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Some Mac Studio thoughts

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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Some Mac Studio thoughts
    Posted: 02 April 2023 at 08:04
After using an Alienware laptop since 2017, often with a second monitor, I replaced it with a Mac Studio. The two main issues with the laptop were that its chip was so slow, it couldn't be upgraded to Windows 11. And that also meant it was very sluggish with video work.

I went with the basic Mac Studio (32G RAM, M1 Max chip) and limited the upgrades to a 1 TB hard drive. The main reason is Apple does try to get people to overspend on expensive upgrades. 32G RAM, especially on an SoC chip, with optimised software is pretty efficient. I don't do any 6K or 8K video work, or 3D animations so what I had was 'good enough'.

Unlike most people who review the Mac Studio, I have a small corner in a bedroom I can use for my photo and video editing. So there's no spacious desk I can set up 2-3 27" 4K monitors. I have to be very efficient with the space I have. This is the first reason why I like the Mac Studio. It means I can go back to using a desktop instead of a laptop.

This pic shows my current setup.

I've the main monitor attached to a VESA monitor arm. The second monitor is a Wacom One (13.3"), which is positioned for convenient photo and video editing with the pen. It can also be turned off and moved to back of the desk.

I've got Edifier bluetooth speakers on the shelf above the desk. The slide out tray is where I keep the keyboard. And the mouse can be used on the 'giant' mouse pad across the desk. (To the side is a Blue Yeti microphone I use for Zoom/Team calls and recording podcast or narrations).

This all emphasises the prominent advantage of the Mac Studio. If you have little space to work with, a desktop is still possible.

Other likes are:
  • The SDXC card reader in the front
  • The USB-C ports in the front
  • The 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports in the rear
  • The HDMI port and 3.5" headphone jack at the back
  • The sheer speed of the M1 Max Chip and 32G RAM
  • That is just works with a Wacom Tablet so easily


In effect, it has oodles of ports (and the 25" Dell monitor I'm using has even more), so the biggest headache of using a laptop (limited ports) has been solved. Plus I can set it up in a more ergonomic fashion.

Everything has just become much easier and faster.

(The shelf on the computer desk that normally could have a desktop, has instead a dry cabinet for my lenses. You can just see the top of the cabinet in the frame. It's another illustration of the space constraints I've faced and how the Mac Studio has been such a game changer).

α1- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 & 100-400/4.5-5.6; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Sony 135/2.8 STF
 



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AudioDoc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2023 at 12:18
Very nice setup! I'm envious of the Mac Studio! I purchased the Mac Mini M1 a little over a year ago. Its probably enough, but I certainly would have considered the Studio, but it wasn't available at the time! I had to buy the CalDigit TS4 to get extra ports.

I assume your Mac came with Mac OS Ventura? I don't see a printer in your setup, but FYI, there seem to be some bugs in Ventura's print module that I've experienced and others seem to be having the same. The main issue is it seems to have issues with printer/paper ICC profiles and it doesn't save print setting presets. If you print with a lab, I would guess you wouldn't have such issues.

Enjoy your new Mac Studio!

Regards,

Kelly
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2023 at 23:30
Thanks Kelly,

I thought it all made quite an efficient use of the space I had. I'd love to have space for 2 large monitors side-by-side, but the Wacom Tablet is actually a very productive accessory. It works both as a monitor and I' can edit photos/videos with it more easily with its angle and the pen.

I think if I didn't do the video editing as well, a Mac mini would have also suited me. As it was- and you may recall- I did spend a lot of time deciding between the Mac M2 pro Mini and the Mac Studio.

I am on Ventura but as you can see, there's not really space for a photo printer. So I'm in the habit of getting prints done in labs instead.

Noho ora mai
α1- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 & 100-400/4.5-5.6; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Sony 135/2.8 STF
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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2023 at 10:46
Interesting, Kelly: I am still on Big Sur, 11.7.4: is there anything else to be aware of if I move on to Ventura - better to wait a while? (Last of the big iMacs, here (3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9).
Howard Stanbury Instagram | Flickr | Web
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AudioDoc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2023 at 11:12
Howard,

I haven't had other problems with Ventura. But printing photos at home on my Epson photo printer is a huge problem for me at the moment. They have changed the way some things look and are placed that might take some getting use to, but Ventura otherwise works fine. If you do make photo prints at home, don't upgrade! I upgraded from Big Sur, before I realized there were bugs in the Ventura print module that Epson and Apple seem to be unaware of. I think those with Canon photo printers are also having issues. See my post here:
https://www.dyxum.com/dforum/printing-in-mac-os-13-ventura_topic142096.html

Kelly
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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2023 at 18:04
Thanks, Kelly; as long as the Lightroom/Photoshop bundle works as advertised I should be all right if I upgrade. I got caught out on my older Mac Mini upgrading eagerly and leaving behind some 16-bit (or was it 32?) programs that wouldn't work in the 64-bit regime.
Howard Stanbury Instagram | Flickr | Web
 



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