Very early Mac studio review

TLDR; the Studio delivers in every area (video, web dev) I’ve asked it to so far.

I received my M1 Max, 32-core GPU, 64 GB, 2TB Mac Studio 5 days ago. It is easily the most powerful machine I’ve ever had. Before it, I had a 2018, i7, Mac mini with Blackmagic eGPU. Prior to that I had a max spec’d 2016 15” MacBook Pro. I did not like that laptop and it mostly had to do with the keyboard and a little bit with the port situation. I was always happy with the Mac mini, although, a bit underwhelmed when video editing.

I do web development and photography/videography for my $$. This is my work machine and it’s worth having something that increases my productivity.

As a general computing device the Studio has been fantastic. I’ve noticed that the transitions in MacOS no longer drop frames on my 5k and 4k displays. My Bluetooth mouse works via Bluetooth (didn’t on Mac mini). Boot times are very fast and everything loads significantly faster than before. As far as the noise level, it is louder than the Mac mini at idle. I can hear it when my room is quiet. It doesn’t bother me, and it doesn’t ramp up like the Mac mini did under load. I am particularly sensitive to audio disturbances. This device falls just under my personal acceptable noise floor threshold, but I would welcome any and all software changes that Apple made to the fan curve. I don’t expect that to happen, but it is the one negative thing of note with this device.

From a web dev perspective, this thing is overkill. It runs everything quickly, and I have no trouble, so far, simulating the servers and running the applications that I have become accustomed to. In normal use, the RAMand CPU are not really challenged. It’s nice have 64GB to load up and 10 cores to crank when necessary. Really, it’s the single core performance that keeps things snappy in this arena.

As far as video, the Studio is a huge step up. I shoot on a Sony a7iv with 10-bit h.265 video. If you know h.265, then you know it wreaks havoc on CPUs. When editing on my previous machine everything had to be rendered in a different codec to make editing bearable. If I made changes or skipped around there was waiting for the machine to catch up. Now, I can put the files straight off the camera, onto the timeline and start editing. Things are sharp and crisp in the display window. I am able to jump around the timeline at will, and adding color effects and LUTs does not hamper performance. This is precisely what I wanted from this machine and it is delivering. Video editing has been much more enjoyable as a result. The dedicated video decoding hardware is worth the silicon.

10/10 would buy again.


Loved reading this, thanks for sharing. Would love to read others’ thoughts too as they get their machines.