To help deal with the fact that there won’t be a ton of native M1 compatible apps available right out the gate, what Apple has done is reintroduce its Rosetta translation software, which comes in the form of Rosetta 2. Basically what this does is that it helps “translate” and emulates x86 apps so that they can run the new M1 chipset.
Apple does note that in some cases, it could slow the app down due to the translation process, but they also noted that in some instances, emulated apps could actually run faster/better. It turns out that maybe it wasn’t just marketing hyperbole because according to the latest GeekBench benchmarks, that seems to be the case.
Based on the benchmarks, it appears that in terms of single-core performance, the M1 MacBook Air emulating an x86 processor has actually managed to beat out several other x86-based Mac computers. The scores it achieved are 1,313 for single-core, and 5,888 for multi-core. This is slower than the previous benchmark, but that’s to be expected due to the translation process which does have an impact on performance, but it’s still impressive nonetheless.
That being said, benchmarks only tell one side of the story and how this actually translates to real-world usage is more important. The new M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pros are expected to begin shipping out this week, so hopefully we’ll be able to check out some real-life reviews soon.