Cubase 12 and Mac Studio

I am a PC user, but I am considering moving over to MAC. Today, Apple announced the new Mac Studio. I was wondering exactly which configuration of the Mac Studio would be best for Music Production with Cubase 12. What chip would you get and how much memory would you purchase?

The $4000 base M1Ultra model is preeeeettty appealing for a ridiculously poweful Cubase rig. The $2000 M1pro model is extremely capable also, 32gb is pretty good for stock, I’d upgrade to the 1tb storage for streaming your most ram-hungry libraries at crazy low buffer settings.


I would suggest reading through the forum before choosing an apple computer. If you’ll notice about 80% of the issues are with Apple computers when using cubase. I don’t trust Apple, Rick Beato has a nice video about Apple which shows him smashing all his gear, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple deliberately made it difficult to use anything other than logic.

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Conspiracy theorists aside…

Either one should be perfectly fine. The Ultra may even be overkill depending on what you do. Good way to future proof yourself for a little while though… When it comes to RAM just get as much as you can afford when you buy it. The RAM is shared with the GPU, and the ARM Mac’s dont support eGPUs. While these new GPUs eat the built in Intel ones, the Mac is still pretty memory hungry when it comes to the graphics so make sure you’ve got extra if you plan on running lots of monitors at high resolution.

Apple fanboys aside,
if you really want to spend thousands on a computer you’re never going to be able to upgrade or change memories if need be then buy an apple. But if you want a device that allows some flexibility and will last a number of years just build a decent PC.


Updating OS’s and constant non compatibility issues in the future ? do you want that ?

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Wow! There seems to be a lot of animosity for Apple here. For some reason, I thought that the majority of Cubase users were Mac users. I’ve never owned a Mac, but the new Mac’s seem appealing. Maybe I should just stick with pc.

I am on a 16 inch M1 Max MBP with 4SSD and 64 Ram
I run in Rosetta mode and Cubase 12 flies on this machine with lots and lots of 3rd party instrument and effects. Crashed only a couple times and that is due to bad 3rd party plugins. So Mac Studio Ultra should be running great.


Yes, I agree with this.

There a few modern sample libraries that are real CPU guzzlers, and that trend will increase I’m sure.

In terms of lifetime for Apple computers, my MacBook Pro from early 2014, while running faultlessly, cannot be upgraded to the latest MacOS as far as I can see. This means I can install C12, but C13 will not be supported, though it might still work of course.

That gives the computer an effective lifetime of 9 years. Make of that what you will!

Personally, I want my computer to last for 10 years, or until new machines are 10 times as fast. The Studio Ultra might just meet the 10x criterion if Cubase uses the cores efficiently on big projects.

We will have to wait for reviews and benchmarks.


After a G4,G5,MacPro,iMacPro Im done with Apple. They brick your systems for no reason other than money of course

So your only choice is to run a bootloader app to install the software which Apple says wont work.

AppHole is the main reason for all the BS people have with Cubase.
You cant blame Steinberg when ya Cubase doesnt worj in the newest OS update from Apple which happens yearly. Totally not needed other than to force you to buy a new one

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Been using Macs with Cubase since 2007 and I never had any major issues. In fact, I remember the first major update to Cubase SX 2 back in the days, which was perfectly optimized for the then-new intel macs and it was just sweeping the floor with regular intel workstations at the time. The stability was incredible. I love that I can just plugin my audio devices and they are recognized instantly. In rare occasions you will have to install something, but nothing to complicated. NO ASIO TEST. God that thing is annoying.

I’ve had 1 Mac Pro and 2 Macbook Pro’s since then and since 2013 I ran a Hackintosh since Apple wasn’t delivering a usable mac pro at the time. One year later, we had the trashcan disaster - which however still seems to be popular amongst some producers, buying them up en masse I think 4 years ago…

Cubase has crashed multiple times. Yes, it is annoying. But it crashes on PC too. I have a buddy who has always been using Windows and he and I always share our annoyances. That said, Logic crashes too, even the newest releases!

I’ve tested Cubase 12 on my new M1 Macbook Air, which obliterates my now almost 10 year old Hackintosh and it runs stable as hell. The render times of the M1 native release seem to be pretty great and I can’t wait to throw some more M1 native plugins at it once they are out.

And here comes the bummer: most software isn’t M1 native yet. But with Cubase 12 and Ableton M1 native, it’s only a matter of time until most other plugin developers will have to follow suit with the growing number of users complaining to them why their DAW runs on an “intel” thread because one of their plugins had to be loaded via Rosetta…

That’s why I would find it logical to invest in a new machine long-term. Buying the M1 Max configuration is very tempting at the moment as it is a very good offer in this price range. You will have a lot of fun with this setup.

M1 Ultra can get expensive fast, especially if you max it out. But you have to think about what makes sense. 128GB RAM certainly doesn’t make sense for someone composing trailers and beats, but if you want to throw multiple sample libraries at it (i.e. massive film scores) then it may be a good idea. I certainly won’t get more than 2 TB or SSD drive space as keeping samples or project files on your system drive is pretty idiotic - always keep it externally on a redundantly backed-up storage solution.

In my case, I am keeping all my projects on a NAS and the samples will be loaded from an external SSD. For the beginning I will probably just plug in my old SSD via an USB-Adapter but later on, it might be handy to build a Thunderbolt-RAID which you can upgrade when necessary.

As the Mac can’t be upgraded, I suggest getting the fastest processing power that’s reasonable to you I wouldn’t invest in the extra GPU cores as they are not needed for sound and music.

With the config I am eye-ing I will be set back with around 5090 EUR which is a good value given the fact I want to earn back that amount within the next 3 years and then have 7 more years to drive this machine with as little issues as possible.

A PC needs to be serviced. Every hour of servicing costs you cash as an entrepreneur.

I take it that I will have to clean the new Mac Studio from Dust every once in a while…maybe once a year. It should be a 20 minutes ordeal.

Not sure how that’s going to be as I saw that the Air intake is directly where the AC unit is. I want to see what iFixit says.

Keep in mind always: your machine is a business investment that loses value quickly. Choose the machine that fits your needs and returns your investment quickly. Don’t fall for marketing. Over the years I’ve grown some thick skin and it helped a lot :smiley:

In the end, a Mac is also just machine, which is a tool for your creative needs.


We have IMac computers (2015 and 2020) in both our studios. They operate flawlessly and very efficiently.

We own Cubase Pro, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Studio One and LUNA here and have very few issues.

The new Apple Silicon Macs are much more powerful than our iMacs.

We have utilized PCs as well as Macs in the past and switched to Macs exclusively since 2015. We find the Macs “just work” with very few equipment and software instillation and configuration issues. We also find that Macs provide very good value in that they continue to provide good service with few, if any, component failures for an extended period…offen many years.

Regarding operating system updates and compatibility issues, we find that this is not a major concern and not any different than that Windows users experience. Most professionals do not rush to update operating systems and software until after several “0.1” version updates have been released…which greatly reduces any potential upgrade and compatibility issues.

Rather than make your choice based on the reports of people posting on a forum; do your own research and speak to other professional studio owners in your area to get their input.

I wish you the best in your search for new equipment for your studio.


Yeah, as much as I love PCs, building them and tinkering with them, I don’t care for Windows when it comes to DAW work. I work on both Mac and Windows with Cubase/PT/S1 about 50/50 day to day, and have done so for the past 25-ish years, and Windows just consistently lets me down.

It doesn’t matter how much more upgradeable or powerful a PC is over a Mac, the hardware integration on PC is ALWAYS hit and miss, you’re always sacrificing something because there’s no truly reliable way to benchmark motherboards (other than DPC latency which is not an accurate way to gauge audio performance as many would have you believe). So even an underpowered Mac tends to be more stable and have more reliable performance than a PC (within reason, of course), but you can only load 400 plugins on it while the PC can load 600, big deal.

On the OS level, for general computing I prefer Windows, and the insane amount of useful software and games on Windows puts MacOS to shame, but again for DAW work it’s no contest as the stability and reliability of MacOS is *untouchable.

*Taking into account software+hardware integration and support, otherwise I’d be on Linux and never look back.


I have just switched to a M1 Pro Macbook Pro 14" and have been running Cubase 11 Pro in Rosetta (obviously) for like 4 months now and I’am not looking back.
I can run my sessions 70-80 tracks with plugins and record vocals monitoring with fx at a buffer of 64 samples, completely silent, with other apps running in the background.
For me is absolutely gorgeous working with this machine, it was expensive for what I was used to pay for PC’s but it is great!!
An M1 Ultra would be overkill in my opinion but I understand that some music demands hundreds of tracks and huge orchestral libraries and a lot people works with video and content creation too.


The only thing that scares me about these new Apple computers, It is how much would cost to repair when they fail. I haven’t been lucky with my MacBook Pro 2015. I have spent 1300 dollars repairing my MacBook Pro. That is the part that I hate from Apple.

Look luck…

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To me these are studio purchases, so I pay for the insurance and I see it as a cost of doing business.

At first glance applecare is pricey but when I realize that the product quickly pays for itself and it’s insurance while also earning my living, it’s an investment with a huge return, unlike say the thousands spent on streaming services/entertainment and fast food each year.

For personal use I stick to PCs, and for laptops I’ll usually take a macbook that’s no longer powerful enough for the studio and use it till the next most powerful one gets decommissioned, sell the old one for a surprising amount of money and repeat the process.

@Kotsamanidis You should put your studio website up on your profile so you can drum up some business while you’re on the forum.

In case it helps, I’m in a similar situation. I’ve been a Windows user and developer for decades, and I would do just about anything to be rid of Windows. That said, I haven’t been able to make the switch for two reasons: (1) I like playing video games, and (2) I have a lot of Windows-only music libraries and software.

But in my research so far, I find I can do a lot with my old iMac and think I’d be even better served by one of the new studio systems. As another poster noted, even the base system would do a crazy job for music production with enough RAM and SSD. I haven’t noticed any particular statistical number (e.g. “All the bugs are on the Mac/PC!”), but I encourage you to keep looking at making the switch.

I’ve had so much better reliability and fewer headaches with Apple stuff, I’m willing to pay the price premium for it. I just need them to stop screwing around and get onboard the gaming bandwagon…

I had an iMac for 12 months then let my daughter have it as she needed one for work. I’m back on a PC at the moment on Ryzen 5950.

I will be getting a Mac Studio once reviews are out. Something that many don’t realise is if you use multiple hardware synths with software editors then you can do this natively on a Mac. On Windows the MIDI port is hogged and you can only run one. You can run multiples on Windows but you need to set it up in MidiOx and Tobias Erichsen’s Loopback software. When you are running 11 hardware synths there is a lot going on and this crashed my PC a week ago and I am still not up to full service even after having my computer guy visit. I have a lovely backup on the E: drive but Acronis isn’t playing ball. Guys on the Acronis forums think Microsoft is blocking Acronis to stop people staying off Windows 10/11. I love Windows for the freedom of software choice but after this last week I will keep a PC but my DAW will be on a Mac. I should add, in 12 months with a Mac, I never had to sort out issues like reinstalls. Things just work as they should.

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Just keep in mind you will be buying a new Mac every 2 years to keep your DAW current if on OSX cause Apple likes to brick our Macs with their incessant OS upgrades.