M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Mac Studio Buying Guide

Reviewed By Expert : Ravishan

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra

Figure of M1 Max vs M1 Ultra

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M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Apple never makes things simple, does it? As the excitement for its new product launches grows, so does the confusion over which version to purchase.

This applies to all of Apple’s products. It can be a dangerous ride, whether you’re micro-analyzing the differences between the iPad Air and the 11″ iPad Pro or spending hours trying to figure out which iMac color to buy (yes, that’s totally fine).

The Mac Studio is then shown to us. Which is even more perplexing.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra:This new Mac platform is available in two flavors, depending on the chip you choose. The M1 Max (of MacBook Pro fame) is the first, and the M1 Ultra is the second.

That includes performance in terms of how well and quickly the processor works for you, but it also includes how well the machine fits into your workflow.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Aside from the processor options

The processor inside Apple’s two recommend base versions of the Mac Studio is the obvious, headline difference. However, there is more.

If you purchase the base Mac Studio with M1 Max, you will receive:

  • 32GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 2 x USB-C front ports

If you purchase the Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra, those three specifications change to:

  • 64GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 front ports

This is $1,400 less than the base M1 Ultra model. So it’s no longer sufficient to buy a second Mac Studio, but it’s still a significant help toward purchasing a new Studio Display.

The front ports, however, are unchangeable. Having them available on the front, whether they are USB-C or Thunderbolt 4, is a genuine boon.

It means that it is much more convenient when your workflow requires you to repeatedly add and remove external storage, cameras, and so on. It’s not that turning the machine around is difficult, but it quickly becomes so if the back ports are clogged with short cables.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Putting apples and oranges together?

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra

Given the aforemention seismic difference in price and performance between these two Mac Studio options, you might think this is an odd comparison.

However, if you purchase a Mac Studio, it will most likely be a tool for your business or creative endeavor. As a result, it must provide the most bang for your buck and provide a measurable return on your investment. You may also have a sizable budget for your home-based Mac. You want all the power Apple has to offer, but you’re just as cautious about your investment as a business buyer.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: The costing

The M1 Max Mac Studio is available for £1,999. You get a 10-core CPU, a 24-core GPU, 32GB of unifie memory, and a 512GB SSD for that price.

There are numerous options once you begin configuring it to your liking. An extra £200 will increase the number of GPU cores to 32. If you want more memory, you can spend another £400 to increase it to 64GB. If you do both of those upgrades, your new Mac Studio will cost you £2,599 in total. Following that are the storage options. Increasing it to 1TB will cost an extra £200 while increasing it to 8TB will cost an eye-watering £2,400. When you use the M1 Max Mac Studio to its full potential, the bill comes to £4,999.

The M1 Ultra Mac Studio has a starting price of £3,999. For the extra £2,000 over the M1 Max, you get a 20-core CPU, 48-core GPU, 64GB unified memory, and 1TB storage. Add another £1,000 to increase the number of GPU cores to 64, and another £800 to increase the unified memory to 128GB.

When you max out the M1 Ultra version of the Mac Studio, you’ll have to pay £7,999 before you can hit the ‘check out button. Playing’spec my Mac’ is entertaining until you realize you have to make a choice. So, let’s get this figured out.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Computing capabilities

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I believe that the computing power provide by the M1 Ultra chip has a very small market. I’m also convinced that, given the specialize nature of the tasks for which the M1 Ultra is designed, most people will know whether or not they require it. I’m not a fan of benchmarks, but comparing the M1 Max vs M1 Ultra in terms of raw power is actually quite simple. The M1 Ultra simply doubles the capabilities of the M1 Max.

In reality, and according to Apple’s own tests, this makes the M1 Ultra 5.3 times faster than the top-spec 27-inch Intel iMac during intensive computational tasks and 2.5 times faster when processing Photoshop’s ‘well-threaded filters.’ Whatever that entails. In comparison, the M1 Max is 2.7 times and 2.2 times faster in the same tests. Unless you’re doing deeply computational work where time truly is money, we’re quickly approaching the law of diminishing returns.

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: Video capabilities

This is my area of expertise, so it’s no surprise that I find the video comparison between the M1 Max and M1 Ultra fascinating. When it comes to graphical performance, the following are the key differences between the two chips:

  • GPU cores maximum: 32 (M1 Max), 64 (M1 Ultra)9
  • concurrent 8K ProRes streams (M1 Max), 18 concurrent 8K ProRes streams (M1 Ultra)

Apple’s render tests reveal the performance differences between the M1 Max vs M1 Ultra once more. An M1 Ultra Mac Studio renders 8K footage in Final Cut Pro five times faster than a 27-inch iMac with Radeon Pro 5700 XT. The M1 Max version, on the other hand, is 3.5 times faster. When put that way, there’s not much there, is there? Again, this hints at who the M1 Ultra is aimed at in terms of graphical performance. If every second of render and export time costs you money, the M1 Ultra version of the Mac Studio is the way to go. Likewise, if you need to play more than nine streams of 8K PreRes footage at the same time.


Which is better, the M1 Max or the M1 Ultra?

M1 Max vs M1 Ultra: As a result, the Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra has more Thunderbolt ports and twice the memory capacity of its M1 Max-based counterpart. It’s essentially a two-processor system. There are even two versions of the M1 Max for both GPU variations. The Ultra is made up of two processors and two chipsets linked together.

Is the M1 Max superior to the M1 Pro?

The M1 Max, on the other hand, is simply a more powerful variant of the M1 Pro that most users will not require. A maximum of 32GB of memory should be sufficient for many professional users, but if you require more, the M1 Max is the only Apple silicon chip that supports this.

What is the speed of the Mac Studio M1 Max?

The Mac Studio M1 Max includes a 512GB SSD as standard, while the M1 Ultra 48-core GPU model doubles that size to 1TB. In my testing, both SSDs achieved read speeds of 5400MBps and write speeds of 5300MBps.

M1 Max is how much faster than M1?

It averages 12,711 points, which is only a 5% improvement over the M1 Pro 10-core. However, the M1 Max includes a much larger 24-core or 32-core GPU, which should outperform the M1 Pro’s 16-core GPU.

Is the M1 Ultra excessive?

While the M1 Ultra has a lot of power, it appears to be overkill for the average consumer. If you thinking about upgrading, make a list of your requirements and then upgrade accordingly. I can speak from personal experience that the M1 chip is powerful and efficient for day-to-day tasks.

M1 Ultra is intended for whom?

The M1 Ultra is Apple’s fourth System on a Chip (SoC) designed for use in Macs, and it brings the company one step closer to abandoning Intel chips, which have been used in Macs since 2006.

Do M1 Macs require less RAM?

Because of the improved performance and efficiency of memory use on the M1 chips, you can able to use the same or even less memory than you do now while still enjoying the improved performance. We recommended 16 GB as a minimum for Intel-based Macs, but 8 GB appears to be an adequate starting point for M1-based Macs.

What does M1 Max equate to?

Last year, Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chips served as a GPU-shaped warning to Nvidia and AMD, and now Apple has turned up the heat with its new M1 Ultra. Apple claims it will compete with Nvidia’s massive RTX 3090 graphics card, which is currently the fastest GPU on the market.

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