Apple M2 performance obliterated by AMD's new laptop chip (says AMD)
Of course it does.
Apple's M2 chip might have some new competition, although not really.
That competition is the AMD 7840U, a chip that has a terrible name but might not actually have terrible performance. In fact, AMD says that its silicon is so good that it can best the base Apple M2 — the one that's in the impressive MacBook Air. And not just by a bit.
How fast is the 7840U? AMD reckons that it'll beat out the M2 by up to 75% in something it's calling "application performance," whatever that actually is.
Bad name, good chip
The Verge reports that AMD even provided a vague chart that would give Apple's notoriously iffy graphs a run for their money. And sure enough, multiprocessing and Passmark 10 "application performance" is shown to be 72% and 75% better than the M2 respectively.
It isn't just about performance, either. AMD says that the chip will offer “leadership efficiency for exceptional battery life,” but it didn't go into any details as to what that might mean. Considering the huge battery life that the M2 chips offer AMD will have to go some way to compete.
Not that any of this really matters, of course. Nobody is cross-shopping an AMD chip against an Apple one because they can't be used in the same machines. But the fact that the chips being used in the best Macbooks are now being used as a basis of comparison just shows how impressive they are and, just as notable, we know that the likes of AMD are more than aware of how good they are as well.
Of course, all of this is compared to a chip that's about to be replaced. The M3 series will be with us soon enough and then AMD might have to start all over again if it wants to keep up.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
AMD could have left out “Leadership efficiency” to make the media release seem more impressive. Instead they went with a used car TV ad slogan. The industry accepts, because they pretty much have to, that X86 chips can ramp up power consumption to provide multi core performance above Apple Silicon M series — knowing what they can’t do is compete on efficiency. That’s accepted reality of the two different chip technologies. But obviously what they can do is say Hyper Optimum Efficiency! The Cutting Edge Of Green Performance! (in other words, empty slogans)
As far as single and multicore scores? It’s a big claim, let’s see it actually done.
Apple is less quick radical change and more of a multi year plan to segue from A to B. Apple Silicon M series is only two+ years old. There’s A LOT of OS customization still to come.
Indeed. Having 3nm exclusively for two years doesn’t hurt either, except for the competition or lack there of.