I’ve now had enough time with the machine to express my thoughts on Apple’s most powerful desktop product.
Both the high-end Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra system-on-a-chip and the entry-level M1 Max base model was available for testing. Is Mac Studio a good investment for those seeking a desktop solution? Is the M1 Ultra a worthwhile investment? Check out my how-to video guide, in which I discuss my discoveries and thoughts, and don’t forget to subscribe to YouTube for more Mac Studio videos.
Mac Studio is the epitome of overcorrection in terms of design. Its powerful chassis, which is about the same size as three Mac minis stacked on top of one another, is neither attractive nor graceful.
Design and form factor
Unlike previous attempts, Apple built this computer by first determining what consumers required in terms of performance and features, and then shaping the machine around those requirements. The Mac Studio isn’t a very attractive machine, but it is a significant change from Jony Inotion ve’s of what a desktop computer should look like, and it is, to be honest, a breath of fresh air.
That’s not to suggest Mac Studio isn’t full of clever features. The device, for example, is small enough to fit beneath Apple’s recently introduced 27-inch studio display. It also features a stunning intake and exhaust system. Mac Studio isn’t completely silent, but it’s quiet enough to be heard even when the computer is working hard.
The Mac Studio is the only Apple computer having more than four USB-C ports, aside from the Mac Pro. All USB-C connections on the M1 Ultra edition of the laptop are Thunderbolt 4 ports, which is tremendously helpful for individuals like me who are already well-versed in the Thunderbolt ecosystem.
M1 Max-enabled M1 is less expensive. Because Mac Studios lacks the bandwidth required for six Thunderbolt ports, the two front connectors are replaced with USB 3.1 Gen 2 “10 Gbps” ports. It’s frustrating to me, but four Thunderbolt 4 connections and two USB 3.1 ports should be more than enough USB-C I/O for most people.
I put the Mac Studio to the test, as well as the M1 Ultra, which has a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, 128GB of combined RAM, and a 1TB SSD. I have a lot of thoughts on both machines, but one thing you’ll probably hear in the IT world is that the M1 Ultra is a poor value.
In some ways, this thesis sounds a lot like this. For example, Miles Somerville examined both video editing machines and discovered that while the M1 Ultra has marginally faster export and render times in Final Cut Pro, the changes in workflows are insignificant compared to the $2,000+ price differential.
The following people should think about buying Mac Studio:
Users of the Mac mini who require additional I/O devices, as well as users of the more powerful Mac Pro whose work includes Apple Silicon. Other Apple customers require a desktop solution that is constantly on.
Even the most basic Mac Studio is a fantastic machine in general and a significant improvement in usability over any M1 Mac Apple offers. It has far more I/O than any other Apple Silicon-based desktop, is quieter than any of the company’s laptops, and has relatively high specifications for a $1999 base model.
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