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ARMs Race | M1-powered Macs run Windows 10 on ARM faster than Surface Pro X

Apple recently entered the ARM-powered Mac market with three new Macs all powered by an Apple made chip called M1. Early benchmarks for the news M1-powered Macs suggest that Qualcomm and Microsoft have a lot of work to do to compete with Apple in raw performance.

Now some recent benchmarks have popped on Geekbench of developers who have virtualized Windows 10 on ARM to run on Apple’s new M1-powered M1 Macs and the results are stunning.

Apple M1 Windows 10 benchmark

The results above show that even running Windows 10 on ARM in a virtual environment on an M1-powered Mac results in the Mac still being faster than Windows 10 on ARM running natively on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X. If the initial benchmarks of M1-powered Macs haven’t lit a fire under Microsoft’s butt, then these new benchmarks surely will.

SOCMacBook AirSurface Pro X
Display13″ 2560×1600, 227 PPI13″ 2880×1920, 267 PPI, Multi-Touch, Pen Support
CPU8-core @ 3.2GHzSQ1 8-Core @ 3.0GHz

SQ2 8-Core @ 3.15GHz
GPU7‑core GPU (256GB)

8-core GPU (512GB+)
Microsoft SQ1 Adreno 685 GPU

Microsoft SQ2 Adreno 690 GPU
RAM8GB

16GB
8GB

16GB
Storage256GB

512GB

1TB

2TB
128GB

256GB

512GB
Portsx2 Thunderbolt / USB-C 4 portsx2 USB-C 3.2
CoolingPassivePassive
Size & WeightHeight: 0.16–0.63 inch

Width: 11.97 inches

Depth: 8.36 inches

Weight: 2.8 pounds
Height: 8.2 inch

Width: 11.3 inches

Depth: 0.28 inches

Weight: 1.7 pounds
KeyboardIncluded$139 additional
ColorGold, Silver & Space GrayBlack (SQ1 & SQ2), Platinum (SQ2 only)
Geekbench Best Single core1745802
Geekbench Best Multi core76923153
Starting Price$999$799

Currently Microsoft’s custom Qualcomm 8cx Gen 2, called SQ2 is the fastest ARM chip for a Windows machine, therefore it is the standard bearer for the Windows on ARM platform. Apple’s M1-powered Mac scored 1390 in single core and 4769 for muti-core, compared to the SQ2-powered Surface Pro X with a single core score of 802 and a multi-core score of 3109.

If Microsoft wants to compete with these new M1-powered MacBooks, then as we recently made the case, they should build a Surface Laptop and Laptop Go powered by SQ2 or SQ3 to directly compete with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Perhaps utilizing a fan inside a SQ2/SQ3-powered Surface Laptop would result in more performance or at least longer, more sustained performance.

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