Apple Mac Studio (M2 Ultra, 2023) Review: The Mac Pro Killer

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The Mac Studio is the good center floor for energy customers. It’s way more highly effective than the 24-inch iMac ($1,299) in addition to the Mac Mini ($599), but it surely’s 1000’s of {dollars} lower than the brand new Mac Pro ($6,999). It’s the Goldilocks Mac—excellent.

You have the selection to outfit it with the M2 Max ($1,999) or M2 Ultra ($3,999)—two of probably the most highly effective Apple chips accessible—however this additional encroaches on the Mac Pro’s territory, since Apple’s expensive desktop laptop is additionally powered by the M2 Ultra. For the overwhelming majority of parents that want a strong machine, you needn’t go Pro. The Studio is almost as succesful and way more compact.

Pro Performance, Studio Design

Photograph: Apple

The M2 Ultra is Apple’s latest and strongest chip within the M-series household. Made of two M2 Max chips fused collectively, the M2 Ultra is comprised of a 24-core CPU and a GPU that may be configured with 60 to 76 cores. Apple says the CPU delivers as much as 20 % sooner efficiency and a 30 % sooner GPU than the M1 Ultra. If you do not want that a lot energy, you possibly can default to the M2 Max—which Apple introduced final yr.

Apple despatched me the Mac Studio with the M2 Ultra for testing (with a 60-core GPU and 64 gigabytes of unified reminiscence)—a configuration that may set you again $4,399 with the added 2 terabytes of storage. Since my each day workflow consists of typing phrases into paperwork, sending emails, and net shopping, I handed the Mac Studio over to my associate, an expert videographer, to stress-test this machine.

We imported a number of streams of each ProRes and RED uncooked footage (about 10 gigabytes in complete with a RED uncooked clip at an 8:1 compression) into Final Cut Pro to edit. We utilized a number of shade corrections and altered the digicam log conversion LUTs over 20 occasions in actual time, whereas additionally protecting it set to “better quality.” The M2 Ultra handled the footage like it was nothing—there were no dropped frames or stutters and everything was rendered quickly. Even applying noise reduction at “high amount” and “high sharpness” on a uncooked clip—adjustments that will usually carry an Intel-powered machine to a crawl—took lower than 20 seconds on a four-minute clip.

None of this was shocking, since I went by means of an identical expertise after I stress-tested the M1 Ultra. Even as a video skilled who continually works with graphics-intensive footage, my associate walked away from the M2 Ultra within the new Mac Studio feeling prefer it was extra laptop than even he’d ever want.

Familiar Design

Photograph: Apple

Apple used the identical chassis with this Mac Studio as its predecessor for good cause. It does not take up a lot room on my desk, and it neatly matches proper beneath the Apple Studio Display. My brother mentioned it appears to be like like “a giant Apple TV,” and he is not flawed.

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