iPad Pro M4 benchmarks leak — can Apple's tablet beat Intel and Qualcomm laptops?

Screenshots from Apple "Let Loose" event on May 7 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's newly announced iPad Pro will be the first to feature the powerful Apple M4 chipset, with a 10-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine, and either a 9-core or 10-core CPU, depending on the device's storage capacity.

During the "Let Loose" event on May 7, Apple revealed its typical vague stats for the M4 chip's performance, saying it's "up to 50% faster" than the M2's CPU and "up to 4x faster" than the M2's GPU. But now, thanks to the first leaked M4 Geekbench 6 results (via Tom's Hardware), we know its actual performance capabilities — and it is living up to Apple's hype.

M4 Geekbench 6 results vs. Snapdragon X Elite and others

Performance benchmark scores for Apple's new M4 chipset started popping up on the Geekbench online database on May 8, just a day after the announcement. Whether these were demo units or review units getting into the wild is unknown, but there's little reason to doubt these results. The highest multi-core score to date is 14,748, and the highest single-core score to date is 3,824. 

geekbench m4 results for ipad pro

(Image credit: Future)

Most scores came from the new iPad Pro's top configuration, which includes 16GB of RAM and an M4 chipset with a 10-core CPU (4 performance cores, 6 efficiency cores).

Screenshots from Apple "Let Loose" event on May 7 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Needless to say, we immediately rushed to see how these results compared to other AI PC chips. Geekbench 6 scores for the Snapdragon X Elite are on par with the M4 chip in the multi-core department, but its single-core score is lacking. Currently, on the first page of Geekbench results for the Snapdragon X Elite chip, the highest multi-core score of 15,422 barely outpaces that of the M4 chip, but the highest X Elite single-core score of 2,944 falls behind the M4 chip.

The top Intel chip for AI PCs — the Core Ultra 7 165H — offers less impressive scores. Among recent results, the highest multi-core score for Intel's Core Ultra 7 165H chip is 13,886 and the highest single-core score is 2,558.

While the M4 chipset boasts a fantastic multi-core score, it's way more impressive that it has such a high single-core score. For lightly threaded games and applications (for example, Fortnite), a high single-core score is more important to pay attention to than a high multi-core score.

The M4's single-core score even springs ahead of Intel's flagship Core i9-14900KS, which has only produced a single-core score of 3,457 in recent tests, about 300 lower than the M4's score of 3,824. 

geekbench 6 core i9-14900KS results

(Image credit: Future)

It's worth noting that when Intel's Core i9-14900KS uses all of its cores together, it's more powerful than Apple's M4, but it's also a more expensive chip. While the M4's highest multi-core score is 14,748, the highest multi-core score for the Core i9-14900KS recently is 24,435.

While many games and programs utilize multiple cores, such a high single-core score from the M4 chip is still wildly impressive. Among modern chips from Qualcomm and Intel, Apple's M4 chip is leading the single-core score competition.

However, it's also worth noting that while Apple rightly stated that the M4 is "more powerful than any AI PC today" due to its Neural Engine (Apple's name for the Neural Processing Unit or NPU), that will be a shortlived record. The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite is expected to arrive in laptops within the next month and it will be capable of performing 450 trillion operations per section (TOPS), while Apple's M4 delivers 380 TOPS. 

Impressive benchmarks aside, every AI PC maker still has work to do to prove the real-world utility of the AI prowess of these chips. We weren't wowed by the AI software Apple showed with the iPad Pro M4, but with WWDC 2024 less than a month away it may have some AI tricks up its sleeve for iPadOS 18.