Surprises come in all shapes and packages, and with no brand, is that more true than with Apple. During today’s Peek Performance event, Apple unveiled a bigger brother to the Mac Mini: the Mac Studio and a specially-designed monitor to accompany it dubbed the Studio Display. For serious content creators and professionals that crave performance in a desktop machine, this is looking to be the perfect setup for them.
- Available with Apple M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips
- Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
- USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)
- Two USB-A ports (up to 5Gb/s)
- HDMI port
- 10Gb Ethernet
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
What We Love About The Apple Mac Studio
Apple designed the Mac Studio for creative professionals. Powered by Apple Silicon, the Mac Studio utilizes the M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips to deliver a massive amount of power in a small form factor. At just 7.7 inches square by 3.7 inches high, the Mac Studio doesn’t take up a lot of space, but the small size doesn’t interfere with its performance thanks to clever thermal design. A set of double-sided blowers push air through the more than 4,000 perforations in the case. This intelligent design keeps heat levels (and noise levels) down even under extreme workloads.
To put into perspective just how fast the Mac Studio is versus previous models, look at the speed comparisons. With the M1 Max chip, the Mac Studio has 2.5x faster performance than the 27-inch iMac with a 10-core processor and up to 50 percent faster performance than the Mac Pro with a 16-core processor. What’s more, the M1 Ultra chip jumps up to 3.8x faster performance than the iMac or 90 percent faster performance than the Mac Pro.
It can also play back up to 18 simultaneous streams at 8K resolution — something no other consumer computer in the world can do. The Mac Studio boasts up to 64 GB of memory with the M1 Max and up to 128 GB with the M1 Ultra, as well as 48 GB of video memory. It also supports solid-state drives up to 8 TB.
In addition to the impressive technical specs, the Mac Studio design keeps expandability in mind. It has four Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect additional displays, a 10 GB Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, and a pro audio jack. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 — and that’s just on the back. There are more ports on the front: two USB-C ports and an SD card slot.
Apple built the Studio Display to be the perfect companion for the Mac Studio; however, the monitor supports any compatible Mac device. It has a 27-inch 5K Retina display, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with Center Stage, and a three-microphone array for video calling and conferencing.
A set of six speakers deliver tremendous sound quality, especially when paired with four force-canceling woofers and two tweeters. The Studio Display can capture the lows and highs of any audio without sacrificing quality, making it an excellent option for sound engineers. Those that want even more quality can plug in a set of professional headphones into the pro jack on the Mac Studio. Seriously, this makes other top-rated monitors quaint by comparison in terms of what they offer.
Pricing And Availability
The Mac Studio with M1 Max starts at $1,999, while the version with the M1 Ultra starts at $3,999. The Mac Studio Display is $1,499. Pre-orders are available right now, while general availability will begin on March 18.
What’s compelling here is that the price point makes it accessible not only for serious users who would use it for work but just for about any user that wants an incredible computing experience in a small package. While the M1 Ultra-equipped version may be a stretch for some, the $1,499 starting price of the M1 Max version makes it incredibly accessible to more people.