M1 Pro/M1 Max vs The Current Best
This year’s Apple Mac keynote has been eventful. Quite literally.
Apple announced a new line-up of MacBook Pro devices, powered by not one but two new SoCs in Apple’s Silicon line-up: the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. This is a first of sorts in the history of Apple.
The M1 Pro and Max both follow-up on last year’s M1, Apple’s first-generation Mac Silicon that ushered in the beginning of Apple’s journey to replace x86 based chips with their own in-house designs.
For those who are not aware of the M1 SoC, here’s a summary.
M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors, the most Apple has ever put into a chip.
It featured the world’s fastest CPU core in low-power silicon, the world’s best CPU performance per watt, the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and breakthrough machine learning performance with the Apple Neural Engine.
Although the M1 was fast, it is still a somewhat smaller SoC, powering devices such as the iPad Pro lineup and the Macbook Air.
With the M1 Pro and M1 Max, Apple scales up on the M1’s transformational architecture, providing the next breakthrough chips for the Mac.
M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights.
M1 Pro and M1 Max — Pro to the Max
M1 Pro and M1 Max scale the amazing M1 architecture to new heights. For the first time, they bring a system on a chip (SoC) architecture to a pro-level notebook.
Both have more CPU cores, more GPU cores, and more unified memory than M1. Along with a powerful Neural Engine for supercharged machine learning and upgraded media engines with ProRes support, M1 Pro and M1 Max allow pros to do things they never could before.
These are the most powerful and capable chips Apple has ever created, and together with M1, they form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.
Now let’s have a look at the summary of the M1 Pro and the M1 Max.
M1 Pro takes the exceptional performance of the M1 architecture to a whole new level for pro users. Even the most ambitious projects are easily handled with up to 10 CPU cores, up to 16 GPU cores, a 16‑core Neural Engine, and dedicated encode and decode media engines that support H.264, HEVC, and ProRes codecs. Take a look at the snapshot below.
M1 Max is the most powerful chip ever created for a pro notebook, with 10 CPU cores, up to 32 GPU cores, and a 16-core Neural Engine. It delivers two times faster graphics processing and doubles the memory bandwidth of M1 Pro. And it has a dedicated media engine for decode and two for encode — with up to two times faster video encoding — and two ProRes accelerators for even higher multi-stream performance. Take a look at the snapshot below.
But this story is NOT about this. So, let’s first address the elephant in the room.
What is it about and What is not
This story will answer the following questions
- Is buying Apple MacBook Pro in 2021 worth it?
- Are the new SoC’s as good as Apple projects?
- Are they better than the latest Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU?
- Power and Performance are fine, but how about the battery life?
- How about the heating issue?
This story will NOT answer the following questions
- How did Apple pull off such an engineering feat?
- How better are the new SoCs as compared with the M1 chip?
- Is the price point justified?
- If I’m having a previous-gen Mac Pro model, should I go for an upgrade?
- I have been a non-Mac user all my life, why should I make the shift?
Now that we have set the ground rules and you understand what’s going to come next based on the above questionnaire, let’s not delay further and get straight to the topic. Read on.
Now to the main part of this story. All the tests/facts/figures are as claimed by Apple on their website.
Apple benchmarked the M1 Pro and M1 Max against the MSI GP66 Leopard, which uses the Intel Core i7–11800H CPU.
This is a fairly new CPU released by Intel on 11 May 2021, and it’s already been crushed by Apple.
It shouldn’t be surprising since Apple has proven that the ARM architecture is far more superior to Intel’s x86 architecture.
M1 Pro’s GPU outperforms NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti which is being used in Lenovo Legion 5 (82JW0012US).
If this surprised you, what’s going to come next will blow your brains out.
M1 Max’s GPU outperforms NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 which is being used in MSI GE76 Raider (11UH-053).
This is brutal because Apple just beats the top-end gaming laptop GPU made by NVIDIA.
The benchmark result is mind-blowing because we’re talking about an integrated GPU that has similar performance to a dedicated GPU.
And now for the final nail in the coffin. MacBook Pro outperforms a pro gaming laptop with far less power. Please read that again.
The gaming laptop in the picture is Razor Blade 15 Advanced and it was released in May 2021.
This is one of Razor’s flagship products and uses the latest NVIDIA GPU i.e RTX 3080.
Hope this gives a fair picture of the prowess of the latest SoCs and MacBooks released by Apple. They are beasts in their own league delivering value on all fronts.
One last thing that remains to be mentioned is the battery life and the heat aspect post which I will wrap up. As the SoC’s are designed with remarkable power efficiency for breakthrough performance, these Macs are bound to have extraordinary battery life.
Here are some stats that would help you understand it better.
The 14-inch model delivers up to 17 hours of video playback, which is seven additional hours, while the 16-inch model gets up to a remarkable 21 hours of video playback, which is 10 additional hours — the longest battery life ever on a Mac notebook.
And lastly, regarding the heat issues aspect, this is what Apple has to say
The enclosure is precisely machined around an advanced thermal system that can move 50 percent more air than the previous generation, even at lower fan speeds.
The thermal design enables MacBook Pro to deliver phenomenal sustained performance while staying cool and quiet. And because of the efficiency of Apple silicon, the fans never even have to turn on for most tasks users perform every day.
So, is buying Apple MacBook Pro in 2021 worth it?
The answer is a thumping YES.
Hope this helps you in making an informed decision.So over to today’s question now.
Which of the two models, Pro or Max, are you keen to purchase?
Do let me know in the comments. If you want to refer to my previous blog, here is the link below.
Until next time, peace!