 Pro to the M2 standard Apple Silicon processor in terms of rating power efficiency versus performance, where performance was nearly cut in half against the M2. This is interesting, considering that the chief gripe against the M2 platform was that the upgrade really wasn’t all that impressive, providing only a modest boost in terms of performance.
But Apple is also known to fudge their graphs a little, so we should all take these with a grain of salt.
Moreover, AMD’s Ryzen 7045HX “Dragon Range” Mobile Processor has up to sixteen Zen 4 Cores and 32 threads and is built on a slightly larger 5 nm process. This chip was also designed to give content creators and gamers high performance with less energy consumption. AMD states that testing benchmarks indicate a 78% faster multi-threaded performance compared to the last-gen Ryzen 6900HX processors.
Is There A New Sheriff In Town
Offering exact numbers, however, really isn’t the point of this story. The main takeaway from this announcement is that Windows users may now have a processor that can keep up with, maybe even surpass Apple Silicon, and close the gap enough to enable users to stay within their Windows ecosystem when it comes to content creation and gaming.
It was bound to happen, and will provide a new, more affordable alternative rather than users having to pay the so-called “Apple tax” for upgrading their laptops for improved performance and power efficiency.
However, we do have to mention that word again: ecosystem.
Unlike Apple, AMD doesn't control where its chips end up, nor do they have control over the OS that runs them. When it comes to how chips are implemented in an ecosystem, Apple will always have a leg up due to its walled garden. But there are some strong contenders that will definitely make use of the new AMD hardware, and we're excited to see how the new laptops will match up to Apple Silicon in the year ahead.
The Ryzen 7040HS Series Processors will be made available in Windows-based laptops from AMD OEM partners beginning in March 2023, while the Ryzen 7045 Series laptops will hit the market next month.
I guess nobody told them the M1 Pro is the middle of Apple's processing options. Would've loved to see the comparison to a fully spec'd M1 Ultra or even the M1 Max.
January 10, 2023 at 1:52PM