Apple M1 vs. Ryzen 5000: MacBook Pro and Asus ROG Flow X13, compared

We’ve already tested AMD’s Ryzen 5000 mobile against Intel’s current Core i7 chips in laptops, and Ryzen easily wins. But what everyone really wants to know is how it stacks up against Apple’s impressive M1 silicon in the new MacBook Pro

The M1 is a 5nm, TSMC-built chip based on the Arm architecture—a hard pivot by Apple after ending its 15-year relationship with Intel. Despite the performance hit of dealing with translating x86 instructions to Arm, when we tested the MacBook Pro M1 against Intel 10th-gen and 11th-gen CPUs and AMD’s Ryzen 4000, we were genuinely impressed.

Cribbing from all those performance results, we decided to compare benchmarks run by our sibling site, Macworld, as well as results from respected work station builder Puget Systems, to see just where the CPUs and laptops compare.

For our previous comparisons we featured these laptops: 

  • MSI’s Prestige 14 Evo: 4-core, 11th-gen Core i7-1185G7 with Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of LPDDR4X/4267 memory, 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD, 14-inch FHD screen. It weighs 2.7 pounds.
  • MSI’s older Prestige 14: 6-core, 10th-gen Core i7-10710U, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of LPDDR3/2133 memory, 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD, 14-inch 4K screen. It weighs 2.8 pounds.
  • Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7: 8-core Ryzen 4800U with Radeon graphics, 16GB of LPDDR4X/4267 memory, 512GB PCIe 3.0 SSD, 14-inch FHD screen, lap weight of 3.1 pounds.
  • The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: 8-core Ryzen 9 4800HS, GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of DDR4/3200 memory, 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD, 14-inch FHD screen, and a weight of 3.6 pounds. 

In addition to those  laptops, we also have:

  • Acer Predator Triton 500: 6-core Core i7-10750H, GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, 32GB of DDR4/2933, 1TB SSD, 15.6-inch FHD 300Hz screen. The laptop weighs 4.8 pounds. (We reviewed a very similar Acer Predator Triton 500 last year.)
  • Gigabyte Aero 17: 8-core Core i7-108750H, GeForce RTX 3080 with 105-watt TGP GPU, 32GB of DDR4/2933 RAM, 1TB SSD, 17.3-inch FHD 300Hz screen. It weighs 6 pounds. (Note: This laptop is mistitled “Gigabyte Aero 17” in the performance charts. PCWorld regrets the errors.)

Our last entry to list is the Ryzen 5000-packing laptop of the hour:

  • Asus ROG Flow X13: 8-core Ryzen 9 5980HS, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 32GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB SSD. It features a 14-inch, 16:10 aspect-ratio touch panel with a 4K HDR+ screen and weighs 2.9 pounds.

The Flow X13 does offer one thing the MacBook Pro doesn’t: external GPU support. In fact, it can’t be purchased without the custom-designed GeForce RTX 3080-based XG Mobile that’s connected using a proprietary x8 PCIe connection. We didn’t have access to an XG Mobile for our review, as it was stuck in customs.


The Asus ROG Flow X13 weighs just 3 pounds despite having a Ryzen 9 5980HS inside of it.

We understand the sample set is diverse. We don’t really think anyone would put the five-pound Acer Predator Triton 500 in the same class as any of the three-pound laptops. The same goes for the even heavier (and more powerful) Gigabyte Aorus 17. We did want to include the results for reference, as some may wonder what you get if you’re willing to carry the extra pounds.

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