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Apple Mac Studio cuts render time in half thanks to M1 Ultra

Apple’s brand-new Mac Studio, equipped with the M1 Ultra chip, is officially here — and the test results are pouring in.

This time, the Mac Studio was tested in order to estimate its real-life performance in video rendering. Spoiler alert: The M1 Ultra chip sweeps the floor with the Intel-based Mac Pro, but that’s not the only computer that ends up being left far behind.

This test comes from a YouTube video by iJustine made to showcase the unboxing and hands-on testing of the M1 Ultra version of the Mac Studio. In order to deliver a true-to-life performance comparison, Adobe Premiere Pro was used to render a video. For that, iJustine invited her friend, YouTuber Mondobytes (Armando Ferreira), to come and test out the new Mac Studio.

The video in question was a Premiere Pro project with 4K ProRes footage that was 11:39 minutes in length. That same video was previously rendered on several different platforms, so it makes for an accurate way to benchmark and then compare the results.

The Apple Mac Studio was able to render 11:39 minutes of footage in just 3 minutes and 31 seconds. That, in itself, is pretty outstanding. Mondobytes went on to compare this to other renders of the same video he’d done on his own hardware, and the results are staggering. The M1 Max MacBook Pro needed 6 minutes and 39 seconds to render the video. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the basic M1 chip needed a whopping 24 minutes and 21 seconds. The Mac Pro, still running an Intel Xeon processor (albeit with up to 28 cores), needed over 10 minutes to complete the task.

Given that the M1 Ultra contains two M1 Max chips stitched together, double the performance is what we expected from the chip, and that is essentially what we’re getting here. The Mac Studio was also running several other resource-heavy applications, such as Photoshop and FCP X, while rendering the video. That may have impacted the final result, but it didn’t make it any less impressive. Apple’s new mini PC defeats the 2019 Mac Pro without breaking a sweat.

A person works at a station equipped with the all new Mac Studio and Studio Display.

Of course, pitting the Intel-based Mac Pro from nearly three years ago against the fresh Mac Studio may seem unfair. After all, Apple’s move to using its own silicon and also upgrading said silicon to its latest version is a big deal. Mac Pro remains, as of yet, left out when it comes to these huge changes. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Mac Pro used as a comparison in iJustine’s video is a $20,000 computer aimed at professionals.

The price tag alone begs for comparison, considering that the M1 Ultra Mac Studio costs $4,000. This means that for one-fifth of the price of the Mac Pro, the Mac Studio delivers performance many levels above it. And this is just a mini PC — it’s hard to imagine what kind of power the next iteration of the Mac Pro will possess once it’s finally released with Apple silicon.

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