Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023: Which Offers Better Performance?

After an extensive two-year journey, Apple has finally achieved its goal of transitioning to Apple silicon, culminating in the release of the highly anticipated Mac Pro featuring the powerful M2 Ultra processor. The arrival of this upgraded Mac Pro marks a significant milestone, bringing a wave of excitement to Apple enthusiasts worldwide. However, the introduction of the M2 Ultra in conjunction with the enhanced Mac Studio has introduced a hint of perplexity, creating an interesting dynamic within Apple’s desktop-class Mac lineup.

If you’re eagerly anticipating the purchase of a new Mac and find yourself torn between two remarkable options, allow me to assist you in making a well-informed decision. Here, I present a comprehensive analysis that compares the M2 Ultra Mac Studio with the Mac Pro 2023, unraveling the superior choice for your specific needs. Let’s delve into the details and discover which option reigns supreme!

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Design and form factor

When it comes to their design, both the M2 Ultra Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023 bear a striking resemblance to their predecessors, featuring robust chassis meticulously crafted from machined aluminum.

The Mac Studio retains its distinctive appearance, resembling two Mac Minis artfully stacked on top of each other. Meanwhile, the Mac Pro maintains its iconic design, often likened to an elevated and refined rendition of a cheese grater.

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Putting the quirky analogies aside, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio is a compact and petite desktop computer, measuring 19.70 cm (7.7 inches) in width and 9.50 cm (3.7 inches) in height. With a weight of 3.62 kg (7.97 pounds), it effortlessly finds its place on your desk beneath your display or discreetly tucked away in a corner.

On the contrary, the Mac Pro 2023 presents itself as a substantially larger machine, offering versatile placement options both over and under a desk. With dimensions of 52.9 cm (20.8 inches) in height, 21.8 cm (8.58 inches) in width, and 45 cm (17.7 inches) in depth, it commands a presence. Weighing in at 16.86 kg (37.2 pounds), it stands sturdy and formidable. Additionally, for those seeking an alternative form factor, there is the option to explore a server-mounted configuration with similar dimensions.

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Performance

Both the M2 Ultra Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023 deliver remarkable performance that surpasses their respective predecessors by a substantial margin.

Interestingly, when comparing the M2 Ultra Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023 directly, you’ll find that they deliver comparable performance across the board. Ignoring the M2 Max Mac Studio for now, both of these new Mac models offer identical configurations of the M2 Ultra processor, boasting a 24-core CPU, a choice between a 76-core or 60-core GPU, and a powerful 32-core Neural Engine.

According to Apple’s specifications, the M2 Ultra’s 24-core CPU is comprised of 16 high-performance cores and 8 high-efficiency cores, resulting in a noteworthy 20 percent improvement in performance compared to the M1 Ultra. Moreover, the GPU cores exhibit an impressive boost, delivering up to 30 percent enhanced performance when compared to the M1 Ultra.

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In terms of memory, the M2 Ultra introduces a notable improvement by supporting up to 192GB of Unified memory, surpassing the 128GB limit of the M1 Ultra, all while maintaining an impressive bandwidth of 800GB/s. Additionally, the upgraded media engine within the M2 Ultra enhances its capabilities, enabling support for up to 22 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video, surpassing the 18 streams possible on the M1 Ultra.

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Ports and connectivity

To cater to your connectivity requirements, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio offers a comprehensive selection of ports. On the rear, you’ll find four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port. Additionally, the front panel features two more Thunderbolt 4 ports and an SDXC slot, ensuring that all your connectivity needs are met with ease and convenience.

For users seeking an extensive array of ports, the Apple silicon Mac Pro proves to be a formidable choice. It offers an impressive selection, including eight Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, and two HDMI ports. In addition, it boasts dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports Wi-Fi 6E for exceptionally fast networking capabilities. Furthermore, the Mac Pro distinguishes itself with its seven PCIe Gen 4 slots, providing ample room for expanding the I/O and accommodating a wide range of peripherals and enhancements.

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Irrespective of your selection between the M2 Ultra Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023, both devices offer impressive display capabilities. With support for up to eight 4K displays, six 6K displays, or three 8K displays, either Mac is well-suited for driving a multi-monitor setup. This versatility ensures an immersive and expansive visual experience, empowering you to make the most of your creative and professional endeavors.

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Upgradability

When considering upgradability, the Mac Pro 2023 holds an advantage on paper, thanks to its PCIe slots that allow for the incorporation of add-in boards and the flexibility to upgrade storage using Apple’s SSD upgrade kits in the future. However, it is worth noting that these upgrade kits come at significantly higher prices, which can be perceived as a drawback for budget-conscious users.

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In addition, similar to the Mac Studio, the Mac Pro now features integrated unified memory within the M2 Ultra. Consequently, it is important to note that the RAM cannot be upgraded in the future, leaving you with the configuration you select at the time of purchase.

Regarding the upgradability of the M2 Ultra Mac Studio, it’s important to note that any specifications you configure at the time of purchase will remain fixed, without any options for upgrades in the future. Although you can access and unscrew the SSDs, it’s worth mentioning that Apple does not provide any SSD upgrade kits for this model.

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Pricing

The Mac Studio presents a compelling choice for individuals seeking excellent value for their investment. The base configuration of the M2 Ultra Mac Studio includes a 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine, accompanied by 64GB of Unified memory and a 1TB SSD, all at a price of $3,999. For those seeking the ultimate performance, a fully upgraded M2 Ultra Mac Studio with a 76-core GPU, 192GB of Unified memory, and an extensive 8TB SSD storage is available at $8,799.

In contrast, the base configuration of the Apple silicon Mac Pro, which offers identical specifications to the base M2 Ultra Mac Studio (including the 24-core CPU, 60-core GPU, 64GB of Unified memory, and 1TB SSD), begins at a higher price point of $6,999. For those seeking the pinnacle of performance, the highest-end variant, equipped with the 76-core GPU, 192GB of Unified memory, and an extensive 8TB SSD storage, is priced at $11,999.

It is important to highlight that the Mac Pro includes a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and either a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad as part of its package, whereas these accessories need to be acquired separately for the Mac Studio. Additionally, it’s noteworthy that even the base model of the Mac Pro carries a higher price tag than a fully upgraded Mac Studio.

To gain a clearer understanding of the pricing associated with various configurations, I recommend visiting the spec configurator on This tool will provide you with comprehensive details and pricing options, making it easier to navigate and comprehend the pricing structure for each specific configuration.

M2 Ultra Mac Studio vs Mac Pro 2023 – Which one should you buy?

When considering all factors, including the computing power provided by the M2 Ultra, both the new Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023 emerge as exceptional choices for professionals. However, if I were to make a recommendation, I would wholeheartedly endorse the M2 Ultra Mac Studio over the Mac Pro 2023. With its impressive performance, compact design, and attractive pricing, the Mac Studio offers a compelling package that caters to the needs of a wide range of users.

The M2 Ultra Mac Studio encompasses all the essential qualities one seeks in a high-powered Mac, capable of effortlessly handling a wide array of tasks. Moreover, there’s no compromise in terms of performance, as both Macs feature the formidable M2 Ultra at their core, delivering exceptional power and efficiency. Rest assured, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio is a reliable choice that guarantees a seamless and powerful computing experience.

In contrast, the Mac Pro 2023 presents additional benefits such as an abundance of ports, support for PCIe Gen 4, and the potential for upgradability. However, the higher price associated with these features may not be justified for most users. While the PCIe slots can be advantageous for professional users with specific requirements, it is worth noting that they cater to a niche use case and do not significantly impact the experience of regular users seeking a powerful Mac.


  • Is the M2 Ultra Mac Studio suitable for gaming?
  • No, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio is not specifically designed for gaming. It is better suited for professional tasks such as content creation, video editing, and music production.
  • Can the Mac Pro 2023 be upgraded?
  • Yes, the Mac Pro 2023 is highly customizable and offers extensive upgrade options. Users can easily upgrade storage, memory, and even the processor to suit their evolving needs.
  • Does the M2 Ultra Mac Studio support external displays?
  • Yes, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio supports external displays through its Thunderbolt and USB ports. It can easily connect to high-resolution monitors for enhanced productivity.
  • Which device is more suitable for graphic design?
  • Both the M2 Ultra Mac Studio and the Mac Pro 2023 are suitable for graphic design. The choice depends on the complexity of the projects and the desired level of graphics performance.
  • Are there any cooling considerations for the Mac Pro 2023?
  • Yes, the Mac Pro 2023 features a robust cooling system to ensure optimal performance during resource-intensive tasks. The system is designed to keep the components cool, minimizing the risk of overheating.

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