Apple M1 Max Chipset Showcases Its Benefits in PugetBench for Premiere Pro

Why is it important: Adobe Premiere Pro software may not be suitable for video editors on Mac because it does not have the same level of optimization that Apple’s own Final Cut Pro package does. However, Apple’s latest M1 Max chipset seems fast enough for both, thanks to improvements in CPU, GPU, and Media Engine performance.

Back in June, Adobe said its Creative Cloud suite of apps runs more than 80 percent faster on Macs equipped with the M1 chipset than comparable systems with an Intel processor. To prove their point, the company even ordered a study by Pfeiffer Consulting, which reviewed their own versions of Illustrator, InDesign, and Lightroom Classic for Arm. Premiere Pro, which was still in beta at the time, showed an average performance improvement of 77 percent.

Now that Apple has released its highly anticipated M1 Pro and M1 Max-based MacBook Pros, everyone is curious to see how the company’s claimed performance numbers will be put to the test. Despite the fact that the delivery dates of new systems are shifting to the second half of November, someone managed to get their hands on a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chipset (thanks, Tom’s Hardware) and get it up and running. PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95.1 (which uses Premiere Pro version 15.4.1), which gives us a first look at how Apple’s new chipsets compare to x86 processors paired with AMD and Nvidia discrete GPUs.

It looks like Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is indeed significantly faster than its predecessor, as well as gaming laptops like the Dell Alienware x17 R1 and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 that pair 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake processors with laptop GPUs in the Nvidia RTX 3000. Apple’s new device scored 1168 standard points and 1000 extended points in PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95.1, higher than those two high-performance laptops.

Apple said during its “Unleashed” event that the processors in its M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets are faster than 8-core laptop processors while using significantly less power. With regard to GPUs, however, a more interesting claim was made: the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets have been described as more powerful than most discrete laptop GPUs while consuming 70 percent less power.

PugetBench’s results confirm this view, as the GPU on the M1 Max chipset scored 66 points, which is close to 68 points achieved by Nvidia’s RTX 3080 laptop GPU and much higher than 20.6 points achieved with the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M in the previous MacBook Pro 16, which is admittedly a bit outdated by now. A similar story is told by standard and extended scores in real-time playback thanks to the improved Media Engine in Apple’s new chipset.

If these results are warranted, Apple may indeed have created mobile chipsets that give Intel, Nvidia, and AMD a way to spend their money. This is relevant because just a few days ago, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that his company hopes to once again cash in on Apple as a customer by creating more advanced chips that can compete with anything from 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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