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2022 Mac Studio M1 Ultra: Lightroom Import/Export

Unsure which Mac to get or how to configure it? Consult with Lloyd, and see recommended Macs for photographers and videographers.

MPG tested the $7999 Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra 20-core CPU / 64-core GPU/ 128GB / 8TB SSD , provided on loan for review by B&H Photo, an authorized Apple Mac dealer. Please buy your gear at B&H Photo and OWC/ using any link from this site.


2022 Mac Studio M1 Ultra

Ever popular Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ("Lightroom") requires that files be imported into its database before they can be worked on. Import was done with Add (don’t copy) and generate 1:1 previews in parallel, no lookup of location, etc. Time was measured until the preview-generation progress bar disappeared.

Export was quality level 10 JPG at full resolution, no extra processing involved.

Disk I/O not a factor, the files being on a fast internal SSD.

If below are out of date: view current Mac wishlist and all current OWC wishlists.

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple Mac Studio at B&H Photo

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Lightroom Classic Import/Export

See the test notes for details on hardware configuration and software versions.

RAW files of 45/60/100/150 megapixels: 100 Fujifilm GFX100, 100 Fujifilm GFX50S, 100 PhaseOneIQ4 150, 100 Nikon D850, 100 Sony A7R IV, 100 Hasselblad X1D

NOTE: Lightroom scarfed up a whopping 74GB of memory during this test—outrageous and likely indicating that something is awry in Lightroom. By comparison, LIghtroom 10.4 on the iMac 5K used only 5GB for the same files/test!

The Mac Studio M1 Ultra leaves the other computers in the dust for exporting JPEG, with the 2019 Mac Pro 28-core taking 74% longer!

The 10-core 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max with tests results from macOS 12.1 and Lightroom 11.1 will surely see better performance than shown here with the current version of Lightroom. Adobe has substantially improved Lightroom performance on M1 Macs in version 11.3.1.

The 2019 iMac 5K with its 8 CPU cores shows that CPU cores count for a lot in software optimized for them. OTOH, the 2019 Mac Pro 28-core is all but a match on Import showing just how task-dependent it can be.

Lightroom Import/Export: import 600 raw files, convert to JPEG
2022 Mac Studio M1 Ultra, 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max, 2019 iMac 5K, 2019 Mac Pro:
2022 Mac Studio M1 Ultra
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