MacBook Pro M2 Max looks mighty powerful in first benchmark results

MacBook Pro M2 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The top MacBook Pro 2023 model just got its first benchmarks revealed, thanks to findings by our friends at iMore (opens in new tab).

Although Apple's new MacBook Pros, plus the Mac mini M2, aren't due to start shipping until Tuesday (January 24), they're already starting to pop up in the Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark browser — including results featuring Apple's new most powerful laptop chip, the Apple M2 Max.

We can split these test results into two groups. First there are five tests conducted on an M2 Max MacBook Pro with 64GB RAM, which is a big upgrade above the standard 16GB RAM you get when paying for the base model. Second, there are two tests conducted with a M2 Max MacBook that contains 96GB RAM, the maximum Apple's offering. We've averaged out the results for the table below, which also contains results from the Mac mini with M2 Pro, MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, and the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Geekbench 5 Single-Core scoreGeekbench 5 Multi-Core score
Mac mini with M2 Pro1,95215,013
MacBook Pro with M2 Max/64GB RAM1,93714,812
MacBook Pro with M2 Max/96GB RAM1,95614,954
Mac Studio with M1 Ultra1,79424,315
Mac mini with M11,3146,005
MacBook Pro (14-inch) with M1 Pro1,76812,477
MacBook Pro (16-inch) with M1 Max1,78112,683

As we saw recently for the Mac mini with M2 Pro, the M2 Max beats its M1 Max counterpart on both single-core and multi-core tests, as well as all other M1-related chips (except for the M1 Ultra, found only in the Mac Studio) and the regular Apple M2 chip — although the M2 scores close to the M2 Max on the single-core result.

The difference between the M2 Max and the M2 Pro isn't that large though, with the alleged M2 Pro-powered Mac mini benchmark beating the (averaged) results of the M2 Max/64GB MacBook Pro. This is likely because this is a CPU performance test and both chips have 12-core CPUs, though the M2 Max has the advantage of a larger GPU and extra RAM capacity (the M2 Pro maxes out at 64GB). It may also have something to do with the fact that the Mac mini is a desktop machine, which could allow it to push the chip harder without the need to worry about cooling or power management.

If these leaked results have convinced you to get a new Apple laptop, we have a MacBook Pro 2023 preorders guide to help you find the best deal on one. If you're tempted but are still on the fence, rest assured that we at TG will be bringing you a full review of all the new Macs as soon as we can. 

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.