July 17, 2024
New 2023 Mac Studio Review Roundup [Video]

New 2023 Mac Studio Review Roundup [Video]

Posted June 12, 2023 at 6:36pm by iClarified
Apple has lifted its embargo on reviews of the new 2023 Mac Studio, featuring the company's high performance M2 Ultra chip.

Mac Studio features M2 Max and the new M2 Ultra, delivering a huge boost in performance and enhanced connectivity in its stunningly compact design. Mac Studio is up to 6x faster than the most powerful Intel-based 27-inch iMac, and up to 3x faster than the previous-generation Mac Studio with M1 Ultra.

Check out our review roundup below! You can now purchase the 2023 Mac Studio starting at $1999.

New 2023 Mac Studio Review Roundup [Video]

I've gone from being intrigued by the Mac Studio to truly impressed. It continues to blow PCs away when it comes to heavy-duty work, and it has so much connectivity I don't miss the lack of internal expansion. It's more than just the big Mac mini – it's a compact Mac Pro that many creatives can actually afford.

There isn't a lot to say about the latest generation of the Mac Studio: From a "put it on your desk and use it" perspective, it feels almost exactly like the model that preceded it, with the expected generation-over-generation tweaks we see routinely in laptops and desktops. In sum, it delivers up to about 20% better performance over the equivalent last-generation M1 chip because it has more CPU and GPU cores, and because of the updated Wi-Fi (from 6 to 6E) and Bluetooth 5.3, it has more stable and potentially much faster wireless. That, plus upgraded HDMI 2.1 -- what Apple refers to as "enhanced" HDMI -- are certainly important new features, they just don't change the experience much.

There will always be people who are upset about the appliance-like, non-upgradeable nature of Apple's desktops, especially in the Apple Silicon era, where basically nothing inside the machine can be upgraded after the fact. Upgrading components used to be an easy way to squeeze a few more years out of an aging Mac Pro tower, and in an ideal world, it would still be something that Apple supported and encouraged. But even the Mac Pro can't really be upgraded in that way anymore, which makes the M2 Ultra version of the Mac Studio the one that most pros should buy. It's expensive—it's hard to spend $4,000 on a consumer desktop PC, even one with a top-tier CPU and GPU in it—but what you get is a powerful-but-tiny Mac that's quieter and more power efficient than any PC you can buy or build.

As you've seen in the benchmark results, this sub-$9,000 workstation can outperform a nearly $17,000 PC product in all but a few edge cases throughout our testing suite. However, remember that we have not been able to test the Mac Studio on core ISV-grade professional benchmarks, and so we cannot speak to that end of its relative value. But these results are promising. Apple often takes a fair share of slings and arrows on pricing, but the latest Mac Studio is starting to challenge that narrative. For keeping a tradition of bleeding-edge performance and beginning to buck the trend on value, we give the 2023 Mac Studio our Editors' Choice award among high-end workstations.

So here we are. The Mac Studio is still the fastest Mac you can buy, though it's now tied with the Mac Pro for that honor. While people who want the absolute best that Apple offers will want the M2 Ultra configuration, I can say from personal experience that the lower-cost Max-class chip configuration is a pretty great combination of speed and value. I'm thrilled that Apple has embraced the Mac Studio and updated it for a new chip generation. For users who have more expansive needs than the Mac mini can fulfill, the Mac Studio offers the two fastest chips in Apple's current Mac offerings—and it still does so in a compact package. Yes, there's an Apple silicon Mac Pro now, but the Mac Studio is still the champion.

The Tech Chap
2023 Mac Studio Setup & Review - I'm testing the top-spec M2 Ultra + 192GB Memory Mac Studio, and comparing against my MacBook Pro 16 with M2 Max!

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