Apple's M1 Max chipset shows its teeth in PugetBench for Premiere Pro

nanoguy

Posts: 1,019   +14
Staff member
Why it matters: Adobe's Premiere Pro may not be the go-to software for most video editors on the Mac as it doesn't possess the level of optimization that Apple's own Final Cut Pro suite does. However, Apple's latest M1 Max chipset seems to be fast enough for both, owing to improvements in CPU, GPU, and media engine performance.

Back in June, Adobe said its Creative Cloud suite of applications run more than 80 percent faster on Macs equipped with an M1 chipset when compared to equivalent systems with an Intel CPU. To prove its point, the company even commissioned a study by Pfeiffer Consulting that looked at native Arm versions of Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom Classic. Premiere Pro, which was still in beta at the time, showed a performance improvement of 77 percent on average.

Now that Apple has launched its much-awaited M1 Pro and M1 Max-based MacBook Pros, everyone is curious to see the company’s performance claims put to the test. Despite the fact that shipping dates for the new systems are slipping towards the second half of November, someone was able to get their hands on a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chipset (thanks, Tom's Hardware) and ran PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95.1 (which uses Premiere Pro version 15.4.1), giving us the first look at how Apple’s new chipsets compare with x86 processors paired with discrete GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.

It looks like Apple’s newest 16-inch MacBook Pro is indeed significantly faster than its predecessor, as well as gaming laptops like Dell’s Alienware x17 R1 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 which pair Intel’s 11th generation Tiger Lake CPUs with Nvidia RTX 3000 series laptop GPUs. The new Apple device managed a 1,168 standard overall score and a 1,000 extended overall score in PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95.1, which is higher than those two high-end laptops.

Apple said during the “Unleashed” event that the CPUs in its M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets are faster than 8-core laptop processors while using considerably less power. However, a more interesting claim was made on the GPU side of things, with M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets being described as more powerful than most discrete laptop GPUs while using 70 percent less power.

The PugetBench results do lend some credibility to that notion, as the GPU on the M1 Max chipset scored 66 points, which is close to the 68 points achieved by Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Laptop GPU and much higher than the 20.6 points achieved with the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M in the previous MacBook Pro 16, which is admittedly a little old at this point. A similar story is painted by the standard and extended Live Playback scores, owing to the improved Media Engine in Apple’s new chipset.

If these results are anything to go by, Apple may have indeed created mobile chipsets that give Intel, Nvidia and AMD a run for their money. This is relevant because only a few days ago, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said his company hopes to one day earn back Apple as a customer by making better chips that can compete with whatever comes out of the Cupertino giant’s lab. Gelsinger is also convinced that Intel Alchemist GPUs will be in high demand, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
The hottest silicon designs being made right now are the ones coming out of Apple. This is seriously
Impressive stuff, to be able to beat your top end laptops that have R9 and i9 CPUs inside them with a chip that uses a fraction of the power is a serious flex.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
Neat results but this doesn't necessarily means Apple will outperform or even match GPU performance once power constrains scale up: We know that despite their claims, Nvidia never cared one bit about power limitations and still doesn't: they pretty much make laptop versions just because of heavy market demands but they never prioritize performance-per-watt at all.

Still for professional editors that honestly feel comfortable being laptop hobbos at their local starbucks (And it case it isn't clear I don't think there's nearly as many of these types as Apple would have you believe) this might be the best choice.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,432   +3,759
I believe that Intel's CEO was spouting out of his @ss... even if Intel WAS able to beat Apple's CPU/GPU, Apple would only go back if they could also deliver them cheaper and if they used as much (or less) power.

While we don't know for sure if they can beat Apple's performance (it certainly looks like they can't), or price (ditto) they definitely can't beat Apple's power draw...

Maybe in 10 years....
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
I believe that Intel's CEO was spouting out of his @ss... even if Intel WAS able to beat Apple's CPU/GPU, Apple would only go back if they could also deliver them cheaper and if they used as much (or less) power.

While we don't know for sure if they can beat Apple's performance (it certainly looks like they can't), or price (ditto) they definitely can't beat Apple's power draw...

Maybe in 10 years....
Apple won’t switch back to X86 lightly. If Intel want Apples custom back they would need to make an ARM CPU. And they would as you mention need to deliver them cheaper than Apple can make their own chips. Both are highly unlikely to happen.

Gelsinger seems to know what he’s doing though so I think he’s just saying this to calm the shareholders who probably feel that losing Apples business was a bit of an embarrassment.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 582   +441
The more competition the better, I will enjoy to watch as the status quo changes on the chip market. Honestly, I never expected Apple to come up with this and I am happy to be surprised. I never had a Mac but was very glad to see how they disrupted that market with M1. All good stuff!
 
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seeprime

Posts: 626   +803
Apple won’t switch back to X86 lightly. If Intel want Apples custom back they would need to make an ARM CPU. And they would as you mention need to deliver them cheaper than Apple can make their own chips. Both are highly unlikely to happen.

Gelsinger seems to know what he’s doing though so I think he’s just saying this to calm the shareholders who probably feel that losing Apples business was a bit of an embarrassment.
It's also possible that Intel will be able to produce Apple designed chips in their new fab facility in Arizona, expected around 2023-2024. If so, all they'll need to do is be price competitive with TSMC. I wonder if that's even possible for Intel, to beat the world's largest chip manufacturing company price-wise.
 
Apple will never go back to Intel, or any other CPU/GPU maker for that matter. Not only do they have the power to make their own "engines," they no longer have to play second fiddle to the rest of the industry, waiting for Intel and adapting their products for Intel's thermal, speed and power limitations. Now they can optimize their chips for their OS and for their hardware architecture.

Rather than embrace the old "screwed-together" commodity hardware model of PCs, Apple doubles down on custom silicon and can create faster, cooler, more efficient components and innovate them faster. M1 Pro and Max are only the beginning. Intel sells a small portion of its inventory to Apple. It's Microsoft who should be getting nervous as there's no way they'll be able to keep up with Apple unless they follow suit and develop custom silicon with or without Intel.
 

envirovore

Posts: 328   +650
TechSpot Elite
The more competition the better, I will enjoy to watch how the as the status quo changes on the chip market. Honestly, I never expected Apple to come up with this and I am happy to be surprised. I never had a Mac but was very glad to see how they disrupted that market with M1. All good stuff!

As one that's never been a fan of Apple, I concur.
Good to see not only more competition, but variety as well in the CPU space.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
Apple will never go back to Intel, or any other CPU/GPU maker for that matter. Not only do they have the power to make their own "engines," they no longer have to play second fiddle to the rest of the industry, waiting for Intel and adapting their products for Intel's thermal, speed and power limitations. Now they can optimize their chips for their OS and for their hardware architecture.

Rather than embrace the old "screwed-together" commodity hardware model of PCs, Apple doubles down on custom silicon and can create faster, cooler, more efficient components and innovate them faster. M1 Pro and Max are only the beginning. Intel sells a small portion of its inventory to Apple. It's Microsoft who should be getting nervous as there's no way they'll be able to keep up with Apple unless they follow suit and develop custom silicon with or without Intel.
I think that while this is definitively true for the CPU side of things, it isn't for the GPUs at least not fully: I'm still not convinced that for something truly high end like a 10k USD workstation they won't be going back to AMD or Nvidia for those gpus: they might *try* to stick with their in-house gpus but truth of the matter is that at that level if they don't perform people just won't bother and will put together HEDT systems with actual quadro cards instead.

And as I said before I'm not convinced their GPU will be able to scale and match Nvidia, in fact I seriously doubt it.
 

spaceboy

Posts: 9   +2
I think that while this is definitively true for the CPU side of things, it isn't for the GPUs at least not fully: I'm still not convinced that for something truly high end like a 10k USD workstation they won't be going back to AMD or Nvidia for those gpus: they might *try* to stick with their in-house gpus but truth of the matter is that at that level if they don't perform people just won't bother and will put together HEDT systems with actual quadro cards instead.

And as I said before I'm not convinced their GPU will be able to scale and match Nvidia, in fact I seriously doubt it.
I think apple silicon can scale a lot higher than they have shown to date. We have only seen portables with power budgets and thermal and size constraints, I am interested to see what they will do for their next Pro workstation. This will be the one that will give us an indication of how big they can go without any of the restraints that portables impose.
 

mbk34

Posts: 214   +138
If they could produce a GPU that matched say the RTX 3060 Ti and sell it for reasonable money then they can have my money now. Obviously they'd need to ensure it doesn't work for mining otherwise we'd just have the same problem all over again.
 

Xallisto

Posts: 145   +166
Not sure about all this bluster tbh, this M1 max chip is on 5nm scale and Intel's current rocket lake chips are on 14nm given that Apple is using a fabrication scale that is nearly 300% smaller they should absolutely thumping Intel, not merely equaling them.

incidentally that difference in fabrication scale is also where the those energy stats come from not any effort on Apples behalf.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,311   +983
Not sure about all this bluster tbh, this M1 max chip is on 5nm scale and Intel's current rocket lake chips are on 14nm given that Apple is using a fabrication scale that is nearly 300% smaller they should absolutely thumping Intel, not merely equaling them.

incidentally that difference in fabrication scale is also where the those energy stats come from not any effort on Apples behalf.
nm scale is very far from linear.

TSMC 5nm is much better than Intel's 14nm but still difference is more like 50% not 300%.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 946   +758
No joke this aged worse than milk lol!

"This is relevant because only a few days ago, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said his company hopes to one day earn back Apple as a customer by making better chips that can compete with whatever comes out of the Cupertino giant’s lab."
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
Not sure about all this bluster tbh, this M1 max chip is on 5nm scale and Intel's current rocket lake chips are on 14nm given that Apple is using a fabrication scale that is nearly 300% smaller they should absolutely thumping Intel, not merely equaling them.

incidentally that difference in fabrication scale is also where the those energy stats come from not any effort on Apples behalf.
They are thumping Intel though. These parts are performing similarly whilst using a fraction of the power. That’s what using a smaller process gives you, more power efficiency. If Apple made chips that could use the same power as Intels parts they would blow Intels doors off in performance terms.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 78   +76
The more competition the better, I will enjoy to watch how the as the status quo changes on the chip market. Honestly, I never expected Apple to come up with this and I am happy to be surprised. I never had a Mac but was very glad to see how they disrupted that market with M1. All good stuff!

I bought for the first time a Mac (Mini M1, 8 GB RAM) and sold my desktop (i7, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia GPU), which resulted on around 30-40W vs over 300W on the desktop and I get MUCH better CPU and video performance on the Mac; games are another story but I don't play AAA games so between Crossover / Laptop I have with a cheap Nvidia GPU I play everything I need.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,238   +805
Neat results but this doesn't necessarily means Apple will outperform or even match GPU performance once power constrains scale up: We know that despite their claims, Nvidia never cared one bit about power limitations and still doesn't: they pretty much make laptop versions just because of heavy market demands but they never prioritize performance-per-watt at all.

Still for professional editors that honestly feel comfortable being laptop hobbos at their local starbucks (And it case it isn't clear I don't think there's nearly as many of these types as Apple would have you believe) this might be the best choice.
I've gotta see it to believe it though... close to 3080 performance at massively lower power consumption? That is NOT a lower power GPU. That is a serious piece of silicon even in a laptop form factor. If they pulled off true 3080 discrete laptop perf in something 50W, I'm taking notice.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
I've gotta see it to believe it though... close to 3080 performance at massively lower power consumption? That is NOT a lower power GPU. That is a serious piece of silicon even in a laptop form factor. If they pulled off true 3080 discrete laptop perf in something 50W, I'm taking notice.

Well there was a follow up article of how the M1 Max has a "performance mode" that might kick in the fans and increase power consumption for those moments of intense gpu usage.

My assumption is that once you push all those gpu cores the magical 21 hours of battery might go down to 4-6 hours and the temps might shoot up to 100c
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,238   +805
Well there was a follow up article of how the M1 Max has a "performance mode" that might kick in the fans and increase power consumption for those moments of intense gpu usage.

My assumption is that once you push all those gpu cores the magical 21 hours of battery might go down to 4-6 hours and the temps might shoot up to 100c
It still has a thermal envelope and power brick limitations. There is an absolutely huge difference between a 120W GPU laptop and a 50W GPU laptop.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,557
It still has a thermal envelope and power brick limitations. There is an absolutely huge difference between a 120W GPU laptop and a 50W GPU laptop.

That might very well be true, I'm just skeptical it will be to Apple's extensive claims but it's probably better than what Nvidia can do. I know it's cliché but I believe in this case truth really will be somewhere in the middle.
 

rub900

Posts: 172   +110
The hottest silicon designs being made right now are the ones coming out of Apple. This is seriously
Impressive stuff, to be able to beat your top end laptops that have R9 and i9 CPUs inside them with a chip that uses a fraction of the power is a serious flex.
hahahaha. Apple is ewaste. See the article on this site about the guy suing apple in small claims court. Apple is a joke and is too expensive. But you be you fan boy.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,432   +3,759
hahahaha. Apple is ewaste. See the article on this site about the guy suing apple in small claims court. Apple is a joke and is too expensive. But you be you fan boy.
So they're a trillion dollar company... but they're a joke and ewaste... all because one guy is suing them in small-claims court? I think I know who the real joke is...