Just last week, we reported that Apple’s M1 Ultra is nowhere as powerful as marketed by the company, often getting spanked by AMD’s Threadrippers as well as higher-end Ryzen processors. In Blender, one of the most popular content creation tools, the M1 Ultra is roughly 21% slower than the Ryzen 9 5950X, and 66% slower than Threadripper 3970X.
Analyzing the power efficiency, however, does redeem Apple’s first MCM SoC. In Linpack, the M1 Ultra draws just 55W power, and 66W if you count the motherboard, memory, and other peripherals. AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X draws about 140W of power in Blender, making the M1 Ultra twice as power-efficient but 21% slower as well.
Going by 3DMark Wild Life Extreme, the M1 Ultra performs similar to a Core i5-12600K + GeForce RTX 3060 Ti combo in graphics workloads, but notably worse in graphics rendering as indicated by the Blender benchmark.
Regardless, its power consumption spikes to a respectable 141W, a good deal lower than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti’s 200W rating. It’s clear that Apple’s first chiplet design is far from perfect, especially on the GPU side, but it manages to retain its power efficiency (courtesy of TSMC’s cutting-edge N5 node). At the end of the day though, despite leveraging the most advanced foundry in the world, Apple has yet to perfect its multi-die packaging technology, something AMD (and soon Intel) already achieved with its 3rd Gen Ryzen processors some three years back. As more and more semis invest in advanced packaging including 3D stacking, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple fares in the next round of chip designing.