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Apple's Mac Studio Is a Small Desktop with M1 Ultra

Mac Studio
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has announced its first Mac with its M1 Ultra, the Mac Studio. It's a small desktop that has design cues from the Mac Mini, but is taller 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 is 3.7 inches tall, allowing the new Mac to fit on your desk. The cooler has a double-sided blower and intakes air through a perforated aluminum base, over the parts and out of a rear exhaust.

"The sound is so minimal" that you'll "barely even hear it," an Apple spokesperson said during the announcement event.

Mac Studio ports and measurements

(Image credit: Apple)

On the rear, 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 has an SD card reader and two more ports: USB Type-C ports when configured with an M1 Max, or more Thunderbolt 4 ports with M1 Ultra.

Mac Studio

(Image credit: Apple)

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 supercharge graphics performance. You get up to 8TB of SSD storage, though that will cost you.

Apple claims the M1 Studio can play 18 streams 8K ProRes 422 video, and the company says it's the only computer that can do so.

The Mac Studio can support up four of Apple's Pro Display XDR and a 4K TV, amounting to nearly 90 million pixels.

A video editor using a Mac Studio and Studio Display.

(Image credit: Apple)



Apple claims that the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is 90% faster than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Intel Xeon processor and 60% faster than with a 28-core Xeon. With an M1 Max, Apple suggests it is 50% faster than the 16-core Xeon and 2.5 times faster than a iMac with an Intel Core i9, but notably didn't compare to the more powerful Mac Pro.

On the graphics side, Apple suggests 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, the company says, is 3.5 times fater than the Radeon RX5700XT.

Mac Studio specs

(Image credit: Apple)



These performance numbers, while impressive, do need to be taken with a grain of salt, as the new desktops are being compared to very specific Apple products and not to the greater market.

Despite rumors of a new Mac Mini and a new Mac Laptop, neither were announced today, leaving this new desktop to soak all of the glory. It was announced alongside a new 27-inch, 5K Studio Display.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • Sippincider
    Could someone verify the power connection on this?

    Whether it's a plain cord with a C5 "Mickey Mouse" connection (as appears it may be)? And NOT some kind of MagSafe with a power brick?

    Thanks in advance.
    Reply
  • wifiburger
    "Apple claims the M1 Studio can play 18 streams 8K ProRes 422 video, and the company says it's the only computer that can do so. "
    really.... how interesting

    I claim my PC plays 90%+ of games out there and it's the only computer that can do so if we compare vs Apple :ROFLMAO:
    Reply
  • artk2219
    Cool, we'll see how it stacks up when other people can verify their claims (y).
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Sippincider said:
    Could someone verify the power connection on this?

    Whether it's a plain cord with a C5 "Mickey Mouse" connection (as appears it may be)? And NOT some kind of MagSafe with a power brick?
    Considering the M1 Mac Mini has an internal PSU and the Mac Studio appears to simply build up on that, then it's reasonable to assume that it uses a standard IEC cable for power.

    Besides, the MagSafe connector doesn't make sense here. If your desktop computer is plugged in a way that allows someone to trip over the cable, you're doing it wrong.
    Reply
  • Sippincider
    hotaru.hino said:
    Besides, the MagSafe connector doesn't make sense here. If your desktop computer is plugged in a way that allows someone to trip over the cable, you're doing it wrong.

    None of that stopped Apple from putting MagSafe in the current iMac 24".
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Sippincider said:
    None of that stopped Apple from putting MagSafe in the current iMac 24".
    My argument to that is:
    An IEC connector would make it fatter
    The Mac Studio is meant to be a "professional" device, which tends to be more friendly to industry standard parts. Heck it wouldn't surprise me if this thing gets a decently high score on iFixit.But in the end, what's the benefit of a Mag Safe connector on a desktop computer assuming that you policed your cables? It makes more sense to me to use it on a laptop because you can't always find a place that allows for decent cable management.

    And if you don't do decent enough cable management with your desktop to avoid trip hazards...
    Reply