[Preliminary] Apple M2 Max vs Intel Core i9-12900H – Absolutely pivotal

Apple is shaping up to be a pretty good competitor in terms of powerful hardware, as its M2 Max shells out impressive numbers in the popular Geekbench benchmark, both in terms of computational and graphics performance. Today we’re bringing the Core i9-12900H into the fold, in order to see how it stacks up to the M2 Max. Of course, Intel is already on the way with the 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors, but even if the M2 Max turns out not to be the most powerful CPU of 2023, it just needs to be competitive enough to keep everyone else on the edge of their seat.

Keep in mind that these results aren’t our own so you shouldn’t trust them completely. As soon as we can get the new MacBooks for review, we’ll update them with our own tests and benchmarks. 

You can learn more about both SoCs here: Apple M2 Max / Intel Core i9-12900H

Specs sheet

Apple M2 Max Intel Core i9-12900H
Architecture Avalance/Blizzard Alder Lake-H
Cores / Threads 12/12 14/20
Clock Speeds – Base/Boost 2.42 – 3.50GHz 1.80 – 5.00GHz
Cache 40MB 24MB
Lithography 5nm 10nm
TDP 20W 45W
Memory type
DDR5-4800, LPDDR5-5200, DDR4-3200, LPDDR4x-4267
Integrated GPU Apple M2 Max GPU Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)


CPU benchmarks

The M2 Max is comfortably ahead in terms of both single-core and multi-core performance inside Geekbench 5, scoring 8% and 13% higher.

Geekbench 5 Single-core Multi-core
Apple M2 Max 1970 (+8%) 15338 (+13%)
Intel Core i9-12900H 1826 13615

Now, we’re moving over to the heavier stuff. In Cinebench R23, the M2 Max still scores 3% higher than the Core i9 in the single-core benchmark. However, while the core-per-core power might slightly favor Apple, things take a turn in the multi-core part of the test, where the 14-cores of the Core i9 deliver 29% more power.

Cinebench R23 Single-core Multi-core
Apple M2 Max 1970 (+3%) 15338
Intel Core i9-12900H 1917 19831 (+29%)

GPU benchmarks

In the benchmark with the OpenCL framework, the M2 Max is a killer, scoring 271% higher.

Geekbench 5 OpenCL
Apple M2 Max 73167 (+271%)
Core i9-12900H – Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU) 19696


The M2 Max comes with a significant increase in performance, trading blows with the Core i9-12900H, which is no easy feat. We also have to address the GPU-sized elephant in the room, where Apple has made a competitive solution. It is more powerful than integrated graphics, performing on a level below the RTX 3060, trailing the NVIDIA GPU by around 13%. You can read our GPU comparison here.

All laptops with the Apple M2 Max:

All laptops with the Intel Core i9-12900H:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments