Wednesday, March 9th 2022

Apple's Brand New Mac Studio With the M1 Ultra CPU Gets First Benchmark Figures

Less than 24 hours after Apple's launch event, the first Geekbench numbers for the new Apple M1 Ultra CPU are out and the numbers are interesting to say the least. For starters, the system the Geekbench numbers are from, is the top of the range 20 Core SKU with 128 GB of RAM. This helps us get some additional insight into Apple's new CPUs. As Apple didn't provide much in technical terms yesterday, nor on its website, we now know that the clock speed of the M1 Ultra is the same 3.2 GHz as the regular M1. It also appears that the CPU cache remains the same, even though Geekbench is only listing the cache of the efficiency cores for some reason.

Although Geekbench isn't a reliable cross-platform benchmark, we do at least get an idea of how the new SoC from Apple performs. The single core performance is more or less on par with the Apple M1 Max, but loses out quite easily to Intel's Alder Lake processors. However, once we move to the multi-threaded test, the M1 Ultra really shows what it's capable of. Surprisingly the performance scaling is almost linear with the double of performance CPU cores compared to the M1 Max, which suggests that Apple's multi-chip module design is extremely capable. The interesting thing will be to see how well this design scales for GPU intensive applications. Stepping outside of the Apple ecosystem, the M1 Ultra ends up somewhere around an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X in terms of multi-core performance. Scaling over some of the detailed tests aren't somewhere between 80-90 percent depending on the particular test compared to the M1 Max, if we compare to the faster results on Geekbench, which is still quite impressive considering we're looking at two M1 Max CPUs that are technically glued together.
Sources: Geekbench, via Benchleaks
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38 Comments on Apple's Brand New Mac Studio With the M1 Ultra CPU Gets First Benchmark Figures

#1
Tigger
I'm the only one
I would have expected more on the single core score.
Posted on Reply
#2
Vya Domus
which suggests that Apple's multi-chip module design is extremely capable.
It's all due to having sufficiently high memory bandwidth, that's pretty much the only limiting factor in multi core scaling hardware wise.
Posted on Reply
#3
TheLostSwede
TiggerI would have expected more on the single core score.
How so? This is exactly the same as the M1 Max, just times two. Clock speed and cache per core is the same.
Posted on Reply
#4
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
The really important thing to remember here is that all this performance exists in a box not that much bigger than the first generation Mac Mini. It's about 20cm x 20 cm x 10 cm. Books are bigger than the Mac Studio, and it has workstation performance.
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
FrickThe really important thing to remember here is that all this performance exists in a box not that much bigger than the first generation Mac Mini. It's about 20cm x 20 cm x 10 cm. Books are bigger than the Mac Studio, and it has workstation performance.
So about like a Playstation or Xbox if it were manufactured on 3nm and less easy expansion options.
Posted on Reply
#6
Tigger
I'm the only one
TheLostSwedeHow so? This is exactly the same as the M1 Max, just times two. Clock speed and cache per core is the same.
Well i was going by the way people seem to think these are the be all. maybe my expectations were exaggerated.
Posted on Reply
#7
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
SteevoSo about like a Playstation or Xbox if it were manufactured on 3nm and less easy expansion options.
Totally. Now compare that to a 2022 Threadripper workstation, which is what you should do, whilst remembering the path from storage to execution is significantly lower.
Posted on Reply
#8
Assimilator
TheLostSwedethe M1 Ultra ends up somewhere around an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X in terms of multi-core performance
So it's as fast as a CPU released over two years ago.

Amazing performance.

Also, Geekbench, AKA the benchmark for smartphones. Entirely appropriate for this Apple garbage.
Posted on Reply
#9
Fouquin
AssimilatorSo it's as fast as a CPU released over two years ago.
Yep, as fast as a currently $2,200 HEDT CPU. Shows that the ~$2000 over the price of the M1 Max config isn't too far off the mark. Also, last I checked there was no upgrade path for Threadripper, since 5000 series just got shoved into OEM only, so there's not exactly much else to compare to if AMD won't release anything new in "over two years".
AssimilatorAlso, Geekbench, AKA the benchmark for smartphones.
TIL being platform agnostic means it's ONLY for smartphones. I agree it's not the only data set that matters in judging performance, and you should always look at a variety of applications and benchmarks. However dismissing the entire benchmark because the results go against your bias is kinda stinky.
Posted on Reply
#10
Tigger
I'm the only one
FouquinYep, as fast as a currently $2,200 HEDT CPU. Shows that the ~$2000 over the price of the M1 Max config isn't too far off the mark. Also, last I checked there was no upgrade path for Threadripper, since 5000 series just got shoved into OEM only, so there's not exactly much else to compare to if AMD won't release anything new in "over two years".



TIL being platform agnostic means it's ONLY for smartphones. I agree it's not the only data set that matters in judging performance, and you should always look at a variety of applications and benchmarks. However dismissing the entire benchmark because the results go against your bias is kinda stinky.
There is no upgrade path for that m1 either as the cpu, ram and ssd is soldered to the board.
Posted on Reply
#11
Fouquin
TiggerThere is no upgrade path for that m1 either as the cpu, ram and ssd is soldered to the board.
That wasn't actually the point of what I said, but correct the ewaste potential of Threadripper and M1 Ultra are the same seeing as how they're not getting drop in replacements. However, once again, the point I was making is that we're comparing to 2019/2020 hardware because there's nothing newer to compare to. As far as direct performance upgrades go the whole industry is at a standstill right now in this price/performance point.
Posted on Reply
#12
Tigger
I'm the only one
it just seems wrong to sell something for so much with soldered CPU, ram and SSD, but typical Apple, buy new don't upgrade what you have.
Posted on Reply
#13
mama
Tiggerit just seems wrong to sell something for so much with soldered CPU, ram and SSD, but typical Apple, buy new don't upgrade what you have.
That is the Apple way. They have dabbled with ram replacement but it's a closed shop generally. I will say, having had iMacs on my work network for decades now they do hang together, as long as you don't update the OS to newer ones that come along thereby killing any application you might be using.
Posted on Reply
#14
khogan111
AssimilatorSo it's as fast as a CPU released over two years ago.

Amazing performance.
Yep. Really amazing performance !

Performance of a 32 Core/64 Thread processor that runs at 3.7 GHz and has a default power draw of 280 watts without any IGP ( we must add around 50-60 watts for an entry level IGP just to get any video output from this processor, making it to 330 watts )

is matched by

a 20 core, 20 thread processor, that runs at 3.2 GHz and has a maximum power draw of 100 watts while matching the GPU render performance of Core i9-12900K + RTX 3090 ( based on the footnote 2 and 3 and graphs on this Apple link www.apple.com/tr/newsroom/2022/03/apple-unveils-m1-ultra-the-worlds-most-powerful-chip-for-a-personal-computer/ )

The difference is 37.5% less cores, %13.5 less max frequency, 69% less power draw in favor of M1 Ultra.

That is really amazing performance.

I, personally, didn't like Apple branded computers with Intel CPU's at all; and to get more performance I had built Hackintosh'es for much less cost. My last Hackintosh build was based on Ryzen 3700X, 32 GB RAM, RX 460 and lots and lots of NVMe storage, powered by a 850W CoolerMaster Gold PSU, and I could match the best of the best Mac Pro desktop performance while compiling code; granted it was working as loud as a tractor.

Then the Mac mini running on M1 chip came out. I didn't have enough money, so I bought an 8 Core M1, 16 GB RAM and 512 GB NVMe disk as that was what I could afford. The moment I got the box in my hand, I thought that was a joke, that damn thing was weightless, smaller than 1/20 of Ryzen Hackintosh and the weight was 1/10 of it. The moment I fired it up the same code compile, there was absolutely no noise at all, 0 decibel, and the same code compile finished faster.

I put the Ryzen on sale that evening, before going to bed.

When you reach the age 53 like me and after spending your last 41 years using computers and getting paid for working on computers your last 31 years, as far as the performance is the same, you appreciate noiseless performance over noisy performance.

But damn it Apple... These Apple computers are very expensive. Granted, Windows computers with similar performance are much heavier, much noisy, heat much more... and cost the same; but regardless, there is no denying that Apple computers are very expensive.

On another note: Please don't make the mistake of confusing the numbers provided by Apple press releases with numbers provided by Intel press releases ( Intel's numbers are always some kind of cherry on some obscure benchmarks that run some obscure instruction sets, my own experience, on the tasks that I am doing, says that Apple's numbers are real ).

Currently Intel has returned back to the old Pentium 4 days, it can increase performance only by increasing clock frequency that draws insane amount of power, which is unstainable.

What are both Intel and AMD plans for future to squeeze out more performance ? Increase parallelism by combining more CPU cores on multi-chip-modules, which Apple has already done.
Posted on Reply
#15
Tigger
I'm the only one
Regardless of the performance of the Apple, and however much Apple fans revere them and will pay the insanely over priced cost, they are not worth the prices Apple charge. They get away with it because the fans will pay it, if not the cost would be less simple.
Posted on Reply
#16
khogan111
TiggerRegardless of the performance of the Apple, and however much Apple fans revere them and will pay the insanely over priced cost, they are not worth the prices Apple charge. They get away with it because the fans will pay it, if not the cost would be less simple.
I agree.

On my official Apple store web page, for the new Mac Studio, the difference between ( M1 Max CPU + 64 GB RAM + 1 TB NVMe SSD ) and ( M1 Ultra CPU + 64 GB RAM + 1 TB NVMe SSD ) is around US$ 1,400; that is insane. OK, twice the CPU power, twice the GPU power... but that is still insane. :kookoo:

I wish I had the money to be an Apple fanboy :(

But the workstation announced here ( www.techpowerup.com/292759/lenovo-launches-p620-workstation-featuring-amd-ryzen-threadripper-5000-pro ) has a 1000 W PSU; whereas Mac Studio has 370W PSU; and that damn thing is slighylt bigger than a 1000W PSU itself.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheLostSwede
TiggerWell i was going by the way people seem to think these are the be all. maybe my expectations were exaggerated.
Unlike say Tom's, who said it almost performed like a Threadripper Pro 3990W, I spent a bit more time looking for a comparison and found that it's actually closer to the 3970W, which is what I used. Geekbench is also only an indicator and doesn't compare well across platforms as mentioned.
That said, this is an impressive enough product in many ways, but Apple is clearly charging for that performance as well.
AssimilatorSo it's as fast as a CPU released over two years ago.

Amazing performance.

Also, Geekbench, AKA the benchmark for smartphones. Entirely appropriate for this Apple garbage.
It is considering the power draw and form factor.

See above with regards to Geekbench and I also mentioned it in the news post.
Posted on Reply
#18
lexluthermiester
Continuing from the other M1Ultra thread;
Here is the actual listing for the above article;
Apple M1Ultra 20core
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13345054

Here is a the 16c/32t Ryzen TR 3955WX;
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13364853

And here is the 32c/64t Ryzen TR 3975WX
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13173781

And the 64c/128t Ryzen TR 3995WX
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13296365

M1Ultra competes with AMD's offerings upto the 16core model but once we jump to the next model Ryzen cleans Apples clock. As AMD doesn't offer a 20c/40t model it leaves us looking for the average between those offerings. However, Intel does offer 20core model Xeons.

Intel Xeon Silver 4316 Workstation CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12666256

Intel Xeon Gold 5320 Server CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12452334

In these cases, Apple has an edge in the single core performance, but they in no way have the edge in multi threaded performance against either AMD or Intel.
Posted on Reply
#19
Nephilim666
TiggerI would have expected more on the single core score.
Just wait for the next version of geekbench after they receive the truck full of money from Tim Apple.
Posted on Reply
#20
TheLostSwede
lexluthermiesterContinuing from the other M1Ultra thread;
Here is the actual listing for the above article;
Apple M1Ultra 20core
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13345054

Here is a the 16c/32t Ryzen TR 3955WX;
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13364853

And here is the 32c/64t Ryzen TR 3975WX
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13173781

And the 64c/128t Ryzen TR 3995WX
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13296365

M1Ultra competes with AMD's offerings upto the 16core model but once we jump to the next model Ryzen cleans Apples clock. As AMD doesn't offer a 20c/40t model it leaves us looking for the average between those offerings. However, Intel does offer 20core model Xeons.

Intel Xeon Silver 4316 Workstation CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12666256

Intel Xeon Gold 5320 Server CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12452334

In these cases, Apple has an edge in the single core performance, but they in no way have the edge in multi threaded performance against either AMD or Intel.
The link to the Geekbench results was provided in the source section of the article.
It's also possible to find slower and faster versions of all the AMD and Intel CPU's in the Geekbench database, hence why there are a wide range of conclusions drawn.
Just a few examples of the Threadripper 3970 numbers.
browser.geekbench.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Threadripper+3970X
Posted on Reply
#21
aktpu
khogan111Granted it was working as loud as a tractor.
If that setup was loud, then you can only blame yourself
Posted on Reply
#22
Vya Domus
FouquinHowever dismissing the entire benchmark because the results go against your bias is kinda stinky.
What's stinky are the results from the benchmark. If you don't believe me look at how whenever a new version of Geekbench comes out Apple chips "miraculously" become a little faster than the competition.

browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/15870393?baseline=15728414
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/compare/4653248?baseline=4642934

Look at how some of the math heavy tests where the x86 CPUs were categorically faster were removed in Geekbench 5, like SEGMM and SFFT. Why did they do that ? Who knows, I might have an idea or two but those are really basic tests which are useful especially if we're talking about CPUs that are meant to be used in workstations.
Posted on Reply
#23
SirBobVila
This matches my M1 Pro (16GB) for single core, and doubles it for multicore in Geekbench 5. Single Core makes sense, but the multicore seems curious.

The Max doesn't out preform the Pro in Geekbench 5, they are both essentially tied. The Pro, Max and Ultra having the same single core speed makes sense, but the multicore speed seems off.
Posted on Reply
#24
Dredi
lexluthermiesterIntel Xeon Silver 4316 Workstation CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12666256
Intel Xeon Gold 5320 Server CPU
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/12452334
In these cases, Apple has an edge in the single core performance, but they in no way have the edge in multi threaded performance against either AMD or Intel.
You do realize that you linked 40 and 56 core comparisons here? These are 2N server boards with total power consumption in excess of 500W.

They said that mac pro is yet to come, so maybe wait for that before comparing to systems of that ’category’.
Posted on Reply
#25
Fouquin
Vya DomusWhat's stinky are the results from the benchmark. If you don't believe me look at how whenever a new version of Geekbench comes out Apple chips "miraculously" become a little faster than the competition.

browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/15870393?baseline=15728414
browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/compare/4653248?baseline=4642934

Look at how some of the math heavy tests where the x86 CPUs were categorically faster were removed in Geekbench 5, like SEGMM and SFFT. Why did they do that ? Who knows, I might have an idea or two but those are really basic tests which are useful especially if we're talking about CPUs that are meant to be used in workstations.
Yes, when a new benchmark releases, the results change. That's true for every single industry standard benchmark. You can NEVER compare results between versions, and just about every single product tells you as such. Geekbench dropped a few SIMD single precision tests in favour of ML and inference tests because just about every modern CPU is advertising those capabilities, so it makes sense to show test results and comparisons for them.

As for why Apple chips "miraculously" get faster with each release, it's probably due to them taking an interest in software optimization across the industry. They're porting every major application they can to their chips, of course you're going to see the results get better as they further optimize.
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