Intel Core i9 12900K vs Apple M1 Max

We compared two CPUs: the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i9 12900K (desktop) with 16-cores against the 2.0 GHz Apple M1 Max (laptop) with 10-cores. On this page, you'll find out which processor has better performance in benchmarks, games and other useful information.

Review

General overview and comparison of the processors
Single-Core Performance
Performance in single-threaded apps and benchmarks
Performance
Measure performance when all cores are involved
Power Efficiency
The efficiency score of electricity consumption
NanoReview Final Score
Generic CPU rating

Key Differences

What are the key differences between Max and 12900K
Advantages of Intel Core i9 12900K
  • Unlocked multiplier
  • Supports up to 128 GB DDR5-4800 RAM
  • Has 6 more physical cores
  • 63% higher Turbo Boost frequency (5.2 GHz vs 3.2 GHz)
  • 23% faster in a single-core Geekbench v5 test - 2191 vs 1785 points
Advantages of Apple M1 Max
  • Around 332.8 GB/s (433%) higher theoretical memory bandwidth
  • Consumes up to 76% less energy than the Core i9 12900K – 30 vs 125 Watt
  • Newer - released 6-months later
  • More modern manufacturing process – 5 versus 10 nanometers

Benchmarks

Comparing the performance of CPUs in benchmarks
Cinebench R23 (Single-Core)
1980
1540
Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core)
27333
12313
Passmark CPU (Single-Core)
4206
3837
Passmark CPU (Multi-Core)
41000
22495
Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
2184
1784
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
16779
12536
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Specifications

Full technical specification of Intel Core i9 12900K and Apple M1 Max

General

Vendor Intel Apple
Released October 27, 2021 May 7, 2022
Type Desktop Laptop
instruction set x86-64 ARMv8
Codename Alder Lake-S -
Model number i9-12900K -
Socket LGA-1700 Apple M-Socket
Integrated GPU UHD Graphics 770 Apple M1 Max GPU (32-core)

Performance

Cores 16 10
Threads 24 10
Base Frequency 3.2 GHz 2.0 GHz
Turbo Boost Frequency 5.2 GHz 3.2 GHz
Bus frequency 100 MHz -
Multiplier 32x -
L1 Cache 64K (per core) 192K (per core)
L2 Cache 14MB (shared) 24MB (shared)
L3 Cache 30MB (shared) -
Unlocked Multiplier Yes No

Power

Transistors - 57 billions
Fabrication process 10 nm 5 nm
TDP 125 W 30 W
Max. temperature 100°C -

iGPU

Integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770 Apple M1 Max GPU (32-core)
GPU Base Clock 300 MHz 450 MHz
GPU Boost Clock 1550 MHz 1296 MHz
Shading Units 256 4096
TMUs 16 256
ROPs 8 128
Execution Units 32 -
TGP 15 W 60 W
Max. Resolution - 6016x3384 - 60 Hz
iGPU FLOPS
0.78 TFLOPS
10.4 TFLOPS

Memory support

Memory types DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200 LPDDR5-6400
Memory Size 128 GB 64 GB
Max. Memory Channels 2 8
Max. Memory Bandwidth 76.8 GB/s 409.6 GB/s
ECC Support Yes No

Misc

Official site Intel Core i9 12900K official page -
PCI Express Version 5.0 -
PCI Express Lanes 20 -

Cast your vote

Choose between two processors
1466 (54.1%)
1244 (45.9%)
Total votes: 2710

Comments

So which CPU will you choose: Apple M1 Max or Intel Core i9 12900K?
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Robert 29 June 2022 11:51
I'm missing the impact of the videocard used in the comparison. What videocard is used in combination with the intel chip? And also: what power did it draw? People do not realize that the cinebench is standing or falling with the videocard used. So, this comparison can't be made until apple releases the Mx-based Mac Pro that is focused on Cinebench tasks and not a Desktop CPU vs. laptop-designed CPU comparison.
0 Reply
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Mark 28 April 2022 16:03
Always rooting for Intel! Intel keeps many jobs in the US and provides livable wages for domestic families. AMD and Apple outsource their integrated products to TMSC which are mainly based in Taiwan.
+13 Reply
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latters 14 March 2022 10:41
hmm, I still think that the M1 Max is a better option since it's using less power and also less heat, I think M1 Max is the best option... the biggest issue with intel core is it heats up, which is not good, and also you get enough performance with M1 Max
+9 Reply
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Users 28 April 2022 14:42
The M1 is great for heavy work like editing or rendering. Intel is still good for gaming.
+5 Reply
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Heat and Noise 27 February 2022 18:51
Heat and Noise is missing in the comparison :)
+11 Reply
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anonymous 27 April 2022 19:13
usually wattage = heat higher wattage = more heat they mentioned wattage, so we know the m1 has less heat. but measuring noise from a CPU is literally impossible. because the CPU doesn't make noise. the CPU fan. the 2 cpus use different fans so it's unfair to compare noise.
+1 Reply
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Wait... 10 February 2022 08:47
Everyone: Intel vs Apple this and that AMD: *waiting to make a dramatic entrance* Remember AMD blazed past Intel processors for 2 years in a row and they are bout to announce their upcoming lineup in a few months, I'll be happy if Intel still leads because it will give AMD some blow so they will work even harder, Remember competition among companies is best for consumers. Sadly I'll never endorse or support Apple for its pathetic ecosystem.
+11 Reply
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Tilak singh 29 January 2022 12:11
Apple M1 was not for any heavy gaming and heavy task it's only for the office and shows off nothing more I have both apple M1 and gaming computer with Intel i9 12900k buts it's pc MacBook was laptops. Didn't compare apple M1 vs Intel i9 it's very different when you use it then you know as well who is the best. My vote for Intel i9.
+19 Reply
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Myat 17 December 2021 03:56
M1 Max is extremely powerful but my stupid elder brother bought an M1 Max MacBook Pro for gaming and it was a complete disaster. So I bought a laptop with AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX which is a bit faster in Cinebench R23. It seems Apple's ARM architecture still can't handle complicated tasks compared to the x86. So, in conclusion, if u are into gaming buy Intel or AMD, or for maximum productivity buy the M1 series.
+39 Reply
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Richard Graham 14 December 2021 10:46
If I was buying a desktop, Intel might be in the running. As it is, I bought a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max. The CPU and graphical performance of a desktop, plus portability, an outstanding monitor built-in, and 10+ hours of use away from the mains.
+17 Reply
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Roger S Rotor 05 November 2021 21:11
Kudos to Apple for the power and efficiency of the M1 Max. But my new system will be powered by the Intel I9-12900K, which is more powerful, and will be way faster with a new Intel mobo, an Intel ARC or nVidia 3080 graphics card, and will be built by me.
+47 Reply
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Aaron 01 November 2021 14:32
Was going to buy a Macbook pro. No intel - no chance. cheers, Aaron
+41 Reply
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Eugene 26 November 2021 08:32
it is not fair u are comparing a laptop CPU against a desktop one.
+20 Reply
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yes it is fair. 04 December 2021 19:15
Eugene, People are comparing them because that's all there is to compare from apple right now.
+9 Reply
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Aaron 15 December 2021 04:11
You've been able to buy Intel MacBook Pros for years. Buy one if you must, but there's a reason why Apple switched to the M1 chips: power and efficiency, heat and performance. OK, that's lots of reasons, but it boils down to the M1 being a much better design for mobile devices.
+5 Reply
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Feyi 29 January 2022 15:10
Eugene, Exactly, I don't think the i9 12900k is a fair comparison to Apple's M1.
0 Reply
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