M1 x86 emulation faster than native Intel Mac

Apple Silicon M1 Rosetta 2

The x86 emulation on an Apple Silicon Mac is surprisingly fast.

If you feared that a Rosetta 2 emulation of x86 programs not yet adapted for Apple’s new M1 chip would be much slower than on a native Intel CPU, you may be surprised: it is even much faster than on any existing Intel Mac.

This is shown by the first benchmark results on Geekbench for this kind of x86 software usage on an ARM Mac and for single core performance. As you can see in the screenshot, the fastest Macs with Single Core Performance are the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs. The fastest Intel Mac has 1251 points. The emulated x86 environment on an M1 Mac comes up to 1313 points and is even faster than the real Intel chips. So absurdly the fastest Intel CPU is a virtual one from Apple.

Geekbench Mac M1

Also the multi-core performance looks not bad with 5888 points for the emulated environment. Although the performance here is not as extreme as with the single core performance, it is still faster than the performance of a 2020 iMac with Intel Core i5-10500 3.1 GHz CPU and six cores.

If these performance data also show up in everyday use, Apple has really succeeded in covering all application scenarios with the M1 chips. In addition, the emulation for the first time does not have any disadvantages, but rather actual performance advantages.

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