We didn’t have to wait long after the launch of Mac Studio to see a lot of tests of the M1 Ultra. They ranged from a comparison with a 28-core Intel Mac Pro to a full suite of Macworld benchmarks.
The new set of tests aims not only to see how the M1 Ultra and M1 Max compare in real-life conditions, but also when performing tasks specifically suggested by professional application users…
With the launch of Mac Studio, Apple also announced an all-new Apple Silicon chip, the M1 Ultra. In fact, these are two M1 Max chips in one.
We got an early glimpse of just how powerful the M1 Ultra chip is when Geekbench showed it to be more powerful than the highest-spec processor offered in the Intel Mac Pro.
The 28-core Intel Xeon W-3275M processor – the best you can get with a Mac Pro – scores 19951 in the multi-core test. This means the M1 Ultra is about 20% faster than the most expensive processor available for the Intel Mac Pro.
Macworld ran a very thorough set of tests that showed that the benefits of the top chip vary widely, with ProRes videographers seeing the biggest improvement.
If you’re into ProRes and video codecs like H.265, doubling the accelerators found in Ultra will give you a significant performance boost. If you’re a photo editor, the nearly identical single-core performance of both models will mean you’re better off picking the cheaper version in terms of cost. However, if you need to do more photo-heavy work, the higher Ultra RAM limits may come in handy. Again, determine what your workflow requires and then select the appropriate option.
M1 Ultra tests with real use
What Engadget has done is try to make its own tests as realistic as possible. To verify this, he asked his readers what complex tasks they perform most often so that he can specifically compare the M1 Ultra to both the M1 Max and the high-end PC when running real-world use cases.
The M1 Ultra combines two M1 Max chips together to get a processor with 20 CPU cores and 64 GPU cores, plus up to 128GB of RAM, and it’s one of the fastest processors we’ve ever tested.
We asked what tests you’d like to see on the M1 Ultra and came up with a list including Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve and Fusion, 3D modeling in Blender, machine learning tests like TensorFlow and Pytorch, and even some games. . .
He concluded that yes, when it comes to CPU-bound tasks, the M1 Ultra is indeed about twice as fast as the M1 Max. With heavy GPU usage, the improvement was less dramatic, but still in the 40-80% range.
Unsurprisingly, this echoed Macworld’s findings that heavy-duty video rendering is where the M1 Ultra really shines.
The M1 Ultra works best when its hardware accelerators can work. These are parts of the chip built to speed up certain tasks, namely video rendering and AI processing. In a test processing ten 8K video clips at once, the M1 Ultra completed the task in just 29 seconds, when its accelerators could help. This was about twice as fast as the PC we tested, despite having a 16-core AMD 5950X processor and an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card.
You can watch the video below.