[리뷰] Up to 96GB of integrated memory captures performance and efficiency, Apple MacBook Pro 16

It’s been about 2 years and 9 months since Apple announced the switch to Apple Silicon. At that time, Apple announced that it would switch the processors installed in the entire Macintosh line from Intel processors to Apple’s Arm-based silicon within two years, and in November of that year, the first ‘M1’ silicon Apple was released and the line. build it seriously. Currently, Apple silicon has been applied to the entire line except the top line, Mac Pro, and in June last year, the next version, ‘M2’ chip, has been unveiled, and the line is constantly upgraded.

The M2, which was unveiled in June last year, has been upgraded in general parts, such as 18% faster processing speed, 35% improved graphics processing speed, and up to 40% faster artificial intelligence engine of its compared to the M1. The basic version, M2, is installed on Apple MacBook Air and Pro 13, and Mac mini, and M2 Pro and Max, added in January this year, can be selected on MacBook Pro 14 and 16, and Mac mini. Since ‘Ultra’, which is the top line of M1, is empty in M2, users can choose one of three Apple silicones, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, depending on the level of work and the conditions they will be in. use.

The MacBook Pro 16 has a choice of M2 Pro and M2 Max. Source = IT Donga

However, unlike the M2, which shows acceptable performance in many aspects, the performance of the M2 Pro and the M2 Max is not easily distinguishable, and it is difficult to choose due to user groups that overlap We measured the upper limit of performance by using the 96GB memory model, which has the highest performance among the M2 Max.

M2 Max with up to 96GB of integrated memory

The MacBook Pro 14 and 16 come standard with the M2 Pro and also support the M2 Max. However, the detailed options are divided into four types according to the number of cores, and the integrated memory is also divided from 16GB to 96GB. Source = IT Donga

There are two types of Apple silicon, M2 Pro and M2 Max, which are installed on the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 released in January this year. However, the number of detailed cores is different. The M2 Pro comes in two models: 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU. The 10-core CPU is only available for the MacBook Pro 14. The M2 Max is also divided into 12-core CPU and 30-core GPU, 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU, but the choice is given on the MacBook Pro 14 and 16. To make it a little easier, you can only choose the MacBook Pro 14 for the 10-core CPU model with 16GB of memory, and you can choose the M2 Pro and Max with more specifications as you wish.

The memory configuration increases according to the number of GPU cores, and you can choose from a minimum of 16GB to a maximum of 96GB. However, the M2 Pro can only choose 16 and 32 GB, and the M2 Max can only choose 32 and 64 GB except for 16 GB. Only the 38-core GPU model of the M2 Max comes with 32 and 64GB with 96GB integrated memory options.

The display has a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display using mini-LED technology. Source = IT Donga

Before we get into the performance seriously, let’s take a look at the 2023 MacBook Pro 16. The MacBook Pro 16, released on January 17 this year, has a 16.2-inch Retina XDR Liquid display with a resolution of 3456×2234. The Liquid Retina XDR display includes 10,000 small LEDs that illuminate (local dimming) in individual zones according to the image, and ProMotion technology that changes the image refresh rate (refresh rate) per second up to 120 times depending on the content. Applied.

The color space supports P3, the American film industry standard, and the brightness is 500 nits by default, and when HDR is activated, it partially goes up to 1,600 nits. The external input display is different between M2 Pro and Max. The M2 Pro can connect two 6K 60Hz displays or one 6K 60Hz and one 4K 144Hz. M2 Max can connect one 4K 144Hz unit to three 6K 60Hz units, and one 8K 60Hz or 4K 240Hz unit can also be connected while two 6K 60Hz units are connected.

On the left side, there is MagSafe 3, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 3.5mm audio port, and on the right side, there is an SD port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and an HDMI port. Source = IT Donga

The design is made by cutting aluminum for the exterior and interior, and the trackpad is made of tempered glass. There are two colors to choose from, silver and space grey, and it weighs around 2.15kg. As for the external input interface, there are MagSafe 3 ports for charging, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SDXC port, and a 3.5mm audio port. The battery has 100 watt hours and can be used continuously for 15 hours based on web surfing, and charging supports 140W fast charging using MagSafe 3 and USB-PD charging based on Thunderbolt 4.

Best for 3D engine, rendering processing, artificial intelligence development, etc.

An example of running the Unity engine with the Apple M2 Max, with a total of 96GB of GPU memory, showing a relaxed appearance even when using 30GB of memory. Source = IT Donga

A few years ago, the only option for a high-performance laptop for work was a mobile workstation with an Intel Xeon processor combined with a Windows operating system. However, since the appearance of Apple silicon, the proportion of Macintosh series choice is also increasing. That’s because of the integrated memory.

In an x86 system based on a typical Windows operating system, the CPU uses system memory (RAM) and the GPU uses only graphics memory (VRAM). Therefore, the user must arrange system memory and graphics capacity respectively according to work trend. It is not easy to choose in terms of cost or system configuration, and since two memories are used separately, there are limitations such that the graphics memory is idle even when the system memory is not sufficient.

On the other hand, Apple silicon has a much larger usable memory capacity because the CPU and GPU share memory. The RTX A5000 and RTX 4090 Mobile are only 16GB, which have the highest video memory capacity among NVIDIA mobile GPUs, but the M2 Max of the MacBook Pro 16 can use up to 96GB. In a work environment where you need to secure as much graphics memory capacity as possible, the Macintosh is much more advantageous.

As a result of driving Cinebench R23, it scored 1,439 points for single core and 1,4816 points for multi-core. Source = IT Donga

Apple’s own silicon processing speed is at the level of high-performance desktops and laptops. We ran the Cinebench R23 benchmark, which measures performance based on processing a given image repeatedly for 10 minutes. At this time, the single-core score was 1,439 points and the multi-core score was 1,4816 points. Compared to the desktop, it is similar to the AMD Ryzen 7600X or Intel Core i7-11700K, and as a laptop, it is similar to the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and Intel Core i5-13600H. Compared to competing x86 processors, desktop and mobile are in the middle compared to the latest products, but only the benchmark scores are high and it is difficult to compare with other x86 systems. For example, if you compare software provided on both platforms, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or AutoCAD, it is useful to measure performance, but since the platforms are fundamentally different, it is difficult to say which is better in practice. In particular, the fact that Apple silicon is much higher in terms of power efficiency is also a variable. Let’s assume it is a high level processing performance compared to the latest process.

The Blender benchmark is a measure of 3D rendering processing performance. Source = IT Donga

Blender is a 3D computer graphics creation software, supported on x86 and macOS. The version 3.4 benchmark provides three 3D samples: Monster, Junk Shop, and Classroom, and then evaluates performance based on how many frames are processed per minute. The higher the sum of the three processed values, the faster the 3D rendering processing speed.

In the test, the sum of the values ​​processed by the CPU of the M2 Max was 254.18 points, and the value processed by the GPU was confirmed to be 1,516.88. The result of the CPU is similar to the Intel Core i9-12950HX, the GPU is the mobile version, the Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q version, or the AMD Radeon Pro W6800 for the desktop. It has similar specifications to the mobile workstation that earned 4 to 6 million that was released as a new product last year. Of course, considering up to 15 hours of use time ensured through high power efficiency and up to 96GB of memory, the actual use performance and work efficiency show more use than normal workstations.

As a result of the Geekbench 6 test, it showed slightly lower performance than the M1 Ultra and higher performance than the M1 Max. Source = IT Donga

If so, how much will the performance differ from the previous generation system? We ran the Geekbench 6 benchmark, which tests comprehensive real-world performance of Windows, macOS, and mobile devices. The tests were conducted on the single-core and multi-core tests corresponding to the CPU test, and the Metal API (application programming interface) and OpenCL API for macOS corresponding to the GPU test, in respectively It rose slightly from the 2,300 point range of . Instead, since the number of cores was improved from 10 cores to 12 cores, the multi-core score rose from 12,500 points to 14,400 points. Performance is improved by increasing the number of cores, but from the point of view of actual users, it is a part where performance can be felt to increase slightly.

Graphics performance is higher than M2 Max but lower than M1 Ultra. The M2 Max’s metal test score is 137,403 points. In the same test, the M1 Max scores 110,000 points and the M1 Ultra scores 152,000 points. OpenCL also scored 83,900 points for M2 Max, 93,000 points for M1 Ultra, and 64,800 points for M1 Max.

Irreplaceable utility, popular despite a high price range

Decide whether to use the M2 Pro or the M2 Max considering the purpose of use. Source = IT Donga

Since the release of Apple Silicon, the status of the Macintosh has also changed. Until the Intel-based Mac, the Macintosh was a device sought after mainly by developers or those who only use Mac software, but now, like the iPhone and iPad, it is the device of choice used for multi-purpose use without a specific one. purpose. It is the result of a combination of smartphone-like power efficiency, the high level of perfection of the Mac itself, and the development of the macOS ecosystem.

And if you’re a professional just getting started with Macintosh, you’re left with two options: the M2 Pro and the M2 Max. Fortunately, the uses are clearly differentiated. The MacBook Pro 16 used in the review is equipped with either M2 Pro or M2 Max depending on the option, and integrated memory is also installed. The basic model with 16GB of integrated memory in the M2 Pro costs 3.49 million won, and the model with 96GB of integrated memory in the M2 Max costs 5.92 million won. If you are in a position to buy, you can choose the product according to the level of work you will be using.

If you perform tasks such as developing, photo and video editing, and composition, the M2 Pro line is recommended. This level of work is sufficient with the M2, and the M2 Pro is even more lacking. If job processing speed is not directly related to profitability, the M2 Pro is also fine. On the other hand, if you are dealing with higher level computational processing such as 3D rendering, artificial intelligence development, simulation, or VFX (visual effect), you should use the M2 Max. Desktop workstations definitely have an advantage, but under the condition of handling these tasks portable, they perform convincingly. Among the three Apple silicons, let’s decide by comprehensively considering the price, the use and the performance.

Reporter Nam Si-hyeon (, specializes in IT


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