Following on from leaked benchmarks for the M3 chip, we now have a look at how the high-end M3 Max chip fares on Geekbench. The jump in performance for the M3 Max chip found in the high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro means it rivals the M2 Ultra chip found in the Mac Pro and high-end Mac Studio desktops, at least as far as these first published CPU benchmark results are concerned.
On the single-core test, M3 Max achieves an average score of ~2980. On multi-core, M3 Max hits around ~20800. This compares very favorably to the previous best Apple Silicon chip, the M2 Ultra, which scores ~2800 and ~21000 respectively.
The headline results are impressive as it means the best chip found in Apple’s portable laptops is now on par with the most performant Mac desktop chips seen in the current Mac Studio and Mac Pro. Of course, the M3 Ultra should put those machines back in the lead, whenever it arrives.
M3 Max is composed of 12 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, up from 8 performance cores in M2 Max. As well as having more cores in total, the performance of each core is also boosted by 15-30% due to architectural upgrades brought by the 3 nanometer process.
During the event, Apple claimed that the M3 Max CPU was up to 50% faster than its predecessor, the M2 Max. This is corroborated by the Geekbench results, at least on multi-core. The M3 Max scores are about 10% higher than M2 Max on single-core, and 44% faster on multi-core.
We are still waiting to see how the mid-range M3 Pro chip fares. It is not likely to show the same kind of performance gains, as it has the same 12-core count as the M2 Pro and actually has fewer performance cores comparatively. Apple only claims a 20% CPU jump, compared to 50% for the Max.
Synthetic testing does not always translate directly to noticeable real-world performance increases. We’ll have to wait for the reviews to come out to see timings for specific applications. In some cases, Apple actually claimed the M3 Max chip was twice as fast as the M2 Max in tasks like Cinema4D scene rendering. This is partly due to the significantly redesigned GPU pipeline.
The new MacBook Pros with M3 are available to order now, with the high-end M3 Max models shipping later in November.
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