Apple M1 processor powers the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Intel wants to reality-check the Apple M1 processor.
Intel’s “Get Real Go PC” campaign is designed to show that laptops with Intel’s 11th Gen processors do just fine against M1 MacBooks.
Since I use both a Dell XPS 13 9310 with an 11th Gen processor and a 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro (16GB) interchangeably, here’s my take on how Intel stacks up against the M1.
M1 MacBook Pro 13 vs Dell XPS 13 9310: battery life. (Battery life is longer for XPS model with FHD+ … [+]
Battery life: M1 MBP goes and goes
—M1 MacBook Pro: full day: With on and off use throughout the day, I can get a full day of battery life on the M1 MacBook Pro. That’s 9-10 hours. If I don’t do any heavy lifting, more than a day. The only other laptop I have that comes close to the endurance of the M1 MBP 13 is my Google Pixelbook Go Chromebook.
—Dell XPS 13 9310 (4K+ display): half-day+ or 6+ hours. I’m using the 4K+ (aka UHD+) model for this review. I can stretch it a bit more if I stay away from things like long video conferencing (Zoom) sessions, excessive active Chrome tabs, and keep screen brightness down.
Note that the Dell XPS 13 9310 with a lower-resolution FHD+ display has longer battery life than the 4K+ XPS 13. More* on that at bottom.
For XPS 9310 with 4K display, the price varies between $1,599 (on sale) to $1,899.
There are lots of benchmarks out there for the M1 MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13. This video comparing the M1 MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13 includes the Cinebench R23 multicore CPU Stress Test (at the 14:40 mark), favoring the M1 over the i7 with scores of 7,704 vs 4,816 respectively.
Geekbench 5 single-core and multi-core also show a significant upside for the M1 MacBook. (See these Geekbench scores for M1 MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13 9310.)
Benchmarks are useful to a point. For me, performance on widely-used applications (like the Chrome browser where I spend a lot of time) is what counts the most.
On real-world testing of more conventional workloads, Dell’s XPS 13 9310 with Intel’s latest 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” Intel Core i7 is no slouch. I noticed no significant performance gap using the two systems day in and day out. I found both fast and neither had any thermal issues — though the M1 MacBook Pro does stay remarkably cool.
(For me, “real world” means Microsoft Office, Google Docs, 20+ Chrome tabs, social media, videos, video conferencing, benchmarking applications, and photo editing.)
Apple M1 Vs Core i7-1185G7.
Apple has reengineered the M1 MacBook to deliver high performance and impressive run times on battery power while staying remarkably cool. Intel will have to work harder than usual to maintain parity.
*Why the difference in battery life between the Dell XPS 13 9310 FHD+ and UHD+? The XPS 13’s 4K display has 4x the number of pixels to push than the FHD+ (1,920-by-1,200) so it will always draw more power, according to Dell.
For the record, here’s what Dell’s product page says about battery life:
“Up to 14 hours, 11 minutes on a Full HD+ model when streaming …or up to 8 hours and 12 minutes of streaming on a 4K+ model.”
Dell XPS 13 9310 (left) and M1 13-inch MacBook Pro.
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I was a founding member of CNET news and hardware editor at CNET, a contributing technology reporter for the New York Times, and a reporter and editor at the Asian Wall