The Mac Studio’s closest competition is actually the Mac Pro. Wild, right? The Mac Pro was easily the most powerful and functional machine in Apple’s stable and video editors were dreaming of being able to pick one up.
Now the Mac Studio comes flying in with new Apple Silicon and appears to give video editors all the performance they needed in a smaller and more affordable package.
Now that the Mac Studio is shipping we can check out some real-world tests and benchmarks for video editing. If you were looking to upgrade your computer soon you might want to check out this comparison from Max Tech.
We need to lay out the specs first, as with any comparison:
- Mac Pro
- 3.3GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon CPU
- AMD Radeon Pro Vega II (32GB)
- 192GB DDR4 ECC RAM
- 1TB SSD
- Afterburner Card
- Price: $14,999
- Mac Studio
- M1 Ultra 20-Core CPU
- 64-Core GPU
- 128GB Unified RAM
- 1TB SSD
- Price: $5,799
The computers are very different. With design you have the Mac Studio being easy to pick up and move around with an array of ports and no modularity at all. Then you have the full tower Mac Pro which is absolutely massive and not something you want to move around on any day, but it has a ton of modularity.
For I/O the Mac Studio has four Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back, two USB-C (M1 Max) or two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front, an SD card reader on the front, and then 10Gb Ethernet, two USB-A, HDMI, and a 3.5m audio jack on the back. That is great and docks can further expand on it.
The Mac Pro does have a lot more options and you can expand with more GPUs and memory over time, but that comes with a hefty price tag.
Kicking things off with a single-core CPU text in Geekbench 5 you will see the M1 Ultra coming at at 60% faster than the Intel Xeon. This will impact everyday tasks like web browsing and just navigating a few different apps. The entire system is just snappier. The multi-core test is even better for the Mac Studio at nearly double the Mac Pro.
For graphics, the Cinebench R23 test shows the M1 Ultra Mac Studio producing 70% better scores. This might not even be fully optimized yet since it only seems to be hitting around 60% usage.
And during this the M1 Ultra only hit 58W for peak usage while the Intel Xeon hit a much, much higher 200W. The new Apple Silicon is incredibly efficient.
Now we have some actual programs to test out.
- Mac Pro: 125 seconds
- Mac Studio: 69 seconds
- Mac Pro: 227 tracks
- Mac Studio: 341 tracks
- Mac Pro: 867 score (Combined CPU), 7,260 score (Combined GPU)
- Mac Studio: 1,888 score (Combined CPU), 36,526 score (Combined GPU)
Lightroom Classic (50x 42MP Export)
- Mac Pro: 1 minute 11 seconds
- Mac Studio: 45 seconds
Those are some fairly easy to understand numbers—the Mac Studio will be faster than the Mac Pro for way less money.
Moving back to some benchmarking, the Geekbench 5 Metal GPU test shows the Mac Studio just barely beating out the Mac Pro with scores of 102,672 and 100,677, respectively.
This isn’t a super accurate test of the M1 Ultra. Now, with an actual stressor of GFXBench Aztec Ruins the Mac Studio jumps way ahead with 485 fps compared to the Mac Pro’s 205 fps.
Back to some more applications.
Final Cut Pro
- 5 Minute 4K H.264 Export
- Mac Pro: 2 minutes 30 seconds
- Mac Studio: 1 minute 52 seconds
- 1 Minute HEVC Stabilization
- Mac Pro: 14 seconds
- Mac Studio: 7 seconds
- 5 Minute 8K RED RAW Export
- Mac Pro: 8 minutes 2 seconds
- Mac Studio: 5 minutes 25 seconds
- ProRes RAW to ProRes 422 Export
- Mac Pro: 1 minute 45 seconds
- Mac Studio: 41 seconds
- 8K ProRes RAW to ProRes 422 Export
- Mac Pro (Afterburner): 12 minutes 50 seconds
- Mac Pro (No Afterburner): 20 minutes 18 seconds
- Mac Studio: 2 minutes 43 seconds
- 5 Minute HEVC 8-bit Export
- Mac Pro: 2 minutes 30 seconds
- Mac Studio: 1 minute 17 seconds
- PartyTug Eevee
- Mac Pro: 32.95 seconds
- Mac Studio: 4.49 seconds
- PartyTug Cycles
- Mac Pro: 1 minute 52 seconds
- Mac Studio: 1 minute 22 seconds
- BMW Cycles GPU
- Mac Pro: 43.81 seconds
- Mac Studio: 33.55 seconds
- Classroom Cycles
- Mac Pro: 1 minute 29 seconds
- Mac Studio: 1 minute 6 seconds
Phew. That was a lot of tests. I think it is very clear that the Mac Studio is going to outperform the Mac Pro today.
If you are picking something up right now then just get the Mac Studio and save a ton of money (unless you absolutely need that Intel chip for some reason). Or, you might want to wait until later this year when Apple adds their silicon to the Mac Pro.
Are you planning on picking up a Mac Studio?
[source: Max Tech]