Here's How Fast the 9-Core M4 Chip is Based on Early Benchmark Result

An alleged Geekbench 6 benchmark result for the lower-end version of the M4 chip with a 9-core CPU surfaced over the weekend, providing a first look at how it performs compared to the higher-end M4 chip with a 10-core CPU.

M4 iPad Pro Thumb 3
The result indicates that the 9-core M4 chip is around 10% slower than the 10-core variant in terms of multi-core performance. While that outcome might seem obvious at first glance, the 9-core variant of the chip has three performance cores, instead of four in the 10-core variant, so this result was not guaranteed.

Assuming that the Geekbench 6 listing is accurate, the 9-core M4 chip is still around 13% faster than the M3 chip for multi-core performance, and up to 35% faster than the M2 chip in the previous-generation iPad Pro.

Here's how the 9-core M4 chip stacks up in multi-core Geekbench 6 results:

  • M4 chip (10-core CPU): ~14,600
  • M4 chip (9-core CPU): ~13,000
  • M3 chip (8-core CPU): ~11,600
  • M2 chip (8-core CPU): ~9,600

The new 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro models are equipped with a 9-core M4 chip when configured with 256GB or 512GB of storage, while models with 1TB or 2TB of storage are equipped with a 10‑core M4 chip. Both variants have a 10-core GPU.

For reasons unclear, the Geekbench 6 listing shows the iPad Pro with the 9-core M4 chip as running iPadOS 17.6, whereas all results for the 10-core model have shown iPadOS 17.4 so far. The first beta of iPadOS 17.6 will likely be made available for testing later this month, following the upcoming release of iPadOS 17.5.

The new iPad Pro models launch on Wednesday.

Thanks, Michael Burkhardt!

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Top Rated Comments

MrGimper Avatar
2 weeks ago

Let’s not forget M1, as many are upgrading from an M1 iPad Pro:

M1 multi-core = 8,301
M4 multi-core (9-core) = ~13,000, for a ~57% improvement.
It's serious like picking between 2 supercars to drive on a UK 70 MPH motorway.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EugW Avatar
2 weeks ago
It should be noted that M4 gets a significant boost from the Object Detection subtest due to newly added functionality in M4, but most software will not leverage this. It should also be noted that this was added in the latest Geekbench 6.3, but was not there in 6.2.

Here's my summary of the M4 9-core results, against a (better scoring than average) M3 MacBook Air:

Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shadowboi Avatar
2 weeks ago
Snapdragon will need 4 years more to get there. I mean to match M2 performance
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
julesme Avatar
2 weeks ago
Let’s not forget M1, as many are upgrading from an M1 iPad Pro:

M1 multi-core = 8,301
M4 multi-core (9-core) = ~13,000, for a ~57% improvement.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
2 weeks ago
My 9.7” iPad Pro has a muti-core score of 1,075 so this will be a huge upgrade for me.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
2 weeks ago
So those improvements are down to additional cores and higher clocks. Shock.

In fact, although not scientific, if you divide the M3 score by 8 and multiply by 9, you get the same score as the M4. And the same for 10 cores. And despite the M4's cores being clocked 0.3 GHz higher.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)