A test on Stata running speed on MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip) and old Macs

I ran a test on Stata running speed on my newest MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021) and two old Macs—iMac (27-inch, 2019) and MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019).

Technical specifications:

  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021): CPU Apple M1 Pro (10-core), memory 16G, SSD 1T
  • iMac (27-inch, 2019): CPU Intel i9-9900K (3.6GHz 8-core), memory 64G, SSD 1T
  • MackBook Pro (16-inch, 2019): CPU Intel i9-9880H (2.3 GHz 8-core), memory 16G, SSD 1T

The Stata code I tested includes some simple commands only, such as loop, egen, and merge. As I’m using Stata SE, the single-core performance of the three Macs should be the most important determinant.

MacBook Pro (2021) took 65.71 seconds to complete the test, while iMac (2019) took 96.59 seconds and MacBook Pro (2019) 117.16 seconds.

I’m surprised to see this result. The M1 Pro chip seems a beast!


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6 Responses to A test on Stata running speed on MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip) and old Macs

  1. Sharon says:

    Would you mind telling us which version of STATA did you use for these tests? It seems that our institution does not have the newest release of STATA.

  2. Qianfan Wu says:

    Hi, Kai:

    I am a finance phd student in the US and I want to invest in a new laptop/desktop. I wonder which operating system you are recommending? I want to get a MacBook Pro but I heard SAS is not compatible with Mac. I wonder which system you are using for your daily research?



    • Kai Chen says:

      I’m a long-time Mac user. But both Mac and Windows can get your work done. SAS cannot run natively in Mac. If you purchase a Mac, you need to install a VM software (Parallels is the best; about $50 subscription fee each year though) to run Windows and SAS on your Mac. I can give you more step-by-step if you go this route.

      • Tianchen Zhao says:

        Hi Kai,

        Thanks for the awesome posts! My name is Tianchen, and I’m also a finance phd student in the US. I’m currently using a Macbook Pro with M1 chip, and I’d like to run Windows and SAS on my mac. Can you please share more details on Parallels subscriptions and usage? Any related information or tips would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot for your help!


        • Kai Chen says:

          Purchasing and installing Parallels is straightforward. They also offer 50% education discount for students. After installing Parallels on your Mac, you need to install Windows within Parallels. This step is a bit tricky for Mac with M1 chip. Currently, the only version of Windows that works on M1 chip is Windows10_InsiderPreview_Client_ARM64_en-us-22000.VHDX. This is a beta version so no need to pay for it. Turn off auto update after the installation is complete. Otherwise, a future update may break Windows.

  3. Sophie says:

    Hi Kai, I’m thinking about replacing my old 2019 Macbook pro with the new M1 one. If you have time, could you help to try rangejoin or matchit (or other commands that usually take a long time to run)? For SAS users, I think using SAS studio is a good way to go in MAC.

    Thank you so much!

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