A Apple announced the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with improved front space utilization and more connectivity features. But what calls attention in these models, by far, are the chips M1 Pro e M1 Max, the most powerful ever developed by the company. Will be? Independent tests prove that this claim is not exaggerated.
One of the tests — perhaps the most complete so far — comes from AnandTech. The vehicle expected the M1 Pro and M1 Max to impress in performance, but not so much. High performance is perceived both in CPU processing and in graphics resources.
Despite being the simplest of the pair, the Apple M1 Pro exudes firepower. The chip consists of ten CPU cores: eight performance-focused Firestorm cores are complemented with two Icestorm cores that handle simpler tasks for the sake of energy efficiency.
Firestorm cores can reach a frequency of up to 3,228 MHz; Icestorm cores, up to 2,064 MHz. But those aren’t the only factors influencing performance. The way the cores were combined also makes a difference: the more powerful ones were split into two clusters of four cores.
Each of these sets has a 12MB L2 cache, while the efficiency cores share a 4MB L2 cache. The most interesting detail is that each set can work with different frequencies and activate cores independently.
O AnandTech explains, for example, that one cluster can turn on all of its cores at a frequency of 3,036 MHz while another turns on only one core at a rate of 3,228 MHz. This flexibility, so to speak, is important as it allows processing to be optimized in the right measure .
To top it off, the M1 Pro can work with a memory bandwidth that reaches 204 GB/s (gigabytes per second). To give you an idea of what this means, the first M1, which is already a “rocket”, works with up to 68 GB/s. The effects of all this are seen in practice.
O AnandTech based the benchmark tests on the M1 Max as it has practically the same CPU configuration as the M1 Pro.
If on the one hand the M1 Max performed little better than the M1 in the tests of single–thread, on the other hand, surpassed the latter with some leeway in multi-thread tasks. As if not quite enough, Apple’s chip also managed to beat Intel Core i9-11980HK and AMD Ryzen 5980HS processors.
Not by chance, the AnandTech states that, to cope with the M1 Max, a PC would have to have a server configuration.
As is already clear, the M1 Pro and M1 Max have pretty much the same CPU configuration. What makes the M1 Max more interesting is its support for a memory bandwidth of up to 400 GB/s and, above all, its GPU.
It’s easy to understand the differences by comparing the graphic settings of each model:
|M1 Max||M1 Pro||M1|
|GPU bulbs||32 (4,096 units ex.)||16 (2,096 units ex.)||8 (1,024 units ex.)|
|Frequency||1.296 MHz||1.296 MHz||1.278 MHz|
|Performance (FP32)||10,6 teraflops||5,3 teraflops||2,6 teraflops|
In practical terms, these numbers indicate that the M1 Pro has twice the graphics performance of the first M1, while the M1 Max manages to be four times better in this comparison.
Do these details make the new MacBook Pro interesting gaming options? Theoretically, yes. However, the tests of the AnandTech showed that PCs with advanced settings performed much better in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider e Borderlands 3.
A software optimization can perhaps alleviate this limitation, but at this point, it is important to remember that the MacBook Pro line is focused on professional activities.
In this regard, the M1 Pro and, especially, the M1 Max, do very well: according to the AnandTech, “the new GPU enables a huge performance gain in content creation and productivity workloads that rely on graphics acceleration.”