Consult with Lloyd to design a complete system for photography or similar including backup and data safety.
More tests coming.
This thing is a full-on desktop replacement eclipsing the performance of all but the most powerful destkop workstations. It’s just 'ridiculous'!
M2 Max vs M1 Max
The M2 Max and M1 Max both have 8 performance cores, with M2 Max having 4 efficiency cores and M1 Max having 2 efficiency cores. EG 8+4 vs 8+2.
Adobe Photoshop has clearly had a lot of optimizations since last year’s tests. Thus no valid comparison can be made for M2 Max vs M1 Max for Photoshop without having a machine on hand to re-test. A 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max was not available for such a comparison.
However, the hashing test results are entirely valid, as are certain other tests.
The M2 Max chip delivers a barely noticeable 7% performance improvement over the M1 Max chip through 8 CPU cores (blue line vs black line). We can therefore conclude that the raw computing power of the M2 Max CPU cores is barely noticeable vs the M1 Max.
However, for the (rare) job that can use all the cores, hashing throughput is 23% greater on the M2 Max from that 7% along with the two additional efficiency cores. But that’s just it—such jobs are uncommon at best—most of the time most of the CPU cores goes unused, and in human terms, you cannot perceive a 7% speed difference.
This work is not free; it is very time consuming with no direct reward. I need your support. Thank you for buying your Macs and other gear at B&H Photo, which provided the machine for testing. Subscribing to my photographic publications is another way to help support work like this—consider that AppleCare alone is $350 on $4000 to $7000 machine.
Clearly the 2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max is a better performer than the 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max, but only marginally so. Other new features aside, a 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max discounted by 15% offers better price-performance value.
Prioritize 64GB or 96GB memory if there is any chance that 32GB might not suffice (eg photography or video work). Nothing else will matter as much if memory is too low.
For those not too price conscious: max-out everything, then choose the appropriate size SSD. It is hard to go wrong with a 4TB SSD, and for many users 8TB SSD will be overkill. Strictly avoid a too-small SSD eg 2TB minimum.
For professional/rigorous use, MPG advises the M2 Max chip with a minimum of 64GB memory, 4TB SSD (internal flash drive). The 38 vs 30 core GPU is not very important for many uses, but increasingly matters for Photoshop and video work, and in the context of total cost, better to go all-in.