Apple is updating its Mac Studio desktop system with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips. The miniature desktop Mac Studio has the same design as last year’s M1-powered device but much more powerful processors inside. The updated Mac Studio will start at $1,999 and start shipping on June 13th.
M2 Ultra is the big news here, with Apple describing it as “a monster of a chip.” It’s essentially two M2 Max dies connected with Apple’s UltraFusion technology, with a 24-core CPU and up to a 76-core GPU that’s 30 percent faster than the M1 Ultra. Apple claims that a single system with this type of GPU can train ML workloads that discrete GPUs can’t handle due to memory constraints.
That’s because the M2 Ultra supports up to 192GB of unified memory, 50 percent more than the M1 Ultra. In total, there are 800GB/s of memory bandwidth available, alongside a 32-core neural engine and 134 billion transistors.
Over on the M2 Max side, the Mac Studio in this configuration will ship with a 12-core CPU, up to a 38-core GPU, and up to 96GB of unified memory with 400GB/s of memory bandwidth.
In reality, all of these numbers should add up to some impressive performance improvements in creative apps on macOS with the Mac Studio. Apple says Octane 3D rendering will render up to three times faster with the M2 Ultra compared to the M1 Ultra. In DaVinci Resolve, there should be a 50 percent bump to video processing speeds for colorists.
The M2 Ultra version of the Mac Studio also supports up to six Pro Display XDRs, and it now includes Wi-Fi 6E support for faster download speeds and Bluetooth 5.3 support for the latest accessories. At the rear, there are four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10Gb ethernet port, an HDMI port, and two USB-A ports. There are also two USB-C ports and an SD card slot at the front.
The M2 Ultra replaces the M1 Ultra, which supported up to 128GB of memory. It had a 20-core GPU with 16 high-performance cores and four efficiency ones, a big leap over the original M1.
The Mac Studio has long filled a gap in Apple’s lineup for creative professionals that typically opt for the company’s powerful Mac Pro hardware. Apple updated the Mac Pro in 2019, and the company has now finally unveiled a new Mac Pro powered by its own Apple Silicon.