Apple M2 Max SOC compares to a 4-year-old Intel Core i9-powered MacBook Pro

Apple unveiled its new M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs, but the top-of-the-line chip has been compared to an outdated Intel Core i9 CPU from 2019.

Apple compares its brand new M2 Max SOC to a 4-year-old Intel Core i9 CPU

During the show, Apple showed off its latest MacBook Pro running M2 Pro and M2 Max SOCs. Talking a bit about the specifications of these new chips, the M2 Pro features 5nm process technology and features 40 billion transistors while featuring 10/12 cores with up to 32GB of low-latency unified memory. The M2 Max measures things at 67 billion transistors and features 12 cores with 96GB of the same unified system memory. The main difference comes in the form of GPU configurations.

Apple M2 Pro packs up to 19 GPU cores with larger L2 cache and is 30% faster than the GPU in M1 Pro. M2 Max is twice that with 38 GPU cores, more cache and 30% faster than M1 Max.

Now in the presentation, Apple has posted some weird benchmarks (as always) where they compare the M2 Max against the M1 Max and also the Intel Core i9 CPU, which runs on the MacBook Pro 2019. It looks like Apple used an 8-core Intel chip for the comparison part The top of the M2 Max and as far as Cinema 4D results go, the M2 Max is 6 times faster but that’s mostly a GPU based benchmark.

Apple M2 Pro Benchmarks:

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Apple M2 Max benchmarks:

apple-m2-max-m2-pro-vs-intel-core-i9-macbook-pro-cpus-_2
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Furthermore, Apple also claims that its M2 Max can “handle graphics-intensive projects that competing systems can’t.” The test results specifically used a workload that required 40GB of graphics memory. Compared systems included the RTX 6000 and GeForce-RTX 3080 Ti GPU. Both laptop GPUs do not have the required VRAM pool, however, this should not be a reason why these GPUs are not working fully.

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Apple also used to frequently tout its efficiency numbers against competing computer components, but this generation seems to be missing out. We’ve previously explained how flawed Apple’s benchmarks can be and the company is likely to make even more clumsy marketing claims to mislead the public into believing that these gains are, in fact, very important.

Footnotes:

  1. Results compared to previous generation 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9-based 16-inch MacBook Pro systems with Radeon Pro 5600M graphics with 8GB HBM2, 64GB RAM and 8TB SSD.
  2. Testing conducted by Apple in November and December 2022 using preproduction MacBook Pro systems with Apple M2 Max, 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 96 GB RAM, and 8-inch SSD TB plus Intel Core i9-based PC system NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics with 24GB GDDR6 and the latest Windows 11 Pro available at the time of testing Intel Core i9-based PC system with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics with 16 Gigabyte GDDR6 and latest Windows 11 Home available at time of testing. OTOY Octane X 2022.1 was tested on pre-production 16-inch MacBook Pro systems and OTOY OctaneRender 2022.1 on Windows using a scene that required more than 40 GB of graphics memory when rendered. Performance tests were conducted on specific computer systems, and reflect the approximate performance of the MacBook Pro.
  3. Testing conducted by Apple in November and December 2022 using preproduction MacBook Pro systems with Apple M2 Pro, 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 16 GB of RAM, and 1 TB solid-state drive. The Apple TV app movie playback test measures battery life by playing HD 1080p content with screen brightness set to eight clicks from the bottom. Battery life varies by usage and configuration. See apple.com/battery for more information.
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