Apple Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra

The Mac Studio M2 Max/M2 Ultra is the best choice for an Apple 2023 desktop for majority of musicians and creators

Apple Mac Studio M2 Max $1999.00 – M2 Ultra $3999.00 minimum per processor type

If you’re a serious pro or amateur musician, you really want the Apple Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra or the Apple MacBook Pro M3 Pro & M3 Max. A large music and/or video recording studio without budget restraints or someone who must have PCIe slot expansion may want to consider the Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra. These are the three best computers for creatives you can buy.

If you absolutely must spend less than $1999.00, consider the Mac mini M2 Pro. Other less expensive options are the Mac mini M2MacBook Pro M2 Pro, MacBook Air M2, or 24″ iMac M3. Even buy used or refurbished if need be. To suggest buying less than these systems is bad advice. Also see notes below in the Unified Memory section.

See: Apple Silicon is the DAW standard.

Mac Studio M2 Max/M2 Ultra was announced June 5, 2023

After months of bogus rumors, Apple did the smart thing and announced the 2nd generation Mac Studio with M2 Max and M2 Ultra at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, 2023.

Personally, I have no intention of upgrading my M1 Ultra until M3 or M4 Ultra, but if I didn’t have an M1 Ultra, I would jump at the M2 Max or M2 Ultra. It makes me very happy to see Apple is still upgrading this machine with both the Max and Ultra processors.

As predicted, there is no redesign of the M2 Series Mac Studio. The Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra has the same basics as the M1 Series. This is fine with me, I love the Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra a lot.

Also, like the M2 Series 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros there are upgrades to HDMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3. The prices remain the same as well. Fortunately, in many ways Apple chose to not fix what isn’t broken, amen.

If you want more details about the Mac Studio, read the Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra page. Beyond that, everything in the M2 Series is exactly the same as the M1 Series, except the M2 Max/Ultra processor, HDMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3 upgrades.

Information you need to properly digest web sites & especially YouTube.
Updated frequently – Apple Technology YouTube Critique

CPU & GPU Performance Benchmarks

I would generally advise to not get too tied up in the minutiae of benchmarks, but they are useful for relative comparisons of processors. It is worth noting that no M Series processors are slouches. Some more than others, but all of them are a noticeable improvement over the Intel processors in previous generation Macs.

CPU single-core performance of the M2 Max and M2 Ultra processors in the Mac Studio is very similar to all other M2 Series processors, because of course they all share the same CPU single-core.

CPU multi-core and GPU multi-core performance is where the differences become more apparent because of the different number of cores.

SSD Performance Benchmarks

I think it’s safe to say Apple now has a trend of using a single NAND chip for its 512GB SSDs. So smart money says stay away from 512GB SSDs. Otherwise you can expect Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra 1TB and larger SSDs to have the same stellar performance M1 Series have now.

DAW Performance Benchmarks

You can expect Mac Studio M2 Series DAW performance to be improved over the Mac Studio M1 Series. Keep in mind that Mac Studio M1 Series DAW performance was already way beyond what nearly every musician can even dream of using.

Check software compatibilities

The Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra has macOS Sonoma on it.

It should go without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway. M Series has been out since November 2020. I think it’s crazy that any DAW or plugin should have issues or still be running on Rosetta emulation, but not everyone listens to me. Do your homework!

Furthermore, in my opinion any major software company that markets to Apple users and hasn’t updated their software to include Apple silicon compatibility deserves to lose your business. It’s been over 3 years, and at this point it’s a real screw you. They obviously don’t care about their customers and should be replaced by a company that cares more about their customers.

macOS 13 Ventura: Compatibility Guide

macOS 14 Sonoma: Compatibility Guide

My personal experience with Ventura and Sonoma has been very good. Everything I use runs natively on M Series and is compatible with those. But don’t listen to me, do your homework!

The Mac Studio has what it takes to get through the next 5+ years of your music & video productions

This is why you buy Apple. Realistically with the cost of computers these days, a 1-3 year refresh cycle is not practical for most people. Unlike the majority if not all PC systems, Apple computers are built to last and Apple silicon is state of the art enough to start you at the head of the pack.

Keep coming back

Thanks!
-Yehuda

Manufacturer’s website
https://www.apple.com/mac-studio

Product support, downloads
https://support.apple.com

Videos

Yehuda Rothschild Apple Mac Studio M2 Series YouTube Playlist

Useful Links

Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple Silicon is the DAW standard
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M3 Max & M3 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro & M2 Max
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M3 Pro & M3 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M3 & M3 Pro
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M2
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M3
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M1
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M3
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M3 Processor Series

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