Photographers, graphic artists, music producers and others who need extra speed and power from their computer might want to take a look at Apple’s new Mac Studio. The machine, which looks like a chunky Mac Mini, is the first to feature the all-new M1 Ultra processor.
It’s based on the same Apple Silicon architecture we know from the M1 processor in recent Macs, and here the architecture of two M1 Max processors is merged into one. UltraFusion, Apple calls it, explaining that the two have become one with die-to-die interfacing rather than by physically mounting side-by-side on a circuit board.
The Ultra version of the M1 has 800 GB/s – four times the bandwidth of a generic multi-core processor – but it’s how it performs in real life that’s interesting.
With 20 cores, 16 so-called high-performance cores, four efficiency cores and a 64-core graphics card, it’s supposed to be eight times faster than a Mac with the M1 processor.
The processor architecture supports up to 128 gigabytes of memory, which should be enough even for multiple streams of ProRes video and for advanced editing in Photoshop, music production and other heavy work that requires a lot of memory, processing power and graphics performance.
The first machine to feature the M1 Ultra is the new Mac Studio. Looking like, but not to be confused with, the Mac Mini.
The machine, which Apple says is 80 percent faster than the Mac Pro, is built for professionals, not home office or school use, and comes in two basic configurations:
- M1 Max processor
- 10 processor cores
- 24 graphics cores
- 16 core neural engine
- 32 GB RAM
- 512 GB SSD storage
- M1 Ultra processor
- 20 processor cores
- 48 graphics cores
- 32 core neural engine
- 64 GB RAM
- 1 TB SSD storage
Both versions come in a new modular chassis with four Thunderbolt/USB-C inputs, two USB-A inputs, HDMI, 10Gb Ethernet and a 3.5mm audio jack on the back. The front has two USB-C ports and an SD card reader.
Prices start at €2,299 for the base Mac Studio, and it can be configured with the multi-core M1 Max. There’s also an M1 Ultra with 64-core graphics instead of 48, which costs €4,599.
Mac Studio is available from 18 March.
Apple has also launched a brand new display – or Studio Display, as they call it. It has a 27-inch 5K Retina panel with 14.7 megapixels in a design similar to Apple’s 24-inch iMac and even has an A13 processor on the inside. It also has a 12 megapixel camera similar to the one on an iPad, three microphones and a speaker system integrated into the slim screen.
The Studio Display can be tilted up to 30 degrees and hung on the wall with a Vesa adapter, where it can also be flipped vertically. A height-adjustable stand is also available for the display.
The screen has 600-nit brightness, supports P3 colour space and can reproduce over a billion colours, and the camera on top has the same Center Stage feature as on iPad Pro, so it “moves” to accommodate more people in the frame or when the person in the frame moves.
It has three USB-C inputs on the back, and Studio Display is also available with Apple’s nano-coating on the screen. Without, it costs €1,749; with nano-coating, €1,999.
Like the Mac Studio, the Studio Display will be available from 18 March.