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Nearly three months after the launch of Apple’s rave-reviewed M1 Macs, Intel has fired back, but there are some asterisks involved.
In a slideshow shared by PCWorld this week, Intel highlighted what PCWorld described as “carefully crafted” benchmarks in an attempt to prove that laptops with the latest 11th Generation Core processors are superior to those with Apple’s custom-designed M1 chip.
For example, Intel said that exporting a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF file is up to 2.3x faster on a Windows laptop equipped with an 11th Generation Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM compared to completing the same task on a 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and 16GB of RAM, with Intel noting that PowerPoint ran natively on both systems.
Intel also indicated that Topaz Labs’ AI-based photo enlargement software Gigapixel AI performed up to 6x faster on the Core i7 system compared to the M1 MacBook Pro. In this case, PCWorld said “the results are pretty real,” noting that Topaz Labs’ apps are designed to take advantage of the hardware acceleration inside of Intel’s processors.
As for gaming performance, the results were mixed, with Intel emphasizing the well-established opinion that Macs are not ideal for gaming and lack support for “countless” games like Gear Tactics, Hitman 2, and others.
Intel also conducted a “real world battery life test” and found that both the M1 MacBook Air and the Acer Swift 5 with an 11th Generation Core i7 processor achieved virtually identical 10-hour battery life when streaming Netflix with additional tabs open. Intel said both notebooks were set to 250 nits display brightness, with the MacBook Air running Safari and the Acer Swift 5 running Chrome for the test.
It’s worth noting that Intel switched from the MacBook Pro for the performance benchmarks to the MacBook Air for the battery life test, and Intel used a different Core i7 processor SKU for each of these tests as well.
Apple’s website advertises the M1 MacBook Air as having up to 18 hours of battery life when continuously playing back 1080p content in the Apple TV app with display brightness set to 50%, and up to 15 hours of battery life when browsing 25 popular websites in Safari over Wi-Fi with…