Early tests show the M3 Max MacBook Pro is blowing the M2 Max out of the water

Apple M3 chips
(Image credit: Apple)

The review embargo for the brand new M3 line of MacBooks and iMac has broken and with it comes confirmation that the M3 Max is the most impressive chip Apple has ever made. 

In TechRadar’s review of the M3 Max MacBook Pro, using Cinebench, writer Lance Ulanoff has reported a single-core CPU score of 140, which is only under 10% better than the M2 Max, however, other scores are much more impressive. For instance, the multicore score clocked 1,588, which is about 30% better than the M2 Max. 

Over on the gaming side, the GPU managed to achieve an impressive 12,791, which is over double that of last year’s M2 Max chip. CNET’s review achieved similar results.

What do all these figures mean?

As you might expect, the machine will be faster and more efficient at handling dynamic workloads. The jump in multicore performance is linked to one of the main purposes of this year’s upgrade – gaming. The GPU is much stronger which allows for better performance from your games. If you are someone who has an Apple silicon Mac device and only really uses it for a few select functions like browsing media and editing images, you likely won’t notice that huge jump. 

However, the leap in graphical performance shone through in the direct comparison TechRadar made in the performance section of its review. Total War: Warhammer 3’s Battle Benchmark runs at double the FPS at the highest setting on M1 Max and nearly double the FPS at 1200p. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a game commonly used to benchmark PCs, achieved 68FPS at the highest settings on 1200P on M1 Max but managed to reach 109FPS on the same settings on M3 Max. If you care about gaming or work with programs that can use that GPU efficiently, this upgrade will be leagues ahead of previous machines. 

Now, Apple needs to work with developers to put out games that really take advantage of that beefy hardware. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.