Early benchmarks show crazy performance gains for Apple M1 Max


2021 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
Up to 181% faster graphics than the last 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

Buying a new MacBook Pro with a high-end M1 Max chip? You can expect crazy gains in both processing and graphics performance — no matter which Apple notebook you’re upgrading from, according to early benchmarks.

The M1 Max blows all the MacBook chips that came before it — not just those made by Intel, but even Apple’s own M1 — right out of the water, with up to 181% faster graphics than the previous 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple M1 Max is insanely great

While innovation and improvement is slow throughout the rest of the semiconductor industry (just look at how much “better” Intel’s chips have gotten in recent years), Apple continues to prove that it doesn’t have to be.

You might be able to pick fault with the company’s latest devices; there always seems to be something not everyone agrees on. But you simply cannot do the same with Apple’s own chips, which just get better and better every year.

The new M1 Max inside the 2021 MacBook Pro — Apple’s fastest, most impressive chipset to date — is significantly faster than anything built into an Apple notebook before, according to early Geekbench results.

One test, carried out on the M1 Max with a 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU — the beefiest option available — reveals that the new chip offers double the multi-score performance of the M1 chip inside last year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Its multi-core score of 11,542 is on-par with that of the 12-core Intel Xeon W-3235 chip that ships with the 2019 Mac Pro. The only machines that outperform it are the Mac Pro and iMac models with 16 to 24-core Xeon chips.

Jaw-dropping graphics

It gets even more impressive when you look at the M1 Max’s graphics performance, which was already predicted to be even more impressive than that of Sony’s newest PlayStation 5 console (if you get the 32-core option).

With a score of 68,870 in Geekbench 5’s Metal test, the M1 Max is 181% faster than the previous 16-inch MacBook Pro with a discreet AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, which scores 24,461 in the same benchmark test.

Admittedly, that’s the entry-level GPU for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. But even if you swap it for the most powerful option on offer — the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M — the M1 Max is still up to 61% faster in graphics performance.

It helps that the M1 Max, which can be paired with up to 64GB of RAM, offers 400 Gbps memory bandwidth speeds. That’s double the 200 Gbps memory speeds you get with the more affordable M1 Pro.

Apple makes other chip-makers look bad

These are staggering performance results for a company that has been offering its own desktop chips for less than a year. Apple was already making rival chip-makers look bad with the M1, and its newest offerings are significantly better.

It’s only a matter of time before Apple silicon expands its reach to the 27-inch iMac and Mac Pro, which could bring yet more improvements in processor and graphics performance. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Mac fan.


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