Apple Mac Studio 2023 (M2 Max) evaluation: The entire computing energy an artistic wishes

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I’ve been inspired with with regards to each and every device into which Apple has injected its proprietary chips. The MacBook Professional is admirable. The MacBook Wind is almost definitely the most efficient computer for many folk at this time. And I additionally in reality loved the primary iteration of the Mac Studio with the M1 Max chip within. Now, Apple has upgraded the Mac Studio to its M2-series silicon, together with the M2 Max (which I’m reviewing right here) and the much more robust M2 Extremely (which is almost definitely overkill for all however essentially the most critical customers). Date the M2 Max isn’t a progressive bounce from the M1 taste (just like the M1 used to be from the Intel Macs), the unused life does lend an excessively clear velocity build up, in addition to some welcomed options for complicated customers. 


  • The chassis has stayed the similar, however the pc now jumps as much as the M2 Max and M2 Extremely-series chips.
  • The bottom M2 Max style begins at $1,999 with a 12-core CPU, 30-core GPU, 32GB unified reminiscence, and 512GB warehouse.
  • M2 Extremely fashions get started at $3,999 with a 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU, 64GB unified reminiscence, and 1TB integrated warehouse. 
  • M2 Max fashions help as much as 5 high-res shows without delay.
  • Apple guarantees 1.8x growth in CPU efficiency over M1 Max and three.8x GPU efficiency enhancements.


  • The design remains to be unbelievable
  • Tremendous-quiet
  • Noticeably sooner than the former style in each and every job
  • Cast poised of ports for a tiny pc


  • Pricey
  • Will get in reality dear as you upload to the specifications

Verdict: The sophomore Mac Studio supplies a stable improve over its still-worthy predecessor and represents a enormous bounce from the worn Intel Macs—so, should you’re silent on a kind of, it is a admirable year to improve.

The Mac Studio 2023 (M2 Max) form

Our evaluation unit has an M2 Max chip within with 12 CPU cores, 38 GPU cores, 64GB shared reminiscence, and 4TB integrated warehouse. This configuration is a step up from the $1,999 bottom style in the case of the chip, which provides $200. The excess shared reminiscence (the bottom style trade in 32GB) provides $400. And the improve to 4TB warehouse provides a good-looking gnarly $1,200. The bottom style handiest trade in 512GB of integrated warehouse. And past many ingenious professionals depend closely on super-fast exterior warehouse, I believe 1TB is the ground for a piece pc at this level. 

The Mac Studio 2023 (M2 Max) efficiency

I’ve old the Mac Studio as my major pc for the easier a part of a year on the year of this evaluation. That incorporates very bulky picture modifying with massive uncooked recordsdata, 4K video modifying, and numerous browser tabs. As you may be expecting, the Mac Studio handles on a regular basis computing duties very simply. Home windows temporarily snap perceivable. Switching home windows occurs at once. Even heaps of tabs don’t appear to tax the device too critically. I did realize that the device is largely still always, even if I’m doing one thing that creates a bulky load at the {hardware}. That’s been the Mac Studio’s brag because it debuted, nevertheless it’s silent important for the negligible field to churn out 4K video edits with out creating a peep. 


Mac Studio M2 Max review back and ports
The port line must glance usual from the primary Mac Studio. Stan Horaczek

The again of the device sports activities 4 USB-C Thunderbolt ports, an Ethernet port, the ability connector, two USB-A ports, an HDMI, and a headphone jack. The entrance of the device rocks some other pair of USB-C ports and an SDXC card reader. Along with the bodily ports, the unused Mac Studio now comes with Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi 6E connectivity. 

It’s a in reality stable arsenal of connectors for this kind of tiny device. The ports at the entrance come in useful regularly, and I’m a plethora fan of the SDXC card slot. As extra high-end cameras transfer to CFExpress playing cards, on the other hand, it will begin to really feel old-fashioned relying for your digicam tools improve trail. 

Date this doesn’t in reality impact how the pc runs or what you’ll be able to do with it, the Mac Studio silent comes with one of the vital nicest energy cords I’ve ever unmistakable. It’s wrapped in material and pleasantly rounded at the edges. That’s the type of factor you prefer to peer whilst you spend a ton of cash on a device. 

Photograph modifying at the Mac Studio M2 Max

Mac Studio M2 Max Cinebench scores
You’ll see the single-core CPU efficiency (left) and multi-core CPU efficiency (proper). Cinebench

This isn’t a benchmarking web page, so we’re now not getting to bombard you with a ton of charts and inscrutable check effects. I ran the Mac Studio via Cinebench, and it completed above 14,000 at the multi-core CPU check. That handily beats the former M1-series Mac Studio I examined extreme age, which scored within the 12,000s. The unused M2 Max device completed the single-core check within the mid-1,700s. 

The actual-world, hands-on checking out used to be extra informative for me. I loaded a accumulation of five,000 or so 45-megapixel Canon R5 uncooked recordsdata into Adobe’s Lightroom Vintage. I old the arrow key to temporarily exit throughout the pictures, marking the ones I sought after to edit and ship. My M1 Professional-powered MacBook Professional (which I completely love) strikes noticeably slower than the Mac Studio. That’s now not unexpected, nevertheless it temporarily spoiled me. It’s simple to put out of your mind how a lot fractions of a 2d upload up when coping with 1000’s of pictures. 

On the subject of exporting full-res jpegs from uncooked recordsdata, the Mac Studio M2 Max did the task kind of two times as temporarily as my M1 Professional MacBook Professional. That velocity varies, in fact, relying on what else is working and what sort of resizing/sprucing the pictures want. However it’s noticeably sooner, and that’s a excellent factor. 


You might have unmistakable wild movies of Photoshop’s unused AI-based content-aware fill device. It makes use of generative AI so as to add to, edit, or retouch footage in in reality important tactics. It may well really feel a negligible like witchery when it will get it excellent. That’s coming from any individual who as soon as made a dwelling as a photograph retoucher. 

Date the AI-powered fill is a laugh, it’s additionally very useful resource extensive. Date the Mac Studio wasn’t relatively two times as hasty as my M1 MacBook Professional, it wasn’t a ways off. The advance bar at the Mac Studio strikes completely easily around the display as Photoshop extends the background or inserts a random astronaut into a picture. This efficiency growth most probably comes partially from the Mac Studio’s stepped forward device studying {hardware}, which has jumped in functions because the earlier life. 

I spotted related, even though much less pronounced, velocity will increase relating to alternative AI-powered symbol modifying processes. Lightroom Vintage’s Denoise serve as is a stable instance. This AI-powered serve as pulls virtual noise (some folk incorrectly name it grain) out of pictures with out making issues glance muddy or ruining the bits and bobs inside the symbol. This procedure usually takes kind of 30 seconds according to symbol should you don’t create many changes to the power. The Mac Studio did it in about 20 seconds. In case you’re working this serve as on a batch of pictures, that’s a fat year saver. 

Video modifying

Mac Studio M2 Max review with SSD drive plugged in
I usually usefulness an exterior SSD for modifying as it assists in keeping the interior drives cloudless. Stan Horaczek

Date I’ve a protracted historical past {of professional} picture modifying, my video abilities aren’t just about as delicate. Nonetheless, I continuously edit 4K video in Ultimate Snip Professional from my Canon R5, iPhone 14 Professional Max, and any collection of alternative cameras I is also reviewing for on the year. 

Ultimate Snip Professional has a bonus in fast modifying because it’s made by way of Apple and particularly tweaked to run excellently at the corporate’s proprietary chips. Date I don’t have any problems with my M1 Professional MBP and 4K modifying, I’ve gotten old to a definite modifying age that I do know received’t jam issues up or motive a clash. With the M2 Max, I will considerably build up that age. Scrubbing via previews, including transitions, and rendering scenes all exit noticeably sooner right here. Once more, that isn’t unexpected, however it’s usefulness noting that Apple has delivered on its majestic efficiency processes. 

The Mac Studio M1 Max vs. Mac Studio M2 Max

Transferring from M1 chips to M2 {hardware} is a generational shift. It’s now not the similar immense revolution you’d revel in making the bounce from an Intel-based Mac, however it’s going to lend a clear velocity build up, even over a device only a age worn. In case your M1-series Mac Studio assists in keeping up along with your tide workflow, upcoming there’s almost definitely refuse sprint to improve. In case you’re silent the use of an Intel Mac, you’re in reality lacking out and almost definitely losing a ton of year looking ahead to advance bars to exit. 

The Mac Studio M2 Max vs. Mac Studio M2 Extremely

Date the Studio M2 Max is a beast, Apple’s lineup contains an much more monstrous configuration within the mode of the M2 Extremely. It’s the corporate’s maximum robust chip, handiest to be had within the Mac Studio and the just lately introduced Mac Professional. If you want absolute energy, the Extremely is your exit, although the bottom style will get started at two times the M2 Max’s $1,999 ground. However create certain you in reality want all that energy. The Mac Studio M2 Extremely can force as much as 8 high-res displays. As a tools editor, I’ve a batch of displays round right here, however I don’t even usefulness 4 of them at a year. It’s all the time tempting to get the most efficient factor you’ll be able to perhaps find the money for, however it can be extra energy than you want and extra money than you want to spend. 

So, what Mac Studio M2 Max must you purchase?

The bounce from a 30-core GPU to a 38-core style will handiest poised you again an excess $200 (even though this improve is handiest to be had if you are going to buy immediately from Apple). That’s a profitable funding. The bottom style ships with 32GB of unified reminiscence, which is significance. Alternatively, we all the time suggest splurging on RAM (or, on this case, the Apple identical) if you’ll be able to as it makes a tangible residue in efficiency. And past $200 turns out like a fat price ticket to walk from 512GB inside warehouse to simply 1TB, I silent assume it’s a great improve. I wouldn’t walk past that, even though. Simply get some hasty exterior solid-state warehouse to tie by means of USB-C. 

Taking into account all of the variables, the Mac Studio M2 Max is an improbable pc, particularly should you do ingenious paintings or alternative resource-intensive initiatives. It blasts via photo-editing systems, simply chews via high-res video, and helps all of the most up-to-date wi-fi applied sciences for speedy conversation. It’s now not affordable, and it might probably get very dear in a rush should you get started making upgrades, however be subtle about your acquire. If you want the firepower, upcoming spend the cash and spend much less year watching gradual advance bars. Or, when you have a batch of cash and also you simply need a in reality slick, hasty, refined desktop, the Mac Studio M2 Max completely suits the invoice. 

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