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.
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.
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.
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.
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.