Apple M1 Ultra vs Nvidia RTX 3090

In Early March, Apple announced the M1 Ultra that came along with some big claims, namely that the M1 Ultra could outperform Nvidia’s RTX 3090.

Very big call indeed.­­­

Naturally though, the PC community have been quick to dispute this, with Apple’s performance graph being shown to be somewhat flawed (or at the very least, misleading) and plenty of questions being raised about the legitimacy of Apple’s claims.

Let’s rewind and see how this has all played out…

Source: Apple

Apple released the above graph with March 8th’s press release, displaying the power of the M1 Ultra’s chip and outperforming the “highest end discrete GPU” at approximately 33% of the power. If you have perfect eye sight and the worlds strongest magnifying glass, you might be able to see in the bottom right hand corner that this discrete GPU is in fact the RTX 3090 (this is also listed in Apple’s press release via the fine print at https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/03/apple-unveils-m1-ultra-the-worlds-most-powerful-chip-for-a-personal-computer/).

Although this is undeniably Apples strongest GPU to date and incredibly fast – late last week, The Verge released benchmark testing for the M1 Ultra vs the RTX 3090 using Geekbench’s GPU tests as well as against Shadow of The Tomb Raider to see how it really stacks up.

Source: The Verge
Source: The Verge

Although somewhat expected, “the new M1 Ultra is not able to outperform the RTX3090 in terms of raw GPU performance, according to benchmark testing performed by The Verge.” (https://www.macrumors.com/2022/03/17/m1-ultra-nvidia-rtx-3090-comparison/)

That being said, the M1 Ultra and the Mac Studio system does appear to be quite impressive (especially for content creation and 3D modelling), however their marketing could be seen as misleading as their graphing does not take into account the full power range of Nvidia’s chip. Further noted during the testing against Shadow of The Tomb Raider was that “there was substantial, noticeable micro stutter at every resolution we tried. This is not at all a computer that anyone would buy for gaming(https://www.theverge.com/22981815/apple-mac-studio-m1-ultra-max-review)

The above testing and with GPU prices anticipated drop by consumers, the 3090 will make less of a hit on your wallet and certainly appears to be the more advantageous, both performance and value wise.

With that in mind, those of you who are after the absolute best performance may be better served waiting for the upcoming release of the RTX3090Ti or even the 4000 series.