Intel i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

Intel i9-12900K is the preferred choice of gaming enthusiasts and graphics professionals. Apple M1 Max is Apple’s high-performance processor that was recently released on May 7, 2022. We look at the key factors of the performance of the Intel i9-12900K and the Apple M1 Max. The M1 Max is already being shipped on Apple notebook computers.

CPU Specifications – i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

In terms of CPU specifications, you will notice that the i9-12900K has better processing powers and capabilities.

  • Intel i9-12900K comes with 16 cores. 8 of these are performance cores and the other 8 are efficiency cores. The performance cores can work between a frequency of 3.2 GHz to 5.10 GHz. The efficiency cores can work between 2.4 GHz to 3.9 GHz frequency.
  • Apple’s M1 Max has 10 cores. 8 are performance cores and the remaining 2 are efficiency cores. The performance cores can work between 600 MHz to 3220 MHz frequency. The efficiency cores can operate between 600-2064 GHz.
  • Intel follows the Intel 7 process for manufacturing the i9-12900K. This translates to a 10 nm process. Apple uses the more advanced 5 nm process in manufacturing the M1 Max chips.
  • Due to the more advanced manufacturing process of Apple M1 Max, Apple is able to pack 57 billion transistors on the M1 Max processor chip.
  • i9-12900K supports LGA1700 socket. This socket has 1700 pins for faster communication between the CPU and motherboard. Apple’s M1 Max has an M socket.

In terms of processor cache size, an M1 Max outscores the i9-12900K.

  • Intel i9-12900K has an L1 cache of 64 KB per core and Apple’s M1 Max has an L1 cache of 192 KB per processor core.
  • i9-12900K has an L2 cache of 14 MB. Apple M1 Max has an L2 cache of 24 MB.
  • i9-12900K has an L3 cache of 30 MB. Apple M1 Max has an L3 cache of 48 MB.

A higher cache has a remarkable impact on the efficiency of the processor. The higher number of cores on the i9-12900K is another thing that cannot be ignored.

CPU Scores – i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

We compare the CPU scores of i9-12900K and Apple M1 Max. This offers a broad indicator of how each processor has been performing, given the fact that M1 Max is one of the fastest chips around.

  • Intel i9-12900K has a single core CPU pass mark score of 4210. Apple’s M1 Max has a single core CPU PassMark score of 3850.
  • However, things change when you take into account the higher number of cores on Intel i9-12900K. For all the 16 cores, the CPU PassMark score for i9-12900K is 41164. M1 Max has a CPU PassMark score of 22526 for all the 10 cores. You could note that the higher number of processor cores resulted in a better PassMark score for Intel i9-12900K

Memory – Intel i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

The total memory capacity of the Apple M1 Max is higher than I9-12900K.

  • i9-12900K can support 2 memory channels. Each memory bank can be 64 MB in size. Therefore, an i9-12900K can support a maximum RAM of 128 GB. Apple M1 Max comes with 64 GB of internal memory. The Apple M1 Max can support up to 8 memory channels. This effectively implies that the M1 Max can support a maximum memory of up to 512 GB. Apple’s M1 Max blows out the Intel i9-12900K when it comes to memory capacity.
  • i9-12900K supports DDR5 RAM 4800 MHz memory and the Apple M1 Max supports DDR5 RAM 6400 MHz. This makes for a faster RAM throughput on the M1 Max chip.
  • i9-12900K can achieve a maximum memory bandwidth of 76.8 GBps. An Apple M1 Max can easily achieve a memory bandwidth of up to 400 GBps. Apple M1 Max, clearly, outdoes the i9-12900K in terms of memory bandwidth.
  • i9-12900K can support ECC RAM; M1 Max does not support ECC RAM.

The memory or RAM performance of an M1 Max is definitely better than the i9-12900K.

Display Specifications – i9-12900K vs M1 Max

  • i9-12900K comes with integrated graphics that are based on Intel UHD 770.
  • The GPU’s base to Turbo frequency range for i9-12900K is 350-1550 MHz.
  • Apple M1 Max comes with 32 core GPU.
  • M1 Max’s base to Turbo frequency lies between 450-1296 MHz.
  • At 60 Hz, an M1 Max can give a maximum display resolution of 6016 x 3384. The max display resolution on i9-12900K is 7680 x 4320. 
  • i9-12900K supports up to 4 display monitors.

From the perspective of gaming enthusiasts, an i9-12900K offers better display performance.

Laptop or PC – Intel i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

i9-12900K is a processor that has been designed for building your own PC or desktop. Apple M1 Max is a chip that goes on to the Apple Mac laptops. Overall performance of an i9-12900K based desktop will be always higher than that of the Apple M1 Max.

Power Consumption – i9-12900K vs Apple M1 Max

Apple’s M1 Max is more power-efficient than the i9-12900K. It consumes 30 watts of power. i9-12900K consumes 125 W power. However, you need to factor in a few points before arriving at the actual power efficiency of an M1 Max.

  • M1 Max has a lesser number of cores. This saves power.
  • M1 Max is not a typical gaming laptop. i9-12900K is suitable for gaming enthusiasts. Gaming, generally, causes a higher power consumption.

Based on the technical specifications, you can definitely say that M1 Max is more power-efficient than an i9-12900K.

Summary

Intel i9-12900K is better than M1 Max in terms of the following:

  • a higher number of processor cores.
  • the better frequency range of the performance and efficiency cores.
  • The benchmark scores of i9-12900K are way ahead of the M1 Max.

M1 Max on the other hand boasts of better memory throughput and bandwidth.

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