M1 Ultra Mac Studio vs. M1 Max MacBook Pro

If you've been wondering how the top-end Mac Studio compares to the highest-end MacBook Pro, look no further, because we have a real-world usage comparison that doesn't rely solely on benchmarks. Over on YouTube, MacRumors videographer Dan tested both machines with his real world workflow.


Dan has been using the M1 Max MacBook Pro to edit the MacRumors videos since it came out, and it has met and exceeded his expectations and needs. Obviously, the M1 Ultra does the same, but even for a professional video editor for a tech site, it may be a little bit too much machine for the price.

As a quick example, a standard 4K 10 minute video exported in 4 minutes and 50 seconds on the ‌M1 Max‌ MacBook Pro, and three minutes on the ‌M1 Ultra‌ ‌Mac Studio‌. An hour long podcast exported in 26 minutes on the MacBook Pro, and just over 14 minutes on the ‌M1 Ultra‌.

The ‌M1 Ultra‌ is definitely a time saver, but the ‌M1 Max‌ is already pretty good compared to prior Intel chips used in machines like the Mac Pro. In situations where money is no object, the ‌M1 Ultra‌ is a no brainer, but if budget is a concern, it's worth carefully considering the benefits you get with the ‌M1 Ultra‌ over the ‌M1 Max‌ in the MacBook Pro or the ‌Mac Studio‌.

As for form factor, the ‌Mac Studio‌ has far more ports with up to six Thunderbolt/USB-C ports and four USB-A ports, but you do get a decent number with the MacBook Pro, plus the MacBook Pro is obviously the winner when it comes to portability. Choosing between the MacBook Pro and the ‌Mac Studio‌ really comes down to your form factor needs unless you require the maximum power of the ‌M1 Ultra‌ for your workflow.

Make sure to watch Dan's full comparison to see both machines in action and to get his thoughts on how each form factor works for a videographer's workload.

Related Roundups: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro, Mac Studio
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

ThunderSkunk Avatar
14 weeks ago
I can't stop looking at the Gif gar on the shelf.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bandaman Avatar
14 weeks ago

I can't stop looking at the Gif gar on the shelf.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vagos Avatar
14 weeks ago

so for the love of god please can YouTube reviewers think outside their own world? The logic seems to be 'I make review videos, so all I need to look at is how good this hardware is for making videos'.
100% spot on.

What about 3D, image editing, coding, office work and so on and so on...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ikramerica Avatar
14 weeks ago

I had no thought of going for anything other than the base model Max which arrived on Tuesday. It has exceeded my expectations compared to a gen 1 Mini M1 16 GB. Some things finish so quickly that my brain doesn't register that they are DONE for a few minutes haha

I also still happily use a 10th gen 13" i5 MBP for semi-heavier lifting and a couple of (sacrificial/sub-$300 Chromebooks for daily driver light/moderate duty).

Like you, never in 21 years of using Mac laptops has one been hot in my lap or ran with fans on for any length of time beyond when I was crushing I/O and processing to the max or during OS upgrades/updates occasionally. Also growing tired of benchmark obsessiveness along with battery runtime on laptops and mobile phones.

Didn't really need quite this much horsepower but figured that selling the M1 Mini (for what I paid it) made the step up to MiniMAXimus not so bad. Along with that came:

Huge performance gain (primarily with Docker development, Lightroom Classic and more mundane apps (no gaming here)
More PORTS and one's in front too :D
10 GB Ethernet
2x internal storage
2x RAM
Better multi-display support

The "always on" fan is hardly noticeable (my overhead LED lights make more noise in my super quiet basement office)
I do not believe you. Sorry

Had a 2 hr zoom meeting with my core i7 MBP yesterday on the desk on battery most of the way. Fans were quite loud by the end. For a zoom meeting. With no other programs running.

Intel MBPs get hot.

Which is why I love my M1 Pro 16”. It’s a paradigm shift of what a laptop can be.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HelloMikee Avatar
14 weeks ago

Can someone explain to me why saving 2 mins (or 10mins) in export time is a big deal? It's not like video editors export multiple times an hour (or even a day). 99% of time is spent editing. When it comes to export, does it really matter if a MacRumors (or any other) podcast or video comes out 10mins (or for that matter several hours) later?! Just seems like a meaningless benchmark. But every single review video goes (like this one) goes on endlessly about it. Is it just because it's easy to measure?

Also for the love of god please can YouTube reviewers think outside their own world? The logic seems to be 'I make review videos, so all I need to look at is how good this hardware is for making videos'. This is going to blow some people's minds but people do other things on laptops than make videos and play games.
Your field obviously doesn’t deal with deadlines. You’re asking YouTubers to think outside of their world, yet you’re not going beyond YouTubers when it comes to video export times. You do understand that more times than not, clients want it yesterday right?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnsterdam Avatar
14 weeks ago
Can someone explain to me why saving 2 mins (or 10mins) in export time is a big deal? It's not like video editors export multiple times an hour (or even a day). 99% of time is spent editing. When it comes to export, does it really matter if a MacRumors (or any other) podcast or video comes out 10mins (or for that matter several hours) later?! Just seems like a meaningless benchmark. But every single review video goes (like this one) goes on endlessly about it. Is it just because it's easy to measure?

Also for the love of god please can YouTube reviewers think outside their own world? The logic seems to be 'I make review videos, so all I need to look at is how good this hardware is for making videos'. This is going to blow some people's minds but people do other things on laptops than make videos and play games.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mac studio lifestyle shot

Apple Executives Discuss How Mac Studio Fills the Gap Between iMac and Mac Pro

Thursday March 17, 2022 9:54 am PDT by
Apple's new Mac Studio desktop computer will begin arriving to customers this Friday. Ahead of the launch, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino spoke with a trio of senior Apple employees about the company's process of designing the Mac Studio. Just like the Mac Pro tower released in late 2019, the Mac Studio was born as a result of Apple's Pro Workflows Team that was created shortly after the...
mac studio and studio display

M1 Ultra Chip Supports Up to Five External Displays

Tuesday March 8, 2022 12:28 pm PST by
Apple today introduced the M1 Ultra chip with a 20-core CPU, up to a 64-core GPU, and a 32-core Neural Engine. The first Mac to offer the M1 Ultra is the all-new Mac Studio desktop computer, which is available to order starting today. Tech specs for the Mac Studio confirm that the M1 Ultra chip supports up to five external displays. Specifically, a Mac Studio configured with the M1 Ultra...
mac studio studio display

Mac Studio and Studio Display Orders Now Live

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:11 am PST by
Apple today introduced the Mac Studio, an all-new Mac that's a hybrid between a Mac Pro and a Mac mini, with the new machine equipped with M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips. Priced starting at $1999 for the M1 Max version and $3999 for the M1 Ultra version, the Mac Studio can now be ordered from Apple's website. Alongside the Mac Studio, Apple introduced the new 5K 27-inch Studio Display, which...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
m1 max

16-inch MacBook Pro With M1 Max Chip Is Marginally Heavier Than Same Model Configured With M1 Pro

Tuesday October 19, 2021 2:25 am PDT by
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with either the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips. The M1 Max chip is the highest-end Apple silicon chip available, and alongside the added performance, the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip comes with another difference — it's heavier, slightly. As we've already highlighted, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is heavier and thicker than the previous model. ...
macbook pro lineup

Apple Ditches Intel Chips for MacBook Pro With Lineup Featuring M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max

Monday October 18, 2021 12:25 pm PDT by
Apple has nixed all of the Intel MacBook Pro models from its MacBook Pro lineup, with the prior-generation Intel i7 and i9 machines now discontinued. All of Apple's MacBook Pro models now feature M-series chips as the company continues to phase out Intel chips. That means Apple's entire portable notebook lineup (the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) is Intel-free and running Apple-designed chips. ...
mac studio ports

M1 Ultra Mac Studio is 2 Pounds Heavier Than M1 Max Version Due to Thermal Differences

Wednesday March 9, 2022 10:31 am PST by
The Mac Studio comes in two varieties, one with the same M1 Max chip used in the 2021 MacBook Pro models and a second featuring an M1 Ultra chip, which is two interconnected M1 Max chips that operate as a single chip. Following yesterday's event, Apple's technical specifications for the Mac Studio went live, and there was a curiosity - the M1 Ultra version of the Mac Studio is a full two...
maxresdefault

M1 Pro vs. M1 Max: Real-World Performance Test

Wednesday November 3, 2021 12:38 pm PDT by
Now that the new MacBook Pro models have been available for a week, we've been able to do more in-depth testing. In our latest YouTube video, we pit the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip against the high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip to see just what you're getting with the upgrade to the M1 Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...