Apple M1 Ultra vs Intel Core i9 12th-gen: Apple recently announced the Mac studio which comes with a new silicon “M1 Ultra” chip. But how does it compare to Intel’s Core i9 12900k CPU? Well, in this article we are going to see which of these two is better.

The M1 Ultra chip was announced on March 8, 2022, at Apple’s spring event. And the only way to get this is to buy the Mac Studio computer. Intel 12th-gen processors, on the other hand, were released last year’s 2021 and since then they have become a force to reckon with.

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Apple M1 Ultra vs Intel Core i9 12th-gen: Price

The only way to get the M1 Ultra silicon is to buy Apple’s Mac Studio computer with a starting price of $3,999. And maxing out the M1 Ultra’s Mac Studio to its best configuration you’ll spend up to $7,999. Comparing this to Intel’s Core i9-12900k CPU that costs just $620. Although to build a complete PC you’ll have to spend money on GPU, motherboard, etc, it’s still not going to be as expensive as $3,999, let alone $8,000. 

So overall, when it comes to pricing it won’t be out of place to say the Apple M1 Ultra-powered desktop computer is somewhat more expensive.

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Apple M1 Ultra vs Intel Core i9 12th-gen: Performance and Benchmark

Intel Core i9-12900k vs Apple M1 Ultra performance comparison is an interesting one. So take a seat and make sure to have popcorn as we get fully at it.

First, let’s explain how the M1 Ultra silicon works. Apple made the M1 Ultra by combining two M1 Max chips. Thus, the M1 Ultra is very much a desktop chip that’s capable of competing against the mainstream and even some workstation-grade CPUs from Intel and AMD.

For example, on the official Geekbench website, Apple M1 Ultra wins against the Intel Core i9-12900k on a multi-core score. While the single-core score favors Intel Core i9-12900k just as you can see below:

Core ScoreM1 UltraCore i9 12th
Single Core17931939
Multi-Core2405617446

However, on Cinebench R23, the Intel Core i9-12900k beats the Apple M1 Ultra in multi-core score. This shows how powerful both Chips are in performance. Depending on the application, in some cases, these two chips are neck to neck.

Credit: Dave2d

Intel Core i9-12900k vs Apple M1 Ultra: Power efficiency

Since Apple made the switch to using in-house silicon, their machine has been top-notch in terms of power efficiency. And that is one of the best things about Apple’s M1 Ultra chip. It consumes far less power in comparison to some of these powerful chips from Intel and AMD.

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Apple M1 Ultra vs Intel Core i9 12th-gen: Verdict

Let’s be clear about something. What Apple has achieved with the Mac Studio desktop computer has never been done before. A powerful portable machine that can be shuttled between home and office. So kudos to Apple. However, the pricing is outrageous. You can easily build an enthusiast-grade PC with an Intel Core i9 12th-gen processor and an RTX 3090 graphics card for just a little above $4,000 or thereabout.

Buy Intel Core i9 12th-gen and Apple M1 Ultra
Core i9 12thBuyM1 UltraPrice
Buy Amazon US$639.79Buy from Apple$3,999
Buy Amazon UK£582.61

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