Intel Core i9 12900K vs Apple M1 Ultra

We compared two desktop CPUs: the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i9 12900K with 16-cores against the 2.0 GHz Apple M1 Ultra with 20-cores. On this page, you'll find out which processor has better performance in benchmarks, games and other useful information.


General overview and comparison of the processors
Single-Core Performance
Performance in single-threaded apps and benchmarks
Measure performance when all cores are involved
Power Efficiency
The efficiency score of electricity consumption
NanoReview Final Score
Generic CPU rating

Key Differences

What are the key differences between Ultra and 12900K
Advantages of Intel Core i9 12900K
  • Unlocked multiplier
  • 63% higher Turbo Boost frequency (5.2 GHz vs 3.2 GHz)
  • 12% faster in a single-core Geekbench v5 test - 1982 vs 1772 points
Advantages of Apple M1 Ultra
  • Around 723.2 GB/s (942%) higher theoretical memory bandwidth
  • Consumes up to 52% less energy than the Core i9 12900K – 60 vs 125 Watt
  • More modern manufacturing process – 5 versus 10 nanometers
  • Has 4 more physical cores


Comparing the performance of CPUs in benchmarks
Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)
Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)
Passmark CPU (Single-Core)
Passmark CPU (Multi-Core)
M1 Ultra +1%
Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
M1 Ultra +39%
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Full technical specification of Intel Core i9 12900K and Apple M1 Ultra


Vendor Intel Apple
Released October 27, 2021 March 8, 2022
Type Desktop Desktop
instruction set x86-64 ARMv8
Codename Alder Lake-S -
Model number i9-12900K APL1106/APL1W06
Socket LGA-1700 Apple M-Socket
Integrated GPU UHD Graphics 770 Apple M1 Ultra GPU (64-core)


Cores 16 20
Threads 24 20
Base Frequency 3.2 GHz 2.0 GHz
Turbo Boost Frequency 5.2 GHz 3.2 GHz
Bus frequency 100 MHz -
Multiplier 32x -
L1 Cache 64K (per core) 192K (per core)
L2 Cache 14MB (shared) 48MB (shared)
L3 Cache 30MB (shared) -
Unlocked Multiplier Yes No


Transistors - 114 billions
Fabrication process 10 nm 5 nm
TDP 125 W 60 W
Max. temperature 100°C -


Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770 Apple M1 Ultra GPU (64-core)
GPU Base Clock 300 MHz 450 MHz
GPU Boost Clock 1550 MHz 1296 MHz
Shading Units 256 8192
TMUs 16 512
ROPs 8 256
Execution Units 32 -
TGP 15 W 120 W
Max. Resolution - 6016x3384 - 60 Hz

Memory support

Memory types DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200 LPDDR5-6400
Memory Size 128 GB 128 GB
Max. Memory Channels 2 16
Max. Memory Bandwidth 76.8 GB/s 800 GB/s
ECC Support Yes No


Official site Intel Core i9 12900K official page -
PCI Express Version 5.0 -
PCI Express Lanes 20 -

Cast your vote

Choose between two processors
709 (50.5%)
694 (49.5%)
Total votes: 1403


So which CPU will you choose: Apple M1 Ultra or Intel Core i9 12900K?
Name 02 June 2022 09:02
I prefer the Apple M1 Ultra.
+2 Reply
No Name Available 27 April 2022 19:33
Intel Core i9 is restricted to Windows. Apple M1 Ultra is to macOS. That created a diversion & complexity for the end-user. It's all up to the Application Software, and how they behave. Also, more hard work for developers. Time: That's all we fight for. I say i9 wins in the desktop category. And M1 wins in the laptop category. Talking about the money situation. It's complicated. Buy, as much as you can afford. And choose wisely by comparing all points.
+24 Reply
random name 08 June 2022 17:46
M1 Ultra doesn't exist for mobile. Intel is not locked to an OS, which is why you can install UNIX-based systems as well, it is only OSX that is locked. Windows could also run on the M1, but Microsoft has to wait until its contract with Qualcomm ends.
+16 Reply