AnandTech: Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros ‘able to outclass any competitor; it’s just generally absurd’

One week ago, Apple unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the next breakthrough chips for the Mac. AnandTech calls the performance “just generally absurd.” Scaling up M1’s transformational architecture, M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights. The CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, so tasks like compiling projects in Xcode are faster than ever. The GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster than M1, while M1 Max is up to an astonishing 4x faster than M1, allowing pro users to fly through the most demanding graphics workflows.

M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.
M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max form a family of chips that lead the industry in performance, custom technologies, and power efficiency.

The efficient architecture of M1 Pro and M1 Max means they deliver the same level of performance whether MacBook Pro is plugged in or using the battery. M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes accelerators specifically for pro video processing. M1 Pro and M1 Max are by far the most powerful chips Apple has ever built.

Andrei Frumusanu for AnandTech:

The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are designs that we’ve been waiting for over a year now, ever since Apple had announced the M1 and M1-powered devices… The M1 Pro and M1 Max change the narrative completely – these designs feel like truly SoCs that have been made with power users in mind, with Apple increasing the performance metrics in all vectors. We expected large performance jumps, but we didn’t expect the some of the monstrous increases that the new chips are able to achieve.

On the CPU side, doubling up on the performance cores is an evident way to increase performance – the competition also does so with some of their designs. How Apple does it differently, is that it not only scaled the CPU cores, but everything surrounding them. It’s not just 4 additional performance cores, it’s a whole new performance cluster with its own L2. On the memory side, Apple has scaled its memory subsystem to never before seen dimensions, and this allows the M1 Pro & Max to achieve performance figures that simply weren’t even considered possible in a laptop chip. The chips here aren’t only able to outclass any competitor laptop design, but also competes against the best desktop systems out there, you’d have to bring out server-class hardware to get ahead of the M1 Max – it’s just generally absurd.

On the GPU side of things, Apple’s gains are also straightforward. The M1 Pro is essentially 2x the M1, and the M1 Max is 4x the M1 in terms of performance… To further improve content creation, the new media engine is a key feature of the chip. Particularly video editors working with ProRes or ProRes RAW, will see a many-fold improvement in their workflow as the new chips can handle the formats like a breeze – this along is likely going to have many users of that professional background quickly adopt the new MacBook Pro’s.

For others, it seems that Apple knows the typical MacBook Pro power users, and has designed the silicon around the use-cases in which Macs do shine. The combination of raw performance, unique acceleration, as well as sheer power efficiency, is something that you just cannot find in any other platform right now, likely making the new MacBook Pro’s not just the best laptops, but outright the very best devices for the task.

MacDailyNews Take: And there you have it: Intel, and, for that matter, AMD make slow, hot, inefficient junk for low-end boat anchor PCs stuck running inferior OSes.

Anyone who wastes their money on a Windows PC today is even more of an idiot than they were a week ago – tough to believe that’s possible, given the abject idiocy required to buy a Windows PC at any time over at least the last decade-plus, but, oh, so true.

Intel snail

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  1. This is why, regardless of their disgusting attack on privacy, there is no choice but to get a Mac. We either suffer with a non-Mac with accompanying threats to our privacy, or we have life with Macs — also with possible privacy threats. Regardless, Apple will continue having the best hardware. New MBP shipped today.

  2. Great performance BUT raw performance is not the only that matters.

    A real bottleneck is the inability to virtualize Windows apps that are not ARM based or older versions of macOS. There is a lot of irreplaceable software that many are not willing or able to give up.

    The “built it and they will come” mentality may work for buying iPhones and iPads because there was/is no other dependency. Not so for the desktop/laptop world.

    Will this be another Sony Beta vs VHS or PowerPC vs Intel battle? Time will tell.

    1. That’s an issue fewer people care about every year. Now, mostly for gamers. Macs have never really been for gamers. And seriously, if the heavens open up because Apple isn’t able to have boot camp for Windows gamers, the world will end. Just get over it.

      1. Who cares about gamers? A non productive waste of time. I do not think this is the target market but it will compete for these non productive souls. Maybe they will find solace in Zuckerbergs metaverse…a true match made in the digital cosmos.

  3. I don’t know about Windows desktops, but I think Apple has the high-end laptop market well under control. Of course, there will always be the complaints about how expensive these new laptops are, but if they’re going to last for years, I honestly don’t see what the big deal is if they cost more. They normally have a good resale value, too. My hope is that Apple can take advantage of getting these new MacBook Pros into consumers’ hands as early as possible before the rest of the laptop companies can catch up. I doubt most laptop companies are going to switch from x86 to ARM in just a few months, if they decide to switch at all. Apple has been planning this move for years and it’s unlikely most other companies even considered moving from x86 processors since it was generally accepted that ARM processors wouldn’t be able to scale up to x86 desktop processing power.

  4. You really have to go to Anandtech and read the deep dive they did (and always do). As Rene Richie said the other day, the 9,000 IQ guys at Anandtech know what they’re doing.

  5. Windoze folks – watched a review today “Whew, it was about as fast as my Windows machine in rendering in Adobe Premier so I don’t need to go buy one of these.”

    LOL! Premier is a horrible non-Apple Windows Port at best.

    Geekbench doesn’t take into account ProRes hardware, specific h.264 hardware just basic cores. For video professionals these are simply THE machines, Period.

    M1 was a shot across the bow – but not only across Intel’s bow, but across the software world bow…

    M1 Pro and M1 Max are direct hits. Software vendors must simply write to Metal and if not, their life on Mac is going to last but a few short years…

    What are you going to do Adobe?…

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