Adobe Lightroom on Apple’s M1 Max MacBook Pro is worth the upgrade, new tests reveal

We already know that Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pros offer incredible performance and a new report published by CNET only reiterated that. According to the latest tests conducted on the M1 Max MacBook Pro, it was revealed that the battery life and speed of the device are outstanding in addition to the return of the SD card reader for importing and videos straight from a camera.  

2021 M1 Max MacBook Pro

Lightroom on the new M1 Max MacBook Pro offers impressive performance compared to Intel-based Macs

The CNET report compares the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro with the 10-core M1 Max chip and 32GB of RAM to the 2019 Intel i7 MacBook Pro. From the moment the machine was set up, the user notes the performance boost was “obvious,” in loading websites, scrolling, and unlocking with Touch ID. 

Five tests of “routine but taxing” Lightroom actions were performed on both MacBooks three times. The average time it took for each machine to complete the actions revealed a significant jump in performance. 

Merging six 30-megapixel shots into a panorama was 4.8x faster on the new MacBook Pro, taking an average of 14 seconds vs. 67 for the Intel machine. That was the biggest speedup in my tests. The smallest was merging three 30-megapixel shots into an HDR photo, which took 22 seconds on the Intel machine and 12 seconds on the M1 Max, a 1.9x speedup.

Lightroom still struggles to accommodate Phase One’s enormous 151-megapixel raw files, but the new Mac handled it much better than my older machine. A panorama merge of two shots took an excruciating 109 seconds on the Intel Mac; it was 3.2x faster on the M1 Max MacBook Pro at 34 seconds. Interpreting the raw files to generate full-resolution previews — the most common delay I experience in Lightroom — was 2.5x faster on the new machine.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe’s Lightroom does run natively which means that the program can take full advantage of Apple Silicon, including its power and efficiency improvements. Adobe also users the M1’s Neural Engine cores for AI acceleration. 

In conclusion, the report states that “many tasks in Lightroom — launching, scrolling, zooming, importing and exporting — are snappier on the new machine.” 

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.