Ableton Live Mac M1 Benchmark List

Avatar photo

Here is the Ableton Live Benchmark project file to use. Just download it, run it and see how many tracks you can get to play without having the sound start crackling up.

Make sure that you’re running 2048 Samples (or the highest available) and 48000 Sample rate.

To see the CPU performance, close all other apps you currently have running on your computer besides Ableton Live and open the Activity Monitor app.

Make sure to use the highest settings as in the picture above.

Here’s how to use this test:

  1. Duplicate the only track that is used in the project.
  2. Duplicate as many instances of this track as you could and still be able to play the sound without any hickups.
  3. As soon as you can hear any difficulties in the project, delete tracks until you find that the project sounds fine. That is the amount of tracks that your system can handle in this test.
  4. Post your results here in this blog post comments. Please make sure to include your version number of Ableton, system (model number, year, specs).
Computer# of Test TracksVersion No.
MacBook Pro 16” M1 Max 32GB RAM24511.1b5
MacBook Pro 13” M1 2020 16GB RAM13311.1b6
MacBook Pro 16” 2019 2.4 GHz intel core i9 32gb ram19011.0.11
Dell XPS17 (9700), 4K, 2060Max-Q, 32GB, 2TB SSD, i7-10875H10911.0.11
Scan 3XS Music production laptop, i7-10750h, 32 gb ram15311.0.11
i9-10900K PC Desktop, 64GB, 2TB SSD, RTX3080, Windows 11 Pro18411.0.11
MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Pro 16GB RAM20511.1b6
MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Pro (Running in Rosetta)15011.1b6
MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2014 2.6Ghz i5 8GB RAM3211.0.11
MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Pro 16GB RAM 3211.1b5
MacBook Air M1 8-Core1211.1b5
iMac 27 2020 i9 3,6Ghz 10-core18011
  1. Hey! Did the test. Had a 153 tracks running, no crackles. Computer: Scan 3XS Music production laptop, i7-10750h, 32 gb ram. Version: 11.0.11

  2. 32 tracks on a Macbook Pro 13″ (Mid-2014) with 2,6 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, 256 GB SSD on MacOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G9323) with Ableton Live Suite 11.0.11 (Build 2021-09-28)

  3. 109 Tracks – Dell XPS17 (9700), 4K, 2060Max-Q, 32GB, 2TB SSD, i7-10875H, ThrottleStop used to turn-off CPU stepping/turbo/C1E modes (no fan noise/temps steady at 50 degrees Celsius or less), Live version 11.0.11 running on Windows 11 Pro.

  4. 11.0.11 – Mac mini 2018 / i7 6 core 3,2 GHz / 32GB / 1TB SSD –

    108 tracks running smoothly.
    Between 109 and 145 I have a quick dropout right at the beginning but after that it plays the loop with no issue.
    Start to crackle at 145.

    Thinking about getting a MBA M1 with 16GB and 1TB SSD. Do you think I’ll have better performance with the MBA or should I go straight to the M1 pro?

  5. I’m throwing in the towel at 384. Ableton crashes when I try to duplicate any more. Audio plays fine tho and CPU never goes above 70% Threadripper 3960x 128gb ram

  6. Macbook pro 14″
    10 core Max 32 core GPU
    32gb ram, 1tb SSD
    Mac OS Monterey 12.0.1
    Ableton Live 11.1b5
    240 tracks running smoothly

      1. These are not empty tracks, read the main post above, this was a specific track count test for that.
        I don’t own those plugins you asked so i can’t test them.

  7. Macbook pro 14″ 2021 M1 M1 Max 32core, 32gb ram 1tb SSD mac os Monterey 12.0.1
    Ableton 11.1b5 240 tracks
    ableton 11.1b6 241 tracks

    1. I totally agree with you about the Air M1 test, that test is not correct at all as the air should only be 10% less if any compared to the pro so either they had their buffer settings incorrect or something else was conflicting with the ableton session on their machine.

  8. 60-62 Tracks with i7 Macbook Pro late 2013 (8GB RAM), Big Sur 11.6, Ableton Live 11.0.11
    Pro Tipp: There is a Ableton Performance-Thread at Ableton Forum. They are using the Ableton live Demoprojects!! Its about Ableton live 10, perhaps someone start a new thread with Live 11 + some Apple m1 Configs…..

  9. Alienware X17 – i7 11800h, RTX 3080.
    259 tracks (without killing background processes)

    I did this test on my new laptop because I was worried my CPU had a poor performance but hopefully I was wrong :) thanks!

  10. Macbook Pro 15” Mid 2015
    16gb RAM
    72 tracks
    Live Suite 11.0.2 / 11.0.5 / 11.0.6 / 11.0.11 / 11.0.12
    Somehow with the 11.0.10 maximum tracks was 71

    Intel i7-7820X 3.60GHz
    32gb RAM
    Hackintosh High Sierra 10.13.6 = 214 Tracks
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 = 196 tracks

  11. MacBook Pro 15” 2015 core i7@2.0GHz 16 Gb Ram & Live 11.0.6 – 64 tracks
    Comp: i7 8700k 32Gb Ram & Live 11.0.12
    Windows 11 Pro – 72 tracks
    MacOS Mojave 10.14.6 – 165 tracks

  12. asus g14 2020 ryzen 9 4900hs 40gb ram sample rate 48000 at 1024 focusrite 4i4 3rd gen., live 11.0.6 192 tracks

  13. I did another set of tests with desktop units
    Dell XPS Studio 9100 2010 Core i7-920 24gb Windows 10. 1 tb sata -ssd. Live 11b5. 40 tracks focusrite 2i2 2nd gen.
    Cyberpower Master Gamer 2017 Ryzen 2700x 64gb. Windows 10. Nvme ssd. Live 11.0.12. 210 tracks. MOTU 828 preES.

    Both desktops could only go 1024 sample rate. I know this page is for M1 benchmarks but I’m dying to see how my current equipment holds up before choosing to pull the plug and go Apple.

  14. Here are my results from my self-built Windows Desktop PC:

    Intel i7 8700k @ 3.7 GHz, Windows 11 21H2, 32GB RAM
    2048 buffersize, 48kHz Samplerate

    Ableton Live 11 Suite Version 11.0.12

    170 Tracks with Steinberg UR22MK2 (usb; latency mode setting: “standard”)
    160 Tracks with ESI Juli@ (internal pci-card)

  15. MacBook Pro 14″ M1 Pro – 10CPU 16GPU – 16Gb RAM – Running on Battery

    234 Tracks with internal soundcard
    254 Tracks with UAD Apollo MK2

  16. PC / ASUS Prime Z590-P / Intel i5 11600K / 32Gb RAM / 512Gb SAMSUNG SSD 970 EVO Plus

    202 Tracks running without Crackles on YAMAHA AG03 ( ASIO )

  17. PC / INTEL i9-12900K / 32GB RAM / NO VGA / 1TB SAMSUNG SSD 980 PRO / ID44 AUDIO / WINDOW 11 / ABLETON 11.1

    almost 420 Track

  18. PC / INTEL i9-12900K / 32GB RAM / RTX3060 / 1TB SAMSUNG SSD 980 PRO / SSL2+ / WINDOW 11 / ABLETON 11.1
    370 Tracks without a single Click or Pop.

  19. 2010 Mac Pro Cheesegrater 5,1 12 core 3.33 w/64gb ram OS 10.13.6 High Sierra, Ableton Live 11.0.12

    144 tracks w/ RME UCX

    Not bad for an OG Mac.

  20. iMac 27 2015 i5 3,3Ghz 4-core / 24gb ram OS 10.14.6, Ableton Live 11.1

    69 tracks without any glitch

  21. – Mac mini i7 2018 128SSD 32Go ram = 137 without any tiny little crack but usable at 145 tracks
    – macbook pro 16 2,3Ghz 1to 16Go Ram = 161 tracks

    1. I did a test a while back with this system:

      Cyberpower Master Gamer 2017 Ryzen 2700x 64gb. Windows 10. Nvme ssd. Live 11.0.12. 210 tracks. MOTU 828 preES.

      I replaced the 2700x cpu since the 5950x went on sale… I was debating do I get the MacStudio with an m1 max or wait for the next ryzen cpu out this fall?

      I was able to get 329 tracks to play with a “pop” when I hit play. If i could live with the pop at the pressing of the play button… well, I quit at 450 tracks. CPU meter at top showed 72%. I back off ten tracks at a time until there was absolutely no pop when I hit PLAY. 300 tracks was my best.

      I was able to do 250 tracks with a single pop at start… at 256 samples.
      I was able to do 200 tracks with no pop at 256 samples.

      I could work at 75 tracks with NO POPS at all at 128 samples.
      I got 30 tracks at 64 samples.
      I got 16 tracks at 32 samples.

      I should be able to record 24 tracks with basic channel strip plugins without noticeable latency with this machine.

      i think I can get a motherboard with thunderbolt 4 from ASUS for $ 250, to get myself the throughput on my MOTU device for better latency. BUT all in all, I can wait a generation or two on the MacStudio.

  22. 409 tracks on a MacStudio m1 Ultra 64 ram without any problems. With 410 i get a pop when i press play. Ableton shows 72% cpu. I could add more tracks but Ableton starts to crash when i add more tracks.

  23. Macbook Pro 16inch, 2019
    Intel i9 2.4Ghz 8 Core with AMD 5500M
    64GB Ram
    Mac OS X Ventura

    162 tracks

    I could get up to about 183, but I found if i kept it playing for longer than 5-10 seconds that it would start to drop samples. I had to bring it all the way down to 162 before it felt stable.

  24. Macbook Pro 13″, 2018
    Intel i5, 2.3GHz
    16GB RAM
    macOS Monterey
    Ableton Live 11

    85 tracks with loads of brower tabs in Chrome and Safari and other apps open

  25. Mac Pro 2009 | 2 x 3.46GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon | 96 GB DDR3 RAM | 2TB SATA SSD | macOS Monterey | Live 11.2.10 – 120 Tracks

    Macbook Pro 16″ 2019 | Intel i9 2.3GHz | 16 GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB SSD | macOS Ventura | Live 11.2.10 – 130 Tracks

  26. Lenovo T14s Gen 3 AMD
    AMD Ryzen 6850U – 32 GB RAM – 1 TB SSD
    Scarlett 18i8 (only up to 1024 samples supported, not 2048)
    Live 11.3.2
    around 115 tracks (at 1024 samples)

  27. The test was a bit flawed because the energy settings were on balanced and with Push 3 connected and an external 4k screen.

    Redid the test only with power and the inferface connected.

    161 tracks!

    Didnt expect such a huge difference

  28. Macbook Pro M3 Pro (2023) 18 GB RAM 1 TB.
    Ableton Live 11.3.11
    251 Tracks before cracking. CPU at 83%

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post

Apple M1, M1 Pro & M1 Max – Audio Compatibility Chart

Next Post
free music production software

The Ultimate Guide to Free Music Production Software in 2023