I'm using illstrator v26.01 on m1 pro max 64gb and freeform gradient is slow, lagging, sometimes causing spod when file is above 3000 x 3000 pixels. This is for the default freeform gradient setting with only 4 corner points.
Lag occurs when applying the gradient. Gets even laggier when changing colors.
I've tried that on my M1 and can't reproduce it. There's a very slight lag when applying a freeform gradient, it's only happening nearly immediately, but that's it. Artboard is 5000x6000 px. Object is about that size.