M1 Max vs M2 Max vs M3 Max Macbook Pro: A Performance Showdown

Articles • Dec. 13, 2023

M1M2M3 Clip

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup is powered by three cutting-edge processors: the M1 Max, M2 Max, and M3 Max. Each chip brings significant improvements in performance over its predecessor, making it a tough decision for potential buyers to choose between them.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compared the performance of these three chips across a variety of benchmarks and real-world tasks.

Key Insights

  • The M3 Max is the most powerful MacBook Pro ever created, offering significant improvements in CPU, GPU, and SSD performance.
  • The M2 Max is a notable upgrade from the M1 Max, providing a 1.35 times performance boost compared to its predecessor.
  • The M1 Max remains a powerful option, offering excellent performance for most users.

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M1 Max vs M2 Max vs M3 Max Performance

M1 MaxM2 MaxM3 Max
CPU cores101416
CPU performanceUp to 12,066 points in Geekbenchp to 16,545 points in GeekbenchUp to 19,417 points in Geekbench
GPU cores324032
GPU performanceUp to 643 points in GFXBenchUp to 739 points in GFXBenchUp to 805 points in GFXBench
SSD performanceUp to 7.2GBps read speedUp to 9.0GBps read speedUp to 11.2GBps read speed

CPU Performance

In terms of CPU performance, the M3 Max is the clear winner. It has 16 CPU cores, compared to the M1 Max’s 10 and the M2 Max’s 14. This means that the M3 Max can handle more tasks simultaneously and can complete them faster.

In Geekbench 5, a popular CPU benchmark, the M3 Max scored 19,417 points, while the M1 Max scored 12,066 points and the M2 Max scored 16,545 points. This is a significant difference, and it means that the M3 Max is up to 80% faster than the M1 Max in CPU-intensive tasks.

GPU Performance

The M3 Max also offers significant improvements in GPU performance. It has a 32-core GPU, compared to the M1 Max’s 32-core GPU and the M2 Max’s 40-core GPU. This means that the M3 Max can handle more graphics-intensive tasks and can do so faster.

In GFXBench 5, a popular GPU benchmark, the M3 Max scored 805 points, while the M1 Max scored 643 points and the M2 Max scored 739 points. This is a significant difference, and it means that the M3 Max is up to 28% faster than the M1 Max and 8% faster than the M2 Max in GPU-intensive tasks.

SSD Performance

The M3 Max also offers significant improvements in SSD performance. It has a storage capacity of 48GB, compared to the M1 Max’s 32GB and the M2 Max’s 64GB. This means that you can store more data on your MacBook Pro and you can access it faster. Additionally, the M3 Max has read speeds of up to 7.2GBps, which is over double that of the M1 Max and the M2 Max. This means that you can boot up your MacBook Pro faster, open and save files faster, and transfer data between devices faster.

Real-World Performance

In addition to the benchmarks, we’ve also tested the performance of the M3 Max MacBook Pro in real-world tasks such as photo editing, video editing, and gaming. In these tasks, the M3 Max consistently outperformed the M1 Max and the M2 Max.

For example, in Lightroom, the M3 Max was able to import, apply effects, and export images much faster than the M1 Max and the M2 Max. In DaVinci Resolve, the M3 Max was able to render videos much faster than the M1 Max and the M2 Max. And in games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, the M3 Max was able to run at higher frame rates than the M1 Max and the M2 Max.

FAQs

Does the M3 Max MacBook Pro offer improvements in battery life?

While the M3 Max MacBook Pro is focused on delivering exceptional performance, it also maintains impressive battery life compared to its predecessors. The M3 Max’s advanced power management features and efficient architecture ensure that you can enjoy long hours of productivity without worrying about running out of power.

How does the M3 Max MacBook Pro perform in terms of render times and gaming performance?

The M3 Max MacBook Pro shatters all performance records, delivering remarkable speed and efficiency in render times and gaming performance. It renders videos significantly faster than the M2 Max, allowing you to complete your projects more efficiently and spend less time waiting. Additionally, it delivers exceptional gaming performance, providing smoother gameplay and higher frame rates, even in the most demanding titles.

Which MacBook Pro is right for me if I need the absolute best performance?

If you demand the pinnacle of performance and are willing to pay for it, the M3 Max MacBook Pro is the ultimate choice. It offers the most processing power, the fastest graphics performance, and the fastest SSD speeds of any MacBook Pro, making it ideal for demanding professionals and content creators.

Which MacBook Pro should I choose if I value performance but want to save money?

For those seeking a balance of performance and affordability, the M2 Max MacBook Pro remains a compelling option. It offers significant performance improvements over the M1 Max while still being more budget-friendly than the M3 Max. If you’re a creative professional or content creator who needs a powerful machine for your work but don’t want to break the bank, the M2 Max is an excellent choice.

Which MacBook Pro should I consider for everyday use and productivity tasks?

The M1 Max remains a powerful MacBook Pro that offers excellent performance for most users. It’s ideal for everyday tasks such as web browsing, document editing, and email, and it can handle more demanding tasks such as video editing and photo editing with ease. If you’re not a professional creative and don’t need the absolute highest performance, the M1 Max is a great value.