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Geek discretion advised: Apple M1 Max trails behind RTX 3080 Laptop by nearly 30% in GFXBench but is about 8% faster than RTX 3060 Laptop, mileage varies depending on considered benchmarks

The Apple M1 Max is pegged to offer a great performance-to-power consumption ratio. (Image Source: Apple)
The Apple M1 Max is pegged to offer a great performance-to-power consumption ratio. (Image Source: Apple)
GFXBench 5 results of the Apple M1 Max indicate that raw performance may really not match up to an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, though there are likely benefits when power consumption is factored. The early results show that the M1 Max is probably more on the lines of an RTX 3060 Laptop GPU than an RTX 3080. However, it all depends on the type of benchmark considered and there's no definitive conclusion just yet.

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There's been considerable excitement around Apple's new MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 models, and why not? The Apple M1 silicon has proven to be a solid performer so far, so the upgrade to an M1 Pro or M1 Max can be equally rewarding if not more.

During the keynote, Apple showed off some performance graphs in comparison to powerful gaming and content creator laptops on the Windows side. In one of the slides, Apple claimed that the M1 Max SoC, which offers up to a 32-core GPU, has performance on par with at least a 105 W RTX 3080 Laptop GPU while also consuming 100 W less power than what a 155 W RTX 3080 Laptop GPU would consume.

A new GFXBench entry looks to offer some perspective. Before we come to any conclusion, do note that one benchmark is nowhere near a complete representation of the chip's performance. Also, the GFXBench results can sway either way depending on which entry and which OS/API you select. Finally, the benchmark does not explicitly mention the exact GPU core count used. With that being said, let's see what's on offer. 

First up, comparing to an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, we see that the M1 Max is about 28.5% slower in Aztec Ruins Normal Tier and High Tier Offscreen tests. The M1 Max's fortunes seem to reverse when compared to an RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, though not by much. Here, we see the M1 Max to be about 8.2% and 2.3% faster than the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU in the aforementioned tests.

So, is the M1 Max's performance more in line with an RTX 3060 than an RTX 3080? That's a difficult question to answer right now. From a purely raw performance perspective, the prospect that an M1 Max could surpass an RTX 3080 seems a bit far-fetched. But then, there are multiple TGP variants of the RTX GPUs, so things could intersect at some point depending on the workload; and those that make good use of Apple-specific features will have an obvious advantage.

For instance, 3DCenter's tabulation of available GFXBench results for the M1 Max, RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, and the RTX 3080 desktop GPU indeed show Apple's latest and greatest chip to have a perceivable advantage overall compared to Nvidia's laptop offerings despite sipping way less power.

Also, the real claim to fame for Apple Silicon is performance-per-watt and not just raw performance alone. Besides, a good deal of Windows-based benchmarks such as 3DMark (save for the Wid Life Extreme test) and popular games cannot run on M1 just yet, so it's difficult to get a holistic perspective of the performance differences.

While there's no doubt with regards to the performance-per-watt advantages with M1 Max in comparison to traditional GPUs, the exact benefits will only become apparent once we get to fully review the new MacBook Pros.

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Apple M1 Max entry in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max entry in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Intel Iris Xe Max in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Intel Iris Xe Max in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Nvidia RTX 3060 Laptop GPU in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Nvidia RTX 3060 Laptop GPU in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Nvidia RTX 3080 Laptop GPU in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs Nvidia RTX 3080 Laptop GPU in GFXBench. (Source: GFXBench)
Apple M1 Max vs RTX 3070 Laptop, RTX 3080 Laptop, and RTX 3080 desktop in GFXBench. (Source: 3DCenter)
Apple M1 Max vs RTX 3070 Laptop, RTX 3080 Laptop, and RTX 3080 desktop in GFXBench. (Source: 3DCenter)
 
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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1500 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > Geek discretion advised: Apple M1 Max trails behind RTX 3080 Laptop by nearly 30% in GFXBench but is about 8% faster than RTX 3060 Laptop, mileage varies depending on considered benchmarks
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-10-21 (Update: 2021-10-21)