Apple's new Mac Studio is a blazing-fast desktop with an M1 Ultra chip

Apple’s new Mac Studio is a blazing-fast desktop with an M1 Ultra chip

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Apple Mac Studio
Mac Studio is by far Apple's fastest desktop to date.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Tuesday gave us our first glimpse at its brand-new Mac Studio — its first desktop featuring the M1 Ultra chip. It’s bigger than a Mac mini but smaller than a Mac Pro, and it’s the most powerful machine Apple has built to date.

Its M1 Ultra chip makes Mac Studio twice as fast as a high-end MacBook Pro, with a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and up to 128GB of unified memory. And it’s still amazingly efficient.

Meet Apple’s new Mac Studio

It’s time to forget about Mac Pro (for now). Thanks to the incredible advancements being made with Apple silicon, the company’s biggest, most expensive desktop is no longer its most powerful. That title now goes to the mind-blowing new Mac Studio.

It’s a standalone desktop that requires you to add your own monitor and peripherals, and despite its compact design, it’s packing an insane amount of power.

“Mac Studio ushers in a new era for the desktop with unbelievable performance powered by M1 Max and M1 Ultra, an array of connectivity, and a compact design that puts everything users need within easy reach,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Small but mighty

Like Mac mini, Mac Studio is squeezed into a surprisingly small aluminum enclosure that fits beneath most displays, Apple said. On its back, you’ll find a wealth of connectors, including:

  • 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • A 10Gb Ethernet port
  • A power connector
  • 2 USB-A ports
  • An HDMI connector
  • A headphone jack

And the ports don’t stop there. On its front side, Mac Studio features another two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an SD card reader.

Apple Mac Studio back
Mac Studio boasts a generous array of ports on its back — and more on its front.
Photo: Apple

A beast on the inside

Most of Mac Studio’s internal space is taken up by a large cooler with two fans. And beneath that sits its insanely fast M1 Ultra chip. It’s two M1 Max chips fused together using what Apple calls UltraFusion technology, and it’s more powerful than anything Cupertino has ever produced before.

Mac Studio with an M1 Ultra is up to 60% faster than a 28-core Mac Pro in processing, and up to 80% faster in graphics — even when Mac Pro is packing its most powerful GPU option. It packs up to 128GB of unified memory (RAM), plus 32 neural engine cores and a 2x faster media engine.

Apple Mac Studio front
Mac Studio looks like a taller Mac mini, with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and an SD card reader on its front.
Photo: Apple

And yet, Mac Studio is still incredibly efficient. Its M1 Ultra chip uses 100W less power than the fastest PC chips, and 200W less than top PC video cards.

If you don’t need quite so much power, Mac Studio is also available with the same M1 Max chip found in the newest MacBook Pro. And there’s a pretty staggering difference in price between the two configurations.

M1 Ultra is going to cost you

Mac Studio starts at $1,999 with the M1 Max chip. That’s a lot more than Mac mini, of course, but significantly less than Mac Pro, which starts at $5,999. But if you want that amazing new M1 Ultra chip, Mac Studio’s price tag suddenly jumps to a rather eye-watering $3,999 — and rises higher if you max out its memory and storage.

Mac Studio is available to order today through the Apple Store and the Apple Store app. It will be available in “select” Apple Store locations on Friday, March 18 — the same day it starts shipping.