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Apple Announces the Mac Studio and M1 Ultra Chipset
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, March 9, 2022 @ 12:00 AM (EST)

The first Apple Event of the year saw a flurry of new products aimed at creative professionals—underwater shooters included, of course—headlining with a new ultra-powerful desktop computer called the Mac Studio. If you’re wowed by numbers, you don’t have to do much more than check out the graphic below to see that this new Mac means serious business—despite being little bigger than two Mac Minis stacked on top of each other.

The Mac Studio will be available in two flavors: one powered by Apple’s M1 Max chip, which saw its debut in the latest 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pros; and one powered by a new chipset called the M1 Ultra, which is essentially two M1 Max chips combined in one package. Accordingly, the M1 Ultra boasts twice the power and performance of the M1 Max, which is already a ridiculously capable chip.

Thus, while the M1 Max offers a memory bandwidth of 400GB/s and supports up to 64GB of unified memory, the M1 Ultra doubles those numbers to 800GB/s and 128GB, respectively. Similarly, where the M1 Max has a 10-core CPU, 16-core neural engine, and up to a 32-core GPU, the M1 Ultra features a 20-core CPU, 32-core neural engine, and up to a 64-core GPU. So, what can you do with all that muscle? Well, according to Apple, the Mac Studio can play up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at once, and power up to four Pro Display XDR monitors plus a 4K display.

Constructed of aluminum and measuring a mere 7.7" wide, 7.7" deep and 3.7" tall, the Mac Studio features a handy SD card reader on the front alongside a pair of USB-C (10GB/s) ports on the M1 Max model or a pair of Thunderbolt 4 (40GB/s) ports on the M1 Ultra model. Around the back, both models offer four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a 10GB Ethernet connection, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Like the new Macbook Pros, you can equip the Mac Studio with up to 8TB of internal SSD storage.

To pair with the new Mac, Apple also announced the new Studio Display, a 27-inch 5K monitor with 14.7 million pixels (218ppi) whose design is clearly inspired by the M1-powered iMac, released a year ago. The monitor can display over a billion colors with P3 wide gamut color support. It has a built-in 12MP FaceTime camera with support for Center Stage, a triple-microphone array, and a six-speaker sound system.

The Mac Studio with an M1 Max chip starts at $2,000 with 32GB of unified memory and 512GB of internal SSD storage, while an M1 Ultra model starts at $4,000 with 64GB of unified memory and 1TB of SSD storage. In case you were wondering, a fully pimped-out Mac Studio with 20 CPU cores, 64 GPU cores, 128GB of unified memory and 8TB of SSD storage will set you back a cool $8,000. You can pre-order now.



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