Intel claims its CPUs will match Apple's silicon performance by 2024, but I have my doubts

A stylized Intel Core processor in a futuristic motherboard
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger recently made the bold claim that Windows-powered PCs will rival the performance of Mac devices by the end of 2024. Though it seems that it’s too late for the Meteor Lake series to properly catch up, Gelsinger claims that the Arrow Lake, Lunar Lake, and Panther Lake chips are set to match Apple’s silicon.

At the very least, it seems that Intel has been learning from its biggest processor competition since Apple split from the manufacturer and started making its own chips in-house to considerable success. For instance, back in 2021 Apple essentially combined two M1 Max chips together to make a super-chip, the M1 Ultra, using a technique called ‘advanced packaging.’ 

Intel has been studying that same technique ever since, and it led to the Meteor Lake processor that’s set to debut on December 14. It also seems like Intel is adopting Apple’s efficiency and performance core approach when it comes to its chips, which should make for some incredible advancements in its own technology.

So why am I so doubtful about Gelsinger's claims? Because the timeframe is simply too soon to be feasible, and he's being unrealistically optimistic.

Apple M1

(Image credit: Apple)

Intel has been trailing behind Apple for years, only releasing a chip that uses advanced packaging in 2023, when Apple had already released its own silicon with the same tech years before. It's the same story with the concept of performance and efficiency cores, which Intel is finally looking at now in 2023, with Apple having already used them to great effect. 

I have no doubt that Intel is capable of applying these and other technologies like AI to its future processors to make them far more powerful and efficient. And it’s definitely possible that the manufacturer’s chips could eventually challenge Apple's silicon. In fact, I hope they eventually do, because more competition can only lead to more innovation, and that's a good thing for the buying public.

However, Intel accomplishing such a lofty goal, especially when it’s been so far behind Apple for so long, is simply not possible within the timeframe envisaged by Gelsinger. Meteor Lake, as advanced as is it, is still not even close to what Apple’s best chips can do, and Apple is most likely preparing for its M3 series of silicon, which is sure to be one of the best processors ever made.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Intel can do with its future processor series Arrow Lake, Lunar Lake, and Panther Lake, as each generation is sure to surpass the previous in both technology and scope. But don’t expect me to believe you can perform this miracle of a feat in just a year, Intel. It simply ain’t happening.

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.