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Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max Quick Take: Most Powerful UniFi Controller Yet, Now with RAID NVR

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Today, Ubiquiti releases its latest UniFi controller, the Dream Machine Pro Max, a.k.a. UDM Pro Max.

While sharing the same physical rackmount design and shape as the previous versions, including the UDM-SE, the new controller seems to have enough improvements to justify its more expensive $599 price tag.

So, is this new UDM Pro Max finally the ultimate UniFi controller you've been waiting for? Let's find out!

Dream Machine Pro Max UDM Pro Max
The Ubiquiti UDM Pro Max shares the same rackmount design as previous models, including the UDM Pro and UDM-SE.

Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max: The most powerful UniFi controller yet

The first and most significant physical improvement is that the UDM Pro Max includes two 3.5-inch drive bays instead of just one. As a result, it can host two hard drives (or SSDs) to increase storage space for its NVR function or use them in a RAID 1 configuration to protect data.

Other than that, the new controller remains similar to the UDM-SE on the port front. It has an SFP+ and 2.5Gbps port on the WAN side and another SFP+ and eight Gigabit ports on the LAN side.

It's worth noting that, unlike the UDM-SE, it has no PoE port, which is a bit disappointing. You'll need to resort to a PoE switch, such as the Enterprise 8 PoE, if you want to host UniFi access points, such as the U6 Enterprise or any other PoE devices.

On the inside, the new UDM Pro Max has more power and, therefore, can manage more devices simultaneously. For example, per Ubiquiti, it has enough power to route at 5Gbps with full DPI and IPS features enabled, a significant improvement compared to the 3.5Gbps of the UDM-SE.

The table below shows the differences between the new UDM Pro Max and the previous model, the UDM-SE.

UDM Pro Max vs. UDM-SE: Hardware specfications

udm pro max thumb horizontaludm se thumb horizontal
Full NameUbiquiti 
UniFi Dream Machine Pro Max
Ubiquiti 
UniFi Dream Machine Special Edition
ModelUDM Pro MaxUDM-SE
Built-in Wi-Fi BandwidthNone
Processing PowerQuad-core ARM Cortex-A57 at 2.0 GHz, 8GB RAMQuad-core ARM Cortex-A57 at 1.7 GHz, 4GB RAM
Storage32 GB eMMC,
Integrated 128 GB SSD,
2x 3.5-inch SATA storage bays
16GB eMMC,
Integrated 128GB SSD,
1x 3.5-inch SATA storage bay
Dimensions17.4 x 1.7 x 11.2 in
(442.4 x 43.7 x 285.6 mm)
Weight10.4 lb (4.7 kg)10.9 lb (4.95 kg)
Gigabit Ports8x LAN
PoE PortsNone6x 802.3af (PoE)
2x 802.3at (PoE+)
Multi-Gig Ports1x 2.5GBASE-WAN
1x 10Gbps SFP+ WAN
1x 10Gbps SFP+ LAN
Power MethodUniversal AC input,
USP-RPS DC input
Supported Voltage100 -240V AC
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
Not yet tested≈ 430 Wh
(measured with no PoE device)
Internal FanYes
Notable DesignStandard rackmount,
1.3" touchscreen
Default UniFi ApplicationNetwork: Up to 150 access points/extendersNetwork: Up to 75 access points/extenders
Optional UniFi ApplicationsProtect: Up to twenty-five HD cams, fifteen 2K cams, or ten 4K cams.
Talk: Up to 100 IP phones
Access: Up to 100 doorbells
UID: A premium enterprise feature for easy access across multiple platforms and locations.
Connect: The support for new types of products, including UniFi screens and EV chargers.
Protect: Up to twenty HD cams, twelve 2K cams, or seven 4K cam
Talk: Up to 100 IP phones
Access: Up to 50 doorbells
UID: A premium enterprise feature for easy access across multiple platforms and locations.
Connect: The support for new types of products, including UniFi screens and EV chargers.
Simultaneous Applications SupportAll
(limited by available resources)
Release DateApril 23, 2024January 22, 2022
US Cost
(at launch)
$599$499
UDM Pro Max vs. UDM-SE: Hardware specifications

A familiar controller to take advantage of UniOS 4.0

As shown in the table above, the new UDM Pro Max is very similar to the UDM-SE. In fact, it trades the PoE support for a more powerful CPU and doubles the amount of RAM and storage space. Other than that, just like the predecessors, it remains a typical UniFi controller that can run many applications at a time, including:

  • Network: All things related to the function of a network, including network settings/features, Wi-Fi, mesh, and the support for extender/access points, etc. This is the default application of any UniFi controller where it works as the "router".
  • Protect: The support for IP cameras as a surveillance system. The controller can work as the NVR, where the new UDM Pro Max's drive bay will play a significant role.
  • Talk: The support for Voice over IP phones.
  • Access: A "platform designed for Access Control Systems"—per Ubiquiti. Examples are door-related security IoT devices, such as doorbells, keyfobs, locks, etc.
  • UID (UniFi Identity): A premium feature for enterprises that allows single sign-on across multiple hardware platforms and applications.
  • Connect (currently in Early Access): A fully integrated "Enterprise of Things" hardware and software solution that works with UID to simplify IT management for organizations.

There will likely be even more applications down the line.

The UDM Pro Max disappoints on the network port front—it has no improvement over the previous model. Specifically, there are still no 10GBASE-T ports. As a result, to use it with most 10Gbps broadband Fiber-optic ONTs, you'll have to get an SFP+ to RJ45 adapter. Additionally, the 8 LAN ports could also support Multi-Gig instead of Gigabit.

Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max UDM Pro Max still has no 10GBASE T ports
Like the UDM-SE, you'll need an SFP+ to RJ45 adapter, such as the TP-Link TL-SM5310-T, to use its 10Gbps ports.

Still, with powerful hardware, the UDM Pro Max is set to take advantage of the new UniFi OS 4.0, which has improved Shadow Mode with automatic failover to enhance network high availability. With the launch of the new controller, the latest OS has become available to Early Access users. It'll eventually be available as an upgrade to existing controllers.

Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max's Preliminary Rating

8.5 out of 10
udm pro max
Hardware specs (untested)
9 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Design and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Powerful hardware to handle large-scale networks via multiple simultaneous enterprise-class applications

A complete set of useful networking features, including powerful security/web-filtering and WireGuard VPN; excellent web user interface; useful mobile apps

No subscription is required; quiet

Cons

Single Multi-Gig (2.5GBASE-T) port; no 10GBASE-T port; no PoE support

Requires an account with Ubiquiti to work

The takeaway

The Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max is the most powerful UniFi controller yet. Still, it doesn't have enough to justify an upgrade if you currently have the UDM-SE. In fact, if you have PoE devices, the older model is still a better fit, especially when considering that it costs $100 less.

However, if you have room for its large physical size and are on the market to build a new network from scratch, the UDM Pro Max is an excellent option among non-Wi-Fi routers that can do so much more than just handle a home or small office network. Judging from my experience with the UDM-SE, which I have been using since the review, the UDM Pro Max will be another reliable, robust, and even fun networking machine to operate, well worth its $599 price tag (street price will vary).

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4 thoughts on “Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro Max Quick Take: Most Powerful UniFi Controller Yet, Now with RAID NVR”

  1. Is it still running 1gig backplane? For individuals who will be setting up a new environment; would it be better to buy udm se or this pro max. (Currently have udr with U7 pro).

    Reply
    • I’d go with the UDM- SE, J. It’s been great in my personal experience and the Pro Max doesn’t have much more for most homes and SMBs, and the whole 8 PoE port less.

      Reply

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