Intel Alder Lake Vs. Apple M1 Max: Which CPU Is Best?

At CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Intel unveiled its H-series Alder Lake processors, claiming they are able to outperform the Apple M1 Max. This is what you need to know:

  • Apple’s M1 Max delivers better results in areas like efficiency.
  • The Apple MacBook Pro 16″ with the M1 Max CPU lasted 15 hours 31 minutes when testing battery life. The Alder Lake Alienware x17 lasted 3 hours 5 minutes in comparison.
  • Intel’s 12th Generation Core i9, Alder Lake beats the M1 Max across power benchmarks.
  • When comparing a MacBook and Alder Lake laptop with similar specifications, the MacBook took 4-seconds longer to encode a 4k video into 1080 HD.
  • Apple’s M1 chipset is terrible with games not built to support its ARM architecture (which most games aren’t).

QUICK SUMMARY: The M1 Max is incredibly powerful, but the new Intel Alder Lake beats it. This is the nature of technology – new tech beats the older tech. However, if having battery life is #1 for you when buying a laptop, the M1 remains your best choice.

Geekbench is a benchmarking tool that can be run on both Apple and Intel systems, without compatibility issues. Swipe down to see benchmark results:

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Apple M1 Max Vs. Intel Alder Lake Specs

Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900HK:

  • Technology: Intel x86
  • No. Of cores: 14
  • Performance cores: 6
  • Efficiency cores: 8
  • Max Wattage: up to 140 watts
  • Max Supported Memory: 64GB
  • Memory Formats: DDR4, DDR5

Apple M1 Max:

  • Technology: ARM
  • No. Of cores: 10
  • Performance cores: 8
  • Efficiency cores: 2
  • Max Wattage: up to 110 watts
  • Max Supported Memory: 64GB
  • Memory Formats: DDR4, DDR5

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Intel Alder Lake Vs. Apple M1 Max – Benchmarks

These devices tested have similar specifications, including RAM and storage.


Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max1,781
Alienware x17 (Alder Lake)1,842
Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max12,683
Alienware x17 (Alder Lake)13,456

Video Encoding

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max4:48
Alienware x17 (Alder Lake)4:45

Battery Life

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max15 hours 31 minutes
Alienware x17 (Alder Lake)3 hours 5 minutes

Benchmark scores were referenced from

Device Line-Up

The M1 Max is at the top of Apple’s M1 CPU options but is available on only one device currently:

Whereas Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake processor is already found across multiple systems. For example, the CPU can be found in the Alienware x17 and the MSI GE76 Raider.

We’re likely to see the 12th Gen Intel CPU across countless manufacturers and at various price points throughout 2022. Whereas, it is unlikely the M1 Max will go beyond the top-end MacBook Pro any time soon.

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In summary, the Apple M1 Max and Intel Alder Lake are super-fast and can handle almost anything you throw at them. The big exception for the M1 is gaming:

And while the issues with gaming wasn’t a surprise, the fact Apple’s top chip has already been outperformed by Intel in power – specifically video encoding, is a surprise:

Granted, Apple’s CPU does perform better when it comes to efficiency, which makes it better for the planet and mobility. Yet, the reasons to spend big on an M1 Max are getting very limited already.

However, it is rumored that the M2 will be released in 2022. Whether this means more power or more efficiency, we don’t know. Yet it will be interesting to see which way Apple goes with their CPU range.

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