Lab – Apple MacBook Pro 16: the M1 Pro against Core i9 and Ryzen 9 processors

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Lluís Enric Mayans
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The arrival of the M1 Pro and Max SoCs that equip the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 is causing a stir, but how do they stack up against the competition? We compared them to an Intel Core-i9 and an AMD Ryzen 9!



Lenovo Legion Slim 7 15ACH6 (RTX 3060, AMD Ryzen 9)


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How the 16 Apple MacBook Pro 2021 (M1 Pro 10/16) Price Chart Works


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  • Macway 2 749,00
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  • Mac Trader Spain 2
  • eBay 2 749,00
  • Amazon Warehouse 2
  • Ubaldi 2 699,00
  • Amazon 2 749,00
  • Boulanger.com 2
  • Rakuten 2 749,00
  • Macway 2 749,00
  • Fnac.com 2 749,99
  • Darty.com 2 749,99
  • E. Leclerc - High-Tech 2
  • Cdiscount 2
  • Top Buy 2
  • LDLC 2 758,96
  • Materiel.net 2 758,96
  • eBay 2 749,00
  • Amazon 2 979,00
  • Boulanger.com 2
  • Rakuten 2 979,00
  • Macway 2 979,00
  • Ubaldi 2 979,00
  • Fnac.com 2 979,99
  • Darty.com 2 979,99
  • Cdiscount 2
  • Top Buy 2
  • LDLC 2 988,95
  • Materiel.net 2 988,95
  • Mac Trader Spain 2
  • eBay 2 979,00
How the price table works

The M1 Pro and Max SoCs, Apple's new technological flagships promise to shake up the world of processors by offering high performance and a solid integrated graphics component, while consuming very little energy. A dream triptych for mobile users, but should we already bury the high-end competing processors?


In order to answer the question, we compared the performance of three computers with very muscular configurations:

  • A Lenovo Legion 7S equipped with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and 32 GB of RAM.
  • An MSI Z16 Creator with an Intel Core i9-11980HK, an RTX 3060 also and 32 GB of RAM
  • A 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro (10 CPU cores and 16 GPU cores) with 32 GB of RAM


The 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro hard at work.

We passed them on our brand new test bench, that is to say in real conditions with 3D rendering and video processing software in particular, but also using synthetic benchmarks in order to see what these computers have in the belly. Note, however, that the Intel processor used is the manufacturer's most powerful current model, while the AMD Ryzen 9 used here is not the most efficient version (normally outclassed by the Ryzen 9 5980HX).


On Cinebench R23, the results are essentially the same on the three machines with all the same a multicore advantage for the Ryzen 9, while on Geekbench the M1 Pro flies away with a much better multicore score.


Different results depending on the applications.

On our panel of applications in real use (video encoding, 3D rendering under Blender, video and photo processing with Adobe software or even file compression), the results are disparate. On Handbrake and Premiere, the M1 Pro lags, but it does well on Blender and is much faster than AMD and Intel on Photoshop. These are the results at this stage taking advantage of the CPU only and not the potential acceleration of the GPU.


Nvidia GeForce RTXs have the edge in some applications.

Precisely, by activating hardware acceleration (the GPU therefore intervenes in the processing) on ​​Blender, Premiere and Photoshop, working times are greatly reduced. The M1 Pro is a real rocket on Photoshop, but the Ryzen 9 and the Core i9 coupled with their GeForce RTX 3060 are much faster on Premiere – where the M1 Pro is doing very well despite the absence of a dedicated GPU – as well than on Blender.

In the latter case, the M1 Pro simply doesn't take advantage of its GPU cores. The Blender software is currently not optimized for this purpose, while Nvidia graphics cards demonstrate their full potential. The M1 should therefore catch up with the level as soon as Blender is updated in this sense, in the next few months probably. It must indeed be taken into account that some applications are better optimized for a particular processor. The M1 Pro would undoubtedly benefit from tenfold performance on editing software like DaVinci Resolve, for example.

A few things to consider

We can say that these three computers offer high performance with advantages and disadvantages depending on the applications used, even if PCs equipped with Nvidia graphics cards make better use of hardware accelerations in some cases. The Ryzen 9 and Intel Core i9 are therefore still largely in the race and we can't wait to see what Intel and AMD will offer to counter the Apple offensive.

Regarding the price/performance ratio, we are around 2500 € for the MSI Z16 Creator (with an Intel Core i7-11800H "only"), around 2200 € for the Lenovo Legion 7S (which sometimes goes under the 2000 € mark ), and just over €3400 for our 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro. The bill drops to €2980 with less RAM, or even €2750 if you opt for the 14-inch model equipped with the same SoC.


The MSI Z16 Creator.

An element to take into account for professionals and amateurs who would like to renew their equipment, even if we are only talking about raw performance here and not other important elements such as the screen, the chassis or the autonomy. Also, we will offer you a test of the M1 Max as soon as possible, in order to study its 32 GPU cores which will naturally be faster than the 16 cores of the M1 Pro.

From the question of the charger

Finally, we carried out all these tests plugged into the mains as usual. However, Apple has widely communicated that its MacBook Pro 14 and 16 will not lose any performance when unplugged, while AMD and Intel based PCs are well known to suffer losses in such a scenario. We therefore meet very soon to check all this in a new dedicated lab!

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