Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Activity Forums DaVinci Resolve Apple Mac Studio Max/Ultra for Resolve

  • Apple Mac Studio Max/Ultra for Resolve

    Posted by Bob Cole on June 12, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Trying to decide which configuration of the Studio Max/Ultra to buy for Resolve. My application is mainly HD editing, with some 4K footage, color correction, keying, movement on still images, and moderate effects.

    If you’ve taken the plunge and have observations (or even if you haven’t, but could give an educated guess), I’d appreciate hearing from you.

    Thank you.

    Bob Cole

    Bob Cole replied 1 year, 1 month ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Joseph Owens

    June 12, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    A matter of some however slight interest to me as well. I am semi-retired and the hardware that I have kept over is headed for recycling as well. 😂 Apple is going to *obsolete* [verb] (and app developers are accelerating the process) so that anything over a few years old won’t work with anything coming down the pipe. I can’t run Resolve17 on my faithful MacPro_2010 anymore. macOS won’t support the 3xTitanBlack nVidia cards, so that’s done. My iMac5K doesn’t have a Thunderbolt3 slot, consequently adding an eGPU is a non-starter.

    But to your question about Max/Ultra; probably neither until the M2 version is released, or the M2 MacBookPro M2 might be a viable option when it is released. In any event, if you are doing primarily HD with occasional 4K, the Max is likely going to be just fine for awhile. The Ultra is 2 Maxes, stacked on top of each other. Might be like buying 4 liters of milk with a best-before-date of next week, when 2 will get you through. That’s my impression watching this situation for the past 6 months.

  • Bob Cole

    June 12, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you Joseph. I feel your pain regarding Apple’s indifference to obsolescence. And I love the 4 liters of milk analogy, though I hold onto my computers so long that I should probably think of cheese or wine.

    A related question: I have an old (but great) CalDigit 4-drive RAID, and I wonder whether I will need to replace it if I venture into M1-Land. On the B&H website, a review of a SanDisk G-RAID states: “Apple’s M1-based computers require your G-RAID software to override kernel permissions and other security barriers that are not recommended (setting your Boot to “Reduced Security” and Allowing All Kernel Extensions).”

    Very excited about improving the fluidity of the editing experience. I still look back fondly on the incredibly quick performance (using very low-res SD) of my old D/Vision system.

    Bob C

  • Paul Rosen

    June 12, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve been running the Ultra and am very impressed with the performance compared to the 2013 Trash Can it is replacing. It mostly eats through noise reduction effects like they are not in the timeline. I don’t think the Ultra is completely necessary for only doing HD work, but in my experience, it’s always good to buy the best you can afford at the time of your purchase. Maybe you’ll start to do more 4K work in the future? You’ll be prepared. Yes, there will always be something new coming down the road – new chips, new connectors, new software. Buying the most you can afford will get you through a lot of that.

    Regarding obsolescence, I have multiple 2011 MacPro towers with upgraded graphics cards, SSDs and maxed out RAM still running Mojave great. But I can’t run Resolve 17 and some other software anymore, and playing back 4K video on those machines is not ideal. I more than got my dollars back on those boxes and as a testament to their usefulness, I bought what I could afford then and was rewarded for it for many years.

    That’s my take. Never buy the base model and get as much RAM as you can. You won’t be sorry with that strategy. If you can wait for the M2, sure wait. if not, you’ll be fine with the M1 Max or Ultra. The performance is ridiculous.

  • Bob Cole

    June 17, 2022 at 12:38 am

    Please forgive these basic questions. It’s been at least 6 years since I’ve looked into these issues.

    Whatever I buy in the way of a computer, I need to address the RAID as well. My CalDigit T4 has been discontinued, & I would like to have something with current support and supply.

    For editing HD and 4K, with moderate CC, what sort of external media drive do you recommend? Until recently, the answer was “RAID, the bigger the better.” Has that changed? I would really like to have a more portable set-up so I can edit on the road.

    Thanks so much.

    Bob C

  • Jon Arm

    July 5, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Bob,

    Regarding your storage solution, if you can’t use your current raid id suggest upgrading that at the same time as your machine.

    For some context, I run a MacMini M1 with 8gb Ram, I edit 4k, and do some color work. I have always been impressed by what this little cheap Mac can handle. Apple Silicon is a game changer for me with working with media, you will be surprised how little you’ll need to do your work. Black Magic has optimized Resolve to work very efficiently on the new chip set.

    Storage suggestion, I use an external 2TB SSD MVNe drive to edit off, and then have a cheap desktop external drive Seagate 16TB to manage my files (I have additional drives for Backup). I only load the current project onto the 2TB SSD so that I have enough space. Obviously if you have bigger projects you should get a bigger drive. If you can afford get an external TB3/4 ssd, but it must be an MVNe drive so that is fast enough to handle multi 4K steams if necessary.

    Raid is good if you can afford it and you have very big projects, but not necessary in my view if you are doing HD work and even 4k work.

    I agree with Paul, buy the best you can afford at the time as it will give you the longest life span. Also remember the ram issue, you can’t upgrade it later. so get more than you think you need.

  • Eric Santiago

    July 7, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Not sure if looking for an HD option is even a thing these days.

    Just as most stated here, buy the best you can afford.

    I was cutting/grading 4K on a MBP 2008 Uni for a few years with no issues.

  • John Davidson

    August 17, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Hello, Thank you for all the discussion on the Mac Studio. I do color grading only, no Fusion or even editing. I am still hanging on as was discussed earlier with an older tower upgraded but of course now not suitable for Resolve 17. So I am seriously looking at the Studio, but a little confused as to how to configure it. I realize I would need an external enclosure of some sort for drives and a Blackmagic interface for my grading monitor (Flanders Scientific). Just wondering if anyone has set up a configuration on what I would need to buy to run Resolve 17 Studio , 2 monitors and the Flanders?

    Thank you,


  • Bob Cole

    August 21, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks. Bought a refurbished low-end Mac Studio and a 2TB SSD for media, and my initial impression is that this relatively simple and inexpensive solution will work well. Looking forward to an answer to John’s question about configuring a Flanders Scientific monitor.

    Bob C

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy