Apple's M1 Max bests AMD Radeon Pro W6900X in Affinity GPU benchmark

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 26
Apple's top-of-the-line M1 Max chip, which powers the company's new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, outperforms a $6,000 AMD desktop GPU at certain tasks in Affinity Photo's benchmarking suite.

M1 Max


According to Andy Somerfield, lead Affinity Photo developer, the M1 Max is the fastest GPU he has evaluated using the benchmarking software. Apple's integrated graphics solution notched a "Raster (Single GPU)" score of 32891, edging a score of 32580 put in by AMD's W6900X, a 300-watt card that was tested as equipped in a 12-core Mac Pro.

In a multi-day Twitter thread, Somerfield chronicled Affinity developer Serif's integration of GPU compute support for apps like Affinity Photo, imaging editing software that started life as a desktop title and has since branched out to iOS and iPadOS. Specifically, Serif saw promise in early Apple Silicon designs on iPad, which for the first time allowed the app to tap system GPU assets for certain processes.

Somerfield says Apple's latest chip, M1 Max, ticks the three boxes that make a GPU "ideal" for Affinity Photo: high compute performance, fast on-chip bandwidth, fast transfer on and off the GPU. M1 Max's compute performance and data transfer rates are especially well suited for the task, making MacBook Pro a good choice for users of the app.

"The #M1Max is the fastest GPU we have ever measured in the @affinitybyserif Photo benchmark. It outperforms the W6900X - a $6000, 300W desktop part - because it has immense compute performance, immense on-chip bandwidth and immediate transfer of data on and off the GPU (UMA)," Somerfield said in a tweet Monday.

While not specified, the developer is believed to be referencing an M1 Max with 32-core GPU, Apple's most performant specification.

As noted by 9to5Mac, which spotted Somerfield's post, the W6900X comes equipped with 32GB of GDDR6 memory capable of 512GB/s data transfers.

In addition to outstanding GPU performance, M1 Max achieved chart-topping "Vector (Multi CPU)" and "Combined (Single GPU)" scores, metrics important for Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, respectively.

The results offer a glimpse into the promise of M1 Max, potent potential that is coming into stark relief as more publications get their hands on the new hardware. Earlier today, AnandTech published an in-depth assessment of both chips, finding that the new designs build on M1's foundation to deliver impressive real-world improvements.

Last week, Geekbench 5 scores showed M1 Max is at least three times faster than the original M1 when it comes to Metal compute.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,933member
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    firelockFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 28
     I wonder though how the M1 Max performs with gaming, and things like hardware accelerated ray tracing (which are even relatively new with Nvidia). 

  • Reply 3 of 28
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,657member
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
  • Reply 4 of 28
    but its a half pound heavier and my screens bigger  :D  

    Can't wait till mine is delivered 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Apple vs the world. Impressive that integrated graphics are outperforming the 6900x in some tasks. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    Why would a $2T company who’s worth is derived by being the sole consumer of its hardware turn down $100B? Hmm, let me think about that.
    mwhiteblastdoorleavingthebiggkillroyFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    It would make sense if Apple was in deep financial trouble, but now it’s the opposite situation. Also, if they were to make their most attractive selling point part of their competitors’ lineup, that would be like giving away a golden goose.
    killroywilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 28
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    Looking into the future, there is definitely a case to be made for edge and cloud computing over local resources.

    Being able to pool hardware resources online may become a viable alternative at some point. 
  • Reply 9 of 28
    Omg. It’s 2021 and Apple still thinks integrated graphics is good enough for pro machines.  Unbelievable. It’s insane. Apple is doomed.

    ;)
    rexplextmaybeowulfschmidtjas99blastdoorMplsPFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
     I wonder though how the M1 Max performs with gaming, and things like hardware accelerated ray tracing (which are even relatively new with Nvidia). 

    Do the M1 Pro/Max have hardware Ray Tracing?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    KTRKTR Posts: 192member
    There’s still the Mac Pro.  Unless you were being sarcastic lol 
    killroy
  • Reply 12 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,948member
    These Mac versus ________ (fill in the blank) “dance offs” are interesting but I doubt that they have much, if any, impact on product sales. As a Mac user and buyer with software dependencies on Mac software, or a preference for using a Mac for cross platform apps like MS Office and iTunes, I suppose it’s reassuring to know that when you buy a Mac you aren’t sacrificing any geek-cred to the real, self imagined, or imaginary “experts” who are trying to tell you that you should have bought a PC so you could be bathing in overclocking joy and benchmark bragging rights.

    Meh. Who really cares? The choice of platform is largely driven by the software applications that you use and the availability of these apps on specific platforms that are available for purchase. If I need a computer that can run software that’s only available on the Windows platform I’ll buy a Windows PC spec’d out to meet my needs. Prior to Apple Silicon some, but not all, of the PC-only software could be run in a professional grade virtualization environment. Now, not so much. Likewise, if I need to run a Mac-only app, like XCode, I’ll buy a Mac. 

    Yeah, simply buying the right tool for the right job sounds rather boring, but boring can be a nice thing. Buying a Mac is so much easier and stress free than buying a Windows PC. Apple has far fewer models to choose from and they usually have one that is going to fit your needs quite nicely, or close enough with a couple of external assists. Buying a Windows PC is like a recursive puzzle game where you’re confronted with far too many choices, compromises, and pitfalls. Unless you have an intimate knowledge of every subassembly and component spec and build it yourself (at substantial extra cost I might add) you’re going to fall into a trap of not knowing where the vendor is screwing you by sneaking in a crap part, like a substandard power supply, low res dim screen, sketchy WiFi card, slow and/or tiny storage, etc., or junking up your machine with crapware and time bombed demoware.

    As much as I get geeked up when I walk into a MicroCenter, it’s very clear to me that sifting through all that techno-chaff being hawked by used car salesmen types working on commission must be absolute hell on earth for less technically inclined people who just want to know which computer is the best fit for them, that is, out of the hundreds of possible configurations available. At least with Apple, unless you’re hipsterphobic, seeing the less-than-handful of choices laid out before you is like a Caribbean vacation compared to the horror show that is the typical PC Buying Experience.

    These new MacBook Pros reaffirm that when you buy a Mac  you’re not leaving much if anything on the table, starting with the buying experience, to reliability, customer support, TCO, and with the M1 - uncompromising performance for the software we run. Repeat Mac customers have always known that it’s the total package (hardware, software, ecosystem, experience) that matters and we haven’t needed spec sheets and benchmarks to reassure us that we’ve made the right choice of platform. M1 is just more icing on an already impressive cake. Engaging in cherry picking comparisons, from either side, isn’t going to change very many buyer’s minds, either way. 

     
    sbdudeAlex_VFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 28
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,498member
    dewme said:
    These Mac versus ________ (fill in the blank) “dance offs” are interesting but I doubt that they have much, if any, impact on product sales. As a Mac user and buyer with software dependencies on Mac software, or a preference for using a Mac for cross platform apps like MS Office and iTunes, I suppose it’s reassuring to know that when you buy a Mac you aren’t sacrificing any geek-cred to the real, self imagined, or imaginary “experts” who are trying to tell you that you should have bought a PC so you could be bathing in overclocking joy and benchmark bragging rights.

    Meh. Who really cares? The choice of platform is largely driven by the software applications that you use and the availability of these apps on specific platforms that are available for purchase. If I need a computer that can run software that’s only available on the Windows platform I’ll buy a Windows PC spec’d out to meet my needs. Prior to Apple Silicon some, but not all, of the PC-only software could be run in a professional grade virtualization environment. Now, not so much. Likewise, if I need to run a Mac-only app, like XCode, I’ll buy a Mac. 

    Yeah, simply buying the right tool for the right job sounds rather boring, but boring can be a nice thing. Buying a Mac is so much easier and stress free than buying a Windows PC. Apple has far fewer models to choose from and they usually have one that is going to fit your needs quite nicely, or close enough with a couple of external assists. Buying a Windows PC is like a recursive puzzle game where you’re confronted with far too many choices, compromises, and pitfalls. Unless you have an intimate knowledge of every subassembly and component spec and build it yourself (at substantial extra cost I might add) you’re going to fall into a trap of not knowing where the vendor is screwing you by sneaking in a crap part, like a substandard power supply, low res dim screen, sketchy WiFi card, slow and/or tiny storage, etc., or junking up your machine with crapware and time bombed demoware.

    As much as I get geeked up when I walk into a MicroCenter, it’s very clear to me that sifting through all that techno-chaff being hawked by used car salesmen types working on commission must be absolute hell on earth for less technically inclined people who just want to know which computer is the best fit for them, that is, out of the hundreds of possible configurations available. At least with Apple, unless you’re hipsterphobic, seeing the less-than-handful of choices laid out before you is like a Caribbean vacation compared to the horror show that is the typical PC Buying Experience.

    These new MacBook Pros reaffirm that when you buy a Mac  you’re not leaving much if anything on the table, starting with the buying experience, to reliability, customer support, TCO, and with the M1 - uncompromising performance for the software we run. Repeat Mac customers have always known that it’s the total package (hardware, software, ecosystem, experience) that matters and we haven’t needed spec sheets and benchmarks to reassure us that we’ve made the right choice of platform. M1 is just more icing on an already impressive cake. Engaging in cherry picking comparisons, from either side, isn’t going to change very many buyer’s minds, either way. 

     
    Jean-Louis Gassee has a post that references Apple's path to the M1x;
     
    https://mondaynote.com/apple-m1-pro-max-surprises-7b097788160b

    Linked within that, there's an extensive story on Apple's path to the M1X by Steve Sinofsky that is worth reading;

    https://medium.learningbyshipping.com/apples-long-journey-to-the-m1-pro-chip-250309905358

    25/ When you look at M1 Pro/Max today it is tempting to think of this in terms of performance, but performance per watt AND integrated graphics AND integrated memory AND integrated application processors is innovation in an entirely different direction. Just the beginning.

    26/ Here’s a thing about “Laptops versus Phones”. The Phone is the computer for everyone around the world now. Laptops (and desktops) are specialized devices for work. About 400M people really use/need laptops for work. That’s what M1 is for and why Apple does not need to stress about pricing like it did in the 1990s — essential tools for highly paid information workers are worth the money.

    27/ The number of laptops won’t grow, but it is likely Apple will continue to take share from Windows (as will Chromebooks). At 275M units a year, laptops are big but serving this base of 400M. Phones serve everyone including them. That’s where software innovation is for masses.

    Alex_Vkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,498member
    avon b7 said:
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    Looking into the future, there is definitely a case to be made for edge and cloud computing over local resources.

    Being able to pool hardware resources online may become a viable alternative at some point. 
    Seems like Google, et al, has that market, and there is a well a gaming market, so I'd state that the cloud computing market is viable today.

    Yet there doesn't seem to have diminished demand for continued evolution of more performant mobile, notebook, and desktop hardware, all of which benefits Apple's future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,637member
    Oh my, the M1 Max really has poked the hornet’s nest, hasn’t it. The scramble is on to dismiss and delegitimize it. 
    killroyFileMakerFellerwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    Personally I just love the author’s “notched” slide in.  I look forward to seeing how many times people will subconsciously/intentionally reference the notch through word play.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 28
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,488member
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    Clearly that's not going to (and should not) happen, but it's an interesting thought experiment. So a few thoughts:

    1. From the 'fiduciary duty' perspective, Apple would need to charge more than $1k per M1 Max. By way of comparison, the A100 chip from Nvidia costs $18k to buy (as part of a card), and that's a 54 billion transistor chip (compared to 57 billion for M1 Max). 

    2. I suspect that the reason the M1 Max makes financial sense for Apple in a Mac (even though the Mac sells for much less than $18k) is that the customers who buy that Mac are very high value customers. Only Apple knows for sure, but I'll bet Apple's high-end Pro customers buy a *lot* of Apple gear AND are major influencers with more middle-of-the-road customers. I also suspect this is a big part of the reason Apple realized they have to keep offering the Mac Pro, even if sales are only in the 10s of thousands per year. So the value of the M1 Max to Apple is much higher than the extra $ they charge when somebody upgrades a MBP to the M1 Max option. 

    3. PC OEMs do not want an integrated SOC like this. They wouldn't know what to do with it. This thing is custom designed to be a part of Apple's whole hardware+software stack. 

    4. Most PC customers probably also don't want this, especially when you consider the fraction of PCs bought by large corporations (as opposed to individuals or small businesses). 

    So bottom line, the M1 Max only makes sense in the context of Apple's unique ecosystem and customer base. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 28
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 760member
    Wgkrueger said:
    cpsro said:
    Tim Cook now has a fiduciary duty to devote all M1 Max production to bitcoin mining.
    If a large PC manufacturer placed an order for 10 million M1 Pro CPU chips at $1000 each, Tim Cook would have a fiduciary duty to take their $10B. Not just for the $10B, but for the $100B in orders that would come shortly thereafter when everyone realized it was time to leave Intel. Why would anyone turn down $100B in orders?
    Why would a $2T company who’s worth is derived by being the sole consumer of its hardware turn down $100B? Hmm, let me think about that.
    It gets to a point where even if there were an addtional 10 Million or 100 Million orders Apple Couldn't or Wouldn't (want) to deleiver, ESPECIALLY with the chip shortages.  The Apple customers will get there devices and it's too bad for the Intel guys...
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 28
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    Detnator said:
    Omg. It’s 2021 and Apple still thinks integrated graphics is good enough for pro machines.  Unbelievable. It’s insane. Apple is doomed.

    ;)
    You forgot to add “this never would’ve happened under Steve Jobs!”
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    The bitcoin narrative is interesting for sure.  If Apple introduces an M1Max-powered Mac mini, I can definitely see a huge demand of these units for use in crypto-mining.  Add an ASI-optimized Linux package to run on these beasts and it will be a force to be reckoned with.
    watto_cobra
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