Apple has announced the Mac Studio and Studio Display, a desktop combination that is powered by either M1 Max or the company’s new M1 Ultra and is significantly more powerful than the highest-end 27-inch iMac or the Mac Pro.
The Mac Studio
Apple’s new Mac Studio is an extremely compact computer that is just 3.7-inches tall, a size that Apple was able to reach thanks to the efficiency of either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra processor. It uses what Apple describes as an innovative thermal system combined with a unique double-sided blower that moves air over the power supply, through channels over the thermal module, and out of the chassis. The company says that thanks to the high efficiency of the M1 Max and Ultra, the fan and cooling system aren’t heavily taxed which means the system runs very quietly.
The Mac Studio features multiple connection options. On the back are four Thunderbolt 4 ports, 10-gigabit Ethernet, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a “pro audio” jack. On the front are either two USB-C ports that support up to 10 GB/s transfer speeds with the M1 Max or two Thunderbolt 4 ports with the M1 Ultra. There is an SD card slot right on the front as well. The Mac Studio also supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
The Mac Studio can support up to four Pro XDR Displays and a 4K television at the same time.
Apple touted the Mac Studio as a major powerhouse device that is more powerful than the highest-end 27-inch iMac and the Mac Pro. When powered by M1 Max, Apple says the CPU performance is up to 2.5 times faster than the best iMac and up to 50% faster than the Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon processor. On the graphics side, the Mac Studio is 3.4 times faster than the iMac and over three times faster than the Mac Pro’s “most popular graphics card.”
M1 Ultra takes those benchmarks even further. The CPU performance is up to 3.8 times faster than the iMac with a 10-core processor and up to 90% faster than Mac Pro with 16 cores. The Mac Studio is up to 60% faster than a 28-core Xeon on the Mac Pro.
Apple says the performance with M1 Ultra translates to a GPU that is up to 4.5 times faster than the Radeon pro on the iMac and is 80% faster than the fastest Mac graphics card currently available. Apple says the performance of the Mac Studio results in its ability to play 18 concurrent 8K streams of ProRes 4:2:2 video and overall, the Mac Studio powered by M1 Max is 3.4 times faster than the fastest iMac and up to 80% faster than the fastest Mac Pro, all in a smaller and quieter chassis.
The M1 Max provides the Mac Studio with up to 64GB of unified memory, while the M1 Ultra gives 128GB of unified memory. The Mac Studio starts at $1,999 powered by M1 Max and $3,999 powered by M1 Ultra. It is available starting March 18.
Apple Studio Display
To go with the new Mac Studio, Apple also announced a new Studio Display. This new, more affordable iteration of its Pro Display XDR shares a lot in common with that professional display. It features narrow borders, an all-aluminum enclosure, and a slim profile. It ships with a tilting stand that allows up to 30 degrees of tilt, but Apple is also offering a tilt and height adjustment stand and a VESA adapter for more versatility.
The screen itself is a 5K retina display with support for 10 billion colors through its 14.7 million pixels at 218 pixels per inch. Apple says it is color accurate and supports true tone, and for users who are in bright environments, the company’s nano texture anti-reflective glass is available as an option.
The Studio Display is integrated with the A13 Bionic chip that powers its 12-megapixel webcam and audio system. The camera is the same one that is found on the iPad and therefore supports the company’s Center Stage feature.
On the audio front, the Studio Display has an integrated three-microphone array and six-speaker sound system that Apple says is the highest fidelity speaker system it has ever created for a Mac.
For I/O, the Studio display has three USB-C ports that support up to 10 GB/s as well as a single Thunderbolt 4 Port. It can supply 96-watts of power delivery and can even fast charge a 14-inch MacBook Pro.
The Studio Display starts at $1,599 and will be available on March 18.