To close out Apple’s first event of the year, Apple announced their new additions to the Mac lineup, the Mac Studio and Studio Display. The Mac Studio is Apple’s new desktop machine that is intended to sit on your desk and offer unprecedented performance in a compact and quiet form factor. On the other hand, the Studio Display is a 27-inch 5K Retina display meant to compliment the Mac Studio to create the perfect “studio” setup.
In terms of design, the Mac Studio essentially looks like a taller Mac Mini, however don’t be fooled by it’s size as the Mac Studio supposedly is even faster than Apple’s top-of-the-line Mac Pro. At just 3.7-inches tall and 7.7-inches wide, the Mac Pro is machined from a single aluminum extrusion and “fits perfectly under most displays.” The internals of the Mac Studio feature an unique double-sided blower thermal system intended to keep the internals cool and quiet, even under intense workloads.
For performance, users can opt for either the M1 Max or the brand new M1 Ultra in their Mac Studio. The M1 Max supports up to 64GB of unified memory, while the M1 Ultra supports up to 128GB of unified memory. The SSD in the Mac Studio delivers speeds of up to 7.4GB/s and users can add up to 8TB of SSD storage to their Mac Studio.
As mentioned earlier, these Mac Studios are more powerful than even top-of-the-line Mac Pros, and Apple has made bold claims with the performance of these machines. The Mac Studio with M1 Max apparently offers 50% faster CPU performance than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon processor, and 3.4x faster GPU performance than the Mac Pro with its most popular graphics card. While the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is up to 60% faster than the 28-core Mac Pro, and up to 80% faster than the fastest Mac graphics card available right now. The Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is also supposedly capable of playing back 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video footage, a feat that Apple claims no other computer in the world can achieve. According to Apple, the M1 Ultra is the “world’s most powerful and capable chip for a personal computer”. If these claims are true, then the performance of these machines are no joke.
Apple has really focused on the I/O and connectivity of the Mac Studio. The back of the Mac Studio features 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10 Gigabit ethernet port, 2 USB-A ports, HDMI, and a Pro Audio Jack for high impedance headphones or external speakers. The front of the Mac Studio features 2 USB-C ports which differ in speed depending on which chip you opt for (10 Gbps for M1 Max and 40 Gbps for M1 Ultra), as well as an SDXC card slot. Apple claims the Mac Studio can support up to 4 Pro Display XDRs, along with a 4K TV. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 are built-in.
The Mac Studio with the M1 Max starts at $1,999, while the M1 Ultra version will start at $3,999. Pre-orders will be available on March 11th with availability beginning on March 18th. Following the release of the Mac Studio, it seems that Apple has also retired the 27-inch iMac.
Alongside the Mac Studio, Apple announced the Studio Display, an external display designed to compliment the Mac lineup of computers. The Studio Display features an all-screen design with slim bezels and an aluminum enclosure. The built-in stand can swivel up to 30 degrees, however if you’re not satisfied with that, Apple offers various other options including a tilt and height adjustable stand, and a VESA mount adapter.
The Studio Display itself is a 27-inch 5K retina display with over 14.7 million pixels for a pixel density of 218 PPI. The display has a peak brightness of 600 nits, a P3 wide color gamut, True Tone, support for over 1 billion colors, and an anti-reflective coating on top.
The inside of the Studio Display contains an A13 Bionic Chip, which is intended to enhance the camera and audio system within the display. The top of the Studio Display is fitted with a 12MP Ultra Wide camera that supports Center Stage for video calls. While for audio, the Studio Display has a six-speaker sound system with 4 force canceling woofers and 2 high performance tweeters, a three microphone array with studio quality microphones, as well as support for both Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. Apple claims that the Studio Display “has the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display.”
In regards to connectivity, the Studio Display has 3 USB-C ports on the back that can deliver up to 10 Gbps, and 1 Thunderbolt port that connects the display and any connected peripherals to the Mac with a single cable. The Thunderbolt cable also features 96W power delivery that can be utilized to fast charge your MacBook Pro. Apple states that up to 3 Studio Displays can be connected to a single MacBook Pro.
The Studio Display starts at $1,599 and will be available for pre-orders starting March 11th, with availability beginning on the 18th.