The Verge: There is a noticeable difference in battery life between models with the M1 Pro and those with the M1 Max

The Verge’s review is thorough, as ever:

I found this part interesting:

A lot of you asked whether the extra money for the M1 Max is worth it, and after all that, we think the answer is: no, not for most people. Carrying around all those extra GPUs has an impact on battery life whether you’re using them or not. Unless you can identify a specific part of your workflow that would benefit from serious multithreaded GPU acceleration, the reality is that you’re probably not going to use them. I recommend really thinking about whether the battery penalty of the M1 Max is worth it for what you need to do.

In other words, I probably wasted some money on the M1 Max I’m writing this on. Arguably the M1 Pro would’ve been a better computer because of the battery life gains. Alas!

At least I know that if I ever have to do a lot of 6k color-balance rendering while transcoding AR machine learning,* I have the machine for it.

*deliberate word salad


Eh, I think you’re good (and I’m good; I also bought the Max.) It’s only a 10% penalty in their tests, and the utility of the faster GPU shows up in web browsing and a bunch of other apps.

So far I’m seeing the battery last 8 hours with sustained 20-50% CPU use and a few hours more than that without anything special running.

Their review was very good, too; thanks for linking it.

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You’ll need that extra GPU power when you’re wandering around Zuckerberg’s new immersive data collection / advertising system.


The Wall Street Journal agrees.

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If you really need 64gb memory then the Max is the only way to go. 16 is more than I really needed on my iMac.

I thought the penalty in battery life was significant. The M1 pro lasted 16 hours in their tests and the M1 max lasted just over 10 hours … this means the M1 pro has six more hours of battery life than the MAX . OR am I missing something obvious?

Specifically for the 16inch version, does that mean the Pro has 60% more battery life than the MAX?

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Ah, I totally misread that! Weird. I watched the video to be sure, and it sounds like they got:

  • Monica: 16 hours on 16” M1 Pro, everyday use
  • Monica: 10.5 hours on 14” M1 Pro, everyday use
  • Nilay: 10 hours on 16” M1 Max, everyday use
  • Alix: 4 hours for 90% use on 16” M1 Max, heavy editing
  • Alix: 4 hours for 100% use on 14” M1 Pro, heavy editing

Other videos:

  • Joanna Stern: 8 hours on 16” M1 Max (edit: not Pro), constant everyday use
  • Joanna Stern: 6.5 hours on 14” M1 Pro, constant everyday use

My personal testing so far is getting about 12 hours on the 16” Max for everyday use vs 15-16 on the 2020 M1 MBP. That difference would cover:

  • 2 vs 4 efficiency cores
  • driving larger/brighter display
  • 32GB vs 8GB RAM
  • 32 vs 8 GPU cores
  • Balanced by larger battery

Nilay’s result seems like an outlier to me, but I’m sure we’ll see more numbers soon to confirm or deny. The idle penalty shouldn’t be that high.


For a while after reading this thread I became concerned that perhaps I should have ordered the M1 pro rather than the M1 max. However, there will be very few cases in which I need more than 10 hours of battery life. And, I just placed an order for the fast charging adapter. In conversation with a support specialist he said the following regarding the fast charging adapter: “And I was confirming with my team and it is that one that charge 50% in around 13 minutes!” I don’t know if that is completely accurate but if I can charge about 15 minutes and get 50% I’m not worried about the slight reduction in battery time available on the max versus the pro.

The specialist also said that I ordered “the best one.” I’m not sure what qualifies him to render that judgment but it is great for confirmation bias. :grinning:

I just ordered the fast charging adapter and a 2 meter cable. The cable arrives tomorrow but the adapter does not arrive until early January. My next trip is in Feb., so I should be good to go. :grinning:


I think this is actually a kind of neat trade-off.

There will be times, maybe twice a year, where I will absolutely need all the power I can get.* During those times I will be very glad to have bought the Max.

If that means having worse battery the rest of the year, it’s fine.

But it is very cool that the “cheaper” processor is a better machine in some ways. The M1 Pro should be a very very popular chip.

*In my consulting practice, I model wicked problems and help teams work out strategies for systems change. This usually means real-time heavy modelling workloads while hosting workshops over Zoom and Miro… no amount of patience can help if my work is lagging while a bunch of fancy people wait for my computer to catch up!


I wish Stern would have told us what brightness the screen was set to for her “everyday use” tests. If I’m using a notebook on battery power for a full day, I turn down the brightness to half and (now in Monterey) turn on low-power mode. The screen brightness makes a really big difference. My M1 Air, in its default state (WiFi on, brightness at half, doing nothing) draws about 2W, but turning the brightness up to full pushes that up to 8W.

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I thought Joanna’s test was of the Max. At least I thought the video I saw was about the max, where she compared the battery length with how far you could fly on a single charge. Are we talking about the same video? I assumed that meant the 16” Pro might go a little longer.

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She said brightness was set at “8 clicks from the bottom.”

I understand and expected that the Max having more processing power will consume more. Two things are interesting though:

  1. I also expected when the cores or extra processing is not used in the max, the battery life between the pro and the max will be similar. I.e. battery life suffers ONLY when more processing is used

  2. The difference of 60% is huge… even it was 30% that is still huge and APPLE Should have indicated this difference.

It frustrates me that so far no one reviewer has the done I was looking for… each one appears to use a combination of 14 and 16 inch

I do agree, more battery tests will come

Did she say that for the everyday test or the second video test? (I suppose I could go back and re-watch :slight_smile: )

I edited my post to say Max, but I went back and watched Joanna’s again and I guess the chip in the 16” is just inferred from the earlier section on video playback. Actually, every video has been a little vague on specs being compared, the benefit to the workload from the increased power and memory bandwidth (e.g. if editing video all day, you’d expect the Max to lose battery faster but also get more work done.). Adding to the confusion, there’s a comment on the WSJ video quoting their Apple rep saying that all else equal, the Max drains “3-8% faster” than the Pro which I haven’t seen anywhere else yet.

She should have tested both and reported the results for both! Make our lives easier.

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It’ll be interesting see if there’s a noticeable difference between the 24C and 32C M1 Max; presumably that lands somewhere in-between.

Pretty soon we are going to be able to get charged off our computers! The hardware is nothing short of sensational. My M1MB Air is flying with 8 GB RAM! It boggles my mind what these machines are capable of! In so very many avenues…

Wow! Which adaptor did you order?

Linus Tech Tips claim to have bought “every configuration” in order to do thorough testing.

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