Apple M2 Studio stupidly powerful, M3 will be ridiculous

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Theo.M
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Post 08 Apr 2024

moalla wrote:
08 Apr 2024
Still ordered a Ryzen 7840hs machine with 32gb ddr6400 and 2tb ssd, for the price of slower
8gb 512gb MacBook Air 1350€
My new notebook is on par with the m2. Pro chip what I’ve read. I was hard thinking to buy a Mac, but the delicatessen prices for upgrades are cheekiness….2tb ssd upgrade 920€
But it's not, I thought so too. The M2 12 core with 8 P cores equalled the performance, in audio plugin use only, of my 13980hx laptop with 24 cores/32 threads. It's just the way it is right now, Apple have mastered core scaling with their own architecture as I am convinced X86 is the bottleneck with low level real time processes and core scaling "live", cause I know for a fact an Intel mac will get pummelled by Windows via Bootcamp on the very same Mac. It's just some sauce in the architecture of the Apple chips right now that benefits us in particular.

Your 7840hs will not even come close to an M2, not even a little bit, for audio plugin power. Sorry but I am telling the truth. It may still well be plenty of power for you indeed.

I only upgraded cause I need to sell my hardware synths or I won't be eating soon, and I was able to score that sweet 24 months interest free through my sister, and I need power as now I'll be running absolutely everything natively for the first time.
I tried both, I NEVER wanted to go back to Mac, I don't like Apple and their practises, but I was pulled in within a few minutes, seriously. I didn't believe anyone and I thought Windows would still wipe the floor with MacOS and audio, and it does, as long as you're using Intel on both hehe.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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moalla
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Post 08 Apr 2024

Theo.M wrote:
08 Apr 2024
moalla wrote:
08 Apr 2024
Still ordered a Ryzen 7840hs machine with 32gb ddr6400 and 2tb ssd, for the price of slower
8gb 512gb MacBook Air 1350€
My new notebook is on par with the m2. Pro chip what I’ve read. I was hard thinking to buy a Mac, but the delicatessen prices for upgrades are cheekiness….2tb ssd upgrade 920€
But it's not, I thought so too. The M2 12 core with 8 P cores equalled the performance, in audio plugin use only, of my 13980hx laptop with 24 cores/32 threads. It's just the way it is right now, Apple have mastered core scaling with their own architecture as I am convinced X86 is the bottleneck with low level real time processes and core scaling "live", cause I know for a fact an Intel mac will get pummelled by Windows via Bootcamp on the very same Mac. It's just some sauce in the architecture of the Apple chips right now that benefits us in particular.

Your 7840hs will not even come close to an M2, not even a little bit, for audio plugin power. Sorry but I am telling the truth. It may still well be plenty of power for you indeed.

I only upgraded cause I need to sell my hardware synths or I won't be eating soon, and I was able to score that sweet 24 months interest free through my sister, and I need power as now I'll be running absolutely everything natively for the first time.
I tried both, I NEVER wanted to go back to Mac, I don't like Apple and their practises, but I was pulled in within a few minutes, seriously. I didn't believe anyone and I thought Windows would still wipe the floor with MacOS and audio, and it does, as long as you're using Intel on both hehe.

With the H20 update two years ago win10 becomes more performant in audio and latency’s, with my ten year old i7 4710mq machine. I still read yeasterday at gearsspace, that a 7940hs notebook outperformed an intel 13900h cpu by 50-70 instancensea of a IK Tape plugin vs. 35 with the intel.

So maybe you’re right that M2 outperforms AMD, but when money iss a thing a computer that gets close to a MacBook and still performs in the direction of internal dpc latency of a Thinkpad from the T-Series, it let me pull the trigger, cause my old iss slowly at its end of lifetime…

So now I have to wait, cause it’s a tuxedo pulse 14
what has a longer delivery time…. Hopefully I will be happy with it, like with my Thinkpad T450.
So we will se e how much voices it makes ;)
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Theo.M
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Post 08 Apr 2024

moalla wrote:
08 Apr 2024
Theo.M wrote:
08 Apr 2024


But it's not, I thought so too. The M2 12 core with 8 P cores equalled the performance, in audio plugin use only, of my 13980hx laptop with 24 cores/32 threads. It's just the way it is right now, Apple have mastered core scaling with their own architecture as I am convinced X86 is the bottleneck with low level real time processes and core scaling "live", cause I know for a fact an Intel mac will get pummelled by Windows via Bootcamp on the very same Mac. It's just some sauce in the architecture of the Apple chips right now that benefits us in particular.

Your 7840hs will not even come close to an M2, not even a little bit, for audio plugin power. Sorry but I am telling the truth. It may still well be plenty of power for you indeed.

I only upgraded cause I need to sell my hardware synths or I won't be eating soon, and I was able to score that sweet 24 months interest free through my sister, and I need power as now I'll be running absolutely everything natively for the first time.
I tried both, I NEVER wanted to go back to Mac, I don't like Apple and their practises, but I was pulled in within a few minutes, seriously. I didn't believe anyone and I thought Windows would still wipe the floor with MacOS and audio, and it does, as long as you're using Intel on both hehe.

With the H20 update two years ago win10 becomes more performant in audio and latency’s, with my ten year old i7 4710mq machine. I still read yeasterday at gearsspace, that a 7940hs notebook outperformed an intel 13900h cpu by 50-70 instancensea of a IK Tape plugin vs. 35 with the intel.

So maybe you’re right that M2 outperforms AMD, but when money iss a thing a computer that gets close to a MacBook and still performs in the direction of internal dpc latency of a Thinkpad from the T-Series, it let me pull the trigger, cause my old iss slowly at its end of lifetime…

So now I have to wait, cause it’s a tuxedo pulse 14
what has a longer delivery time…. Hopefully I will be happy with it, like with my Thinkpad T450.
So we will se e how much voices it makes ;)
How is that possible when the 7950x gets 26 instances of the IK, and has double the cores of the 7940hs? My Rog Ally gets nowhere near 50 instances and that is a rebadged 7940hs. In turbo mode plugged in it gets like 15. Sorry but I don't understand where you are getting these figures.

Also, a 13900hs is a way different thing to a 13980HX.. I have turbo boost of 5.8ghz and 24 cores, 8 P 16 E, it's a different kettle of fish. H series is 14 cores at lower clocks.
Last edited by Theo.M on 08 Apr 2024, edited 1 time in total.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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Theo.M
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Post 08 Apr 2024

And by the way just to be clear, a 14900K PC desktop with the same 2TB of SSD and 64GB DDR5 ram would have cost slightly more than the M2 Ultra Mac studio over here, but that was with a 4080 gpu but yes, it would have been more expensive.
I am a gamer so would not buy a desktop PC unless it was dual purpose, but the M2 Ultra GPU is also very powerful with 60 GPU cores in actual Mac native gaming (not many titles though lol). The M3 Ultra and Extreme GPUs with so many new video features will actually be on par with the highest end PC cards for titles that can make use of them, i.e. proper metal native titles.

The other thing.. the 14900K with liquid cooler would never sound silent under load like the Mac does. Cinebench sustained all 24 cores loaded for 20 minutes and 90 degrees and fans stayed on IDLE. I could not hear it at all I had to put my good ear right to the case and could not make the fan noise out over ambient at all.

Silence has to matter too in an audio environment.

I am telling you no one was more anti Mac than me over the last 5 years but this computer did my head in (in a good way). I had to apologise to so many people that I doubted lol.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

Przemyslaw
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Joined: 05 Jan 2018

Post 10 Apr 2024

Hi Theo, do you have any new comparisons? Are you able to make a real life project of a song, with different plugins and instruments, and check it on both devices? You can create a simple project and duplicate it internally in the project to load daw plus some mastering. Could you do it? What specific Intel processor do you have in your laptop?
Maybe I'll switch to Mac myself in the future!

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wendylou
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Post 10 Apr 2024

I heard they may go straight to M4 and possibly announce it at WWDC. Reason? Credible leakers showed a pic of an M4 without any die interconnects. They may ditch the efficiency cores that are not needed on the desktop version and use the extra real estate for more power in the Mac Studio M4. Hopefully know more in June.
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chimp_spanner
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Post 11 Apr 2024

I think I mentioned this in another post but I'm JUST on the verge of pulling the trigger on a 16" M3 Max 64GB 8TB. It's scary because it's a huge outlay (for me) *but* I am missing a lot of things about music making on Mac. Being able to get the same latency and performance on a train with a mini keyboard as at my desk with a full interface is something that just can't be replicated on Windows (not least because I have a tower atm). I like that MIDI devices don't become unavailable if they're being used somewhere else. I like that you can aggregate audio devices and freely route audio internally with apps like loopback. Plus I just bought Logic the other day on my work laptop (an M1 Max) and I'm blown away tbh. Seems to have a little bit of everything that I love from Reason, Live, Cubase, plus lots of things that none of those have. Plus an incredible built in soundset. Also mind blowingly cheap, considering it's Apple.

I think the only thing I'll need to be mindful of when re-installing on this new machine is that I'm only using silicon compatible plugins, as I've heard that's where performance will drop. Might be wrong on that. But tbh I don't actually need a lot of stuff. Logic Pro X + RRP + NI Komplete 14 CE and a handful of specific things I need (Superior Drummer 3, Neural Amps) and I'm good for many, many years.

Oh I also have been reading about iPhone and iPad integration with Mac's audio system and Logic too. I *think* I can just plug them in and use them as synths, effects processors, MIDI generators, performance/controller surfaces and whatever. So yeah, super excited. I'll still keep my PC tower as it's still good for gaming. Maybe get a quieter fan in it though cos my word it sounds like a vacuum cleaner lol
Last edited by chimp_spanner on 11 Apr 2024, edited 1 time in total.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 11 Apr 2024

wendylou wrote:
10 Apr 2024
I heard they may go straight to M4 and possibly announce it at WWDC. Reason? Credible leakers showed a pic of an M4 without any die interconnects. They may ditch the efficiency cores that are not needed on the desktop version and use the extra real estate for more power in the Mac Studio M4. Hopefully know more in June.
Thought it's the m3 that came without the die connectors


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Theo.M
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Post 14 Apr 2024

Przemyslaw wrote:
10 Apr 2024
Hi Theo, do you have any new comparisons? Are you able to make a real life project of a song, with different plugins and instruments, and check it on both devices? You can create a simple project and duplicate it internally in the project to load daw plus some mastering. Could you do it? What specific Intel processor do you have in your laptop?
Maybe I'll switch to Mac myself in the future!
I have been and been doing dsp tests all my life, and for Serum, the laptop beats the M2 which surprised me.

Laptop is 13980hx

26 instances * 20 voices (240 internal) vs 20 instances on the Mac.

But for effects as the Waves BB Tube was ahead on the Mac by almost double again, I think the Mac has the edge as it's able to maximise every core.

The issue in my perspective on the Mac side is the low clock speed, and I believe the M3 or M4 Ultra will fix this totally.

Logic and PT are only using the 16 P cores of the Mac, so I am sure it will be even to the PC in a DAW that uses the other 8 cores also. AFAIK only Reaper and Cubendo currently do that.

So it's telling me I basically got one instance per core, then 4 on the first four cores but they were too maxed out (cause you lose a little bit of overhead with each consecutive core as it's not linear) and that was it. If they were just at 4ghz instead of 3.2 I am sure I would have hit 40. Oh well.

3.2 is very low. The M3 or M4, naming still unknown, will have 24 P cores @ 4.05 ghz.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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chimp_spanner
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Post 16 Apr 2024

M3 Max on the way. Arriving 25-29 (the weekend I'm away, classic lol). Also, somewhat related, I picked up Logic a few days ago and I'm actually in love with it. Finally a DAW that has all the things I like about Reason, Cubase and Live all in one place. I love that you can put Reason as a MIDI FX directly on the channel without having to mess around with MIDI routing.

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Theo.M
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Post 17 Apr 2024

chimp_spanner wrote:
16 Apr 2024
M3 Max on the way. Arriving 25-29 (the weekend I'm away, classic lol). Also, somewhat related, I picked up Logic a few days ago and I'm actually in love with it. Finally a DAW that has all the things I like about Reason, Cubase and Live all in one place. I love that you can put Reason as a MIDI FX directly on the channel without having to mess around with MIDI routing.
Very powerful, close to the M2 ultra. A big congrats!

Bummer about being away, maybe you'll be lucky and it will arrive the day before you leave. Apple seem to give the worst possible ETA but it's usually faster.

The only thing I can say to you as far as "be aware" is that the M3 Max is very noisy under load, so just keep that in mind if recording vocals or something sensitive in the same room. There's work arounds of course to keep cpu load lower. The 16 is much quieter than the 14 though and throttles less, not sure which one you got, and the 14 core is quieter than the 16 core, again not sure which model you chose.

Enjoy the grunt! Your single cores are insanely powerful so just imagine 24 of those P cores in the coming ultra all on one die.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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chimp_spanner
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Post 17 Apr 2024

Theo.M wrote:
17 Apr 2024
chimp_spanner wrote:
16 Apr 2024
M3 Max on the way. Arriving 25-29 (the weekend I'm away, classic lol). Also, somewhat related, I picked up Logic a few days ago and I'm actually in love with it. Finally a DAW that has all the things I like about Reason, Cubase and Live all in one place. I love that you can put Reason as a MIDI FX directly on the channel without having to mess around with MIDI routing.
Very powerful, close to the M2 ultra. A big congrats!

Bummer about being away, maybe you'll be lucky and it will arrive the day before you leave. Apple seem to give the worst possible ETA but it's usually faster.

The only thing I can say to you as far as "be aware" is that the M3 Max is very noisy under load, so just keep that in mind if recording vocals or something sensitive in the same room. There's work arounds of course to keep cpu load lower. The 16 is much quieter than the 14 though and throttles less, not sure which one you got, and the 14 core is quieter than the 16 core, again not sure which model you chose.

Enjoy the grunt! Your single cores are insanely powerful so just imagine 24 of those P cores in the coming ultra all on one die.
Yeah I went for the 16", 128GB, 8TB. It's far beyond what I have now and tbh what I have now is still enough for me but, it's just twitchy at low latencies (as I mentioned to you previously). So yeah just want that extra head room. I'm very unlikely to push it too hard. I just want it to be smooth.

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Theo.M
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Post 17 Apr 2024

chimp_spanner wrote:
17 Apr 2024
Theo.M wrote:
17 Apr 2024


Very powerful, close to the M2 ultra. A big congrats!

Bummer about being away, maybe you'll be lucky and it will arrive the day before you leave. Apple seem to give the worst possible ETA but it's usually faster.

The only thing I can say to you as far as "be aware" is that the M3 Max is very noisy under load, so just keep that in mind if recording vocals or something sensitive in the same room. There's work arounds of course to keep cpu load lower. The 16 is much quieter than the 14 though and throttles less, not sure which one you got, and the 14 core is quieter than the 16 core, again not sure which model you chose.

Enjoy the grunt! Your single cores are insanely powerful so just imagine 24 of those P cores in the coming ultra all on one die.
Yeah I went for the 16", 128GB, 8TB. It's far beyond what I have now and tbh what I have now is still enough for me but, it's just twitchy at low latencies (as I mentioned to you previously). So yeah just want that extra head room. I'm very unlikely to push it too hard. I just want it to be smooth.
WOW that is nuts! A huge congrats to you.

I wanted massive internal storage also but my sister's interest free had 6.4k on it and it was $6379 AUD lol. I really like having everything on the one internal drive, so I get it believe me. But I'd still have small 1tb high endurance external in that case dedicated just for my audio tracks/daw projects.

I went for m2 ultra with 64/2tb. I decided within the cost limitation that the processor was what I needed most, and I'd have had zero chance in buying it without her kind help and letting me max out her interest free Apple card.

I believe it's 12K but she had used it for her daughters. Fair enough too, it's hers LOL!

The computer is already registered in my name, so I got the 10% education discount and the Interest Free and it all worked out. Was very lucky. Now it's just 269 AUD a month, now that I don't have a car payment anymore (can't drive anymore as it's too painful to get in and out of a car), I can pull it off.

Anyway the way I did it was an ssd I have had sitting there for a couple years, a gen 3 four TB and all I had to do was buy a portable thunderbolt enclosure and I am getting 2700 read/2500 write which is plenty for our needs.

To go to 4TB internal was another 1200 bucks from memory, and the 4Tb drive and enclosure cost was 430 total which gives me 6TB. I think another one would be amazing so I can have 10 down the line.

Enjoy! The 16" has way better thermals than the 14" and the fans don't get loud until the cpu is quite loaded.

If you find yourself in that situation, my advice is to bounce your song to a 2 track, open a new project, add the external source you need to record, then just add that recorded audio to the original multitrack project. This way it will keep it silent during recording.

The Mac Studio is 6DB, and after 30 minutes of Cinebench the temps were stable @ 90 degrees and the fans hadn't moved, so now it's the quietest thing in my studio, pretty crazy when you think about it. No WAY could I have built a PC that quiet. Impossible.

However I think the M3 Ultra with 24 P cores will be a different story and may challenge the Studio's thermal limits, which is why the Extreme 48 core will be reserved for the Mac Pro only.

So as much as I wanted the M3, I couldn't take a chance it would arrive in June, and before thermal testing, and I am so sensitive to noise unfortunately.

In the early 2000's when I had my pro studio with my business partner, we even had the air con designed in such a way that it was noiseless, the way the pipes were routed combined with the units used. Always hated fan noise.
Mac Studio M2 Ultra/64Gb/Apollo T-Bolt 3/OS 14.5.0/R12/PT 2024/Nuendo 13
MSI GT77/13980HX/RTX 4090m/64GB/Arturia Minifuse 2/Win 11 Pro/R13/Bitwig 5/Low DPC latency tuned

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