Mac Studio arrives…

The Apple logo on top of my Mac Studio. ©Neil Turner, June 2022

A couple of months ago I wrote about the amount of power that I perceived that I needed in a computer in order to efficiently edit images. Shortly after that I saw a Mac with an M1 Max processor in action converting batches of RAW files and I decided that I’d order a Mac Studio a couple of days later. I went for the base model with a 512Gb SSD and 32Gb of RAM for two reasons; the first of which was that it was easily going to be powerful enough for even the chunkiest RAW files and the second was that it was the only model that had any chance of being delivered in time for the heavy batch of editing that I am now in the middle of.


Computer speed and power in my real world

When Apple announced their new desktop Mac – the Mac Studio – I watched the keynote address and was very interested in what this new bit of kit had to offer. Starting at £2000.00 including VAT it looks like a veritable speed machine. I have read some reviews and looked at test bench scores which are supposed to give us real world performance data so that we can compare one machine against another. With all of that in mind, it looks really good. But… what do those score mean for me?

In the editor part of my working life I often end up editing 200, 300, 400 or more RAW files from different cameras a day. When I am shooting my own pictures it is rarely that many and, of course, the files will all be from my own cameras and therefore not varied set of RAW formats. The most power hungry work will all be inside Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and I want to know what time savings this new Mac will actually give me. Having watched several reviewers (mostly high-end video editors) talk about what has frustrated them in their workflow I started thinking about the relatively few times I find myself waiting for things to happen in ACR.

The truth is that there aren’t many things that take time and frustrate me with my ageing 15″ MacBook Pro but here are a few: