Mac mini M2 Pro vs Mac Studio M1 Max

I’m currently running SU '22 on an 8/8/16/256gb 2020 M1 mini and looking to upgrade to a new machine. I experience crashes dozens of times a day, likely due to the limited 16gb of ram, memory bandwidth of the M1, and the fact that we model homes with lots of detail and topography from surveyors and a decent amount of satellite imagery for context.

I run CleanMyMac which constantly tells me I’m running out of RAM, and that’s usually when SketchUp crashes.

I understand both AutoCAD and SketchUp are single threaded applications and would not make use of high core counts on either the GPU or the CPU, unless I’m exporting an animation (we run ~10min animations on 100+ scenes with 4 second scene transitions, 1 second delays at 4k resolution, 30fps - beautiful videos!)

My dilemma: the new M2 Pro Mac mini vs last year’s M1 Max Mac Studio - when specced out with max RAM, 1tb HD, it’s essentially the same price of the Mac Studio. I know the M2 Pro has not been released yet, but looking for some opinions on whether or not these decisions will make any impact on day to day performance. The M1 Max has 2x memory bandwidth (400gbps vs 200gbps on the M2 Pro), but the M2 Pro likely has slightly faster single core performance on both CPU and GPU, so unless I’m running an animation, I’m curious which will perform better for general daily modeling.

I just want the crashes to stop. The M2 Pro would come with 32gb ram. Cost will prohibit me from going to 64gb on the Studio.

Or do I bide my time until the M2 Max Studio comes out?


Hum. Please update your forum profile, it says you use SU2020 on a radeon 64 :slight_smile:

Are you running ventura or monterrey ? I’m gonna bet Ventura. Some people have really bad experiences with Ventura and SU 2022, at this point, the best course of action is to rollback to Monterrey, and in general, to NOT update the OS unless ALL your softwares says they are compatible. SU is not (yet) compatible with SU22. We’re expecting SU 23 any day now.

I run the same machine, (ok, 500gb not 256), no crashes, even on weird files. And I’m still on monterrey.

Now, if you REALLY want to change your gear, beware, you’ll be stuck with a new machine using Ventura that you won’t be able to rollback to monterrey, and chances are, you’ll still have issues with SU2022. My advice is to wait for SU23 to release before selling a kidney and changing your gear.

Now, to the main question at hand. Mac mini M2 Pro.
The M1 max is a M1. I mean, it’s still a 3,2 Ghz processor, more cores but same clock. And 3d softwares are using a single processor to work, no matter if you have 7, 8 or 19. M2 clocks at 3,5 Ghz.

Real question is, how much RAM do you want ? I reckon a 32 Gb mac mini will do really fine (when I see what I can do with a 16gb M1). But yeah, if you really want more, you’ll have to go studio.

thing is, at this point, consider a PC. For 2k+ €, you’ll get a solid machine with twin graphic cards (optimized for renderers like vray) that you’ll be able to upgrade later.

I realize it’s not the answer you seek, but you have a fine machine, most likely limited by the incompatible OS for now.

Macs are good, I like Macs, but PCs are cheaper and easier to optimize.

The fact that for a small bump of performance (between mini and studio) you have to sell a second organ is not worth it in my opinion. At this price, buy a second computer.

1 Like

There is about a 300Mhz bump on the single thread clock M1 → M2. Just get as much memory as you can afford. I use an M1 Max w/32Gb (I just couldn’t afford 64, although I will next time). Never really run out of memory, I have pretty large models that contain high-res textures and p/counts and usually have SU/Layout , TwinMotion, Adobe Substance Sampler, Safari etc open, very rarely have memory problems, if I do its normally TwinMotion but I do hit the ceiling.
I’m doubtful whether the clock bump and memory bandwidth (although obviously better) would have any perceived real world perf difference in Sketchup, more memory definitely would (over 16Gb), its going to rely on swap a ton with 16Gb and although the SSD’s are fast on the Max, nowhere near unified memory.
Just having a quick look at my current memory usage.

I do have 5 large project files open :man_shrugging:
I do get crashes in SU (and only SU) but thats just SU and I get them regardless of whether I have 1 small doc open or several large ones. SU is just a bit ‘crashy’ & unreliable.

Its a difficult one, if 32Gb is your limit price wise regardless, the M2 Mini pro and the Max M1 Studio are so close, I think for same price I think I’d go for an M1 Max Studio with the binned 24 Core GPU and 1Tb storage. The M2 is a relatively ‘meh’ upgrade if you are on an M1 Pro or Max


Updated profile to reflect current machines and GPUs.

Ended up getting the Mac Studio M1 Max (refurb price was hard to say no to). Ordered it right around the time all the benchmarks came out. Seemed like the M2 Pro beat out the M1 Max in nearly everything except GPU, which is where I assumed I’d need the most performance for single core.

We’re an architecture firm and probably misuse SketchUp heavily with lots of geo satellite imagery, furniture, topography, textures, etc. We’re designing fast and likely not optimizing for low poly count or anything like that.

I had an M1 mini at the office that honestly seemed like it handled SketchUp pretty well from a modeling/panning/orbiting perspective, but would constantly get unexpected crashes. Trying to decipher the crash report, I thought it was a memory issue, given the nature of our bloated models. I never experience ANY crashes on my 2017 intel iMac Pro with 64gb ram and 16gb GPU, but would get daily crashes using the same .skp file on the Mac mini.

Fast forward to late last week when I set up the Mac Studio with 32gb ram: still crashes! And iStat menus is showing there’s SO much headroom on memory. And plenty of SSD space for swap if needed (it’s not).

Really makes me think that the M1 mini was fine, and the real issue here is that SketchUp for Mac is just horrendous with memory management on Apple Silicon. My gameplan was to wait and see if the Studio crashed and maybe return it within the 14 day period and get a Studio when it’s available with the M2 Max and 64gb ram, but I think the fine folks at Trimble just need to buckle down and address these memory issues. Attaching my crash log below.

Sketchup Crash Log.pdf (93.0 KB)

Yeah, I answered here

your trouble are known, hopefully they are waiting for SU23 to release the fix, it’s an issue with Ventura that some people have, not the machine itself.