Apple announced its first Mac with its M1 Ultra, the Mac Studio. It’s a small desktop computer that has design cues from the Mac Mini, but is bigger and with more power. The M1 Max version will start at $1,999, while the M1 Ultra version will start at $3,999. Both will launch on March 18.
It has a 7.7-inch base and a 3.7-inch height, allowing the new Mac to fit on your desk. The cooler has a double-sided fan and draws air through a perforated aluminum base, over the parts and out of a rear exhaust.
“The sound is so minimal” you “barely hear it,” an Apple spokesperson said at the announcement event.
On the back, there are four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10GB Ethernet jack, a pair of USB Type-A ports, an HDMI output, and a pro audio jack for high-impedance headphones. The front features an SD card reader and two additional ports: USB Type-C ports when configured with an M1 Max, or multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports with M1 Ultra.
With M1 Max, you’ll get up to 64GB of unified memory, while M1 Ultra configurations will get up to 128GB of memory, which Apple says should boost graphics performance. You get up to 8TB of SSD storage, although that will cost you.
Apple claims the M1 Studio can play 18 8K ProRes 422 video streams, and the company claims it’s the only computer that can.
The Mac Studio can support up to four Apple Pro Display XDR displays and a 4K TV, which is nearly 90 million pixels.
Apple claims the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is 90% faster than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Intel Xeon processor and 60% faster than a 28-core Xeon. With an M1 Max, Apple suggests it’s 50% faster than the 16-core Xeon and 2.5 times faster than an iMac with an Intel Core i9 processor, but notably hasn’t been compared to the Mac Pro more powerful.
On the graphics side, Apple suggests that the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is 4.5 times faster than a 27-inch iMac with an AMD Radeon RX 5700XT and 80% faster than a Mac Pro with Radeon Pro W6900X. The M1 Max version, according to the company, is 3.5 times more powerful than the Radeon RX5700XT.
These performance numbers, while impressive, should be taken with a grain of salt, as the new desktops are being benchmarked against very specific Apple products and not the broader market.
Despite rumors of a new Mac Mini and a new Mac laptop, none were announced today, leaving this new desktop to soak up all the glory. It was announced alongside a new 27-inch 5K studio display.