At WWDC 2023, Apple upgraded the Mac Studio with its new M2 Ultra chipset. It’s the peak of Apple’s UltraFusion architecture connecting two M2 Max chips together into a giant powerhouse of a CPU/GPU combo.
The M2 Ultra combines two M2 Max chipsets to build a 24-core CPU and 60 or 76-core GPU that smokes all the other M-series chipsets and likely comparative Intel chips. It can support up to 192GB of RAM to power insane graphics processing workloads, and in Canada, it comes with an insane cost of $2,000 over the base Mac Studio with 64GB of RAM.
To power all this RAM the M2 Ultra chipset has 800GB/s of memory bandwidth which basically means that it offers considerable gains over the already powerful M2 Max and M2 Pro chipsets.
On the fun side of things, all this power means you should be able to render out most projects with ease, and Apple even says that it supports up to 6 Pro Display XDR monitors, which is over 100 million pixels.
Apple also added Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support to help facilitate faster and more secure wireless connections.
These upgrades are only on the inside, so the Mac Studio still retains its small cube shape with a single SD card slot (UHS-II) on the front nestled beside two vertical USB-C ports. On the M2 Max, they support 10Gb/s speeds, but the M2 Ultra can push Thunderbolt 4 speeds of 40Gb/s.
The rear ports remain the same across both chipsets with four Thunderbolt 4 interfaces, 10Gb ethernet, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port (8k 120fps) and a headphone jack, which would have been nicer on the front.
This revised desktop computer offers a ridiculous amount of power in a compact design. That said, it’s still not as powerful as the new Mac Pro with Apple silicon. The new desktop computer is more versatile with modular PCI-express lanes, but its much larger than the Mac Studio while still retaining the same M2 Ultra chipset.
While the Mac Studio seems powerful enough for most small to mid-sized creators, the new Mac Pro is geared towards high-end Hollywood studios that need extremely high-end graphics capabilities, massive amounts of storage and extreme soundcards. On stage at WWDC, Apple touted how the new Pro could create graphics for the new Top Gun movie, while the Mac Studio was promoted as perfect for TV shows like SNL.
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Image credit: Apple