M1 Pro vs. M1 Max Buyer’s Guide

Final yr, Apple introduced a serious replace for its high-end MacBook Pros, with the brand new machines that includes an entire redesign, bigger mini-LED shows with ProMovement, an HDMI port and SD card slot, full-sized operate keys, and extra. The brand new machines include one in all two all-new scaled-up variants of the M1 System on Chip (SoC), the M1 Pro or the M1 Max.

When selecting your MacBook Pro configuration, do you have to select the M1 Pro or M1 Max? Regardless of each being highly effective Apple silicon chips with some overlap, they do have completely different capabilities. Our information helps to reply the query of easy methods to resolve which of those two chipsets for the high-end MacBook Pro is greatest for you.

Evaluating the M1 Pro and M1 Max

The ‌M1 Pro‌ and ‌M1 Max‌ characteristic the identical primary structure primarily based on the ‌M1‌ chip, leading to the identical core performance. Apple lists these equivalent options of the 2 SoCs:


Apple’s breakdown exhibits that the 2 chips share most of their primary options, however they’ve a number of differing capabilities.


Actual-World Efficiency

Our in-depth checks of the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro with an ‌M1 Pro‌ chip and the high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro with an ‌M1 Max‌ chip exhibits what you are getting with the improve to the ‌M1 Max‌.

Priced at $1,999, the bottom 14-inch MacBook Pro options an ‌M1 Pro‌ chip with an 8-core CPU, a 14-core GPU, 16GB unified reminiscence, and a 512GB SSD. The $3,499 high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro we in contrast it to has an ‌M1 Max‌ chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 32GB unified reminiscence, and 1TB SSD. The 2 machines characterize probably the most reasonably priced and the most costly inventory MacBook Pro fashions that do not take note of improve choices.

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In our testing, the ‌M1 Max‌ unsurprisingly outperformed the lower-end ‌M1 Pro‌ chip, however what was a little bit of a shock was how effectively even the bottom ‌M1 Pro‌ chip did in our checks.

In Ultimate Reduce Pro, a video export check noticed the ‌M1 Max‌ machine export a 6-minute 4K video in a single minute and 49 seconds, a process that took the ‌M1 Pro‌ 2 minute and 55 seconds. In the case of 8K RAW footage, each machines have been in a position to deal with the load. The ‌M1 Max‌ MacBook Pro carried out near flawlessly, whereas the ‌M1 Pro‌ had a couple of points with dropped frames and stuttering, however was in the end in a position to sustain.

For comparability’s sake, the 2017 Mac Pro that now we have just isn’t in a position to deal with 8K footage in addition to the bottom mannequin 14-inch MacBook Pro with ‌M1 Pro‌ chip. The ‌M1 Max‌ in the end did higher with our Ultimate Reduce Pro testing due to the 32 GPU cores, however the ‌M1 Pro‌ machine supplied spectacular efficiency.

In a Blender check, a sophisticated picture of a classroom was rendered in simply 8 minutes and 23 seconds on the ‌M1 Max‌ MacBook Pro, a course of that took the ‌M1 Pro‌ MacBook Pro 10 minutes and 58 seconds.

We examined the reminiscence in each machines by opening up a collection of apps that one may use in a video enhancing workflow, like Ultimate Reduce Pro, Lightroom, Chrome, Safari, Music, and some others, and there have been zero efficiency hiccups throughout both MacBook Pro mannequin. Intel machines with 16GB RAM usually see points with this similar setup, so once more, even the low-end MacBook Pro is doing effectively right here. Each the 512GB SSD within the base mannequin and the 1TB SSD within the 16-inch MacBook Pro carried out about the identical, with a 128GB file transferring from an exterior SSD to an inside SSD in 44 and 43 seconds, respectively.

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As for straight Geekbench numbers, the MacBook Pro with ‌M1 Max‌ earned a single-core rating of 1781 and a multi-core rating of 12785, whereas the MacBook Pro with base ‌M1 Pro‌ chip earned a single-core rating of 1666 and a multi-core rating of 9924. Steel scores got here in at 38138 for the ‌M1 Pro‌ and 64134 for the ‌M1 Max‌.

All in all, real-world checks present that when you have a workflow the place seconds matter, like exporting video or working with massive 3D information, you are going to save time with the ‌M1 Max‌, however the ‌M1 Pro‌, even with the bottom mannequin, remains to be a really succesful machine.


The bottom-level 14-inch MacBook Pro prices $1,999 as commonplace and begins with the ‌M1 Pro‌ with 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU. Then again, the base-level 16-inch MacBook Pro prices $2,499 as commonplace and begins with the ‌M1 Pro‌ with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU. It’s doable to improve the chip in each machines for an added value:

With the 16-inch mannequin already beginning with the top-end ‌M1 Pro‌ chip, the upgrades to the 2 ‌M1 Max‌ choices are priced at $200 and $400 respectively on that mannequin.

It’s value noting that including the ‌M1 Pro‌ with 10‑core CPU or higher to any 14-inch MacBook Pro configuration additionally contains the 96W USB‑C Energy Adapter, value $20, as a free improve.

As well as, including the ‌M1 Max‌ to a MacBook Pro configuration routinely provides 32GB of reminiscence for a further $400, making the price of including one of many two ‌M1 Max‌ choices to the bottom 14-inch mannequin $900 and $1,100 respectively in actual phrases.

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Ultimate Ideas

General, the ‌M1 Pro‌ is a extremely succesful chip and the best choice for {most professional} workflows. The ‌M1 Max‌ just isn’t uniquely specialised towards particular duties, so ‌M1 Pro‌ customers should not lacking out on any skills. As an alternative, the ‌M1 Max‌ is just a extra highly effective variant of the ‌M1 Pro‌ that the majority customers won’t want.

A most of 32GB of reminiscence needs to be sufficient for a lot of skilled customers, however in the event you want greater than 32GB of reminiscence, the ‌M1 Max‌ is the one Apple silicon chip to assist this.

The ‌M1 Max‌ is best suited to extraordinarily demanding GPU workflows, corresponding to high-level graphic design, 3D modeling, and video enhancing. Customers who usually work with video may profit from the ‌M1 Max‌’s further video engines. You’ll most likely know in the event you fall into the bracket of customers that wants this added efficiency.

The ‌M1 Max‌ can also be more likely to be a extra future-proof chip within the coming years, so in the event you plan to maintain your MacBook Pro for a number of years, you could contemplate getting a extra highly effective chip than you want proper now.

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