Early M2 Ultra benchmarks give M1 Ultra Mac Studio owners a conundrum

Mac Studio being used for design work
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced the new M2 Ultra chip during its WWDC 2023 event on June 5 and while that's what the first Apple silicon Mac Pro is powered by, the chip will also be used in another, much smaller Mac.

That Mac is of course the Mac Studio. And while the new M2 Ultra Mac Pro is lightyears ahead of the old Xeon model in terms of benchmark performance, the Mac Studio is a different story altogether.

That's because the old Mac Studio had an Apple M1 Ultra inside so the obvious question is just how much faster is that new chip when compared to the old one?

Faster, but not insanely great

We only have to look to early Geekbench scores to get our answer. According to M2 Ultra results running inside a new Mac Pro, the M2 Ultra manages a single-core score of around 2,800. The multi-core score comes in at around 21,500 depending on which set of results you happen to look at.

Compared to the same set of results for the M1 Ultra, it would appear that the new M2 Ultra Mac Studio can expect to be around the 20% faster mark in terms of multi-core speed. That's what Apple had already told us to expect, but it's always good to see that these things can be backed up by actual benchmark results rather than what one manufacturer claims to be the case.

All of this means that those who have an M1 Ultra Mac Studio now have a decision to make — is it worth upgrading, or not? As is always the case with these pro-level machines, that will depend on what you need your Mac to do. But the M1 Ultra is already very fast indeed, and we'd suggest that plenty of people will be just fine with that particular chip for years to come.

And if your workflow requires every little bit of performance you can get? You've probably already placed your order anyway. For you, the best Mac you can buy is whichever one is the fastest at all times. The only question left is whether you need that new M2 Ultra Mac Pro instead.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.