Mac Studio M2

We've tested the magnificent M2 Ultra model.

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field

About a year ago, we reviewed the first Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra chip inside. At the time, we proclaimed, along with so many others, that there was really no need for an updated Mac Pro as such, because Apple had shown us the way forward for truly professional, demanding work tasks via MacOS.

Since then, we've actually got a new Mac Pro with Mac Sillicon, a Mac that appears slightly confused, as it doesn't have access to a better chip than Mac Studio and only offers space for a number of PCIe Expansion cards.

This also means that Mac Studio is even stronger than before, this really small, space-saving, functional and simple machine is the way forward for professional work on a Mac, and with the new M2 Ulta chip, it's even clearer.

Mac Studio M2

The chassis is the same, and you can thank Tim Apple for that. Sure, it still looks like a Mac Mini with growing pains, but compared to what it normally takes to assemble such a powerful computer, it's still downright impressive how little space the Mac Studio needs. It's tall, yet low enough to fit under most monitors, so it doesn't add any extra clutter to your desk. There are still two wonderful Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front (with speeds up to 40Gb/s) and an SDXC port (UHS-II), and on the back we find four more Thunderbolt 4 ports, 10GB Ethernet, two USB A ports and HDMI.

This is an ad:

No expense has been spared on the ports, and thank goodness for that, and of course there's also WIFI 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. You can get up to 8TB of space, up to 192GB of RAM and it's combined with the rest of the M2 Ultra chip.

This time it consists of a CPU with 24 cores, a GPU with 76 cores and a Neural Engine with 32 cores. These are limited to a total bandwidth of 800GB/s. This allows access to three 8K displays at 60Hz, or up to eight 4K/60Hz displays.

So will it smash any Windows or Linux-based machine and re-establish itself as the go-to for any production endeavour? No, of course not. It depends on whether you need macOS and whether your specific workflow either supports or outright requires it. But if that's the case, Studio is such a space-saving, convenient and lightning-fast solution that it's hard not to call it an absolute triumph for those who need a lot of horsepower - in a Mac.

Via Ultra Fusion, which basically means that an M2 Ultra should act like two M2 Max chips stuck together, we should see a significant advantage over our test unit, a MacBook Pro 16 with M2 Max. And don't worry, we did:

This is an ad:

Lightroom Export (RAW)
MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max): 10.6 seconds
Mac Studio (M2 Ultra): 5.5 seconds

Blender - Classroom
MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max): 52
Mac Studio (M2 Ultra): 111

Blender - Monster
MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max): 123
Mac Studio (M2 Ultra): 251

Premiere Pro Puget
MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max): 539
Mac Studio (M2 Ultra): 822

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max): 103fps
Mac Studio (M2 Ultra): 145fps

Mac Studio M2

Of course, you will, again and again, run into specific workloads that either don't work or work poorly on Mac Silicon, and this will be the case on both a MacBook Air or a Mac Studio, but we assume that if you're even considering a Studio, it's because you know for sure that the way you work works in MacOS.

And if that's the case, then it's hard to complain about the horsepower you've got at your disposal here, without it being noisy, without it taking up space and not really drawing more than 370 watts even when it's being hammered.

Mac Studio is, again, a triumph for those who already use Apple hardware and software.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

Related texts

Loading next content