Apple is once again targeting professional creatives with the introduction of a new desktop computer. The compact, and powerful Mac Studio possesses the performance, connectivity, and capabilities to turn any space into a professional studio.
From photographers who wish to utilise Photoshop’s AI and machine learning to 3D artists rendering out the most complex scenes, or game designers wanting to run tests of their creations on multiple virtual devices at once, the Mac Studio is the go-to device for the most power-taxing tasks.
The source of all this power is of course Apple’s M1 chip, which was released at the tail end of 2020. Apple M1 chips combine several different components such as the CPU, GPU, RAM and more into a single architecture known as System on a Chip. This has huge implications for performance and power efficiency.
Mac Studio incorporates the two highest spec M1 chips, the M1 Max and the newly announced M1 Ultra. The difference with M1 Ultra is that it’s a joining of two M1 Max chips via a low-latency interface which essentially doubles the amount of CPU and GPU cores and can achieve double the performance than the M1 Max equipped Mac Studio.
And with the M1 Max being more than enough for a lot of professions, you start to get a picture of just how powerful and capable M1 Ultra could be.
Compact and portable, yet powerful.
Mac Studio is about the size of two and half Mac Minis stacked vertically, this makes it an incredibly compact and portable machine compared to its performance, which makes it possible to easily transport around without too much fuss.
The addition of two front-facing USB ports and SD card reader make it that much more convenient when space is at a premium on your desk. In addition, the built-in power pack means you won’t have to contend with a large block on the power cable like many other compact or all-in-one PCs a lumbered with.
The power-efficiency of the M1 chips means there’s not a huge amount of heat generated, even with the most intensive tasks. But the heat that is generated in Mac Studio, is channelled through double-sided blowers to keep things cool and running smoothly.
With 12 high-performance ports, a footprint less than 20-squared centimetres, and industry-leading performance from M1 Max and M1 Ultra, Mac Studio completely changes the perception of a professional desktop computer.
The M1 Max is a 10-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. It features a 24-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine and 400GB/s memory bandwidth. M1 Ultra doubles all the above.
Mac Studio features 4x Thunderbolt 4 ports with support for DisplayPort and USB 4 or 3.1, 2x USB-A ports, a HDMI port, 10Gb Ethernet port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Additionally, the front of Mac Studio has an SDXC card-reader with 2x USB‑C ports on M1 Max machines and 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports on M1 Ultra machines.
Apple has always preached to the masses about “power per watt” and how it has consistently achieved greater processing power at ever-reduced energy consumption. And the M1 family of chips has allowed this trend to continue unabated. M1 Max delivers CPU performance similar to the latest 10-core desktop PC chips while using 65 percent less power. The GPU within M1 Max uses a third less power than the most popular GPUs on the market while delivering similar performance.
And M1 Ultra is even more impressive, delivering up to 90 percent higher CPU performance than even the fastest 16-core PC desktop chip. It achieves this power while also using 100 watts less power. At its peak, M1 Ultra is faster than the highest-end GPUs available, while using 200 watts less power.
The 27-inch, 5K Studio Display was announced alongside Mac Studio at Apple’s March event. The monitor features no less than a billion colours, six speakers with virtualised surround sound, a three-mic array and a 12MP Ultra-Wide camera. These specs are clearly designed for the increase in remote, or hybrid, working, where video calls seem to be more common than phone calls, Apple is riding on that wave and bringing it further into the mainstream. The goal of this monitor, it seems, is to allow you to be seen and heard and for you to see and hear everyone else, no matter where in the world either party may be.
Studio Display has a slim, all-screen design and its 5K resolution of 5,120 x 2,880, and pixel density of 218 pixels per inch (PPI) results in a sharp and detailed image. The option for nano-texture glass greatly reduces glare and the in-built ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the colour temperature to your environment.
Studio Display supports reference modes and fine-tune calibration so you can work to industry standards, whether it’s photography, web development, design or print.
The built-in 12MP Ultra-Wide camera has a 122-degree field of view is good for team meetings, and even follows you around when you move. The view expands and contracts when people join or leave the call, which is a very nice feature.
Studio Display features 3x USB-C ports and 1x Thunderbolt port, the latter of which can be used to charge peripherals such as keyboards, mice and compatible Mac notebooks.
With the retiring of current 27-inch iMac, Apple clearly intends for the pairing of Studio Display and Mac Studio to fill the void, and this is no bad thing. The feature rich display and desktop, with the cutting-edge performance, are likely to change professional studios for the better.
You can lease the Mac Studio and Studio Display from HardSoft today, visit our product pages for each device to find out more.