Apple unveils new M1 Ultra chipset, Mac Studio and Studio Display
Apple used its March Event yesterday to unveil a range of new devices, including the iPhone SE 2022 and iPad Air 2022, as well as new desktop-based computing options that pack in some serious power.
Of these, its the Mac Studio, matching 27' monitor and the latest (and final) M1 Ultra chipset, that look to be the most interesting for photographers and videographers.
The new M1 Ultra is set to be Apple’s most powerful chipset. This first started with the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max, which is what you'll find in the latest MacBook Pro models.
With that chipset, Apple says the company hid an integrated connection on its circuit board that allowed it to more or less combine two chipsets into a single larger and more powerful chip.
Apple calls this technology ‘UltraFusion’, and the result is the M1 Ultra chipset, which effectively doubles up a pair of identical M1 Max chipsets, and with it nearly all of the performance and capabilities of the M1 Max. The M1 Ultra has 114 billion transistors, a memory bandwidth of 800GB/s, supports up to 128GB of unified memory and has a silicon interposer with 2.5TB/s interprocessor bandwidth.
The M1 Ultra manages this with a 20-core CPU, up to a 64-core GPU and a 32-core neural engine. As with the M1 Max, the M1 Ultra features hardware-level ProRes encoding and decoding capabilities.
The new Mac Studio desktop is the first device to be powered by the M1 Ultra chipset, although it can also be configured with an M1 Max chipset. The studio is relatively compact, with the aluminium device only marginally larger than two M1 Mac Minis stacked on top of one another.
Apple says the Mac Studio and M1 Ultra combination is capable of powering up to four Pro Display XDR monitors and a 4K display at once for a total of over 90 million pixels, or a whopping 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video.
The Studio has a built-in SD card reader (SD 4.0) and a pair of ports depending on configuration - the M1 Max model gets USB-C (10GB/s) while the M1 Ultra model gains Thunderbolt 4 (40GB/s). The rear has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10GB Ethernet connection, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack. It also includes Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and up to 8TB of internal SSD storage.
The Mac Studio starts at $3,099 for the M1 Max model, or $6,099 for the M1 Ultra model. Both will be available from March 18.
Paired with the new Mac Studio is the Studio Display, a new 27” 5K display that’s effectively an iMac without the internals. The Display is Apple’s first consumer monitor in over a decade, and includes speakers, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, the same as you'll find on the latest iPads, and a pair of USB ports. Unfortunately, there's no HDR or ProMotion, which are reserved for Apple's $8,499 ProDisplay XDR monitor.
The 5K Display features 14.7 million pixels at up to 218ppi density, with Apple saying it offers up to 600 nits of brightness. It's also capable of displaying a billion colours with wide gamut color support.
The Studio Display also features an anti reflective coating and nano-texture glass. This works by scattering light to further minimise glare, but comes with a $500 premium over the 'standard glass' option. Apple also offers three versatile stand options, with only basic tilt included on the base model Display. A tilt and heigh adjustable display will add $600 to the base price.
The Studio Display launches on March 18, with the base model setting you back $2,499.
More info on the new products can be found at apple.com.