Here’s how the M3 Max chip compares to the most powerful Windows laptops

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The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max cavity apparent from behind.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Apple’s M3 Max is an abundantly able chip, decidedly accretion Apple Silicon’s CPU and GPU performance. It’s gotten a ton of press, but is it necessarily faster than the fastest Windows laptops?

To acquisition out, we alveolate it adjoin the Lenovo Legion 9i, a gaming laptop able with the ultrafast Intel Core i9-13980HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, and the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 with the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX and the RTX 4090. We can’t analyze the MacBook Pro 14 with the M3 Max anon to the Lenovo and Asus in that abounding benchmarks, decidedly gaming, due to banned in testing and cross-platform compatibility. But we could analyze abundant to get an abstraction of how these assorted chips assemblage up adjoin anniversary other.

A abrupt attending at architectures

The Apple M3 Max is an ARM-based arrangement on a cavity (SoC) currently at the aerial end of Apple Silicon’s lineup. It represents the aboriginal chips fabricated application a 3nm action and redesigned GPU architecture. On the CPU side, Apple added the acceleration of its achievement cores by 15% and its ability cores by 30% over the M2. Overall, Apple is able a 20% to 25% advance in performance. On the GPU side, Dynamic Caching is one technology that speeds up a array of GPU processes, while gamers will account from cobweb concealment and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

The M3 Max has up to 16 CPU cores and 40 GPU cores with up to 400GB/s anamnesis bandwidth. That’s akin with up to 128GB of RAM, a addition from a best of 96GB. We advised the MacBook Pro 14 with the 16-core CPU/40-core GPU M3 Max.

The Intel Core i9-13980HX is a 55-watt processor with 24 cores (eight Performance cores and 16 Efficient cores) and 32 threads. The Performance cores run at up to 5.60GHz while the Efficient cores run at up to 4.0GHz. It stands at the top of the Intel adaptable Raptor Lake calendar and focuses on accouterment aerial alarm speeds and added cores for achievement assets over its 12th-gen predecessor.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX is a 55-watt CPU with 16 cores and 32 accoutrement active at up to 5.4GHz. It’s at the top of AMD’s adaptable CPU calendar and based on the company’s Zen 4 architecture. It can access up to 75 watts and alike college alarm speeds, able abundantly fast performance.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the fastest adaptable GPU accessible today, utilizing an arrangement of new technologies such as Shader Execution Reordering and DLSS 3 to accommodate almighty gaming performance. It can additionally acceleration up assorted tasks in creative, design, and engineering applications, authoritative it a accepted best in high-end performance-oriented laptops.

Synthetic benchmarks

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 sitting on a table.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

In the Geekbench 6 constructed benchmark, which runs through a account of CPU-intensive processes, the M3 Max is the fastest laptop CPU we’ve tested. The Core i9-13980HX does well, but it can’t accumulate up. I’ve included several added laptops to accord an abstraction of the cogent access in achievement represented by Apple’s fastest adaptable chip.

The after-effects are added alloyed in the Cinebench R24 benchmark, which tests both the CPU and GPU apprehension a circuitous image. The Core i9-19380HX was faster in the multi-core test, but slower in the single-core test, assuming the animal backbone of the chip’s 24 CPU cores. The RTX 4090 was additionally abundantly fast in the GPU test, about bifold that of the M3 Max.

We didn’t analysis the ROG Strix Scar 17 in the latest versions of these benchmarks and so its after-effects aren’t included here. But it’s acceptable to be aggressive with the Legion 9i.

Geekebench 6
single / multi
Cinebench R24
single-core
Cinebench R24
multi-core
Cinebench R24
GPU
MacBook Pro
(M3 Max)
3,174 / 21,137 139 1522 12765
Lenovo Legion 9i
(Core i9-19380HX/RTX 4090)
2,959 / 17,367 125 1665 23212
MacBook Pro
(M2 Max)
2,668 / 14,422 121 1032 5592
iMac
(M3)
3,075 / 11,994 140 657 3728
Dell XPS 15
(Core i7-13700H/RTX 4070)
2,448 / 12,367 87 647 8601

Real-life benchmarks

Cyberpunk 2077 active on the Lenovo Legion 9i.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Adobe’s Premiere Pro is an accomplished archetype of the affectionate of applications that address to the architect bazaar that Apple is targeting with the MacBook Pro. It’s an accelerated appliance that allowances from a fast CPU and GPU and bags of RAM.

The PugetBench Premiere Pro archetype runs in a alive adaptation of Premiere Pro and accordingly provides a accepted adumbration of a real-world laptop’s performance. The latest adaptation tests a array of video encoding, decoding, and GPU-accelerated accoutrement to accommodate a astute and absolute abstraction of real-world performance.

The ROG Strix Scar 17 denticulate the fastest aftereffect we’ve apparent in this benchmark, with an all-embracing account of 928. The M3 Max is in additional abode in our database at 889, while the Legion 9i comes in at third at 838. By comparison, the Dell XPS 17 with a Core i7-13700H and an RTX 4070 denticulate 568, while the MacBook Pro 14 with the M1 Pro managed aloof 467.

These after-effects are best absorbing for the M3 Max accustomed the arduous animal force of the RTX 4090 in the added two machines. Clearly, Apple has optimized the M3 Max to acceleration up absolutely the kinds of tasks that will accumulate able creators alive efficiently.

The M3 Max is a beast, and so are the others, but …

The keyboard of the MacBook Pro 14-inch on a copse surface.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

There’s an albatross in the allowance in all these comparisons, which is that the MacBook Pro is absolutely clashing the Legion 9i and ROG Strix Scar 17 in agreement of artefact category. It’s not a loud, thick, gaming laptop. It’s not meant to be purchased alone for gaming, which is why I focused added on the constructed and agreeable conception benchmarks. Obviously, the added ability of the RTX 4090 is activity to aftermath abundant faster anatomy ante in games, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t consistently aftereffect in bigger achievement in the kinds of things the MacBook Pro is for.

And answer it to say that these two gaming laptops are thick, heavy, and get abominable array life. They’re absurd choices for gamers attractive for the ultimate gaming carriageable gaming acquaintance — but these aren’t absolute competitors to the MacBook Pro. And I assumption that’s the absolute affair that accomplishing this allegory showed me.

The M3 Max absolutely is a game-changer. We’ll accept to delay and see what Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and laptop manufacturers are able to do abutting year, but in the meantime, the M3 Max MacBook Pro charcoal in a chic of its own.

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