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Photoshop Performance tested on Apple 16″ MacBook Pro M1 MAX vs 16″ Intel vs 13″ macbookPro M1

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The results are in, the M1 MAX is fast for Photoshop and Lightroom, see how fast.

In order to test the new 16″ MacBook pro with the M1 MAX chip, I maxed it out with 64Gigs of Memory.

See the unboxing here, along with a description of the hardware and thoughts.

Apple have abandoned the obsession of form over function that have driven Mac Book pros since 2016. At that time, Apple pushed for small and lightweight, but at the expense of battery life, ports and performance.

It’s almost like this is the form factor has continued the legacy of the 2015 MacBook Pro and  the 2016-2020  models didn’t happen, design-wise.

Notable changes are, a thicker, more capable machine with larger, more efficient battery. The Apple Silicon, M1 Pro and Max chipsets (sosc), we will look at that during the performance section.

The return of function keys, over the touch-bar. Now featuring full sized function keys.

Return of SD card slot and HDMI port.

Headphone input

MagSafe is Back. Dedicated power port, with magnetic detachable power cable.

Mechanical keyboard, with a little travel is back (Although Apple admittedly fixed that in 2019).


3 Thunderbolt 4/ USB 4 ports.

Super bright (1500nits peak, 1000 nits sustained) XDR Liquid Retina Display

6 speaker immersive audio sound system

Overall, as you can see in my unboxing video, the hardware is without compromise. Apple have bough back the ports we love (Sorry USB 3 lovers, that ship sailed a long time ago). Construction is more squared off and deeper to allow for the larger battery and more ports. Because of the M1 chip, the battery life is insanely good. The efficiency of the M1 silicon keeps heat to a minimum. During my testing the MacBook pro never got hot and I don’t even recall the fan coming on. This is the same with the 13″ MacBook Pro. Although I do expect to hear the fan when I start tasks like rendering video. The screen is bright and beautiful and the speed is fast, check out the tests.

I ran a familiar set of tests as well as a new ones.

The familiar set of tests is interesting, because these are the same tests I’ve used previously on other machines, so you can see how they stack up against each other. This is also interesting to see the speed improvements in Photoshop, as I retest the 13″ Macbook Pro with M1 and 16 Gig memory as well as the 16″Intel MacBook pro, sporting 64Gig of Ram.

I have tabulated the results here. They will make a lot more sence if you view the video which outlines each test and then presents the results in order.

Big file, many layers,

file guitar city. PSB 3.6 GB, 9445 x 5761 px (31×20 in @300ppi) 68 Layers

Time to open (from desktop) (smaller is better)

  • 16 m1 – 9.9
  • 16 intel: 16
  • 13M1: 13

Stamp visible

  • 16 m1 2sec
  • 16 intel:3
  • 13M1:3

Smart Blur

Rad 50 – Th 25 -Quality High -mode: normal

  • 16 m1 34.61 55seconds (best)
  • 16 intel:59.52
  • 13M1:55:26

Flip Horizontal

  • 16 m1 6.95
  • 16 intel: 17:50
  • 13M1: 12:63

Resize 300% bicubic (to 28.000 x 17000 px (has smart filters that will be re-rendered)

  • 16 m1 55.03
  • 16 intel:1:29.80
  • 13M1:2:40

Radial blur 100% (Best quality)

  • 16 m1; 3.10
  • 16 intel:5:14.97
  • 13M1: 5:31.44

Save (19.65 Gb)

  • 16-m1: 3:40
  • 16 intel: 4:02.33
  • 13M1: 4:25.65


The takeaway is that the new M1 MAX does deliver on its promise and is in fact, by far the fastest MacBook Pro available.

If you are a professional that needs high performance for design, compositing, video or photography with large files, this is the machine for you, it delivers. If your needs are a little less demanding and budget is a concern, check out the 13″ M1 Macbook Pro, or even the iMac.

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