Mac Studio vs Mac Pro please help

Good day friends,

Im planning on buying a new mac, Ive been researching the difference between
Mac Pro & Mac Studio taking into consideration the performance/budget.
Unfortunately, I havent found much info about Mac Studio when related to flame but after analyzing Mac Studio has outperformed Mac Pro in most aspects, I'm attaching below the configuration and price of both tested and Id like the opinion if is worth it.
Im aware that Studio cant be upgraded and thankfully it comes with afterburning included.
What would be the downside if I choose Mac Studio?
Any advice?

Mac Studio

    • Apple M1 Ultra with 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, 32-core Neural Engine
  • 128GB unified memory
  • 4TB SSD storage
  • Front: Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one SDXC card slot
  • Back: Four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one 10Gb Ethernet port, one 3.5 mm headphone jack

Total : $6,799.00


Mac Pro

  • 3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 96GB (6x16GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
  • Radeon Pro W6800X with 32GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 2TB SSD storage
  • Apple Afterburner card
  • Stainless steel frame with wheels
  • Magic Mouse
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - US English

Total: $14,199.00

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Max Studio 6 days of the week and twice on Sunday. I honestly can’t think of a single reason I would go for a MacPro at this point that couldn’t be solved by buying a MacStudio and a separate PC all for less money than a MacPro and massively faster.

My 2 cents.

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Agree with @cnoellert but it might be worth waiting for the new M version of the Mac Pro that will hopefully come out this year.

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Mac Studio is unbeatable right now for the price. If the prices stay this way, buying a new one in 3 years, instead of upgrading, still might be cheaper. So as long as your operations don’t need a graphics card, you will be much happier going with studio.

Agreed with all above. Mac Studio at the moment. As @johnag indicated an M2 Mac Pro announcement is imminent, it likely won’t ship until early next year though.

I’d buy a Mac Studio before a Mac Pro. I’ve tried Flame on both and performance is similar but potentially slightly better on the Max Studio. Not much in it.

I know you didn’t mention Linux so forgive me for the following but always worth raising

For the same price as the Mac Studio I had a Threadripper 32core Pro PC with an A5000 built that is much faster than the Mac Studio. That would be my recommendation ONLY IF you were only looking at predominantly using it for Flame (it renders things in less than 60% of the time of the Mac Studio). BUT, Mac is much easier to administer and much more versatile. If you use Resolve a lot for instance the Linux version is buggy and has limited functionality. There are loads of apps that you can’t even get for Linux.

In the past I would have recommended a Linux box but since the Mac Studio came out, unless it is a system purely for running Flame, I’d say buy the Mac Studio.

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How is the mac studio at handling large comps?

Wow guys the community here is amazing,
I`m coming from Windows and I’ve been working using an IMAC “late 2019”
3.6GHZ intel core i9 - 64GB Ram Radeon pro vega 48 8GB.

I`ll go for Mac Studio first since the job doesn’t require much GPU at the moment.
Does anyone know if that is a possibility to add an external GPU? “just curious”.

Thank you guys all of you are amazing!

As far as I know Flame on mac does not support an external GPU

Based on the current lineup of Macs in August 2022, the Mac Studio is definitely the best bang for your buck and shows amazing performance relative to its 2019 Mac Pro (Intel!) cousin. Currently, the Mac Pros seem overpriced unless @Brooks gets what he wants which is an upgradable motherboard package to Apple Silicon. Unlikely to happen of course, but ya never know!

Hopefully Mac Pros with M2 or MWhatever is an option soon. Upgradability on the Mac Pro is excellent though. Nothing is soldered in.

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Hey, I like to live in a world call “nevergoinghappen”. okay :).

But ya. The Mac Studio is the way to go over the Mac Pro. The only drawback currently to the Mac Studio is drive speed for external drives. There is no external drive that will be faster than the internal drive. That’s just a thunderbolt limitation. If you have the budget (which I know most don’t). maybe to 8tb? but my Mac Pro has a NVME raid that is only 4tb, and I haven’t come into real space issues. I do have to stay on top of if thou.

Also, they have teased a new Mac Pro is coming out this year. So if you are not in immediate need. it would be worth it to check that out.

Because of the architecture of the M2 chip , I don’t think we’ll see an upgradeable motherboard. It will likely be a new chipset each time there is any sort of major leap which requires a specific motherboard for it. A bit like how you can’t just throw a Xeon scalable CPU into a Z840 and upgrade that way.

eGPU on Flame is not possible as far as I am aware.

Thunderbolt 4 will give you 3000MBps which should be plenty enough for most things you need to do unless you are working on uncompressed 8K.

I have not tried any large comps on the Mac Studio or a Mac Pro so can’t help you there. I’ve simply played around to test performance of existing comps and run the flame benchmark through it.

Just to throw some completely outdated and irrelevant info out into the void:

Although its not supported, I did try eGPU on an intel macbook pro with Flame years ago. I used a Radeon VII in the Razer eGPU enclosure and it did appear to work. You have to make sure you are using an external display + set macOS properties of the flame executable to use the eGPU.

It wasn’t a good experience. You lost a bit of performance and the radeon GPUs are just not very good for Flame imo.

Currently eGPUs do not work at all with Apple silicon.

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MacPro. It will increase the temperature of your room 10 degrees F. Winter is coming.

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Oh, I meant the whole mother board. That they would have you able to just replace the entire motherboard, so you didn’t have to by a new case. I know we can’t upgrade the current board to M2. And that is why I live in la la land :slight_smile:

It does

For yuks I measured the air coming out of the MacPro under heavy render: 125 degrees F

Yup. Mac Pros, and most anything modern that is in a typical 4u-5u case with active cooling will raise the temperature of any typical small to medium sized office 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Agree 100% my MacPro makes my room a lot warmer. I have a fan running and even still. I may have to have a dedicated A/C unit just for the room