Thursday, Dec 16, 2021, 17:07 Hardware

ProRes Benchmark Results: M1 Max Completely Obliterates Top Configuration Mac Pro

One barely has to even mention how powerful or efficient Apple's new M1 variant processors are. It's been said to death, and it's been said to death because the benchmarks have shown time and time again that it's the truth. Even the year-old standard M1 variant is still able to hold its own with the top of the league of current chips, not to mention the even newer M1 Pro or M1 Max. Numerous benchmarks have proven that the chips used in the the new MacBook Pro variants enable a level of performance comparable with desktop PCs with even potent graphics cards. This has also led to a rather amusing situation in Apple's own product lineup. The large iMac and Mac Pro in their maxed-out configurations still offer incredibly impressive performance, however, the more affordable variants aren't capable of keeping up with Cupertino's newest M-devices.

Mac Pro Takes A Hit In New Benchmarks
A new benchmark test compares how the MacBook Pro M1 Max fares against the Mac Pro – and not just any Mac Pro, but a Mac Pro in top gear with 28 Xeon cores, two graphics cards, and one afterburner card. It was already relatively clear who would win the duel in the chosen discipline before things even began. Both computers were tasked with rendering video in ProRes format. It took 233 seconds to convert the five minute long clip on the Mac Pro, with the afterburner card on that value changed to 153 seconds, in which time the MacBook Pro had already managed to complete the task twice in an overall time frame of 76 seconds for the entire task.

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Video Clip Exporting, Time In Seconds


The Power Of The Hardware Encoder
The reason that the much more expensive Mac Pro was beaten out by a far less expensive machine is rather simply explained: The M1 Max MacBook Pro has the advantage of two hardware encoders and two decoders, whereas the Mac Pro has to complete the task with normal CPU cores. The afterburner card adds at least one hardware encoder/decoder, leading to the time for the Mac Pro to complete the task with vs. without the card sinking by almost a minute. The results very clearly show the potential of a "system on a chip" with multiple, specialized, built-in chips – especially when software and hardware are well adapted to one another and optimized for one another. Of course, it should be noted that this test is not a comparison of the overall performance of the two devices. The 28 Xeon cores manage to win 20,000 points in Geekbench, whereas the M1 Max manages "only" 12,500.

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