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AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme vs Apple M2 CPUs: Apple’s chip is faster than AMD’s handheld CPU

The Ryzen Z1 Extreme is a high-performance Zen 4 CPU used in mobile gaming devices such as the ROG Ally. The octa-core, 16-thread device has a boost frequency of 5.1 GHz and a cTDP ranging from 9W to 30W. The Ryzen 7 7840U, which powers Acer’s Swift Edge 16, is another CPU from AMD’s Zen 4 family, with a similar octa-core, 16-thread design and 5.1 GHz boost frequency. Unlike the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, the Ryzen 7 7840U has 28W of power, however, the chip’s cTDP ranges from 15W to 30W.

The M2, on the other hand, is an octa-core, Arm-based design with four performance “Avalanche” cores and four efficiency “Blizzard” cores that drives the MacBook Air 2022. The Avalanche cores have a maximum clock speed of 3.5 GHz, whereas the Blizzard cores have a maximum clock speed of 2.4 GHz. It’s worth noting that, unlike the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air uses passive cooling.

Ryzen Z1 Extreme
Ryzen Z1 Extreme

Active cooling solutions are included with the ROG Ally and Swift Edge 16. More notably, Phoronix evaluated the 8GB MacBook Air 2022 model. The news source used Asahi Linux to test the MacBook Air 2022, and while the support is laudable, the project is still in its early stages. As a result of the absence of proper Linux support, the M2 is likely to have untapped potential.

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According to the test results, AMD’s Zen 4 processors completely destroyed the Apple M2. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme outperformed the Apple M2 by 28.7% while using the ROG Ally’s balanced mode.

AMD Ryzen Z1

When Phoronix switched the ROG Ally to performance mode, the performance delta jumped to 95.7%. Meanwhile, the Apple M2 was outperformed by the Ryzen 7 7840U by 75.8%.

In the benchmarks, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme and Ryzen 7 7840U demonstrated good performance-per-watt. Unfortunately, there is no PowerCap/RAPL or HWMON driver for the Apple M2, so Phoronix was unable to log the silicon’s real-time power usage metrics with Linux.

Many people believe it would be fascinating to compare the power efficiency of the Apple M2 to that of the Zen 4. True, Phoronix can evaluate the alternating current power from the wall, but it cannot provide an exact measurement. Phoronix’s testing satisfies those who want to see a fight between the Zen 4 and the Apple M2.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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