Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Intel last week unveiled its first 12th-generation "Alder Lake" processors with the launch of six new processors aimed at desktop computers, including the high-end Core i9-12900K, a 16-core chip with eight performance cores and eight efficiency cores.


While the first 12th-generation processors are desktop class, they still make for an interesting comparison with Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, as rumors suggest that Apple plans to release a new 27-inch iMac with the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the first half of next year.

The first Geekbench 5 benchmark results for the Core i9-12900K reveal that the processor is up to nearly 1.5x faster than the M1 Pro and M1 Max in multi-core performance. Specifically, the Core i9 processor has an average multi-core score of approximately 18,500 so far, compared to approximately 12,500 for the M1 Pro and M1 Max. AnandTech has shared additional benchmarks for a closer look at performance.

While the Core i9 processor is considerably faster than the M1 Pro and M1 Max, it also uses a lot more power than Apple's chips, with Intel listing the chip as using up to 125W of power at base frequencies and up to 241W of power with Turbo Boost.

Intel's 12th-generation Core i7-12700K also appears to be faster than the M1 Pro and M1 Max in Geekbench 5 results, but it likewise uses more power.

When Apple first announced that it would be transitioning to its own chips for the Mac in June 2020, the company never said its chips would be the fastest on the market, but rather promised industry-leading performance per watt. Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max certainly achieve this feat, with the chips outperforming a 12-core Intel-based Mac Pro that starts at $6,999 with minimal to no fan noise as a result of impressive power efficiency.

Intel expects to release 12th-generation Core processors for laptops in early 2022.

Article Link: Intel Alder Lake Chips for Desktops Faster Than M1 Max in Benchmarks, But Use Much More Power


macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2008
241 watts of power? LOL.

1. Why compare desktop to laptop?
2. When apple adds more cores, it’ll be faster
3. The M1 Pro/Max …the story is not just multicore scores. There’s a LOT more going on under the hood that Intel can’t hold a candle too
4. My Core i9 9900k in my iMac runs hot as hell and the fan is constantly going. Why would I want a chip that hot in a laptop?


macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
Yes. More power draw for this generation. Remember Pentium 4 days? Maybe this is the same Core 2 Duo cycle again. I’m more than willing to see how Intel could pull off their design in the next 3 to 4 years while also looking forward to have the ability to run Windows 10 x86 version on apple silicon with decent performance. (No, I’m NOT talking about Rosetta)
  • Like
Reactions: Dark_Omen


macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2003
This is obviously the only choice for a comparison now, as Apple has not released the desktop version of their processors. But, even this comparison is embarrassing for Intel...their top of the line processor is only 1.5 times faster than Apple's first mobile processor, and the power difference between the two is massive, almost three times as much. Apple really has built an impressive architecture with the M processors, it's going to be very interesting when they release their desktop processor that can take advantage of more power, space, and cooling capacity allowed in a desktop case.

Honestly, I can't wait to see what a truly unleashed M processor can do, and what Apple plans to do for the second generation of the processors they are building, which are the most efficient out there, and have a shot at being the fastest overall.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.