The Mac Studio is the small but wildly powerful new desktop from Apple that when paired with the equally state-of-the-art Studio Display creates a system that offers near limitless possibilities. It really is the big new thing from Apple you need to know about, and it releases on 18 March.
If you're just catching up on the latest Apple news, then watch or indeed rewatch our live stream of the Apple March event – its 'Peek Performance' conference. There are more reveals, including a new budget iPhone. What wasn't announced was the iPhone 14, take a look at the latest rumours for more. We also have the latest on the Apple Watch 8.
It may look like a super-charged Mac Mini. It has the same form and curves, and that unique 'brick' look, but under the aluminium skin is a monster. Inside you get either the M1 Max or the new M1 Ultra chips which deliver 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU performance. Add in 128GB of unified memory, 800GB/s or memory bandwidth, as well as an 8TB SSD and, well… the Mac Studio is a beast.
Mac Studio: the specs
The technical power behind Mac Studio is geared at professionals working in film, music, graphic design and game development. It's a desktop that can cope with rendering enormous 3D environments and playing back 18 streams of ProRes video, meaning you can stream ProRes up to 5.6x faster than with a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner.
Some of the high-end performance comes from Apple's new M1 Ultra chip – "the world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer" says the press release. We think Apple may be onto something. Despite the processing muscle, the Mac Studio is just 7.7 inches wide and 3.7 inches high. It retains Apple's unique design language.
What is new is the wealth of ports Apple has stuffed into the Mac Studio. While some of its laptops have been found lacking for ports, the Mac Studio carries plenty, including four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10Gb ethernet port, two USB-A ports, HDMI, and a Pro audio jack. It's everything you could need. And for a reason, because Apple has the Studio Display to support.
Apple Studio Display: the specs
Mac Studio Powered by M1 Max Enables:
The Studio Display is the ideal friend to your new Mac Studio, it's large and smooth 27-inch 5K Retina screen is combined with sensational camera and audio tech to deliver a monitor like no other.
The built-in stand ensures you can tilt the screen to up to 30 degrees with ease, while the addition of a VESA mount adapter means you can turn the screen to landscape or portrait orientation. The screen itself displays 14.7 million pixels and offers 600 nits of brightness, P3 wide colour, and it can even support over one billion colours. Like the Mac Studio, the Studio Display feels like overkill. But in a good way.
The Display Studio is built to be your studio hub. With a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Centre Stage means its the perfect conference screen while four force-cancelling woofers minimise distortion and create deep, dynamic audio. We mean, if work ends early you could just immerse yourself in a new movie on Apple TV+.
Mac Studio: the price
If this sounds too good to be true, then the price tag may make you gulp. The Mac Studio starts at $1,999 / £1,999 for the M1 Max, and the M1 Ultra starting at $3,999/£3,999 A maxed-out Mac Studio with M1 Ultra, 8TB of SSD will set you back $7,999 / £6,100.
The Studio Display is equal to this layout, costing $1599 / £1499. On top of this you'll need to pay out for a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Mouse. And yet, despite this, we kind of want one.
Mac Studio Powered by M1 Max Enables:
- Up to 2.5x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor.
- Up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon processor.
- Up to 3.4x faster graphics performance than the 27-inch iMac, and over 3x faster than Mac Pro with its most popular graphics card.
- Up to 7.5x faster than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 3.7x faster than 16-core Mac Pro when transcoding video.
Mac Studio Powered by M1 Ultra Enables:
- Up to 3.8x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor.
- Up to 90 percent faster CPU performance than Mac Pro with 16-core Xeon processor.
- Up to 60 percent faster CPU performance than 28-core Mac Pro.
- Up to 4.5x faster graphics performance than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 80 percent faster than the fastest Mac graphics card available today.
- Up to 12x faster than the 27-inch iMac, and up to 5.6x faster than 28-core Mac Pro when transcoding video.