A while ago, a developer Alexander Graf managed to get Windows 10 on ARM running on his Apple M1-powered Macbook by running it in a patched virtual machine which addresses the ARM processor directly. This allowed him to bypass any driver issues and still have a working solution. Graf made a set of patches for the open-source QEMU virtualized freely available, and his work was then replicated by others. Thus a were able to produce some benchmarks.
*: I don’t like GB for technical reasons, but the score is provided for curiosity
— Sunshine Biscuit at scale 🍪 (@imbushuo) November 28, 2020
The geekbench data proves that Apple’s M1 processor is light-years ahead of Qualcomm’s best chip
Looking at the raw performance of the Apple M1 chip, we see 1737 single core score, and 7549 multi core score running on MacOs in the image above
When taking a look at the Apple M1 chip on Windows using the virtual machine, we can see a score of 1288 single, as well as 5449 multi, which is really impressive for a virtual machine!
Finally, the Microsoft surface pro X with Microsoft’s SQ2 processor scored 799 in single core and 3089 in multi core
The M1 had an advantage even for x86 apps running on the Surface Pro X and Macbook.
When running the x86 version of Geekbench 4, the Surface Pro X achieved a score of 2019 Single-thread and 6646 Multi-thread vs 2553 Single-Core and 8917 Multi-Core for the virtualized Windows 10 on ARM running its own x86 translator. So from the benchmarks, we can conclude that Apple’s M1 processor working on both windows 10 as well as Macbook, has a large performance uplift irrespective of the architecture. It remains to be seen if other ARM chip vendors can catch up to Apple’s chips, be it for the mobile, or the laptop market.
The other conclusion is of course that if this the virtualized Windows 10 on ARM for MacOS can be optimised, a standalone Windows 10 laptop or desktop can be optimized for Apple’s ARM based M1.