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M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9 12900K: Which One Wins?

apple m1 vs intel i5-13600kf

M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9 12900K: Which One Wins?

M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9 — two of the most powerful behemoths in the processor battle arena. Both tech experts and enthusiasts are passionately debating the rivalry between Apple’s M1 Ultra and Intel’s Core i9 12900K. It is hard to pick a clear winner because both businesses are vying for the market’s quickest and most potent processor. 

Whereas Intel’s Core i9 12900K has 16 cores and 24 threads, Apple’s M1 Ultra processor features a 20-core CPU and up to a 64-core GPU. The choice ultimately depends on your unique requirements and use case–because each chip has specific advantages and disadvantages. 

In today’s article, we will examine the differences between these two CPUs in-depth, covering everything from power use to program compatibility. Let’s get into it!

M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9 12900K: Side-By-Side Comparison

SpecsM1 UltraIntel i9 12900K
Socket TypeN/AFCLGA1700
CPU ClassDesktopDesktop
Clockspeed3.2 GHZ3.2 GHZ
Turbo SpeedNAUp to 5.2 GHz
Number of Physical Cores20 (Threads: 20)16 (Threads: 20)
CacheN/A L1: 1,152KB, L2: 6.0MB, L3: 30MB
Max TDP60W241W
Infographic M1 Ultra  vs Intel Core i9 12900K
Apple M1 Chip
Mac Mini M1 Chip
  • 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
  • 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • Clock speed: 3 GHz
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M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9-12900K: What’s The Difference?

Pricing

Comparing the benefits of owning a custom PC versus an Apple machine, it is worth noting that configuring a PC to fit one’s specific budget and hardware preferences is one of the significant advantages. On the other hand, this level of customization is less feasible with a Mac. In other words, with a Mac, you get what you get. If you really want an M1 Ultra CPU, you’ll have to shell out a few thousand dollars to spec out a capable Mac Pro desktop or MacBook Pro laptop.

Conversely, the Intel Core i9 gives you more freedom – but it is still a pricey processor, To sum up, the Intel Core i9-12900K is a highly capable CPU and a more cost-effective option for those who already own a PC and are looking to upgrade their CPU. If you feel like switching to a Mac and have the funds to back it up, then the M1 is a viable option.  No matter your pick, the i9 and the M1 both command a hefty premium.

Performance and Benchmarks

The competition between the Apple M1 Ultra and the Intel Core i9 12th-gen processors is exciting, with both chips targeting high performance and power efficiency. But how do they compete in the benchmarks?

The M1 Ultra is based on Apple’s latest M1 architecture and comprises two interconnected M1 Mac chips. Using this unique interconnected die, the M1 Ultra has twenty cores, including 16 high-performance and four high-efficiency cores. It boasts a 16-core Neural Engine and a 14-core GPU, providing fast graphics performance and improved machine learning tasks. 

The M1 Ultra chip has impressed users with its single-core performance, outperforming many high-end processors. It also delivers an efficient performance, which can prolong battery life, a vital aspect for MacBooks. Ever wonder how Apple’s laptops achieve such fantastic battery life? A strong focus on efficient hardware is a must.

The Intel Core i9 12th-gen processors are designed to offer top performance for high-end applications, such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. The 16-core, 24-thread processor has a base clock speed of 3.2 GHz. Coupled with a maximum turbo frequency of up to 5.2 GHz, this CPU is unstoppable.

These processors feature Intel’s latest AI acceleration technology and PCIe 5.0 support, providing faster data transfer. In benchmark tests, the i9 12th-gen processors have shown impressive multi-core performance. These results show the i9 is ideal for running complex applications that require high computational power.

Regarding single-core performance, the M1 Ultra has performed exceptionally well in benchmark tests. It surpasses Intel’s 11th-gen processors and some high-end AMD Ryzen processors, making it a formidable competitor. 

In multi-core performance, the Intel Core i9 12th-gen processors have an advantage, with the ability to perform well in demanding applications that require high computational power.

Power Efficiency

The power efficiency of a processor is an essential factor to consider, particularly for portable devices that rely on battery life. Power consumption affects how long a device can operate on a single charge, which can be a significant factor for users.

The Intel Core i9-12900K processor is known for its high power consumption, with a maximum power draw of up to 241 watts. The excess energy produced generates a lot of heat, which requires additional cooling methods to prevent the device from overheating. While liquid cooling or extra fans can help, they may also increase the system’s noise levels. This is an important consideration for users who prefer a quiet system.

In contrast, the Apple M1 Ultra processor is famous for its impressive power efficiency, which allows it to deliver high performance while consuming less power. The M1 Ultra’s power draw is a mere 15-30 watts, making it one of the most power-efficient processors. This low power consumption also results in longer battery life for portable devices, making it an attractive option for laptops and tablets.

The M1 Ultra’s efficiency is due to its advanced design and ARM-based architecture, which integrates multiple components into a single chip. This approach reduces power consumption and enhances performance, and advanced power management technologies further optimize performance while minimizing power usage.

However, the Intel Core i9-12900K processor consumes significant power. This results in heat generation and requires additional cooling measures that may increase system noise levels. 

The Apple M1 Ultra processor’s impressive power efficiency is due to its efficient design, ARM-based architecture, and advanced power management technologies. Its low power consumption results in longer battery life for portable devices, making it a popular choice for laptops and tablets.

Cooling and Temperature

While the Intel Core i9-12900K and Apple M1 Ultra offer high-performance capabilities, they generate heat as a byproduct of their power consumption. The i9-12900K processor consumes a lot of power, resulting in significant heat generation that can impact performance if not managed properly. 

To maintain optimal performance, the i9-12900K requires an effective cooling system to dissipate heat. In contrast, the M1 Ultra is designed to be power-efficient and has relatively lower heat generation due to its advanced 5nm manufacturing process. The processor is built to operate within a standard temperature range similar to other CPUs, between 0°C to 100°C.

Both processors can generate heat when under heavy loads, but the i9-12900K is known to run hotter than the M1 Ultra. As a result, it’s critical to have an effective cooling system in place to ensure the process runs smoothly. Effective cooling methods for the i9-12900K include liquid cooling or high-performance fans to help dissipate the heat generated. 

Overclocking Capabilities

The Intel Core i9-12900K is a processor that’s designed for overclocking. It has an unlocked multiplier, meaning users can increase the processor’s clock speed beyond the default setting. 

The processor can be pushed to even higher speeds with proper cooling and power delivery, resulting in a significant performance boost. However, overclocking requires a significant amount of knowledge and experience, as well as the use of specialized software.

On the other hand, the M1 Ultra chip used in Apple computers is not designed for overclocking. The processor’s clock speed is not adjustable by the user, and the processor is built to operate within a specific frequency range. Attempting to overclock the M1 Ultra chip could permanently cause instability and damage the processor.

It is also important to note that overclocking will increase power consumption, generating more heat. This can cause damage to the processor if it’s not properly cooled. Overclocking requires careful consideration of the processor’s thermal design power (TDP) and the cooling capabilities of the computer’s system.

While the Intel Core i9-12900K has impressive overclocking capabilities, it is important to approach it with caution and the proper knowledge. Overclocking requires a significant amount of experience and expertise, and if not done correctly, it can cause instability or even permanent damage to the processor. 

Warranty and Customer Support

The warranty and customer support for the M1 Ultra chip and the Intel Core i9-12900K differ significantly because of how these processors are sold. The M1 Ultra chip is exclusive to Apple, which offers a one-year limited warranty for its products, with the option to purchase extended warranties. Moreover, Apple is well-known for its top-tier customer support, including phone, email, and chat support, as well as in-person appointments at Apple stores.

In contrast, the warranty and customer support for the Core i9-12900K will vary depending on the manufacturer of the component. Generally, the processor will come with a warranty of at least one year, although some manufacturers offer longer or more comprehensive coverage. However, the quality of customer support can vary widely between manufacturers, with some offering extensive online support resources while others may only offer limited support through email or chat.

It is essential to research the specific warranty and customer support options available when purchasing a new processor or computer system. In addition to reviewing the warranty terms and duration, it’s important to consider the quality and accessibility of customer support, including the availability of online resources, phone and email support, and in-person support options. 

Opting for a processor or computer system with full warranty and support options can ensure that you have access to assistance and troubleshooting if you encounter any issues with your hardware.

Cache

The M1 Ultra and Core i9 12900K have different cache configurations. The M1 Ultra has a unified cache architecture, which means it shares its cache between the CPU cores and the GPU. This configuration enables the processor to use its available resources more efficiently and quickly switch between tasks. The M1 Ultra has a total cache of 25MB, which includes eight high-bandwidth, low-latency CPU cores and 16 GPU cores.

On the other hand, the Core i9 12900K has a more traditional cache configuration, with separate caches for the CPU and GPU. It has a total cache of 30MB, which includes a 24MB L3 cache and a 6MB L2 cache. The L3 cache is shared between all the CPU cores, while the L2 cache is dedicated to each core.

The cache configuration of a processor can affect its performance in certain applications. For instance, a larger cache can improve performance in tasks requiring frequent data access, such as video editing, 3D rendering, and scientific simulations. The unified cache architecture of the M1 Ultra can be advantageous for tasks requiring the CPU and GPU to work together, such as machine learning and image processing.

Ultimately, the choice of a processor depends on the user’s specific needs. While the cache size and configuration are important, they are not the only ones. Other factors, such as clock speed, power efficiency, and thermal management, should also be considered when selecting a processor.

Best for Complex Applications
Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor
$325.00
  • Improved performance compared to the previous generation.
  • Plenty of L2 and L3 cache for processing tasks quickly.
  • 24 CPU threads to handle parallel processing for intensive tasks like AI modeling.
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02/16/2024 04:51 pm GMT

M1 Ultra vs. Intel Core i9-12900K: 8 Must-Know Facts

  • M1 Ultra is based on a different architecture than Intel Core i9-12900K and runs on the ARM instruction set.
  • The Intel Core i9-12900K uses the x86-64 instruction set.
  • M1 Ultra has a lower TDP than Intel Core i9-12900K.
  • Intel Core i9-12900K has a higher clock speed and more cores than M1 Ultra.
  • M1 Ultra has a larger L2 cache, while Intel Core i9-12900K has a larger L3 cache.
  • M1 Ultra has limited support for running Windows programs, while Intel Core i9-12900K can run Windows programs natively.
  • M1 Ultra is a newer chip and less widely used than Intel Core i9-12900K, which has been on the market for a long time.
  • The choice between M1 Ultra and Intel Core i9-12900K largely depends on the intended use case, budget, and personal preference.

Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

The article compares M1 Ultra and Core i9-12900K to determine which is better and which one you should use. Both chips have their strengths and weaknesses, making it essential to understand their features before deciding which one to use. 

The article provides detailed information on factors such as performance, power efficiency, heating, overclocking capabilities, warranty, customer support, and cache. These factors can significantly impact the processor’s performance and overall user experience. 

Ultimately, deciding which chip to use depends on individual needs, such as the type of work that will be done and the budget available. Obviously, if you want an M1 chip, you’ll have to select an Apple computer such as a Mac Pro desktop or MacBook Pro.

Both chips offer excellent performance in different areas and can cater to different users’ needs. Users need to consider their preferences and make informed decisions based on their requirements.

  1. Intel Core i9-12900K Desktop Processor
    $325.00
    • Improved performance compared to the previous generation.
    • Plenty of L2 and L3 cache for processing tasks quickly.
    • 24 CPU threads to handle parallel processing for intensive tasks like AI modeling.
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/16/2024 04:51 pm GMT
  2. Mac Mini M1 Chip
    • 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
    • 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU
    • 16-core Neural Engine
    • Clock speed: 3 GHz
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which processor is more power-efficient, the M1 Ultra or the Intel i9 12900K?

The M1 Ultra is known for its impressive power efficiency, consuming only 15-30 watts, while the Intel i9 12900K is known for its high power consumption, with a maximum power draw of up to 241 watts.

Can the M1 Ultra and Intel i9 12900K run Windows programs?

The M1 Ultra has limited support for running Windows programs, while the Intel i9 12900K can run Windows programs natively.

Which processor is better for high-performance applications like video editing and gaming?

The Intel i9 12900K is designed to offer top performance for high-end applications such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. However, you can’t forget Mac-specific applications like iMovie and Pro Tools, which make the M1 a primary choice for many creatives.

Can the M1 Ultra and Intel i9 12900K be overclocked?

The Intel i9 12900K is designed for overclocking, while the M1 Ultra chip used in Apple computers is not designed for overclocking.

What is the cache size and configuration of the M1 Ultra and Intel i9 12900K?

The M1 Ultra has a unified cache architecture, with a total cache of 25MB, while the Intel i9 12900K has a more traditional cache configuration, with a total cache of 30MB.

how many cores does m1 ultra have

The M1 Ultra has 20 total CPU cores, comprised of 16 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.

When did the M1 Ultra come out?

Apple released the M1 Ultra processor in March 2022.

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