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First MacBook Pro 2021 benchmarks show performance you won’t believe

Published Oct 19th, 2021 5:41PM EDT
Image: Apple

It looks like Apple’s claims about the performance improvements made with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets are coming to fruition. Early MacBook Pro 2021 benchmarks have appeared online, showcasing up to a 60 percent performance gain when comparing the original M1 chip to the M1 Max.

The new benchmarks, as reported by MacRumors, show the MacBook Pro 2021 running an M1 Max chip can obtain a single-core score of 1,749 in Geekbench 5. This is only nominally better than the 1,705 single-core scores of the late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro running the original M1 processor. The biggest difference between the two benchmarks, however, comes with the multi-core score. The original M1 MacBook Pro scored 7,382 for its multi-core score, however, the new benchmarks show a multi-core score of 11,542 with the MacBook Pro 2021 running an M1 Max.

The first MacBook Pro 2021 benchmarks

MacBook Pro 2021 benchmarksImage source: Apple

The benchmarks here are notable because of the performance that Apple has managed to achieve with its silicone chips. It’s also worth comparing these scores to those of the high-performance Mac desktops equipped with Intel’s Xeon processors. The late 2019 Mac Pro managed 1,175 for the single-core score and 15,391 in the multi-core score.

Being able to achieve close to that same level of performance with a less established processor—let alone in a portable notebook—means that we could see even larger gains in future iterations. Unfortunately, no benchmarks for the M1 Pro have popped up just yet, so it’s unclear how close Apple’s claims about performance come with

The M1 Max was announced during Apple’s October event on Monday, and it will be available alongside the M1 Pro. The 14-inch model of the MacBook Pro 2021 will come with up to 32GB of RAM and will support the M1 Pro chip. The 16-inch model will be available in multiple variants which include up to 64GB of RAM and the user’s choice of the M1 Pro and the M1 Max.

M1 Max vs. M1 Pro

MacBook Pro 2021 benchmarksImage source: Apple

Two of the biggest difference between the two chips is the memory bandwidth and the supported memory amount. The M1 Pro comes with a 16-core integrated GPU and tops off at 32GB of unified memory and a memory bandwidth of 200GB per second. The M1 Max comes with a 32-core integrated GPU and up to 400GB per second of memory bandwidth and a limit of 64GB of unified memory.

Apple spent a lot of time making claims about the overall power of the new chips during its presentation. The benchmarks back up those claims. It is worth noting, however, that benchmarks do not completely denote how well the computer will work during everyday tasks. For that, we’ll need to wait for the new MacBook Pro 2021 models to start arriving in customers’ hands next week.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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