Intel's latest Raptor Lake Core i9 CPU just got smoked by Apple's M3 Max in Geekbench

Intel i9 14th gen vs Apple M3 Max
(Image credit: Future)

The laptop version of Intel Core i9-14900HX has just appeared in a new Acer machine. And without wanting to drop a Titanic-sized spoiler, Apple won’t be overly sweating the leaked Geekbench results the latest processor from its competitor is throwing down. 

Debuting in what looks like an updated edition of the Acer Predator Helios 18 (thanks, NotebookCheck), this 14th gen Raptor Lake-HX CPU admittedly beats Apple's base M3 chip in the Geekbench 6 testing we did for our MacBook Pro 14-inch M3 review. As for Crew Cupertino's top-of-the-line M3 Max chip seen in the ferociously powerful MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max, that's a whole different story. 

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Geekbench 6 results
Header Cell - Column 0 Single-coreMulti-core
MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max)3,20021,711
MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3 )2,85712,018
Acer Predator Helios 18 with Intel Core 19-14900HX (rumored)2,99817,397

As you can see, in both single and multi-core testing, the M3 Max comfortably beats the leaked specs of the i9-14900HX. If you're an Intel fan like this writer, you're probably a little disappointed by those numbers above. 

It's not like Intel's latest offering boasts an Earth-shattering upgrade compared to its predecessor, either. The Core i9-13900HX hits (still respectable) scores of 2,720 / 16,522 in Geekbench, meaning the new processor provides 10% and 8% performance upgrades over its older sibling. That's an okay boost, but nothing more.

In a world where it now appears Apple is finally ready to take Mac gaming seriously, some of the best gaming laptops (traditionally powered by either AMD or Intel chipsets) could have a lot to fear from the Californian tech colossal. 

While the Acer Predator Helios 18 sounds like an impressive specimen on paper — it apparently packs in 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia RTX 4080 Laptop GPU — the MacBook Pro M3 Max 16-inch absolutely floored us during our review testing. 

While the Acer Predator Helios 18 sounds like an impressive specimen on paper, the MacBook Pro M3 Max 16-inch floored us during our review testing.

In games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Baldur's Gate 3 and Lies of P, my colleague Tony Polanco was able to hit over 100 frames per second in each of these titles. That's unheard of gaming performance from any MacBook we've ever gone hands-on with.

As much as I'd gladly have a sauna on the surface of the Sun to test some of my favorite titles out on the 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 Max, I sadly don't have a spare $3,999 lying around my apartment.

At any rate, with the numbers the M3 Max is capable of churning out — Apple's mighty silicon also achieved impressive scores in our 3DMark Wildlife Unlimited tests of 31,271 / 187 fps — it looks like it has the grunt to be a gaming beast.

The Helios 18 and every other upcoming gaming laptop that's set to feature Intel's Core i9 13900HX should be nervous right about now.

From my Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • sgodsell
    Since that Acer Helios has a RTX 4080, then the graphics, and AI on that card will spank Apple's pro MacBook with its M3 Max SoC to the curb. Try and remember the 4080 is rated with a Tensor TF32 (TFLOPS) of 97.5. That alone kicks Apple's overpriced M3 Max to the curb. But the 4080 also has a Ray Tracing TFLOPS score of 112.7, which will also beat the pants off Apple's M3 endeavors.

    Look at the entire picture. That Acer Helios also comes with an incredibly fast RTX 4080 GPU, which has both AI and ray tracing support that will beat the piss out of Apple's best M3 Max. Just lookup the ratings for that GPU yourself.