Apple Mac Studio M2 (2023) review

The new standard for desktop computing, Apple’s unassuming little silver box gets even more powerful

Apple Mac Studio (2023) desktop computer
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The main takeaway I have from this review is that I now want a Mac Studio of my own. Paired with Apple’s Studio monitor, this computer has just been a joy to use for the last few days. For anyone who relies on a lot of resource-intensive programs like video and photo editing software, the power of the Mac Studio is a revelation, and the abundant number of ports and front-facing SD card slot make this ideal for anyone creating a lot of external content. The Studio also just looks pretty on my desk, a little like a prop from a sci-fi film, it is small and compact that just blends in with its inoffensive minimalism. While not cheap by any standards, the base model is within reach of freelancers as well as small studios willing to invest in quality hardware, although gets expensive quickly when specced up.


  • +

    Small and compact profile

  • +

    New M2 chips are ridiculously fast

  • +

    A lot of power in the most affordable base model

  • +

    Ports galore


  • -

    Speccing out the Studio gets very expensive fast

  • -

    Speaker still lousy

  • -

    No parts upgradability

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Apple introduced its Mac Studio last year as a more affordable and compact version of its shockingly expensive Mac Pro desktop tower. The 2022 Mac Studio M1 introduced the M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips, designed to put powerful hardware in the hands of freelancers and professionals working in creative industries. This year is an evolution of last year's models, with the M1 chips being replaced with the M2 Max and M2 Ultra, promising even greater computing abilities. 

The Mac Studio I have been given by Apple for this review has a 12-core CPU, 30-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, 64GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD, this model retails at the time of writing at $2999, however, the 2023 Mac Studio range starts at the much more reasonable price of $1999, with some very good specs at that starting price. The Max Studio, while not exactly pocket change, isn’t a completely unreasonable price, especially if you already have a screen you love. Until you start upping every spec that is, as always, Apple’s parts upgrade prices are pretty ludicrous.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Mac Studio (M2 Max)MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max)MacBook Air (M2)MacBook Pro 16 (Intel i7, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M)
GeekBench 6 Single-core CPU score2,8562,0781,9361,261
GeekBench 6 Multi-core CPU score15,25215,2368,9174,982
GeekBench 6 OpenCL score86,15872,55827,55826,664
Cinebench R23 Single-core CPU score1,7401,7071,597Row 3 - Cell 4
Cinebench R23 Multi-core CPU score14,86714,8098,098Row 4 - Cell 4

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.