Enthusiasts launch Windows 10 on MacBook Air with M1

This makes the MacBook the most powerful ARM Windows laptop ever.

One of the main drawbacks of the new MacBook and Mac mini on Apple Silicon processors is the inability to run Windows 10 even through Bootcamp – for some users this is important, since some software is not available on macOS. However, developer enthusiast Alexander Graf was able to run Windows 10 on a MacBook Air with the M1.

Who said Windows wouldn’t run well on #AppleSilicon? It’s pretty snappy here ?. #QEMU patches for reference: https://t.co/qLQpZgBIqI pic.twitter.com/G1Usx4TcvL

– Alexander Graf (@_AlexGraf) November 26, 2020

To do this, he used the Windows 10 ARM64 Insider Preview build and the open source QEMU virtualizer, which he slightly modified for his tasks. As he himself notes, the solution is not perfect, but it allows you to achieve performance comparable to a fully installed system.

He posted this QEMU modification to the public, other enthusiasts picked up the idea, and soon the results of benchmarks of the new MacBook Air with Windows 10 began to appear on the Web. So, in Geekbench 5, such an assembly gains ≈1300 points in a single-core test and ≈5500 in a multi-core test. For comparison, Microsoft’s top-of-the-line ARM laptop, the Surface Pro X, scores only 800 and 3000 points in similar tests, respectively.

On the left – MacBook Air with M1, on the right – Surface Pro X / Geekbench

This means that Windows 10 runs on a MacBook with M1 about 60-85% faster than the most powerful ARM Windows laptop.


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