Today's Apple event bought an all-new M1 Max or M1 Ultra powered Mac Studio and a 27-inch 5K Retina Studio Display.
Today's Apple presentation was full of new products, the iPad Air, updated iPhone SE, new green iPhone 13s, but the two stand-out products for us were the new form factor Mac Studio and the new 27-inch 5K Retina Studio Display.
We knew something good was coming as Apple went into great depth about the new Apple Silicon M1 Ultra chip that powers the beefier of the Mac Studio models. The M1 Ultra is two M1 Max chips connected together using fast UltraFusion technology. This offers stunning performance without the need for software to be written for multiple chips. (How many can you hook together???)
Let's start by posting the hour-long presentation. Good to see that Final Cut Pro was shown a few times, Motion got a look-in as well as the new iPad version of iMovie with a new storyboard feature that will be released in March.
The star of the show was obviously the new Mac Studio. Designed to sit between the Mac Mini and Mac Pro for desktop users, we like the new form factor. Not only does this fit under the new display nicely, we also bet you can get two of them in a 19" rack. Both machines are 19.7 cm square and 9.5 cm tall. The M1 Max version is 2.7kg and the M1 Ultra nearly a kilogram heavier at 3.6 kg.
The Mac Studio is powered by either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra SOC. The latter consisting of 114 billion transistors, the most ever in a personal computer chip. Apple are saying that a Mac Studio with M1 Ultra can play back 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video. Pretty impressive if you have fast enough storage to keep up.
Just take a look a the performance figures. there are going to be a lot of disgruntled Mac Pro owners that see a less expensive machine giving better performance. In the presention, Apple did mention that the Mac Pro would be the last machine to be updated with Apple Silicon. Let's hope a new Apple Silicon motherboard for the existing Mac Pro will be an option rather than having to buy a whole new machine!
Mac Studio Powered by M1 Max Enables:
- Up to 2.5x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor.
- Up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon processor.
- Up to 3.4x faster graphics performance than the 27-inch iMac, and over 3x faster than Mac Pro with its most popular graphics card.
- Up to 7.5x faster than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 3.7x faster than 16-core Mac Pro when transcoding video.
Mac Studio Powered by M1 Ultra Enables:
- Up to 3.8x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor.
- Up to 90 percent faster CPU performance than Mac Pro with 16-core Xeon processor.
- Up to 60 percent faster CPU performance than 28-core Mac Pro.
- Up to 4.5x faster graphics performance than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 80 percent faster than the fastest Mac graphics card available today.
- Up to 12x faster than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 5.6x faster than 28-core Mac Pro when transcoding video.
It will be interesting to see some real-life performance stats. As a sidenote, all the tests were done with a pre-release version of Final Cut pro 10.6.2.
Both machines can be specified with up to 8TB SSD, the M1 Ultra can go to 128 GB of unified memory, but the M1 max version only allows for a maximum of 64GB.
The new 27 inch Studio Display is the perfect partner for the Mac Studio. It features a 27-inch 5120x2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch 5K Retina screen with over 14.7 million pixels. Slightly disappointed that it only reaches 600 nits of brightness considering the stunning 1600 output of the new MacBook Pros and its bigger XDR brother. No mention of available refresh rates.
It is rammed with speakers though and supports Dolby Atmos, which on the basis of how good the MacBook Pro is, this should sound superb. There's also a studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.
Gone is the dreaded 720p camera, the screen contains a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 122° field of view that supports Centre Stage.
On the back it has three USB-C ports that deliver speeds up to 10Gb/s and a Thunderbolt 3 port that has 96W host charging. Which means you can have one cable to the display from your MacBook Pro.
The Studio Display is $1599, there are some options. The non-reflective nano-texture glass from there XDR is available for an extra $300 along with a $400 tilt and height adjustable stand and no cost VESA mount option.
Although a Thunderbolt cable is provided with the display, you'll need a few more peripherals for the Mac Studio/Studio Display combo.
Also announced are a new $199 silver-and-black colour option for Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, $149 Magic Trackpad, and $99 Magic Mouse.
Let's hope we get our hands on one of each soon!