Mac Studio review roundup: M2 Max and Ultra chips offer blazing-fast performance

During the WWDC 2023 keynote, Apple unveiled its second-generation Mac Studio, the new 15-inch MacBook Air, and the long-awaited Mac Pro with an M2 Ultra chip. With sales starting this Tuesday, the embargo for the Mac Studio has lifted up – and BGR brings a roundup of first impressions on this Mac.

Macworld reviewed the M2 Max Mac Studio. Although the publication wasn’t impressed with the specs of benchmark tests and exporting videos, there’s a big difference with display support when considering this computer:

The 2023 Mac Studio has an “enhanced HDMI” port instead of HDMI 2.0, and this enhanced HDMI implementation supports features in the HDMI 2.1 specification. This upgrade fixes the major flaw in the original Mac Studio: its HDMI port has a maximum resolution of 4K at 60Hz. Now, you can connect a display with 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 240Hz. And there’s support for variable refresh rate, HDR, and multichannel audio.

That’s not all! If you also use Thunderbolt, the M2 Max Mac Pro still supports four displays with 6K at 60Hz over Thunderbolt, and one display with 4K at 60Hz over HDMI. The new feature is that you can now connect two displays with 6K at 60Hz over Thunderbolt, and one display with 8K at 60Hz or 4K at up to 240Hz over HDMI. Did you get all that? Cool!

PCMag says the M2 Ultra Mac Studio outperforms its M1 counterpart in everything and could also make a difficult choice for customers to choose the Mac Pro, which shares the same chip.

Markedly better than the M1 Ultra Mac Studio in every performance metric (plus upgraded with faster Wi-Fi), this year’s model is so powerful that even Apple’s new Mac Pro tower flagship desktop doesn’t come with a better processor, but rather the same very chip. While the Mac Pro will likely have far greater thermal headroom and therefore perform better, it appears you’re getting a lot of that power here in a much smaller and much more affordable package (considering the Mac Pro starts at $6,999).

Engadget also notes that the Mac Studio is better for most users who are on the verge of this computer and a Mac Pro.

All of sudden, the higher-end Mac Studio makes so much more sense. It has the same raw power as the Mac Pro, a ton of ports, and it won’t take up much room on your desk. What seemed like a curiosity last year, now feels like a tremendous value for power users. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

The Independent noted that Apple improved the thermal cooling and how the fan works on this device, as it’s better than last year’s model:

There is however one important change to last year’s version. The Mac studio that we reviewed last year had a slightly audible whirr, which was not annoying but equally not entirely ignorable. Reports after the release indicated that our unit was not alone – although not every Mac studio was affected.

This year’s Mac studio appears to have avoided this problem, at least in our case. The fans have been altered slightly to make them less audible, and the unit that Apple sent this time around is practically silent.

You can also read reviews by TechCrunch, CNET, and Pocket-lint.

Mac Ultra with M2 Max and M2 Ultra unboxing and hands-on videos



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