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Author Topic: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?  (Read 3592 times)

JoeKitchen

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Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« on: September 08, 2022, 10:54:42 am »

I am thinking about ordering a new Mac Studio with an Ultra processer but I am unsure if the extra $1000 for the 64 core is worth it.  What are your thoughts? 

Personally, I am a professional photographer and would be using this on a daily basis.  I do not shoot video but work with medium format files at 60 MP, and may upgrade to a 150 MP back next year.  Part of my work flow with some of my work is to create two panoramas from at least 8 MF captures for each (but could be up to 14) and layer them in PhotoShop.  Theses files are at least 5 GB in size, but could get up to 12 GB. 

I would plan on maxing out the memory at 128 GB along with 4 TB of storage. 

P.S., for the pano files, I would be assembling and lining them up only.  All of the heavy retouching would be sent out. 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2022, 11:08:08 am by JoeKitchen »
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Chris_Brown

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2022, 12:14:55 pm »

I don’t know what the number of cores actually does for Capture One, Photoshop and other image processors. I had a 10-year old Mac Pro with an Intel 12-core processor, 32GB RAM and a RAID 0 configuration with two of the internal slots. It was fast for its time (2012). I upgraded to the the Mac Studio with the Ultra and 128GB/4TB memory setup and it is a definite improvement in speed and stability. It chews through 100MP files like my old Mac Pro did with 20MP files. Very quiet, too.

All programs I currently use are optimized/run natively on the Apple SoC. The downside was I lost function of the Canon Photoshop Printer Plugin for my old iPf8300.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2022, 09:13:07 am by Chris_Brown »
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mcbroomf

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2022, 01:57:05 pm »


Joe, you might find this thread on FM interesting.  I did a series of tests on 2 macbook Pro's 9as well as some older Win machines), then Jeff (jhapeman) did the same tests on a variety of MBP's and Studios and older machines using my files.  The tests included 36 and 54 image HDR-panos (in Lightroom) using Sony A1 files.
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1748848/1#15898696

If I were buying now I would not do the upgrade to 64 core GPU.  (Also no video), but I would stick to 128GB RAM even though I don't think software can use it properly yet.  My biggest files are ~30GB.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Mike


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Chris Kern

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2022, 06:12:59 pm »

I am thinking about ordering a new Mac Studio with an Ultra processer but I am unsure if the extra $1000 for the 64 core is worth it.

I believe your reservations are well-founded.  I think the workload you describe could be handled by the machine configuration you're considering without it even breaking a sweat.  I've made panos from eight or ten raw files and focus stacks from well over a hundred raw files—albeit with smaller files than yours and using programs other than Photoshop to perform the stitching (Lightroom, Helicon Focus)—and I've been very pleased with the performance of my M1 Ultra/128GB/48 GPU Mac Studio.

I'm not aware of any current application software used in photographic imaging that is commercially available which could take advantage of the 64 graphics cores in the high-end Mac Studio—even programs that perform deep neural network processing.

JoeKitchen

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2022, 09:10:10 pm »

Thanks for the advise all.  It seems like given what you provided the additional process power is not worth it, especially considering the heavy retouching would be farmed out to someone who is a lot better then me at the kind of retouching needed for my backdrop work. 
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Lust4Life

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2022, 03:54:01 pm »

My 2 cents:  I wrestled with the same decision, decision made a month ago and no regrets or second thoughts.
Had, and now for sale:  Mac 2013 Late, OWC 2 TB SSD, 64GB RAM, etc. loaded with photo software tools.
Works great but I figured time to upgrade.

Went with Mac Studio Ultra with 1TB SSD from Costco with a few hundred off price.
I have now transferred, loaded all the photo tools I need and had 3 weeks living with it.

Why the Ultra?  Resale - video chaps are going to go for it plus the rest of the market when the time comes.

Impressions:  for all I do, it is almost always instantaneous load/refresh/computation/etc.

I have not one single complaint.  Sometimes pages or routines complete immediately and I don't believe it.

Now working on learning Capture One and performs great, along with all the Adobe photo tools, Aurora HDR, PTGui, Photomatrix Pro, Aurora Publisher and several more.

Expect this machine I'll get another 10 years of use out of.  Absolutely silent, cold to the touch and just cool to look at!  :-)

With all of the gear I have loaded in it I still have 251GB of space left so I have plenty of space to work on several project images at the same time before go to my
Thunderbolt external 4TB HDD drive that I archive my finished works on, and transfers are FAST.

I'm beyond happy with my decision.

Jack

Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2023, 11:12:05 am »

My 2 cents:  I wrestled with the same decision, decision made a month ago and no regrets or second thoughts.
Had, and now for sale:  Mac 2013 Late, OWC 2 TB SSD, 64GB RAM, etc. loaded with photo software tools.
Works great but I figured time to upgrade.

Went with Mac Studio Ultra with 1TB SSD from Costco with a few hundred off price.
I have now transferred, loaded all the photo tools I need and had 3 weeks living with it.

Why the Ultra?  Resale - video chaps are going to go for it plus the rest of the market when the time comes.

Impressions:  for all I do, it is almost always instantaneous load/refresh/computation/etc.

I have not one single complaint.  Sometimes pages or routines complete immediately and I don't believe it.

Now working on learning Capture One and performs great, along with all the Adobe photo tools, Aurora HDR, PTGui, Photomatrix Pro, Aurora Publisher and several more.

Expect this machine I'll get another 10 years of use out of.  Absolutely silent, cold to the touch and just cool to look at!  :-)

With all of the gear I have loaded in it I still have 251GB of space left so I have plenty of space to work on several project images at the same time before go to my
Thunderbolt external 4TB HDD drive that I archive my finished works on, and transfers are FAST.

I'm beyond happy with my decision.

Jack

"Mac 2013 Late, OWC 2 TB SSD, 64GB RAM"

Sounds like mine, which will now not allow me to load Monterrey, therefore I cannot update to the latest version of Photoshop and Lightroom. It's the OWC ssd that's the problem. Apple's monopolistic practices have blocked me from using a third party ssd, if I want to upgrade the OS. I was afraid of this when I went to OWC a few years ago. OWC is trying to talk me into a process where I install the old Apple ssd they sent me, load operating systems in a ladder up to Monterrey, then put my OWC ssd back in, and everything should be OK. It isn't, but tech is away for the weekend, so, I'll continue on Monday, but, I'm skeptical. You begin the process with Maverick, which is ancient, and I think the problem is that OS's Safari, which has severely outdated security. Will not allow me to download present day Safari.
Even if I get this figured out, and it works, for how long? Will I have to do this in a year or two, when this inevitable "progress" leaves me behind. So, shopping around for a mini or studio of some sort. Eh.
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Chris Kern

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2023, 05:19:57 pm »

"Mac 2013 Late, OWC 2 TB SSD, 64GB RAM"
Sounds like mine, which will now not allow me to load Monterrey, therefore I cannot update to the latest version of Photoshop and Lightroom. It's the OWC ssd that's the problem. Apple's monopolistic practices have blocked me from using a third party ssd, if I want to upgrade the OS.

Shouldn't be a problem if the drive has been properly formatted (see attached); I'm using a 2TB OWC solid-state drive on a 2013 Mac Pro that is currently running MacOS 12.6.3.  I've been buying OWC drives for many years—both spinning-disk and solid-state—to upgrade mass storage on Apple hardware.  They have always behaved identically to their Apple OEM counterparts, and allowed me to install any rev of MacOS that is supported by the host computer.

OWC's technical support reps are quite competent, in my experience, and are willing to take the time to walk customers through initial software installation procedures—which have some quirks on Apple computers when you replace the storage device, whether you are using an Apple replacement or an OWC product.  If the support rep determines that a problem with the OWC drive is preventing you from completing the MacOS upgrade, no doubt he will arrange for you to be sent a replacement.

Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2023, 05:54:25 pm »

Well, I have talked to four reps so far about this issue, and that was not presented as a solution. They seem to imply this is a firmware update needed on the motherboard, and the third party ssd is preventing that somehow. I'll talk to them Monday about that, though. I really do not want to stumble into a bigger issue with this. It's like heart surgery, and I have a few projects going. And I'm no computer heart surgeon. I have never been obsessed with the tech stuff, because it will be different a year down the line. Besides, I can live without the latest updates to PS and LR for a while, but, after a bit, you fall behind. That could be a few years, though. Nothing Earth shattering on the menu from Adobe right now. Super Resolution was the last that impressed me.
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digitaldog

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2023, 06:56:28 pm »

Shouldn't be a problem if the drive has been properly formatted (see attached); I'm using a 2TB OWC solid-state drive on a 2013 Mac Pro that is currently running MacOS 12.6.3. 
+1, this is some kind of formatting issue. I've had no issues whatsoever formatting and using multiple HD's and SSD's with any OS including and up to Ventura.
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Lust4Life

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2023, 11:27:20 am »

I have 12.6.3 latest Monterey running perfectly.

I solved this issue some time ago.  As I recall, it involved help from OWC, I remember patches and possibly an update of the OWC SSD internal.

Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2023, 11:54:15 am »

I give up. This is such an effort, and it's a bit futile, because I was just informed that Monterrey is the end of the line of the OS train for this computer, so, already, if I got this fixed, I'd still be dealing with the same issue in a year or so, because Monterrey already is one step behind. What's really got me steamed is the horribly cumbersome manner of establishing a new ID/password on the Apple store, proving that Apple's present day monopolistic practices would make Bill Gates blush back in the 90s when they went after him for Explorer. And you can't download a system OS unless you get by that security.
Whatever. This computer is highly functional, and I will use it until I find a good deal on a Studio within the next year or two or so. At least then, I'll be good for five to ten years. I hope.
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digitaldog

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2023, 12:24:41 pm »

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” -Warren Buffett
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Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2023, 05:37:57 pm »

Well, yes, it is quite simple. Apple has now introduced an OS that I can never run on my computer. So, therefore, my computer is like a 60 year old guy who just got laid off, and at first, he thinks, hey, no problem, I'm worth a lot, I'll have a job in a month. Except he isn't aware he's just been retired. Nobody is hiring him. Maybe get lucky with a "consulting" gig, or just accept that functioning life in work world is pretty much over. But, still living and breathing, and getting severance and maybe SS.

Is the M1 Studio cool with 3-4 gig Photoshop files working with just 32 gig of ram? And now I have to worry, M1 or M2. It never ends. I was talking to my buddy who I worked with about the totally souped up Quadras they handed us that cost something like 16,000 (in 1993), and could barely handle "high Rez" files.
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digitaldog

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2023, 06:01:00 pm »

Well, yes, it is quite simple. Apple has now introduced an OS that I can never run on my computer. So, therefore, my computer is like a 60 year old guy who just got laid off, and at first, he thinks, hey, no problem, I'm worth a lot, I'll have a job in a month. Except he isn't aware he's just been retired. Nobody is hiring him. Maybe get lucky with a "consulting" gig, or just accept that functioning life in work world is pretty much over. But, still living and breathing, and getting severance and maybe SS.

Is the M1 Studio cool with 3-4 gig Photoshop files working with just 32 gig of ram? And now I have to worry, M1 or M2. It never ends. I was talking to my buddy who I worked with about the totally souped up Quadras they handed us that cost something like 16,000 (in 1993), and could barely handle "high Rez" files.
You're explaining this to someone who ran Photoshop 1.0.7 on 8MB of RAM and a 13" display.
You're also explaining this to someone who runs the latest version of everything on a blazingly fast M1 with 64 GBs of RAM and can't believe how fast and how damn great the new AI Masking in Adobe raw processors are.
You're also explaining this to someone over 60!
*Some* Adobe (and Apple) customers hate two things: Change and the way things are.
Well, yes, it is quite simple. :o It never ends; the Only Two Certainties In Life Are Death And Taxes.
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Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2023, 06:10:29 pm »

Not really explaining, more, ranting.

And, I stand by my statement that Apple is horribly monopolistic, but, has great PR that presents it as some sort of cool, modern, non offensive corporation. It is extremely successful and profitable doing that, though.

I'm too old to switch to Windows or whatever.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 06:17:13 pm by Benny Profane »
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Chris Kern

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2023, 06:48:15 pm »

Well, yes, it is quite simple. Apple has now introduced an OS that I can never run on my computer.

Nine years on a consumer hardware platform strikes me as a fairly good run.  And the 2013 Mac Pro should be functional as long as it can run current releases of application software on MacOS 12.  Not forever, to be sure, but probably for several more years.

With computational photography making its way into standalone post-processing software (a lot of it migrating from the cellphone industry), and consequently demanding more compute cycles, coactive heavyweight processes, and threads, not to mention enhanced graphics subsystem performance, I made the same calculation as Andrew Rodney and invested in a Mac Studio.  If I make it to 2032, I won't feel peeved about replacing it with a then-current product.

The recently-introduced Mac Minis also look like a reasonable option if you find the price-points of the Studio models unacceptable.  Or you could purchase a high-performance MS-Windows machine from an assembler (or build one yourself; it's not particularly difficult) if you want a power supply inside a box if you think that will give you greater longevity by upgrading components.

By the way, what makes you want to upgrade the operating system to MacOS 13?  I certainly haven't seen anything in that release that attracts me either as a photographer or as an end-user of the (many other) applications for which I used Apple platforms as my principal client computers.

digitaldog

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2023, 07:12:15 pm »

Not really explaining, more, ranting.
Yes, rantings:

Quote
I give up. This is such an effort, and it's a bit futile
What's really got me steamed is the horribly cumbersome manner of establishing a new ID/password on the Apple store, proving that Apple's present day monopolistic practices would make Bill Gates blush back in the 90s when they went after him for Explorer.
And you can't download a system OS unless you get by that security.
Well, yes, it is quite simple. Apple has now introduced an OS that I can never run on my computer. So, therefore, my computer is like a 60 year old guy who just got laid off, and at first, he thinks, hey, no problem, I'm worth a lot, I'll have a job in a month. Except he isn't aware he's just been retired. Nobody is hiring him. Maybe get lucky with a "consulting" gig, or just accept that functioning life in work world is pretty much over. But, still living and breathing, and getting severance and maybe SS.
Apple's monopolistic practices have blocked me from using a third party ssd, if I want to upgrade the OS
I think the problem is that OS's Safari, which has severely outdated security. Will not allow me to download present day Safari.
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Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2023, 09:22:12 pm »

It's like kicking a dog.
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Benny Profane

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Re: Mac Studio M1 Ultra 48 vs 64; Worth the Upgrade?
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2023, 09:25:39 pm »



By the way, what makes you want to upgrade the operating system to MacOS 13?  I certainly haven't seen anything in that release that attracts me either as a photographer or as an end-user of the (many other) applications for which I used Apple platforms as my principal client computers.

Keeping up with Photoshop and Lightroom. I can't update to the latest version now. That's the whole point. I want the latest versions, but, can live without it for a while. Otherwise, the computer is fine. Well, until, you know, you try to download a third party whatever that a lot of people are excited about, and you find out you can't use it.
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