M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB: Which One Is Better?

On the new M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB, there is a $200 price difference between 8GB and 16GB of storage. Additionally, because there is no user upgradeability, you must make the right decision the first time.

What a brainteaser, huh? Imagine purchasing the 8GB version only to discover later that you should have paid the additional $200… Who, however, requires 16GB of RAM in an M1 Mac? If you’re going to click the “buy it now” button for a new M1 Mac but are unsure about the RAM option, I have first-hand knowledge that can guide your choice.

M1 8GB Vs. i7 16GB 1

M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB

If you’ve read or watched anything I’ve written, you know I don’t like benchmarks or in-depth analyses of specifications. This is somewhat because I am not intelligent enough to comprehend what those numbers indicate, but primarily because I am much more curious about how devices feel when used for regular chores.

I don’t care how high a machine ranks on GeekBench as long as it increases my profitability as a maker. However, the RAM discussion regarding M1 Macs is intriguing. And it has elicited a wide range of opinions from experts who are well-versed in these machines’ specifications, benchmarks, and rigorous testing.

For instance, YouTuber Max Tech recently did a 20-minute in-depth analysis of the performance differences between an M1 MacBook Pro with 8GB memory and one with 16GB of RAM: His tests centered on Lightroom, video exporting, and Xcode. The 8GB version underperformed its 16GB big brother in the three tests but failed only in the 8K export to 4K test.

The 8GB M1 required eight more minutes to finish the task than the 16GB model in that situation (which is, incidentally, reasonably specialized). 8GB won’t be enough if you do a lot of video editing. But if that kind of video production is your primary source of income, would you choose anything less than 16GB?

Stephen Hall tested the 8GB M1 MacBook Air to “the ultimate boundaries of my regular workload” on 9to5Mac.com. During the test, he was “actively careless,” leaving many programs running and opening as many Safari tabs as he pleased.

He could only slow the Air down after opening 12 apps, 24 Safari tabs, and six Safari windows. The outcome was not a “single symptom of sluggishness” (all of which were playing 2160p YouTube videos). Again, that’s certainly not a typical use scenario, but it does show how far this new combination of 8GB of RAM can be pushed. For the majority of people, it is mighty, mighty impressive.

M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB

The top-of-the-line processor in the Alder Lake P-series is the Intel Core i7-1280P. With 14 cores and 20 threads, it takes the place of the Core i9 in the P-series. For instance, the clock speeds and TDP rating are critical distinctions between this and Core i9-12900HK.

As you can see, the Core i7-1280P has a base clock speed of 1.8GHz and a P-core turbo speed of 4.8GHz. This is slightly slower than the 12900HK’s 2.5GHz base and 5GHz peak speeds. The Core i7-TDP 1280P starts at 28W and rises to 64W at its maximum.

Compared to the TDP ratings of the 12900HK, this is much lower. It can be employed in thin and light form factors without having to contend with the high thermal output, thanks to the reduced TDP ratings.

The latest Core i7-1280P-powered laptops have not yet appeared on store shelves. Many new ultrabooks powered by this new processor are anticipated to become available shortly; after we have an opportunity to use them, we’ll talk more about them.

We expect that the 14 cores will comfortably outperform every 35W CPU from the final 11th-generation lineup. But the power constraints and the quality of a system’s thermals will determine the overall performance sustainability. The Core i7-1280P should be capable of handling almost anything you throw at a high-end laptop, in our opinion.

We anticipate the chip’s overall performance to be comparable to some of the most expensive chips from the Alder Lake H-series, such as the Core i7-12800H. We expect that the Core i7-1280P will execute some workloads on par with the 12900HK overall.

This implies that the new 1280P chip should have little trouble outperforming Apple’s older M1 chip. While we don’t anticipate the 1280P to beat the new M1 Max chip, we believe it will be able to match the M1 Pro’s performance. The Core i7-integrated 1280P’s Iris Xe graphics adapter, which has 96 EUs, is nearly identical to the one found in 11th-generation Tiger Lake-UP3 CPUs.

While this 1.45GHz graphics chip should handle gaming demands exceptionally well, we believe it will struggle to compete with the M1-powered MacBook regarding workloads for content creation. The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips each include powerful graphics units for individuals who want to produce content on the fly.

Testing M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB

Video editing plays a huge role in what I do. My reliable 16″ MacBook Pro has served as a workhorse for video production for the past year. Although it gets hot and makes a lot of noise when rendering and exporting, it is a performance monster. Therefore, I was interested to see how the 8GB M1 MacBook Air would compare. So I conducted a quick Final Cut Pro test.

The 16″ MacBook Pro defeated the Air in the export test, but it was the only indication that 8GB of RAM might not be the best choice if you’re executing multiple, demanding jobs simultaneously. I’ve gone back to using the Intel MacBook Pro for video editing for this and other reasons. Still, the fact that the M1 Air outperformed it in the render test has me tremendously optimistic about my future Mac lineup.

For me to be as helpful as possible, I need fast computing. I don’t want to sit around and wait for exports or renders. It’s as easy as that: the quicker they occur, the faster I can get compensated. I wouldn’t feel overly constrained if I used the 8GB M1 MacBook Air to complete some demanding activities, though, if my 32GB Ram, top-of-the-line 16″ MacBook Pro with graphics card died. And that indeed says a lot about this new platform.

Do You Only Need 8GB?

Yes. The phrase “get away with it” may be a little deceptive because 8GB never feels like a limitation for me unless it is put under intense, prolonged pressure. 8GB will do you proud, and unless you’re performing extremely labor-intensive film, music, or code work, it should also be future-proof.

Therefore, if you want to save $200 on that new best laptop and are a “regular” user, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the 8GB version. Oh, and if you select the MacBook Air, you can also go without the eighth graphics core.

Apple M1 Vs Intel Core i7-1280P: Which One Should You Buy?

While there will undoubtedly be some performance gaps between the Core i7-1280P and Apple’s M1 CPUs, we believe they will generally be superior to many older devices. The general performance of the Core i7-1280P also depends on other factors, like the laptop’s thermal performance and accompanying graphics processor. Consequently, the new 1280P CPU or Apple M1 chips are both excellent choices.

The software and user interface have a significant role in whether someone chooses to purchase a Windows laptop or a MacBook with an M1 processor. Windows and macOS have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing one depends primarily on personal preference. We believe that content artists will benefit significantly from the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro systems.

Final Summary

M1 8GB Vs i7 16GB which is preferable? macOS is a virtual memory operating system, like most modern operating systems, allowing applications and processes to utilize more memory than is available.

The system unitizes secondary storage (historically, a rotating hard drive) to “swap” data in and out between physical memory and secondary storage when the demand for physical memory exceeds what is available. This operation was once known as “paging” because it shifted “pages” of app data.

When the PC runs out of memory and starts swapping/paging to secondary memory, things slow down since accessing secondary storage is typically significantly slower than accessing the built-in physical memory much, much slower!

The secondary storage in more recent computers is now an SSD, which, while quicker than the traditional hard drive, is still slower than the internal memory. Therefore, the penalty is still clearly present.

The Apple Silicon Macs employ a revolutionary memory hardware architecture that significantly reduces the bottleneck of transporting data between the internal and the secondary storage, so much so that the penalty for just having 8GB of memory and having to swap/page is essentially undetectable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the M1 CPU superior to the i7?

The Apple M1 appears to be a strong competitor to Intel’s most recent Core i7 chip. And based on accepted benchmarks, the Apple M1 processor vs. Intel i7 competition is unquestionably won by it. Additionally, the M1 chip is more desirable to most Apple enthusiasts due to its longer battery life and lower price.

Is the difference between 8GB and 16GB RAM significant?

The only distinction is in the quantity of RAM that is accessible. The two choices essentially share the same characteristics. There aren’t any positives or negatives. Anyone would choose more RAM if they could choose between the two.

Is 8 GB on the Mac M1 enough?

Aside from these use scenarios, the M1 MacBook Pro’s 8GB of memory is sufficient for programmers who compile significant quantities of code or execute 3D rendering.

What is the equivalent of an Apple M1?

The M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro 13 computers resemble the Intel-based variants in almost every way. The same software on Intel models, iOS apps, and M1 native programs will also run on them.

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