Apple’s new M2 Max and M2 Ultra-powered Mac Studio is nearly identical to its predecessor.
First off, the overall design of the Mac Studio is the same as last year, which means it still features a sleek-looking, brushed aluminum body that will look great sitting anywhere in an office.
Port-wise, the desktop Mac still features four Thunderbolt 4 ports (up to 40Gbps), one 10Gbps Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack (yay!), and new with this refresh, an HDMI port capable of the majority of the HDMI 2.1 spec (the features most people care about, anyways).
This updated HDMI support allows the Mac Studio to work with an 8K display at 60Hz and 4K at up to 240Hz, and supports variable refresh rate (VRR), HDR and multichannel audio. It’s unlikely many Mac Studio owners will take advantage of these new features, but it’s welcome to see Apple keeping the HDMI ports featured in its devices up to date.
On the front, there’s an SDCX card slot and two USB-C ports that support up to 10Gbps transfer. And finally, beyond the processor update, the other new features include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
“The Mac Studio (2023) targets users who know what they do with their Mac is resource-intensive…”
My experience with the M2 Max Mac Studio has been expectedly smooth these last few days. Whether I was doing light video editing in Adobe Premier or editing images in Photoshop or Lightroom, the desktop Mac easily handled everything I threw at it.
Of course, the same can be said about the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air I also used the last few days, so I’m likely not the Mac Studio’s core audience. That said, the Mac Studio (2023) worked great for my purposes, although its ample power is obviously overkill.
The Mac Studio (2023) targets users who know what they do with their Mac is resource-intensive, especially in a world where the cheaper M2 Pro Mac mini exists ($1,699).
But what you probably clicked on this story for are the benchmarks, so let’s get into it.
First up, we have Geekbench 5 scores for the M2 Max Mac Studio Apple sent me to test out.
These Geekbench 5 results aren't very surprising. The Mac Studio surpasses its 2022 counterpart in single-core and multi-core CPU performance by a slim margin and sits right above the M2 Pro Mac mini and MacBook Pro I benchmarked earlier this year. This is likely helped by the fact that last year's Mac Studio features 10 CPU cores, and this year's includes 12 CPU cores. It's also well above every Apple M1 chip we've benchmarked, just as expected.
Next up, we have the M2 Max's CPU performance in Cinebench.
Again, there are no notable surprises here. The Mac Studio's M2 Max chip is a cut above the M1 Max in single-core and multi-core performance. That said, the few years old MSI Raider Ge76 and its 12th Gen i9-12900HK processor beat it by a slim margin.
And finally, we have the Mac Studio's GPU performance in Heaven and GFXBench.
There are, again, no surprises here (I think you're likely noticing a pattern at this point). The M2 Max is a notable improvement over the M1 Max in GPU performance, likely at least in part due to its additional GPU cores. It's also notably more powerful than every chip we've benchmarked in Apple's M1 series.
It's worth noting the Mac Studio (2022) I previously benchmarked featured 64GB of RAM, while the Mac Studio (2023) features 96GB of RAM, which could play into these improved benchmark scores to some extent.
Apple's Mac Studio starts at $2,699 for the M2 Max version.
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