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Affinity Photo 2 benchmark comparison: Apple M1 faces off against Intel Core, AMD Ryzen and Nvidia GeForce

With the recent release of Affinity Photo 2, Designer 2 and Publisher 2, there are now new alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. We have tested out the performance of Affinity Photo 2 on various systems to find out which CPU and GPU work best for Affinity users.


Affinity Photo 2 pitches itself as a complete alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC. The software doesn't just offer a similar range of features, but is also significantly less expensive than Photoshop. Instead of requiring a subscription, Serif Labs is asking for a one-off payment of €84.99 (US$69.99). Much like Designer 2 (Illustrator alternative) and Publisher 2 (InDesign alternative), Affinity Photo 2 is available on Windows as well as macOS and iPadOS.

In the benchmark results below, we will show you which devices provide the best performance running these creative apps. The results were obtained using the integrated benchmark tool in Affinity Photo 2, which tests both raster and vector performance. According to the developer, you can directly compare the results between different platforms and operating systems as long as the same version of the app is used.

The user interface of Affinity Photo 2 can be configured and customised to your preferences.
The user interface of Affinity Photo 2 can be configured and customised to your preferences.

GPU benchmarks: Apple dominates Nvidia GeForce

The benchmark results can be compared linearly. In other words, scoring twice as many points means having twice as much performance. As it turns out, Affinity Photo 2 is especially well optimised for the Apple M1 and Apple M2. For instance, even an M2-based iPad Pro (approx. €970/US$770/£860 on Amazon) received a GPU score of 12,337 – almost double the performance of a system powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop with a TGP of 115 watts (including Dynamic Boost).

The performance of the M2 is almost eight times higher than that of the fastest Intel Xe Graphics G7 iGPU. Theoretically, this means that the Apple M2 can get GPU-accelerated workflows done in just one eighth of the time. Whilst the graphics unit in the M2 is a respectable 40 per cent faster than the one in the M1, the M1 Pro (16 GPU cores) and the M1 Max (24 GPU cores) are still 16 and 48 per cent more powerful than the M2 respectively.

Affinity Photo 2 - Combined (Single / Multi GPU)
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Max 24-Core GPU
Apple M1 Max, Apple M1 Max 24-Core GPU
18284 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro, Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU
14293 Points ∼78%
Apple iPad Pro 11 2022
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
12337 Points ∼67%
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2021 A2378
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
8843 Points ∼48%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
8447 Points ∼46%
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16IAH7H
Intel Core i7-12700H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
6335 Points ∼35%
MSI Raider GE76 12UHS @175 W TGP
Intel Core i9-12900HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU
6055 Points ∼33%
Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero, GeForce RTX 2080 Super FE
Intel Core i9-11900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Desktop)
5669 Points ∼31%
Apple iPad Pro 11 2018
Apple A12X Bionic, Apple A12X Bionic GPU
4131 Points ∼23%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
2656 Points ∼15%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
2627 Points ∼14%
Asus Maximum XIII Hero Desktop MSI GTX 1080 Ti FE
Intel Core i9-11900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
2352 Points ∼13%
MSI Prestige 14 Evo A11MO-026US
Intel Core i7-1195G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
1560 Points ∼9%
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i7 256GB
Intel Core i7-6567U, Intel Iris Graphics 550
1345 Points ∼7%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R9YN
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
1008 Points ∼6%
Eve-Tech Eve V i7
Intel Core i7-7Y75, Intel HD Graphics 615
724 Points ∼4%
BMAX MaxBook Y11 H1M6
Intel Celeron N4100, Intel UHD Graphics 600
243 Points ∼1%

CPU benchmarks: Apple M1 beats Intel Core i9-11900K

When it comes to processor performance, Affinity Photo 2 demonstrates a similarly high level of optimisation for Apple's platform. Even the power-efficient Apple M1 in the iPad Pro managed to slightly outperform the desktop processor Intel Core i9-11900K, despite the fact that the Intel CPU is ahead of the M1 in benchmarks such as Cinebench R23 and Geekbench 5 in terms of both single- and multi-core performance.

At this point, we need to emphasise that each run of the benchmark in Affinity Photo 2 only lasts a few seconds. That is to say, the results do not reflect any possible performance limitations caused by inadequate cooling under sustained load. In any case, Affinity Photo 2 benefits from higher CPU core counts. The Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores) performed 13 per cent better than the Core i9-11900K (8 cores) – this is roughly the same margin you would expect to see in Cinebench R23 and Geekbench 5.

Unsurprisingly, the Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max delivered around the same level of performance because they practically share the same CPU configuration. Both chips performed around 43 and 50 per cent better than the Core i7-12700H and Apple M2 respectively. Even though an older device such as the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 equipped with an Intel Core i7-6567U (two Skylake cores) trailed far behind newer systems with a score of 97, Affinity Photo 2 remained usable even when processing larger images. Sure, it takes a few seconds to apply filters, but the user interface and particularly the brushes respond instantly to inputs.

Affinity Photo 2 - Combined (Multi CPU)
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
1384 Points ∼100%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
1371 Points ∼99%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro, Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU
1044 Points ∼75%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Max 24-Core GPU
Apple M1 Max, Apple M1 Max 24-Core GPU
1024 Points ∼74%
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16IAH7H
Intel Core i7-12700H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
732 Points ∼53%
MSI Raider GE76 12UHS @175 W TGP
Intel Core i9-12900HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU
717 Points ∼52%
Apple iPad Pro 11 2022
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
699 Points ∼51%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
664 Points ∼48%
Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero, GeForce RTX 2080 Super FE
Intel Core i9-11900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Desktop)
648 Points ∼47%
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2021 A2378
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
632 Points ∼46%
Asus Maximum XIII Hero Desktop MSI GTX 1080 Ti FE
Intel Core i9-11900K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
615 Points ∼44%
Apple iPad Pro 11 2018
Apple A12X Bionic, Apple A12X Bionic GPU
330 Points ∼24%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R9YN
AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
275 Points ∼20%
MSI Prestige 14 Evo A11MO-026US
Intel Core i7-1195G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs
188 Points ∼14%
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i7 256GB
Intel Core i7-6567U, Intel Iris Graphics 550
98 Points ∼7%
Eve-Tech Eve V i7
Intel Core i7-7Y75, Intel HD Graphics 615
61 Points ∼4%
BMAX MaxBook Y11 H1M6
Intel Celeron N4100, Intel UHD Graphics 600
53 Points ∼4%
Lenovo Yoga C630 (Snapdragon)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 850, Qualcomm Adreno 630
14 Points ∼1%

Verdict

Affinity Photo 2 has been optimised especially for Apple chips, as clearly demonstrated by our benchmark results. To do better than an Apple M2, you will need at least an Intel Core i7-12700H combined with a current high-end GPU – components found only in devices that are far thicker, heavier and more expensive than Apple M2-based machines.

Power users, in particular, will notice these massive differences in benchmark results. The higher the resolution of a raster image or the more complex a vector graphic, the bigger the difference in the actual amount of time required to process a filter or export an image. But there is good news for casual users: Affinity Photo 2 remains usable even on older systems, some of which are 80 per cent slower than an M2-based device. As long as images are not extremely large or complex, the user interface and brushes will be pleasantly responsive.

Disclaimer: a free copy of the software reviewed in this article was provided by the developer to the author.

Price and availability

Affinity Photo 2 usually costs €84.99 (US$69.99) on Windows and macOS, and the iOS version goes for €23.99 (US$19.99). The developer is currently offering a launch discount, bringing the price of the software down to €48.99 (US$40.99) on PC and Mac, and €14.99 (US$11.99) on the iPad. The universal licence, which contains Affinity Photo 2, Designer 2 and Publisher 2 for all supported operating systems, normally costs €199.99 (US$169.99), but is available right now at a discounted price of €119.99 (US$99.99). You can visit the developer's website for more information.

All Benchmarks

Show Restrictions
PosModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeAffinity Photo 2 Combined (Multi CPU)Affinity Photo 2 Combined (Single / Multi GPU)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super0x0
1435
7590
KFA2 GeForce RTX 4070 Ti SG3840x2160
1428
9014
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super0x0
1406
7722
KFA2 GeForce RTX 3070 Ti SG3840x2160
1389
7682
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX0x0
1384
2656
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT0x0
1371
2627
PNY GeForce GTX 16600x0
1371
5816
Palit GeForce RTX 4090 GameRock OC
Palit GeForce RTX 4090 GameRock OC Desktop GPU review: High end performance with a price to match
Corsair MP600 GS 2TB SSD in review: Fast SSD for laptops, desktop and mini PCs
3840x2160
1369
8448
AMD Radeon RX 68000x0
1365
2761
ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC3840x2160
1351
8130
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT0x0
1348
2676
KFA2 GeForce RTX 4080 SG3840x2160
1343
8144
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1650 Super EX One Click OC0x0
1318
4173
Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT0x0
1309
2688
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT Gaming X Trio0x0
1307
2759
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro3456x2234Mini-LED
1044
14293
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Max 24-Core GPU3024x1964Mini-LED
1024
18284
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16IAH7H2560x1600IPS
732n2
6335n2
MSI Raider GE76 12UHS @175 W TGP1920x1080
717
6055
PosModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeAffinity Photo 2 Combined (Multi CPU)Affinity Photo 2 Combined (Single / Multi GPU)
Apple iPad Pro 11 20222388x1668IPS
699
12337
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry2560x1600IPS
664
8447
Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero, GeForce RTX 2080 Super FE3840x2160
648
5669
Minisforum Neptune Series NAD9x
643
4176
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2021 A23782732x2048IPS mini-LED
632
8843
Asus Maximum XIII Hero Desktop MSI GTX 1080 Ti FE3840x2160
615
2352
Minisforum Venus Series UM690 (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE)0x0
578
2968
Minisforum Venus Series UM690 (6900HX)x
534
697
HP EliteBook 835 G91920x1200IPS
419
588
Apple iPad Pro 11 20182388x1668IPS
330
4131
Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R9YN1920x1080IPS
275
1008
MSI Prestige 14 Evo A11MO-026US1920x1080IPS
188
1560
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i7 256GB2560x1440IPS
98
1345
Eve-Tech Eve V i72880x1920IPS
61
724
BMAX MaxBook Y11 H1M61920x1080IPS
53
243
Lenovo Yoga C630 (Snapdragon)1920x1080IPS
14
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Affinity Photo 2 benchmark comparison: Apple M1 faces off against Intel Core, AMD Ryzen and Nvidia GeForce
Hannes Brecher, 2022-12- 1 (Update: 2022-12-13)