The Mac Studio has become one of the most powerful computers on the market, and it’s all thanks to its high-speed, high-capacity chips. In addition, with this piece, Apple has returned to one of its most classic designs without losing modernity. In this post we analyze this mini computer.
This Mac seems compact and small but despite its size, it is a computer that can perform at a very good level and offer very good performance. Thanks to its revolutionary chips that we will analyze later, you can have one of the best Macs on the market at a very affordable price.
Apple ‘s M1 Max processor is of ARM architecture and is the movement for which it has a very low consumption. But being of cores customized by Apple, its performance is very good and comparable to Intel and AMD processors. It is made up of ten cores in total, eight high-powered and two efficient, and lacks multi-threading. They work up to 3.2 GHz for performance and up to 2 GHz for efficiency, with 24 MB of level 2 cache and 48 MB of level 3 cache . Despite its size, the Mac Studio is one of the most powerful Macs ever. It offers Apple’s two highest-end processors: the M1 Max, which debuted in the 2021 MacBook Pros, and the new M1 Ultra, which is effectively two M1 Max chips fused together, offering a lot more power.
This computer offers some of the best overall speeds seen from any computer from the brand. It packs all that muscle into a small cube that offers a good number of connectivity options, including a host of Thunderbolt 4 ports and two USB-A ports.
It should be noted that with this computer there are two options available. The first option available is the one with the M1 Max Chip, with a 10-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. It also has a 24-core GPU, accompanied by a 16-core Neural Engine. It has 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Regarding the multimedia engine, it has hardware acceleration for H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW, video decoding engine, two video encoding engines and two ProRes encoding and decoding engines.
Regarding the second option available, it is an M1 Ultra Chip, it has a 20-core CPU with 16 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, with a 48-core GPU, 32-core Neutral Engine and 800 GB/s of bandwidth. memory. Its multimedia engine is somewhat similar, but it is also more superior than the first option. In it we can see hardware acceleration for H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW, two video decoding engines, four video encoding engines and four ProRes encoding and decoding engines.
The M1 Max version has 32 GB of unified memory, which can be configured with 64 GB, but this version raises its price somewhat, just as it happened with the model with M1 Ultra and 64 GB of RAM. If you want to acquire this version you will have to pay a little more than its base price. It is in these cases that you have to assess whether it is really worth increasing its capacity, taking into account the use you are going to give it.
Without a doubt, it is not a memory that is spectacular, but it is just and necessary for day-to-day tasks without having storage problems. Also, today you work a lot with external hard drives or partitions within the hard drive itself, and with this computer you won’t have any problems.
The version of the Mac Studio with an M1 Max is sold with a 512GB PCIe 4.0 type solid state drive , giving good performance although it improves in the higher capacity versions. It is an Apple classic that the base models have lower performance SSDs. Even so, the maximum speed reaches 7/3.9 GB/s for sequential read/write, and 634/166 MB/s for random read/write
What is economically more profitable instead of opting for extra storage capacity from Apple is an external drive by Thunderbolt . In my case I have opted for a 2 TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus, which is PCIe 3.0 type, and an external case that cost me about 110 euros at the time I bought it. They are about 320 euros in total for an extra 2 TB of storage. The step from 512 GB of internal storage to 2 TB costs 690 euros, earning only an additional 1.5 TB.
One of the advantages of this computer is the amount of compatibilities it has, both for image and sound. Supports up to five monitors simultaneously, four Pro Display XDR monitors, at 6K resolution at 60Hz with over a billion colors over USB-C, and one 4K monitor, at 4K resolution at 60Hz with over a billion colors colors via HDMI. Regarding the digital video outputs, it has Thunderbolt 4 that are compatible with native DisplayPort output through USB-C and Thunderbolt 2, DVI and VGA outputs through adapters, but keep in mind that they are sold separately. Finally, the HDMI monitor video output supports a monitor with a resolution of up to 4K at 60 Hz and also DVI output using an HDMI to DVI adapter, also sold separately.
For audio, it has a built-in speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it also has advanced compatibility with high-impedance headphones. Finally, it has an HDMI port that supports multi-channel audio output. It is a very complete computer regarding audio, so you will not have problems working with audio.
In addition to the technical specifications, there is another series of features that you will have to take into account if you are thinking of buying this computer. Among them, the design, the ports and the dimensions of this Mac stand out, which, as we will see later, has returned to an old Apple design but with many more advantages.
The Mac Studio is a computer specially designed for content creators and professional users who need a reliable workstation when editing audio, video, photography or graphic design, without sacrificing a compact and very careful design.
Its design is nothing new since it follows the line marked by the Mac mini, but not the one we all know but the one that was launched 17 years ago. Steve Jobs presented his first mini computer as an “affordable” Mac in 2005 , and although its design has undergone minor changes since then, the essence of the Mac mini remains intact, and this new Mac Studio, although it does not come to replace the Mac mini, derives directly from it. Even the box that Mac Studio comes in is reminiscent of the original Mac mini.
A computer intended for professional use is a computer to which all kinds of accessories must be connected. Video and photography cameras, memory cards, microphones, headphones, external monitors, external graphics, hard drives… And this means that you need all kinds of connections, and some of them, several. That is why we leave you with a list with the connections they have on the front and on the back:
- 2 USB-C 10Gb/s ports
- SDXC (UHS-II) card slot
- 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports (40Gb/s) (supported are USB-4, DisplayPort)
- 2 USB-A ports (5Gb/s)
- Ethernet 10Gb
- 3.5mm headphone jack
Between the model with the M1 Max chip and the one that incorporates the M1 Ultra processor, the only difference regarding the connections is in the two front USBs, which in the case of the Ultra are also Thunderbolt 4 , like the rear ones. It is not a determining factor when deciding between one or the other. The number of connections available and their variety seems more than adequate to me. There may be some users who need some type of dock or adapter, but as a general rule, I think that for most they will be more than enough.
Dimensions and weight
As we have said before, the design of this computer is already quite well known in Apple and is quite familiar. The dimensions have changed quite a bit, being one of the novelties of this computer, but despite this they have managed to maintain their familiar design. The weight varies depending on the chip, these being its measurements and weight:
- Height: 9.5cm
- Width: 19.7cm
- Depth: 19.7cm
- Weight (M1 Max): 2.7kg2
- Weight (M1 Ultra): 3.6kg2
Connections and extensions
On the rear panel there are four Thunderbolt 4 connectors in USB-C format capable of working at a maximum transfer speed of 40 Gb/s, an Ethernet port in RJ-45 10 Gb format, 2 USB type A ports with a speed maximum transfer rate of 5 Gb/s, an HDMI 2.0 output and a 3.5 mm headphone jack . Not bad, especially if we keep in mind that this Mac Studio is a very compact team.
Without a doubt, it has everything you need to be a computer to edit video and sound since it has outputs to be able to do all these things. The amount of things it offers stands out for its small size, but it is certainly worth it since it is one of the most powerful computers on the market.
As we have seen, it is a small computer, with a large chip and many possibilities to work with. Its price is consistent with all these features, and is at 2,329 euros for its version with M1 Max chip, with silver color (the only one available).
For its most complete version, with the M1 Ultra chip and also in silver, its price is 4,629 euros, almost double that of the simplest version. Keep in mind that with this model the memory is larger and has more capabilities than its chip is twice as fast and efficient.
This is our opinion
It is completely true that it is one of the most powerful and efficient computers on the market, and it should be noted that Apple has done a very good job with the chips in this model. However, you have to assess whether it is worth investing more than 2,000 euros in a computer if you are only going to give it an office automation utility.
If, on the other hand, you work with video and audio, this is a very good option to buy. In addition to its speed, we must highlight the very good audio and video qualities that it offers, which when connected to a good screen will allow you to achieve a spectacular work ecosystem.