We’re used to seeing Apple making tweaks to its Mac line-up, but today’s the day that it launched a brand-new model: Mac Studio.
A desktop computer, this is powered by either the existing M1 Max chip or the new M1 Ultra, and promises “an unprecedented level of performance, an extensive array of connectivity, and completely new capabilities in an unbelievably compact design”.
First impressions are that Mac Studio is sort of like a super-powered Mac mini. It’s built from aluminium and features an intriguing thermal design that incorporates double-sided blowers, airflow channels and more than 4,000 perforations on the back and bottom of the enclosure.
Apple is bullish about the Mac Studio’s numbers; in the case of the M1 Max model, it’s touting up to 2.5x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor, and up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than the Mac Pro with 16-core Xeon processor.
The Ultra model, meanwhile, is said to be capable of 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, and up to 60 percent faster CPU performance than 28-core Mac Pro.
When it comes to connectivity, the rear of the Mac Studio offers four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10GB Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a “pro audio” jack for high-impedance headphones or external amplified speakers.
There are connections on the front, too - a couple of USB-C ports and an SD card slot.
The Mac Studio is complemented by the 27-inch Studio Display, which rocks a 5K Retina screen, a built-in camera, a three-microphone array and a six-speaker sound system. In fact, it’s even got its own processor - the A13 Bionic chip.
Given its name, it’s no surprise that Mac Studio is being targeted at music makers - Apple made a point of mentioning that it can “power the digital audio workstation they’ve been dreaming of” during its launch event - so we’re looking forward to finding out if it can live up to its billing.
The Mac Studio and Studio Display are available to pre-order from today, and will start arriving to customers on Friday 18 March. Prices for the Mac Studio start at $1,999/£1,999, while the Studio Display starts at $1,599/£1,499.
Find out more on the Apple website.