Sorry for syntax mistakes , english is not my native language.

Nice article but you forgot about two crucial factors:

1. Yes, x86 instructions decoders are very complex, but its not only way to prepare microcode for CPU - AMD improved in last 3 years IPC(instruction per cycle) by almost 30% without increasing decoder count(they are using prediction technique to skip decoder). In similar period of time Apple increased IPC by 40% from A11 to A14. Where is catch? AMD increased transistor count only by 30%, while A14 has 175% more transistors than A11(both are 6cores CPUs)!

2. Ok, so why transistor count matter? Its simple - more transistors = more power needed. 16 bln transistors on M1 is almost 3x more than in Ryzen 5800x. According to this:

M1 SoC is chowing over 25W on maximum load with high perf cores set on 3.2Ghz. Typical CPU to go from 3,2Ghz to 5Ghz needs 4x more power - thats is your answer why Apple opted to not chase Intel and AMD in frequency race. They just cant as M1 energy consumption would skyrocket.

According to this Ryzen is using around 28W to maintain average clock speed above 3 Ghz. However there are 8 high performance cores, and you have only 4 of those on M1...

Ok, you can ask then why M1 Macbooks have amazing battery life? Secret is in energy efficient 'icestorm' cores that are significantly more energy efficient than 'high performance' cores in x86 processors. Obviously situation is reversed if we compare 'firestorm' cores.

Apple has some interesting fresh ideas for CPU designs, but they didn't reinvent the wheel. Majority of m1 advantages relies on significantly better manufacturing process. I will be really surprised if Zen4 based on 5nm wont blow away Apple Silicon. It doesnt even matter what Apple do - 16 high performance cores on M1X? Its not problem - in chip on similar die size AMD will be able to pack 20-24 cores. That is magic of x86 that Apple can't replicate, complex and high transistor density of M1 also has many disadvantages. Excellent relations with TSMC will be always biggest advantage of Apple Silicon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store