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Apple MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Max high-power mode benchmark battery ostensibly ends not with a bang but a whimper

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Max has a high-power mode to drive the SoC cooling fans at higher speeds. (Image source: Apple - edited)
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Max has a high-power mode to drive the SoC cooling fans at higher speeds. (Image source: Apple - edited)
The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Max SoC has been tested on multiple benchmarks while in high-power mode. The 2021 laptop managed to churn out some slightly higher scores in a couple of tests, but on the surface the overall result appeared to be underwhelming. However, it’s possible there was a flaw in the MacBook Pro 16 testing.

We recently reported about Luke Miani’s comprehensive series of benchmark tests for two variants of the MacBook Pro 16, with one model featuring the M1 Pro Apple Silicon and the other sporting an M1 Max SoC. One of the lesser-known features of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max SoC is its ability to switch from low-power mode to high-power mode to squeeze more performance out of the laptop for use in heavy computational tasks such as video editing or working with 8K content. Basically, high-power mode allows more energy to be used by the cooling fans thus permitting the chip to operate at higher frequencies over longer periods.

Miani put the MacBook Pro 16 through multiple benchmarks that included Final Cut Pro workloads, DaVinci Resolve, Geekbench, GFXBench, and Cinebench R23 among others. Most of the results for the MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Max running in high-power mode were very similar to the regular round of testing, with perhaps a few extra points being scored here and there. There were notable differences in both Geekbench Compute and GFXBench T-Rex, with high-power mode affording the M1 Max MacBook Pro the ability to produce a better result (see screenshots below). However, it’s clear to see, at least here, that the MacBook Pro 16 high-power mode pretty much fails to impress and almost seems like a superfluous function.

But there may have been a flaw in the testing method, as the host simply states that the M1 Max-powered laptop has been put into high-power mode for the additional testing. There are three energy modes available to this particular MacBook Pro: Low Power, Automatic, and High Power. If the original tests were made with the machine in low-power mode then the high-power mode results can be considered disappointing in comparison. But if the M1 Pro vs. M1 Max MacBook Pro benchmarks featured the latter device in automatic mode, it’s likely it was already switching to high-power mode at times anyway, hence the similar results.

Buy the Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip on Amazon

Turn on high-power mode. (Image source: Apple)
Turn on high-power mode. (Image source: Apple)
Checking power mode status. (Image source: Apple)
Checking power mode status. (Image source: Apple)
Final Cut Pro render
Final Cut Pro render
Final Cut Pro export
Final Cut Pro export
DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve
Cinebench 23
Cinebench 23
3DMark Wildlife
3DMark Wildlife
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Basemark GPU
Basemark GPU
Geekbench Compute
Geekbench Compute
Geekbench multi-core
Geekbench multi-core
GFXBench Aztec
GFXBench Aztec
GFXBench Manhattan
GFXBench Manhattan
GFXBench T-Rex
GFXBench T-Rex

Source(s)

YouTube (Luke Miani) & Apple

All benchmark screenshots via Luke Miani

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > Apple MacBook Pro 16 with M1 Max high-power mode benchmark battery ostensibly ends not with a bang but a whimper
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-10-30 (Update: 2021-10-30)