It's been a big day for Apple, so here's the first part of our coverage and analysis of this important event, beginning with the Mac Studio and 27-inch Studio Display.
Let’s start by remembering the Apple Silicon Mac Pro and second generation M2 chip is still to come, but this was a bravura introduction at Apple’s March 8th event of a wholly new level of power, shipping in just 10-days time that is squarely targeted at media creatives. We’ll have much more detail on these products tomorrow, but for now a few highlights.
Available to order now, with first deliveries on March 18th, this is essentially a blown-up Mac mini - a single aluminium extrusion body with an amped-up double-blower thermal system and a vast array of ports from Thunderbolt to HDMI to SD Card. At £1999, the Mac Studio comes with the same M1 Max chip introduced with the latest generation MacBook Pro’s. However, for the real power users, there’s the new M1 Max Ultra chip, which is essentially two M1 Max’s glued together with new interconnectivity technology.
Front view of the Apple Mac Studio. Image: Apple.
Rear view of the Apple Mac Studio. Image: Apple.
This means 16-high-performance cores, 4 high efficiency cores, a 64-core GPU and support for up to 128GB of RAM. The UltraFusion technology with tight integration into macOS means there’s no need for developers to tweak code to exploit the double CPU architecture. Pricing starts at £3999. By virtue of featuring two M1 Max chips, you get two media engines which means up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes video playback. No other computer can offer this, it’s (believably) claimed. Apple introduced this capability with a picture of Sony’s new high-end VENICE 2 cinema camera with 8.2K sensor so it’s clear who the target audience is for the specced out Mac Studio.
Starting at £1,499, this is a 27-inch 5K Retina display with 14.7 million pixels, 600 nits of brightness and a P3 wide colour gamut. It also comes with an integrated A13 chip to drive Apple’s most advanced Mac video system with a 12MP Ultra wide camera with Centre Stage and three studio quality mics. There’s also six speakers with support for Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio - according to Apple, it’s their best sound system to date. Like the Mac Studio, it’s available to order today and ships March 18th.