Impact of a 32 Core Apple Silicon SoC?
If the rumors are correct and Apple releases a System on a Chip with 32 cores, how will that affect the market?
Okay, so I feel like doing some speculation today. How powerful would a 32 core Apple Silicon chip be? It is impossible to get an accurate answer to this question, but let us do a crappy back of an envelope type of calculation.
We can see from AnandTech.com how the M1 performance per core compares. This number is impressive for several reasons.
The AMD Ryzen 5950X is clocked much higher. The M1 runs at 3.2 GHz. The Ryzen runs at 3.4 to 4.9 GHz. Let us use this to compute performance per GHz. For the M1 we get:
1522 / 3.2 = 475.625 score / GHz
And for the AMD Ryzen we get a range:
1647 / 3.4 = 484.41 score / GHz
1647 / 4.9 = 336.12 score / GHz
Thus the Ryzen is somewhere in the range 336 to 484 depending on what clock frequency it is able to sustain under load. But we could pick the average which would give a score of 410 per GHz.
That means Apple can likely easily beat the the Ryzen Zen3 core by increasing clock frequency and add some cooling. The M1 is drawing significantly less power already.
We can also look at CPU monkey speed comparisons. It is clear that depending on the benchmark you pick for single thread, the M1 will sometimes beat the Ryzen.
But here is the kicker: The Ryzen Zen3 chips only come with 16 cores max. That means with higher single core performance and twice the number of cores, Apple should be able to beat this current top of the line AMD CPU.
But AMD has chips with higher performance using more cores. However the individual cores are weaker. On Cinebench R23 multicore the top scorer is AMD Ryzen Threadripper with 64 cores. It gets a score of 74 422.
We could speculate what a 32 core M1 would get. We take the single thread performance of the M1, which should correspond roughly to the performance of a single core and multiply with 32.
1522 × 32 = 48704
Relative to the Ryzen Threadpiper that is 65% of its performance.
But this assumes Apple does not increase the clock frequency which might be possible. Hence we could end up with Apple computer getting really close to the top of AMD Ryzen. But let us not forget that that is not Apple’s only trick up the sleeve. They got more co-processors to accelerate specific tasks.
The rumors also talk of a 128-core GPU. It would be strange if the Neural Engine does not get a similar kind of upgrade. That means for real heavy workloads, this new Apple chip could be blasting past all the competition.
Naturally AMD will not sit still in until Apple makes this release. They are busy making their Zen4 Cores.
Either way there is going to be some heavy fighting for the top of the performance crown. You can bet Apple will be eager to demonstrate that Apple Silicon can go up against the best chips in the x86 world and win. They are going to want to be able to tell an eager audience that their Mac Pros are more powerful than anything else on the market.