Apple M1 MacBook Pro vs. Intel MacBook Pro (13-Inch)| Which One Is Best Buyer’s Guide

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In November 2020, Apple refreshed its famous 13-inch MacBook Pro arrangement with the principal Apple Silicon chip for the Mac, the M1.

The base 13-inch MacBook Pro was invigorated with the Arm-based Apple chip, bringing critical speed and effectiveness improvements, yet Apple keeps on selling the better quality 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel inside for a few hundred dollars more.

So is it still worth plunking down for the 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro, or does it bode well to take the jump to Apple Silicon now? Our guide helps answer the topic of how to choose which of these two 13-inch MacBook Pro models is best for you.

Comparing the M1 MacBook Pro and the Intel MacBook Pro (13-inch)

The M1 MacBook Pro and the Intel MacBook Pro offer a few highlights, for example, a similar 13.3-inch Retina show and are indistinguishable in wording and structure factor, yet the distinctions exceed the similitudes.


  • 13.3-inch LED-illuminated showcase with IPS innovation
  • Wide Color (P3) and True Tone innovation
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Wide sound system sound and backing for Dolby Atmos playback
  • 3.5 mm earphone jack
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Available in Silver and Space Gray

Apple’s breakdown features the way that the two machines share to a great extent a similar body plan, yet there are critical contrasts in the engine and regarding the quantity of Thunderbolt ports on offer.


13-inch M1 MacBook Pro13-inch Intel MacBook Pro
Eight-Core Apple M1 chip with eight-center GPU and 16-center Neural EngineUp to four-center Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Up to 16GB brought together memoryUp to 32GB memory
Up to 2TB capacityUp to 4TB capacity
Up to 20 hours battery lifeUp to 10 hours battery life
Studio-quality three-mic exhibit with directional beamformingThree-mic exhibit with directional beamforming
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6802.11ac Wi-Fi
Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 portsFour Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
Integrated 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer batteryIntegrated 58.0-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
One outer showcase with up to 6K goal at 60HzOne outer 6K showcase with 6016-by-3384 goal at 60Hz, or Up to two outside 4K presentations with 4096-by-2304 goal at 60Hz

Continue perusing for a more intensive glance at every one of these particulars, and adapt precisely how Apple’s first MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon processor piles facing its more costly Intel sibling.


MacBook Pro
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The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro replaces Apple’s entrance level Intel MacBook Pro and is basically indistinguishable in everything except the innards. That implies the M1 MacBook Pro and the very good quality Intel MacBook Pro that Apple actually sells both offer a similar uniform, section like plan, Magic Keyboard, and Touch Bar with Touch ID.

Something else, the main thing that remotely separates the two models is the quantity of Thunderbolt 3 ports (more on that later). There’s additionally a unimportant weight distinction between the two models: 3.0 pounds (1.4kg) for the M1 versus 3.1 pounds (1.4kg) for the Intel, so whichever model you go for, both are fundamentally the same as far as compactness.

Connectivity Options

Like the section level Intel machine it replaces, the M1 MacBook Pro games two Thunderbolt USB-C ports that share a solitary Thunderbolt 3 transport, both being on the left half of the machine, while the top of the line Intel MacBook Pro flaunts four Thunderbolt ports (two on each side).

In the event that you are a force client who possesses a few Thunderbolt 3 embellishments, having four ports might be critical to you, in spite of the fact that this might be to a lesser extent a situation given the accessibility of Thunderbolt 3 centers available. Most clients will probably get by fine with only two ports, particularly on the off chance that they intend to have their Mac docked on a work area most of the time.

MacBook Pro Ports
Image Credit: Apple

The M1 MacBook Pro can just interface with one outside 6K presentation at 60Hz, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR. By correlation, the Intel-based passage level 13-inch MacBook Pro that it replaces just backings up to two 4K shows or up to one 5K showcase at 60Hz.

One other purpose of note is that notwithstanding the USB-C ports on the M1 MacBook Pro being Thunderbolt 3, they likewise meet the USB4 determination. The significant thing to recall is that USB4 is less a specialized development over existing Thunderbolt 3 ports, and more an endeavor to bring together the befuddling cluster of definitions identified with USB3 and its generational variations, alongside the profusion of different protocols that can associate through USB-C, including HDMI and DisplayPort.

MacBook Pro Screen

It likewise speaks to Intel’s change from a paid permitting plan for its proprietary Thunderbolt protocol to a transparently authorized industry standard, which is the reason Apple has had the option to build up its own custom Thunderbolt 3 regulator for the M1. Like Thunderbolt 3, USB4 can apportion various degrees of transmission capacity to video and information moves (up to 40Gb/s) when required all the while, yet regardless of the name change, there is minimal practicable distinction for the end-client.

There is an admonition with regards to availability on the M1 MacBook Pro, nonetheless. Out of the blue, the Apple Silicon machine isn’t viable with outside GPUs, including the Blackmagic eGPU that Apple has promoted close by different Macs and that is accessible through the online store. That implies the M1 MacBook needs to depend on its own inherent GPU centers to flexibly illustrations power, which could be a major issue for a few.


The two top of the line 13-inch MacBook Pro models keep on utilizing tenth era Intel Core chips: Both standard arrangements utilize a 2.0GHz quad-center processor, which can be modified to a 2.3GHz quad-center Core i7 processor. Both Intel models include Intel Iris Plus illustrations.

Then, the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is one of the main Macs to be refreshed with an Apple-planned Arm-based chip instead of an Intel chip like earlier MacBook Pro models. The M1 is Apple’s first System on a Chip intended for the Mac, which implies it has the processor, GPU, I/O, security highlights, and RAM all on one chip. By correlation, these segments in the top of the line Intel MacBook Pro are isolated on the rationale board, which gives the M1 chip various execution favorable circumstances.

MacBook Pro M1 Chip
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One of the highlights of the M1 is a brought together memory engineering, or UMA, which binds together high-data transfer capacity, low-dormancy memory into a solitary pool. This implies that the innovations in the M1 chip can get to a similar information without replicating it between different memory pools, conveying sensational execution improvement over the whole framework.

The M1 additionally includes a 8-center CPU and a coordinated 8-center GPU. The CPU has four high-productivity centers and four elite centers. While doing basic undertakings like perusing the web or perusing email the MacBook Pro draws in the high-productivity centers to safeguard battery life, however for more framework concentrated assignments like photograph and video altering, the superior centers are utilized. Contrasted with the elite centers, the high-effectiveness centers utilize a 10th of the force while as yet conveying the exhibition that Mac clients need for ordinary errands.

Macintosh says the M1 chip’s CPU is up to 2.8x quicker than the Intel chip in the section level MacBook Pro it replaces, and GPU speeds are up to 5x quicker than Intel’s coordinated illustrations in the previous model. All things considered, Apple hasn’t provided any presentation examinations with the current very good quality Intel MacBook Pro models it actually sells, yet ongoing Geekbench benchmarks are telling: The M1 chip has a 3.2GHz recurrence and acquires single-center scores that surpass 1700, and multi-center scores around 7500, which makes it quicker than even 2019’s top of the line 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which accompany tenth era Intel Core i7 or i9 chips.

MacBook Pro M1 Chip 5nm
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In synopsis, the M1 chip in the passage level MacBook Pro offers single-center execution that is superior to some other accessible Mac, and outflanks the Intel-based MacBook Pro models that it is sold close by (despite the fact that it may not surpass them all in GPU execution). In any event, while imitating x86 under Rosetta 2, the M1 MacBook Pro is still quicker than all recently delivered Macs. Moreover, none of these scores consider the new progressed Neural Engine in the M1 MacBook Pro that benefits applications that utilization AI for video, photograph, and sound altering, for example, Pixelmator, Logic Pro, and Final Cut Pro.

Microphones and Speakers

Both M1 and Intel 13-inch machines highlight similar sound system speakers with high unique reach, wide sound system sound, and backing for Dolby Atmos playback. Notwithstanding, while the Intel model has a three-mic cluster with directional beamforming, Apple depicts the mic exhibit in the M1 model as “studio-quality” with a high sign to-commotion proportion, which could influence the equilibrium for you on the off chance that you make a great deal of video calls.

Battery Life

The M1 MacBook Pro is promoted as having double the battery life as the Intel model. (Indeed, you read that right.) Apple separates it like this: The Intel machine presents to 10 hours of web perusing or as long as 10 hours of Apple TV film playback, while the Apple Silicon machine presents to 17 hours of web perusing or as long as 20 hours of Apple TV film playback.

On account of the M1 chip’s marvelous computational productivity, Apple has figured out how to squeeze out twice as much utilization on a solitary charge based on what is essentially a similar 58-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery.

Software Compatibility

Apps designed for the iPhone and the iPad will run on Apple Silicon natively, so you’ll be able to use a lot of your favorite iOS apps on the M1 MacBook Pro desktop, albeit with varying degrees of control compatibility. This will depend on the extent to which third-party developers work to furnish Mac input controls like keyboard and mouse in their iOS apps, but the going assumption is that most future Catalyst apps will accommodate both touch and Mac input.

None of the above goes for the Intel MacBook Pro, which only runs x86-64 code for Intel’s architecture. The same can’t be said for the M1 MacBook Pro, which can run both iOS and x86-64 software, thanks to Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation layer. In some cases, apps built with x86-64 actually run faster in Rosetta 2 than they do on Intel Macs.

MacBook Rosetta2
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Still, it’s worth noting that Apple considers Rosetta 2 to be a temporary solution for developers while they remake their existing Intel-based programs to run on Arm-based Macs, meaning they will eventually need to create native apps for Apple Silicon machines. Notably, Apple ended support for OG Rosetta three years after its release to smooth the transition from PowerPC chips to Intel processors, so if a developer doesn’t update their app eventually, it may become unusable on Apple’s M1 machines in the future.

When it comes to software compatibility, the last thing to note is that Boot Camp is not compatible with Apple Silicon, so you can’t dual-boot natively into Microsoft Windows on an M1 MacBook Pro. Apple has been clear that macOS virtualization software will be the only way to run Windows and PC software on a machine powered by Apple Silicon, and we’re still waiting for the major virtualization programs to update their software to work with Apple’s new chips and for Microsoft to allow Windows for Arm to be licensed for virtual machines.

Other Mac Options

The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is currently the most advanced notebook powered by Apple Silicon that Apple offers. Currently, the only other two M1-powered machines are the 13-inch MacBook Air and the Mac mini.

The larger 16-inch MacBook Pro has not yet transitioned to Apple Silicon – Apple continues to sell its Intel-based high-end 16-inch MacBook Pros. Meanwhile, the more expensive iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro are also Intel-based machines, but offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages with regards to connectivity and portability when compared to MacBook Pro.

Final Thoughts

For the vast majority of buyers, the M1 MacBook Pro is the one to get. If you want the best performance, battery life, and microphone quality in a Mac notebook – and you can live with two Thunderbolt 3 ports – then it’s really no contest and the M1 MacBook Pro is certainly the better (and less expensive) option. Apple’s latest macOS Big Sur may work on both Intel and M1-powered machines, but it’s optimized for Apple Silicon, so you’re also future-proofing your system by buying into Apple’s system architecture for many years to come. The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro starts from $1299.

MacBook Pro full
Image Credit: Apple

That said, there may be a few customers who would be better off sticking with Intel for now. If you are a pro user that relies on legacy software or runs Windows via Boot Camp on your Mac or in virtual machines, it is better to buy an Intel-based MacBook Pro until there are more high-end Apple Silicon options and the technology has had more time to gain software support. Similarly, if your workflow requires four Thunderbolt 3 ports, oodles of RAM, more storage, or the use of an eGPU, the Intel machine is still the one to opt for. The 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro starts from $1799.

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