Apple has announced the Mac Studio, a desktop system that looks like the Mac Mini on the outside but packs a lot more power on the inside. The Mac Studio features both Apple’s M1 Max chip and a new, even more powerful processor, the M1 Ultra. It looks a bit similar to the Mac Mini, but Apple claims that the new device will be faster than even its top-of-the-line Mac Pro.
The chassis is 3.7 inches tall; Apple claims it “fits perfectly under most displays” and will remain quiet under heavy workloads. The rear includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as a 10Gb Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI, and an audio jack. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The front includes two USB-C ports (10 Gbps on M1 Max systems, 40 Gbps/Thunderbolt 4 on M1 Ultra systems) and an SD card slot. The Mac Studio can support up to four Pro Display XDRs and a 4K TV, Apple says.
Apple claims that the Mac Studio with M1 Max will deliver 50 percent faster CPU performance than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon and 2.5 times faster CPU performance than a 27-inch iMac with a 10-core Core i9. The M1 Ultra configuration purportedly has 3.8 times faster CPU performance than that 27-inch iMac and is up to 90 percent faster than the 16-core Mac Pro.
The M1 Ultra is a monstrous chip supporting up to 128GB of memory. It has a 20-core CPU with 16 high-performance cores and four efficiency cores, as well as a 64-core GPU and a 32-core neural engine. Apple says it’s “nearly” eight times faster than the M1, which powers the latest Mac Mini.
The Studio is compatible with Apple’s Studio Display, an external monitor that was also unveiled today. The Studio Display has a 27-inch 5K screen that can reach 600 nits of brightness and also includes a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. This display provides additional ports on its rear, including three USB-C ports and a Thunderbolt 4. Nano-texture glass is optional, as are various stands and mounting options.
The Mac Studio with M1 Max will start at $1,999, and M1 Ultra models will start at $3,999. The Studio Display is $1,599. The products are all up for preorder now and ship on March 18th. While the Mac Pro and Mac Mini will continue to be sold, the 27-inch iMac appears to have been discontinued.