M1 Test Runs Windows 10 Faster than Surface Pro X

M1 Windows 10 Featured

Apple’s new M1 chip has been much discussed and for good reason: it delivers. The M1 was recently put through the task of running Windows 10. The benchmarks showed that it wasn’t even a close contest between the M1 and the Surface Pro X.

M1 Tested with Windows 10

Two separate sources have tested Windows 10 on a new Mac with the M1, and the results were impressive.

iMore reported about the first test, “While it is currently not officially supported by Microsoft, a developer has successfully virtualized the ARM version of Windows on an Apple silicon-based Mac. The engineer, Alexandar Graf, tweeted that he made it all happen by using the QEMU virtualizer.”

M1 Windows 10 Surface Prom

Over the past weekend, benchmarks were posted showing the results of the test. The developer “posted Geekbench versions 4 and 5 scores that compare Windows 10 on ARM on an M1 computer” and the Surface Pro X.

Windows on M1 had a single core score of 1288 and a multi-core score of 5,685. The Surface Pro X had around 800 and 3,000, respectively. The Surface Pro X benchmarks were made while using the SQ2 ARM-based chip developed by Qualcomm and Microsoft.

Second M1 Test

“This is only the beginning of Windows on ARM virtualization on these news Macs,” wrote YouTube producer Martin Nobel, who ran a second test. He used QEMU virtualization software for Windows on ARM and Apple’s hypervisor framework. This led to him running the ARM version of Windows 10 as a virtual machine on an M1 Mac Mini.

M1 Windows 10 Mac Mini

As Graf noted, a significant problem with running Windows 10 on ARM is that Microsoft is reluctant to provide licensing for the ARM-based OS to users, only licensing it to Windows 10 manufacturers.

At this point, Mac users cannot run Windows 10 on the M1 Macs through Apple’s Bootcamp. “We have the core technologies for them to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn, of course, supports x86 user-mode applications,” explains Craig Federighi, Apple’s software engineering chief.

“But that’s a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it.”

Read on to learn about the operating system powering the M1 chip: macOS Big Sur.

Image Credit: Apple Newsroom and public domain

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

2 comments

  1. “The benchmarks showed that it wasn’t even a close contest between the M1 and the Surface Pro 4.” Seriously – the Surface Pro 4 – a machine released more than 5 1/2 years ago? I’d say not; how about testing against last year’s model, the Pro 7 using an i7-1065G7?

    1. I apologize for the confusion. The title and the article said a “Surface Pro X” was used in the testing, but in one place I mistakenly wrote “Surface Pro 4.” An older machine was not used in the testing. That was my error, and I have fixed the text.

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