Apple’s new M1 Max and M1 Pro chips have received nothing but high praise since their launch in the latest MacBook Pros. Now, a recent benchmark compares them to the 2019 Mac Pro — and it’s not good news for the $6,000 desktop.
In a ProRes benchmark test, the new MacBook Pro proved to be up to three times faster than the Mac Pro. What does that mean for the future of the Mac Pro?
There have been numerous benchmarks comparing the M1 Max and M1 Pro to Windows-based platforms, but Apple’s latest and greatest chips have rarely been tested against its previous high-end release, the Intel-based 2019 Mac Pro.
The purpose of the test was to measure how long it took the new MacBook Pro to perform ProRes video exports and then to test how long it takes the Mac Pro to do the same. An additional test was performed where the Mac Pro was equipped with an Afterburner card, meant to increase its video exporting speed.
In the ProRes export speed test, the M1 Max MacBook Pro only took 76 seconds to complete the task. The Mac Pro took much longer: 233 seconds. When equipped with the Afterburner card, the time was reduced to 153 seconds.
This means that the M1 Max-based MacBook Pro is up to three times faster than the Intel-based Mac Pro (at least in this scenario), and twice as fast when compared to the Mac Pro with an Afterburner card. That’s an outstanding result for the new M1 Max chip, especially considering that the Mac Pro was always the best that Apple had to offer.
The test was performed by Macworld. The best possible configuration of the 2019 Mac Pro including the 28-core Intel Xeon W processor is what’s needed to attempt to match the Apple silicon found in the MacBook Pro. It’s worth noting that the use of the Afterburner card is equivalent to a single ProRes decoder, whereas the MacBook Pro includes two ProRes encoders and decoders, immediately putting the Mac Pro at a disadvantage.
Although the MacBook Pros reign supreme right now, things may change in 2022. Many rumors point to Apple gearing up to release two Mac Pro models in the upcoming year, one based on an Intel chip and one on Apple’s own silicon. Considering that the Mac Pro has historically been Apple’s best offering, the 2022 version might bring previously unmatched performance.
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