Mac Studio Buyer's Guide: Comparing the Generations

Little over a year since its introduction in 2022, Apple refreshed the Mac Studio, adding the M2 Max and ‌M2‌ Ultra chips, so should you upgrade from the first- to the second-generation model? Likewise, is it still worthwhile buying the original ‌Mac Studio‌?

Mac Studio IO
The new ‌Mac Studio‌'s main upgrade is its chip, moving from the M1 Max and M1 Ultra to the ‌M2‌ Max and ‌M2‌ Ultra. Compared to their predecessors, the ‌M2‌ Max and ‌M2‌ Ultra feature a more powerful CPU that is 20 percent faster, a larger GPU that is up to 30 percent faster, and a Neural Engine that is up to 40 percent faster. The new chips also allow for larger amounts of memory, additional external displays, and newer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth specifications.

See the breakdown below for each new feature, change, and improvement that was added with the latest ‌Mac Studio‌ compared to the original model:

Mac Studio (Second-Generation, 2023)

  • Apple ‌M2‌ Max or ‌M2‌ Ultra chip
  • Up to 24-core CPU
  • Up to 76-core GPU
  • Up to 192GB unified memory
  • HDMI 2.1 port
  • Support for up to eight 4K displays, six 6K displays, or three 8K displays
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.3

Mac Studio (First-Generation, 2022)

  • Apple ‌M1 Max‌ or ‌M1 Ultra‌ chip
  • Up to 20-core CPU
  • Up to 64-core GPU
  • Up to 128GB unified memory
  • HDMI 2.0 port
  • Support for up to four Pro Display XDRs and one 4K display
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0

For most current ‌Mac Studio‌ users, it will likely not be worth upgrading to the new model. It is only worth upgrading if you need more than 128GB of memory, or can take advantage of the four additional CPU cores and 12 additional GPU cores of the ‌M2‌ Ultra chip. Similarly, if you need to use more than four 6K external displays or even utilize an 8K external display, the new model unlocks these capabilities. Many of these improvements will only be directly relevant to a very small number of users. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 are simply specification improvements and while they may offer minor benefits in specific instances and make the new ‌Mac Studio‌ more future-proof, they are not must-have upgrades.

On this basis, if you currently do not have a ‌Mac Studio‌, it may still be worth buying the original model if you can find it for a substantially lower price with a third-party retailer or second-hand. The original model still offers outstanding performance that is better than the vast majority of Macs, with almost all of the same ports and connectivity as the new model.

Related Roundup: Mac Studio
Buyer's Guide: Mac Studio (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: Mac Studio

Popular Stories

iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
iphone 14 lineup

Cellebrite Unable to Unlock iPhones on iOS 17.4 or Later, Leak Reveals

Thursday July 18, 2024 4:18 am PDT by
Israel-based mobile forensics company Cellebrite is unable to unlock iPhones running iOS 17.4 or later, according to leaked documents verified by 404 Media. The documents provide a rare glimpse into the capabilities of the company's mobile forensics tools and highlight the ongoing security improvements in Apple's latest devices. The leaked "Cellebrite iOS Support Matrix" obtained by 404 Media...
tinypod apple watch

TinyPod Turns Your Apple Watch Into an iPod

Wednesday July 17, 2024 3:18 pm PDT by
If you have an old Apple Watch and you're not sure what to do with it, a new product called TinyPod might be the answer. Priced at $79, the TinyPod is a silicone case with a built-in scroll wheel that houses the Apple Watch chassis. When an Apple Watch is placed inside the TinyPod, the click wheel on the case is able to be used to scroll through the Apple Watch interface. The feature works...

Crowdstrike Says Global IT Outage Impacting Windows PCs, But Mac and Linux Hosts Not Affected

Friday July 19, 2024 3:12 am PDT by
A widespread system failure is currently affecting numerous Windows devices globally, causing critical boot failures across various industries, including banks, rail networks, airlines, retailers, broadcasters, healthcare, and many more sectors. The issue, manifesting as a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), is preventing computers from starting up properly and forcing them into continuous recovery...
Apple Watch Series 9

2024 Apple Watch Lineup: Key Changes We're Expecting

Tuesday July 16, 2024 7:59 am PDT by
Apple is seemingly planning a rework of the Apple Watch lineup for 2024, according to a range of reports from over the past year. Here's everything we know so far. Apple is expected to continue to offer three different Apple Watch models in five casing sizes, but the various display sizes will allegedly grow by up to 12% and the casings will get taller. Based on all of the latest rumors,...

Top Rated Comments

George Dawes Avatar
13 months ago
By the sound of it , no pun intended, the noise issues in rev 2 have mostly been sorted out which makes it imo a better buy
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Silverstring Avatar
15 months ago

What does HDMI 2.1 get you?
.1 more HDMis, I think. ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yrz Avatar
14 months ago

What does HDMI 2.1 get you?
4K@120, that's the only remotely related thing someone might need.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)