Mac Studio discussion

Hi, I was surprised to find that there no posts about Mac Studio. I want to get one, but struggle to decide, will I need 64 gb of RAM in next 8 years or 32 is enough for Ableton?
Now I have 16gb ddr3 in mbp 2017 and sometimes I have to freeze some tracks with Max, Reactor or AUs. Does it have anything to do with RAM or only with CPU?
I think 32 is already 2 times more than now and the memory is faster and afraid that when I will really need 64 in e.g. 5 years, this memory and CPU, GPU will be already slow and I won’t benefit from it. Or will it help to my computer to last longer for couple of more years?

I’ve got a studio on order for work and ordered it with 64gig. Currently use a M1 MacBook Air with 8gig ram for Ableton and get a few clipping issues here and there, but 64gig Studio would be overkill for Ableton needs to be honest. But if you can, why not :slight_smile:

If your coming from intel Mac, then the whole “max your ram” thing isn’t the same anymore. I couldn’t see if the studio is easy to add ram to yourself, so caved and ordered 64. But that’s for video and print work and my source of income.

Thanks, yes, I ordered 64gb as well actually, but transaction was blocked, because I forgot to increase the daily payment limit in my bank, so I started to think maybe this is the sign to cancel it. :slight_smile:

Also here in Berlin, I have to wait 3 months for 64gb, or 1,5 months for 32.

Hah, I used to work in printing house industry 12 years ago with Powermac G5 with 1,5gb of ram. I’m doing UI/UX design for living now.

Well, maybe I could think about 64gb like about an 4x4 SUV with 450hp engine even though you will never go to safari or rally. :slight_smile:


hahaha, this sounds like me!

Yeah, its a bit of a wait! I ordered on day one as I was waiting for the new 27" iMac for the last two years and its still not come. I couldn’t wait any longer as my current iMac from 2014 is going to give up soon I think. Can’t deal with a smaller screen than 27" for print, or anything really…

:black_heart: Much the same, I guess I go back a little further than that to pre G* with Quadra 2FX etc… . I don’t miss all the towers though! or that horrible plastic of the G3/4/5. Man, the space they took up was crazy.

It’s not like it was. I’m not cleaver enough to understand what they did, but on my little AirBook with 8gig of ram, I can open and work on a big One sheet poster with no worries AT ALL. Its bonkers. Video edits just render in no time too. I did read that the way it works now has to do with hard disks though, maybe like old days of scratch discs? but I went for the MAX chip, 64gig ram and 2tb. If it lasts me 6-8 years, it will be ok. It’ll still be over kill for my needs really…

My Studio looks like its due this week now… but my new monitor not for another month :rofl:

16GB is easily enough for Ableton, so 32 should be ok. I think Ableton runs in a single thread, too, so it won’t be any faster on the Studio than on an M1 MacBook Air.

Including plugins?

Regarding the space, I’m confused why does Mac Studio have these huge ventilators, but the perfomance is even 1-2% less than mbp16". Couldn’t it be fitted in mac mini housing then?

Yes, this is not even an SSD, there is an NVMe storage module. I guess it is as fast or faster than RAM of the past.

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crackle popping (limits) with AUs is CPU issue not RAM.

but to your general question… what are you doing with Ableton? Personally I can’t imagine 32 gb being a bottle neck in Ableton unless you are using a bunch of mega libraries/hundreds of long stems (even then) - I’m using a 2012 mac Mini with 8 gb RAM - I don’t use a lot of AU’s, just Audio tracks with EQ and some times compression. A typical project with 20-30 tracks is no issue, although things took a performance hit when i upgraded from Live 9 to 11 but still not enough to make me think about an upgrade.

I personally went for 32GB as it’s more than enough for 99% of audio stuff.
In fact I never had any issue for years with 16GB.

laughs in 8gb M1 MacBook Air

Ditto on a Mini. I was actually very tempted at the Studio, but reviews stated the machine is actually quite noisy. The name seems not very accurate (but hey, we have a tunnelvision regarding to what a studio is…)

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I’d say it is “Mac Pro”, but not due to power, rather because it is MacBook Pro" without a “Book”. :smile: Without jokes, don’t understand what was wrong with a name “Mac mini Pro”

Not sure. Ableton says it actually uses multiple threads, but there’s no specific info on Macs:

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I assume audio workstation are a bit like gaming.
You have one big thread which handle lots of thing, and this one can move quickly high if you use low latency audio.

Then lots and lots of smaller thread which do FX, AU/VST and things like that. And those one might be more idling or better said less stressed.
So the cpu speed of one thread is important but getting 20 core won’t make major speedup for real time.

For the ram size, it will only be usefull for giant sample library. A synth or FX does not consume a lot of ram. I would assume let’s say between 32 and 128 MiB for each plugin in memory not more.
So 32 GiB for audio, I don’t think you will see limitation.

And now that we have ssd or nvme, the ram size benefit is a bit reduced.

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Sorry, I meant Mac Studio… :wink: Making a noisy machine and naming it Studio doesn’t seem appropriate.

I am VERY happy with my mini m1. It’s such a joy to have silence and huge speed at the same time, and that for a very reasonable price…

It is multithreaded wherever possible, but each audio channel runs on a dedicated thread - as is the case with every DAW. And connecting one channel to another introduces a dependency which can cause more work for a single thread (because fx must be processed sequentially).


Never ever used a Mac computer… But interested in the studio. The base model is way more than enough for audio work. I now have the most ram I’ve ever had, which is 8. My windows laptop is still great and powerful, but the noise (is a fucking jet, over 40 dB SPL) is what is tempting me to get a Mac studio, so I’m surprised to read some comments here… Noisy? Really? All the reviews I’ve watched they say the fans are on all the time at low RPM and while not totally silent, also not loud at all? Anyone here with one can measure three SPL please? Or point to a review that does measure them? Cause they all say “you can feel them but not hear them”. :scream::sob:

You don’t need 64 gigs.


The clippings are due to the CPU not the RAM

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Or the Scarlett interface, ba dum tsst.

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I have a MBP M1 Max with 32GB and 2022 its more than enough. I use it with Ableton. As mentioned, if you use large sample libraries like spitfire its handy, but I think that 64GB is overkill all the way. I think you would be happy with 32GB and my opinion is that it should be enough for the next 8 years.