Intel vs M1 Compiling Performance


Wondered if anyone has done any tests compiling large projects on both Intel and M1 Macs.

I’m currently running a 3.6Ghz 8-core i9 iMac.

What makes the difference in performance; is a single core running faster better than multiple cores when it comes to compiling in Xojo.

When I look at activity monitor it would appear that only one core is ever used, of course I might be wrong.

Looking forward to hearing your findings as this will sway my decision for next Mac.


When you are just using the IDE and writing code, it only uses a single core. When it is compiling, it uses n-1 cores (up to 12 IIRC).

As far as speed goes, my primary machine is an i9 8-core machine. The M1s definitely load things from disk faster, but my experience is that compiling takes about the same amount of time as the M1 minis. I don’t have a Pro or Pro Max yo compare with.

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Hi Greg,

When it is compiling , it uses n-1 cores (up to 12 IIRC).

Strange, that’s not what I see when I look at CPU usage. I’d go as far as to say the Mac is hardly stressed at all during the build process.

I can’t find any definitive benchmarks on the Pro and Max yet. May have to wait for those to be put in a iMac or MacPro before upgrading.


What kind of benchmarks? Geekbench has tons. Here’s mine:

Higher multi-core score will mean relatively faster build times. The multicore for an M1 mini is very similar to the 8-core i9, so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t build faster.

MacBookPro16,4 (i9 8-core): MacBookPro16,4 - Geekbench Browser
Macmini9,1 (M1): Mac mini (Late 2020) - Geekbench Browser

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I see the same on my large project, apart from the last 5% (when the progress bar gets to the end) when the processor usage skyrockets to 100%. I suspect the Xojo to LLVM intermediate code compiler is single core, and the rest is multi-core.

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In particular to the newer M1 Pro and Max.

That’s precisely what I linked. The M1 Max outperforms the iMac Pro in all categories, and most Mac Pro models.

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