Let's make it clear before we begin: if you're not in the trenches of video editing, color-grading, creating 3D projects, or using any demanding programs, neither of these top of the line MacBooks are for you. Get an M1 or M2 MacBook Air, instead. They're great, and they'll get the job done for anything outside of the most CPU/GPU-intensive tasks.

Now comparing the 2021 M1 Max and the brand-new 2023 Pro M2 Max, the M1 is still a fantastic machine and, frankly, overkill for most creatives, but it is an absolute workhorse for those that can use it to its full potential.

On the other hand, it's only been two years since Apple's foray into in-house silicon, so is it worth getting the M2 Max?

The exterior design remains unchanged with no upgrades to the display, which is cool because this design is all about functionality.

The M2 Max is Apple's second-gen of silicon, so you would think there would be a massive performance increase over the original with the M1 being its first chip, but not quite.

Apple truly got in its bag for the M1 and it translates to the M2 with a significant performance increase. It's not massive, but that's ok.

We tested the M2 Max with 12‑core CPU, 38‑core GPU, 16‑core Neural Engine with 96GB of RAM, comparing it to M1 Max with 10‑Core CPU and 32‑Core GPU with 64GB of RAM. You'll see notable speed differences when you put it to the test with 3D engines like Cinebench and Blender.

For Blender specifically, I used metal and chose the M1/M2 option within Cycles.

There was a noticeable difference in the render times here: six minutes compared to 25 minutes, to be exact. But with the M2's 96 gigs of ram standing tall over the M1's 64 gigs, we'd expect nothing less.

Cinebench scores were surprisingly close, with the M2 Max scoring 13889 and the M1 Max scoring 12170.

Obviously, a PC with a dedicated GPU is the best play for 3D projects but Apple's latest MacBook Pros really make it easy to manage to edit and render 3D files on the go.

Now with other things like video editing, you'll also see a decent increase in performance.

I tried grading and exporting some quick 8K edits in DaVinci Resolve and both MacBooks handled it with no issue but, as you'd expect, the M2 was a bit swifter. Not enough to be really impressed, though.

Now, is the M2 upgrade worth it? If you're coming from an Intel-based MacBook Pro and want to splash some cash, go for it.

But, if you're on a budget like most of us, you're definitely better off with the M1 Max. The difference is notable but not worth an additional $1000. If you have an M1 Max, I wouldn't recommend upgrading this time. Instead, wait until the (rumored) M3 or for more significant hardware changes.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Halle Bailey Fans Think Shakira's Mermaid Cosplay Is Shade Toward 'The Little Mermaid'

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Apple Steps Into VR, Dave & Central Cee Top Charts, Ye & Biani's Bizarre 'Fits, Seventh Interview

  • Kanye is Still One of Hip Hop's Wealthiest Moguls

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    It's All Love With Carhartt WIP FW23

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    You Can Win $20k (Seriously) at ALD & New Balance's Basketball Tournament

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Finally, a T-shirt For 'Barbie' & 'Oppenheimer's Shared Release Day

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.