Tech: Apple M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro

Tech: Apple M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro

The Apple M1 MacBook pro was released in November 2020 introducing its first-generation chip that took the market by storm.

This is considered to be a revolutionary upgrade in the chip technology since the ARM-based Apple chip brought more efficiency and speed that too at a lower cost.

However, after the release of their new M1 Macbook, Apple sold both the versions of MacBooks - one with the M1 chip and the other with the intel. This obviously created confusion among the apple lovers as they were not sure which model to go for especially since the price of the M1 model was lower than the intel. 

Our guide here will allow you to make a decision as to which of these two models is the best for you. 

Tech: Apple M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro


The 13-inch MacBook pro M1 and intel both have the same design that includes the same body cover, colors, keyboard, and touch bar with touch id. The only visible difference that can be seen externally is that intel has 4 thunderbolt ports whereas M1 has just 2. 

The weight difference between the 2 models is just about negligible as well with Macbook M1 weighing 3.1 pounds ( 1.4 KG ) and Intel weighing 3.0 pounds ( 1.4 KG ).


The 13 inch M1 Macbook Pro is the first Mac to be updated by an ARM-based chip designed by Apple themselves instead of a third-party chip. This is one of the reasons that the M1 Macbook is the talk of the town. The second reason is that M1 is introduced as the first system on a chip. 

This means that it contains the processor, the RAM, I/O Security, and GPU all in one chip. This is what makes the machine stand out even more since these components are placed in different areas on the logic board of an intel chip giving the performance boost for the M1 chip.

Another feature of M1 is the UMA i.e. unified memory architecture. Its function within the M1 chip is to unify high bandwidth and low latency memory into a single pool. In layman terms, it means a dramatic performance boost and power efficiency.
This means you get a more rich experience and detailed graphics for your games, sharper videos, and quick image processing. Overall, the system is more responsive and works more smoothly. 

M1 also features an 8 core CPU and an integrated 8 core GPU. The 8 core CPU is divided into 4 high-efficiency cores and 4 high-performance cores. The system engages the high-efficiency cores when doing simple tasks such as web browsing, reading emails, or a blog that helps preserve battery life.
The high-performance cores are put to task during intensive tasks such as photo/video editing, or running software. The efficiency cores tend to use just 1/10 of the power as compared to the performance cores yet deliver quality performance for everyday tasks.

Last but not the least, M1 has a 3.2GHz frequency and is proven to be faster and more efficient than apple’s high-end 2019 MacBook pro models that come with 10th generation intel core i7 or i9 chips.

In conclusion, performance-wise, the 13 inch M1 MacBook Pro has proven to be much better than any other macs available including the MacBook pro intel 2020. The only caveat here is the GPU performance, where the M1’s integrated GPU is slightly lower than other laptops. 


As mentioned above, the intel Macbook pro has 4 thunderbolt ports, 2 on each side. However, M1 has just 2 of these ports both visible on the left side. This could be a setback for power users who have a lot of Thunderbolt 3 accessories, however, the availability of the thunderbolt 3 hubs in the market subsides this issue. The 13-inch M1 Macbook pro’s thunderbolt 3 meets the USB4 specifications.

The only caveat with the M1 MBP in terms of connectivity is its compatibility with external GPUs including the Blackmagic and eGPU. Currently, the M1 users will have to rely on the internal GPUs to support the graphics. This could mean that the M1 MacBook pro could be a deal-breaker for some users.


Both the machines have the same stereo speakers that offer wide stereo sound and a wide dynamic range. Both the machines also support Dolby Atmos playback. The only difference is that the M1 machine has a 3 mic array with directional beamforming. This could be useful when you have to do a lot of video calls that provide a high signal-to-noise ratio.


The M1 MacBook pro has an integrated 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery whereas the Macbook pro intel version has a 58.0-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. The difference here is small, but thanks to the M1 chip’s computational efficiency the difference between the battery life is twice. The intel machine has a battery life of 10 hours while web browsing as compared to the 20 hours offered by the M1 build machine.

Additional Features:

The Apple M1 MacBook Pro retains many of the key features of its predecessors, such as Touch Bar.

However, M1 models are the best in wireless connectivity. The Intel-powered MacBook Pro only supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), while the M1  machine supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). The difference will not be significant if you have the Wi-Fi 6 routers. 

The webcam in the M1 MacBook Pro is way better than the Intel machine. This has been crucial post corona since most of the meetings are held virtually. Both laptops feature a 720-pixel camera. However, the M1 MacBook Pros also include Apple's image signal processor.

Tech: Apple M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro

The difference in quality between the webcams was striking. The MBP M1’s webcam captured a selfie with much brighter lighting, more color, and a fewer grain than that taken by the Intel MBP.

M1 Macbooks also have the advantage of running iPhone apps directly on them, as they share a similar architecture. Although it won't be enough to influence your purchasing decision, Macs do not have touchscreen support.

Final Thoughts:

The M1 Macbook pro is definitely a great deal for the users looking for performance and efficiency along with great battery life. And to top it all, the price is way less than the intel MacBook pro version. Lastly, macOS Big Sur, which is Apple's latest OS is compatible with both the intel and the M1 machines, however, it is optimized for the M1 chip architecture. This indicates where the future of the MacBooks lies. 

However, if your job requires the use of eGPU, a lot of RAM, three or more thunderbolt ports, or more storage options then intel MacBook Pro is a good choice for now.

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