back to article Just two die for: Apple reveals M1 Ultra chip in Mac Studio

On Tuesday at one of Apple's periodic product reveals, the iGiant introduced a low-end iPhone, a mid-tier iPad Air, a 27-inch Studio Display, and a conjoined chip called M1 Ultra that powers a compact desktop workstation dubbed the Mac Studio. Cupertino's budget-minded 5G iPhone SE sports the same A15 chip that powers its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

    Only Geekbench so pinch of salt, but the 20 core Ultra is outpacing the 32 core threadripper on multi core, small amount off the 64 core threadripper. Impressive. Be interesting seeing real world usage. Wonder what the Mac Pro will have in store in a few months.

    1. Slipoch

      Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

      Here' a bucket of salt, given that mid-range AMD cpus are still flogging the M1 on handbrake tests (HB using native M1 code) for multi-core, I suspect that there's a lot of 'optimisation chips' that give false positive results for benchmarking.

      I would be more interested if they allowed >1 monitor to connect (where the monitors use DP).

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        I would be more interested if they allowed >1 monitor to connect (where the monitors use DP).

        The article mentioned it could support 4 x 5k displays and a 4k tv.

        Are those midrange amd’s flogging the standard low end M1 as found in an iPad or the pro or the max?

        1. Daniel von Asmuth
          Gimp

          Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

          Make that four 6K monitors -- if you can afford them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        So you are clearly using the air/13” M1 in your comparison. The Pro/Max/Ultra can multiple easily.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

          Hardware Unboxed did a comparison just a few days ago of the MacBook Pro M1, vs several Intel and AMD based Windows laptops. With the fastest Intel being the new Core i9-12900HK.

          The M1 Pro varied quite a bit, and typically came out on average around the same performance as the upper AMD machines, and slower than the current i7 and i9s.

          Worse scores seem to be things like video encoding, where the M1 Pro was slower than an i5 11400H.

          The only test where the M1 Pro came top, was for Blender, where it was ahead of the Core i9-12900HK by .1 of a second.

          Where the M1 Pro did shine though was power draw, whilst it wasn't as fast as current i7s and i9s, and was typically faster than the top AMD parts, it managed to do that using far less power. With the Intels often pulling twice the power or more, than that of the MacBook.

          So Intel i9 was around 20-25% faster than the M1 Pro, but consumed twice the power to achieve that!

          1. Tessier-Ashpool

            Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

            Indeed, you could fry an egg on the intel chip.

            I wouldn't use the M1 Pro for video encoding. I'd use its bigger brother the M1 Max, which has a ton of GPU cores available for that kind of work.

            Or, of course, the M1 Ultra, if you have a few quid to spare.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

              if you have a few quid to spare

              More than a few, it seems. I had a quick poke at the Apple Store and I was astonished how easy it is to double its sale price. Of course, if you need that kind of horse power you will probably be glad it's there (I can see video editing fly on this thing) but it's a tad overkill for home use :).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        I would be more interested if they allowed >1 monitor to connect (where the monitors use DP).

        Thunderbolt 4 is an amalgamation of PCIe and DP into two serial signals and DC power using a USB-C connector. Up to six peripherals can be connected via a single connection.

      4. ThomH

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        > I would be more interested if they allowed >1 monitor to connect (where the monitors use DP).

        The base M1 supports two monitors. The Pro and Max support four. The Ultra supports five.

        No version of the M1 is limited to a single monitor.

        However, this may be the faintest praise that anybody has ever posted, and I'm happy to admit that it took several minutes of searching to navigate Apple's confusing naming. Shouldn't the 'Max' be the best one by definition? And who are the better chips for, if not 'Pro's?

        Nevertheless I remain very happy with my M1 Mini.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

          > Shouldn't the 'Max' be the best one by definition?

          And given three sizes of fries, shouldn't "medium" be the middle one by definition?

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

            Not if they have any former Starbucks executives in marketing..

            :)

      5. mdmaus

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        How does it make sense to 'suspect' benchmark results if the alternative figures come from a source known to currently have problems on the M1 processor? Handbrake on M1 'works' but it's far from optimal, e.g. GPU rendering is still a work in progress. Wait until the work is finished before making comparisons

        The fact is, we're seeing astounding results on the M1 where processes are optimised for that environment. The ridiculous advertising from competitors like Intel only serves to underline the fact that they don't have any substantial answer (yet).

    2. Cuddles

      Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

      Sounds like you're comparing the wrong generation. Yes, Apple's brand new chip beats AMD's from 2019. AMD's from 2022 still beats Apple's from 2022 in multicore, and is only just behind in single core:

      M1 Ultra - https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/13330272

      Threadripper 3970X - https://browser.geekbench.com/processors/amd-ryzen-threadripper-3970x

      Threadripper 5975WX - https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/10531340

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        "Sounds like you're comparing the wrong generation."

        I don't *think* any M1 supports any real ECC functionality either or at least I haven't seen it mentioned, maybe due to the type of memory it's using. Which is odd because if you're going on about "workstation" or "studio", then data integrity is always paramount (or course Threadripper also lacks a full ECC feature set as well).

        It is an impressive SoC though, no denying that. *IF* all performance laptop/2-in-1's switched to it, it would appear to be a massive improvement. I'm less of a fan of Apple than I am of Microsoft, but it is what it is and it certainly isn't worse than Intel's offering (currently, "Rapids" aside). Battery life it going to be worse though, certainly not better by any means. However, I suspect if you "need" one of these you really don't care (accordingly like most in this market, including me if I needed one).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

        It would seem so, but hey, impressive show even against the newer one.

    3. Daniel von Asmuth
      Gimp

      Re: Threadripper? Deadripper more like.

      With those figures, the new Mac Studio may be about as fast as the 2019 Mac Pro, but it offers far less RAM and apparently no PCIe slots.

  2. Tom Reg

    M2

    Waiting on the M2 - single core performance boost, along with shortcoming fixes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: M2

      Wouldn’t expect too much of a boost. Physics gets in the way.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: M2

      Don't wait too long.

      Once you get to the M25 it will all slow down again.

      :)

  3. Mayday Silver badge
    Gimp

    Mac Studio

    Looks nice, to the point where I'm thinking of getting one.

    I'm hoping that the RAM/Storage is modular and not soldered to the board so I can incrementally upgrade when the need arises. I'm also not holding my breath on this one. I'll wait for iFixit's teardown.

    As for the potential Mac "Pro". It's probably going top be made of borderline obsolescent bits by the time it comes out, just like every other "Pro". As much as I like Apple stuff (yes, as in me, if you read this and like different things than what I do then that's ok, it really is) I cant see the Pro being that great, and costing way too much for what it is. Again.

    1. tubedogg

      Re: Mac Studio

      RAM is part of the SoC package. It's not user-upgradeable. It's unlikely (potentially outside of the forthcoming Mac Pro, though that also seems doubtful) that Apple will ever have user-upgradable RAM in any of their M-chip series of devices. It's built to have unified RAM to increase performance.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Mac Studio

        Hearing this reminds me of the Amiga and all its dizzying array of memory types: Chip RAM, Fast RAM, Slow RAM. I mean, what happened to NUMA?

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Mac Studio

      RAM is fixed forever by fundamental design of the Apple ARM M-series system-on-chip.

      Same as you can't upgrade the RAM in your TV remote, it's all on-chip.

      The sad part is that the storage is all soldered in too. It's a single-board computer, less upgradable than a Raspberry Pi.

      1. Mayday Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Mac Studio

        Ahhhh thanks for that x2. Makes sense

        Looks like I'm sticking with laptops for a while then (yes I know I cant upgrade these either, but the use case differs). I would have got the Studio and a lappy if I could upgrade the studio, looks like it's lappy only now.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Mac Studio

        The RAM is fixed, unless you're mad enough to de-solder the existing chips, and replace them. It's been done before.

        1. Lazlo Woodbine

          Re: Mac Studio

          Not sure even that is possible with the M1 chips, the RAM is a fundamental part of the M1 chip package

      3. Dave 126

        Re: Mac Studio

        You don't keep data you care about in just one place. The Thunderbolt IO bandwidth is such that you don't need to keep eg video files on the internal storage - you keep it on your external redundant storage solution.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mac Studio

      It's probably going top be made of borderline obsolescent bits by the time it comes out, just like every other "Pro"

      Really? They tend to be so ahead of the market that you can usually count on them to last quite a few years - my last Macbook Pro is still in use by someone who just needed "a Mac", despite being some 6 years old, and the only reason I want to replace my current one is because it's the last Intel one which still needs a 160W power supply - its M1 equivalent uses at most half of that.

      1. Rob Telford

        Re: Mac Studio

        I only retired my 2012 'Cheesegrater' Mac Pro from front line service with Photoshop and Lightroom in December last year.

        I reckon ten years' use is pretty good for what was apparently an 'obsolescent' machine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mac Studio

          Still using a 2008 MacPro on a daily basis. Still use a lot of 32bit programs.

          Running 24/7. Only issue is random usb disconnects.

          I can see this outlasting me.

          However, I am looking at getting the Studio Max to replace the mini that is also in use all day, every day.

          1. Lazlo Woodbine

            Re: Mac Studio

            My home daily computer is a 2012 Mac Mini Server, it runs Big Sur just fine.

            Prior to me it was running 24/7 providing file server duties to a fleet of iMacs.

            I didn't used to be a fan of Macs until I realised just how long they last

            1. Marty McFly Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Mac Studio

              +1 to hardware longevity.

              Out of three 2011 Mini's, two are still in service. One recently developed RAM errors on RAM that tests good in the other machines.

              It would be nice to still get OS upgrades. I am VERY grateful Apple doesn't keep changing the UI with every OS release. Sure, these older Mini's don't have the latest features. However, I don't feel like I have to re-learn everything when I use them. The children in Redmond could take a lesson here (ref: Win11, Win10, Win8, Win7, etc...)

            2. Crypto Monad Silver badge

              Re: Mac Studio

              > My home daily computer is a 2012 Mac Mini Server, it runs Big Sur just fine.

              With Dosdude patcher? I thought Catalina was the last Apple-supported OS on that hardware.

          2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Mac Studio

            I had one of those in my mac-using days. Probably the last good Mac desktop: a function-first case design, internally expandable, could be placed under a desk easily, and (surprisingly for Apple) it wasn’t priced at a multiple of competing systems (I think my 2x Xeon model cost about 25% more than an equivalent HP at the time).

            This new thing is neither fish nor fowl. The low-end model is actually pretty decent for someone who needs more than the €1000 M1 mac Mini and cannot leave the world of Apple, but more than doubling the price of the top Mini to get to a €2200 entry-level Studio is a real deterrent. (I suspect some of this pricing is supply-chain related, but I also don’t expect Apple to drop the prices when things improve, either..)

            But it’s the upper-spec “Ultra” one that has no use-case that I can see: it’s a sort-of workstation CPU, but you can’t expand the RAM or storage, and it runs an OS that is poorly supported by vendors of the sort of software you normally need a workstation to run. At €4,500+, no rational purchaser would buy one. (especially as it lacks the “tech furniture” appeal of the Mac Pro)

            But, looked at in the hermetically-sealed bubble of Apple’s product-range, it does fulfil a function - it bridges the chasm in price between the midrange Mac Mini and the workstation Mac Pro, whose €6500 entry-price for an 8-core Xeon system with just 32 GB of RAM is nothing short of offensive.

      2. Smirnov

        Re: Mac Studio

        "t's probably going top be made of borderline obsolescent bits by the time it comes out, just like every other "Pro"

        Really? They tend to be so ahead of the market that you can usually count on them to last quite a few years"

        No, they weren't. Neither Mac Pro was anything special compared to workstations from other manufacturers, aside from that you needed the Mac Pro to (legally and with support) run Mac OS.

        I still have a 2010 Mac Pro sitting here, but even when it was new it wasn't in the same class as the HP z800's and Dell Precision T7500's we had which offered more expandability, better maintainability, better reliability and (funny enough) lower price.

        The main reason why so many people still run the old cheesegrater Mac Pros is because the successor (trashcan) was a massive design failure and the 2019 Mac Pro is excessively priced, even for an Apple product (and now with Apple Silicon being all the rage, it's a zombie product, i.e. walking dead).

  4. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Apple sold (sells?) Intel boxes with 1536 GB. Except 1536 GB are bloody expensive. And they have SSDs with 7.4GB/sec bandwidth. I wonder how fast an app that used to use the RAM would be when swapping instead using 7GB per second for awapping

    1. Quando

      RAM bandwidth on the M1 is 400/800GB/s (Max, Ultra), so SSD is still a lot slower. Workloads that need truly random access to large data sets will still be a problem.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      1536 GB of RAM is expensive no matter who sells it.

      Safe to say Mac Pro will support much more RAM than Macs so far. The LPDDR5 stacks they use can scale much larger than the ones Apple has used so far. Theoretically they could offer a Mac Pro with as much as 8 TB of RAM using the largest possible LPDDR5X stacks, though even 1 TB would be enough to satisfy 99% of Mac Pro customers.

      The downside is that you can't expand after purchase, but that's the trade off for the 2 TB/sec + of memory bandwidth a Mac Pro using LPDDR5X will provide.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Solutions that need more than available ram haven’t suffered so far.

      Was it 16 streams of 8k 422 profile that it can display at once?

      Did they release the drive bandwidth figures?

      It’s got to be on par with the pro max or a bit more.

      I guess if you need to chump through the data in ram then you’ll need a different computer.

  5. 45RPM Silver badge

    I like the look of it but…

    …I really want something I can tinker with. At the very least, I want to be able to add storage and PCIe cards in the box - not externally. Ideally, I’d like to be able to add memory too - and I accept that there’ll be a performance penalty vs the on die memory.

    In a perfect world, I’d like the CPU to be on a card which I can replace - just as I did on my 9600, G3, G4 and Mac Pro. But that ain’t gonna happen (not the end of the world though, any more than the lack of CPU upgrade for my SE/30, Quadra 650 or G5 was the end of the world. I can live with that limitation)

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: I like the look of it but…

      There are benefits to compact and highly integrated, but sometimes you just need a big ugly box to put lots of cards in. I’ve never understood why a company with basically unlimited resources is so happy to neglect that side of things.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        Because you don't matter.

        Apple want consumers. Preferably consumers with large egos and larger wallets.

        They don't care about content creators and they actively despise developers.

        For example, it's impossible to legally build for iOS or macOS in a rackmount machine. Let alone a blade server. Everything is desktop or worse, laptop.

        1. Ace2 Silver badge

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          Care to back any of that up with actual facts?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: I like the look of it but…

            Read some Apple documentation.

            Look at the specs and licensing agreements.

            The only possible explanations are that Apple are utterly incompetent, or that professional content creation and application development (beyond single hobbyist dev) is so low down on their list that it may as well not be there.

            I don't think Apple are incompetent.

            1. Tim99 Silver badge
              Gimp

              Re: I like the look of it but…

              I suspect that the (very?) small number of customers who really need more than a 20-core CPU 64-core GPU, 2.5TB/s interprocessor bandwidth, 32-core Neural Engine at 22 trillion ops/sec; 40Gb/s 128GB RAM with 800GB/s memory bandwidth; 6 x Thunderbolt 4 ports; 10Gb Ethernet; and an 8TB SSD in a single box that can drive five 4K-6K screens, will probably be looking at a customized Linux. Apple may well have decided that they were never going to get that market.

              If someone really needs that sort of specification ($8,000/£8,000) to drive perhaps 3 times that cost in displays, they are probably not going to be too worried about having to replace it after 2 years (<$16/day). I certainly didn't need anything like that when I was working, but that daily cost would have been covered by about 5 minutes of my billable time...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I like the look of it but…

                There's also the tiny detail that you can hook Macs up to a linux cluster backend for the heavy lifting - that's what a lot of the movie and animation industry apparently does and Apple is quite happy to support that - I think the hooks for it are even integrated in Final Cut Pro et al.

                1. Korev Silver badge
                  Alien

                  Re: I like the look of it but…

                  The shift from x86 to ARM might complicate this as running x86 Linux containers will need to go through the virtualisation layer. Can someone in the field confirm/deny?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I like the look of it but…

                    I think you don't quite know how animations are processed..

                    1. Korev Silver badge

                      Re: I like the look of it but…

                      Hence why I was asking...

                    2. Dave 126

                      Re: I like the look of it but…

                      A native renderer runs on whatever OS it is built for on whatever metal. I.e, a renderer built for Linux on x64 hardware with GPUs and relevant drivers. This software receives its instructions and data from a companion application which the user has on their workstation.

            2. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: I like the look of it but…

              I must be dreaming then - somehow I managed to get paid for developing applications on a Mac.

        2. Tim99 Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          It's not what you meant, but: sonnettech.com - Or, off-premise: macminicolo.net...

        3. Proton_badger

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          But Apple sells a rack mount Mac Pro?

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        6 Thunderbolt 4 ports, each at five gigabyte per second. Why would you need any _cards_?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          'coz there would otherwise be nothing to moan about?

          :)

        2. W.S.Gosset

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          > Why would you need any _cards_?

          The usual response from the pointyend-spec users every time I've heard this point raised over the years, is:

          Because they've already got them, they've already paid a fortune for the spec they need, and they don't want to be forced to buy them all again in a new formfactor just to upgrade the compute component.

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: Because they've already got them

            Yep... I say looking that the large box of old I/O cards that sit on the shelf in my garage. There is even a SCSI-1 card with cables and a terminator. Sadly, there is nothing left to connect it to. The last device, a Tape drive when Phut a few years ago.

            That lot will be taken to the WEEE recyclers one day along with a Sun E450 and a few monitors.

            There comes a time when you have to let go of all the old crap that you have collected over the years.

            I've been gradually sorting through things since the pandemic began. There is some light at the end of the downsizing tunnel.

            Perhaps you should try it yourself sometime.

            1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

              Re: Because they've already got them

              If you have a Sun E450 that you want to get rid of and are anywhere near me (that there London, UK), then I'd love to have it!

        3. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          Portability: what if I need to up and move my setup on short notice? now I have to unplug everything, pack it all up into one or more boxes, and then hope I remember where everything was plugged into when I get to where I'm moving it to. If it's all in one box, NBD.

          That having been said, the RackMac that Sonnet Tech sells combined with a gatorrack or similar road case would probably fit the bill in some manner...

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: I like the look of it but…

            FYI: The thunderbolt ports are identical. You don’t need to remember what to plug in where.

            1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

              Re: I like the look of it but…

              According to the Apple presentation, the ports at the front of the Mac Studio "M1 Max" version are 10Gbps USB-C, not Thunderbolt 4 - although of course the connector is physically identical.

              However the "M1 Ultra" Mac Studio has all Thunderbolt ports (4 rear, 2 front).

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          They're 40 Gbs not 5.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        I’ve never understood why a company with basically unlimited resources is so happy to neglect that side of things.

        I think the market for people who want to mess about with computer innards is negligibly small when compared to the market for switching the thing on and getting on with work.

      4. jgard

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        You answered it yourself. They only have unlimited resources because they have consistently delivered what customers want for decades. And really, why on earth would they want to create a big ugly box for you to stick a load of your own hardware in? They would have to make big changes to their OS to accommodate the stuff you connect, and completely overhaul their support model and product philosophy. What's in it for them?

        If you want to stuff loads of tech into a box, there are far cheaper and much more appropriate ways of doing it.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: I like the look of it but…

      Why do you want to add PCIe cards? There are no supported third party GPUs for the Mac, and given how high they scale their build in GPU there never will be.

      With those TB4 ports, unless you want a 100GbE interface or something like that, PCIe slots really serve no purpose. I think the Mac Pro may have a few x4 slots for additional SSDs, but that's probably about it. Even then a lot of customers would probably be expanding via external arrays rather than wanting additional internal storage.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        Yeah, SFP+ might be a thing they want to consider if they're aiming at studio work. Wouldn't be too big an ask either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          Or SFP28/56 can't see much need for anything faster than that, but QSFP formats are also available. Depending on your business, at these Gb+ rates your cabling infrastructure could be quite a mélange of fibre and copper, resulting from how and when your needs evolved and why. After a few rounds of upgrading twisted pair standards, you might have decided to say to heck with ripping the ceilings and trunking out every 5 to 10 years just to be able to meet a new UHD standard and put in fibre-to-the-desktop instead. Pick your own transceiver.

          1. J. Cook Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: I like the look of it but…

            Regarding fiber to the desktop:

            Single mode? Multi-mode? OM 1, 2, 3,4, or 5? And what connectors on the end, there's something like 5 to pick from? (In order smallest to largest: MT, LC, ST, FC, SC)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I like the look of it but…

              Could be any of them. Pick your own transceiver. At least SFP+/28/56 / QSFP etc is relatively standard.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          There are various Thunderbolt fiber solutions, for both fiber channel and ethernet. TB4 goes up to 80 Gbps, so it can handle everything short of 100GbE. I suppose it could handle that, if you are OK with your top speed being more like 75 Gbps instead of 95 - which is probably the case for most.

      2. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: I like the look of it but…

        I have no idea, but isn’t that the point? Nobody can ever find a use for anything that needs significant bandwidth, since there’s no HW to host it.

        10Gbps sounds like a lot, but it totally chokes the memory-to-memory perf of a Sonnet puck, for example. I realize eGPU is no longer supported by Apple, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t write your own driver.

        Even 40Gbps isn’t impressive. To keep a 2x100GbE NIC fed you need PCIe Gen4 x16. Do most people need 2x100GbE? Of course not, but there’s no reason Apple couldn’t at least enable people to try.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I like the look of it but…

          Uncompressed UHD video?

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: I like the look of it but…

            Uncompressed UHD video?

            Nope, even something really out there like 4Kp120 4:4:4 at 48 bits is less than 50 Gbps. Most studios are passing around "lightly" compressed video at under 1 Gbps these days, for video going full lossless just isn't worth the expense when the finished product is going to be compressed anyway.

            1. Charles 9

              Re: I like the look of it but…

              That seems to be the sensible way to go these days. As long as the algorithms are similar, gradual compression through the different steps of the process should result in minimal additional artifacts versus the final compression step itself.

  6. Spamolot
    Alert

    27" iMac is DEAD

    You might have missed it, but the ever-popular with the WFH crowd 27" iMac is deleted from the new lineup. RIP old friend.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

      27” iMac is gone, and the £1500 apple display is actually the cheapest 5k display you can buy in the UK. You can get 4k around £350, 4k+ for £500.

    2. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

      I’m pretty peeved about it. My 2014 iMac is no longer supported and won’t run Monterey, but it still beats a brand new M1 mini on 3D perf. Having to buy a mini and a monitor and an external webcam feels so clunky. (It used to be fine until they trained us to like things better all-in-one…)

      I’ll be interested to see how people like the monitor. Sounds to me like a huge price premium for what you get.

      1. Lazlo Woodbine

        Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

        I'm actually liking the spec of the monitor, especially with the webcam, high-end speakers and USB/Thunderbolt hub.

        £1500 is probably a stretch, but for the money it seems OK

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

          Funny thing is as it has an A13 it probably has more compute power than many low end PCs, wonder how long it takes hackers to get it to boot up as a standalone system.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

            I mostly want to know what the point of that chip is. Most other displays, including Apple's ones, manage to push pixels onto a screen without a CPU for doing so. The GPU in the computer is already doing the complicated part. Nor is the screen processor needed for port passthrough or audio. Maybe I just missed it, but there appears to be no additional features that would use the CPU, and thus having it triggers my sense that Apple's got some weird plan involving it that I might not like.

            This might be due to their record with other peripherals. For example, their USB optical drive which, despite being really basic, has a bonus feature of not working on any computer not running Mac OS and any Mac that came with an optical drive of its own. It's not a strong protection, but when I borrowed it to read a disk on a Mac of mine whose optical drive got broken, I was surprised to see that, even though they were both Apple products, Apple had put in a sneaky feature to make it not work. You can make it work by sending the correct magic numbers to it when it connects, but don't buy one (turns out they still make it).

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

              A13 is cheap. Apple has a few hundred thousand somewhere behind a sofa cushion.

              Apple has said what they use this for: To have some serious AI capability for processing the video and the audio and to handle the speakers.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: 27" iMac is DEAD

                Except what processing are they doing to the video? The video has already been processed by the GPU to paint objects and decompress assets before the pixel data got to the screen. The video is in a completely uncompressed form by the time the A13 has a chance to do anything to it. Same with the audio; unless they're doing some equalizer thing to it, it's a set of streams that just need to be sent to the speakers. If they are doing an equalizer thing, they could do it with a simple audio processor which they're going to have anyway. Neither of those needs a hexacore CPU. I remain unconvinced.

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The Apple price

    The hidden cost of Apple products is that you have to purchase specifications for the future - there's no upgrading. If you pay only for what you need now, the price is great but the computer is a hindrance the moment you need more power. That's a poorly planned purchase. If you buy enough extra power to last you a year, the price goes way up but now you have that extra year of use. Only a year extra for all that $$$$. OK, purchase specs to cover the next 5 years. Now there's an extra digit on the price tag and your cost per year is actually going up.

    The other thing I greatly dislike about Apple is the locked-down OS. There's no tuning anything for different types of workloads. Tune swap - nope. Tune the Ethernet driver - not by much. Big ZFS raid - nope. Delete a hundred junk apps - nope. When Apple says your computer is old and they're not going to fix a nasty software bug, you might as well park it on the sidewalk with a "Free" sign. It's all more purchasing risk.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: The Apple price

      All Macs are easily upgradable by strategic use of eBay. That’s how it worked for many years. Storage is easily upgraded with a Thunderbolt RAID drive, LaCie sells 96TB, 7 drives can be chained, and there are six TB4 ports.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Re: The Apple price

        RAM upgrade not possible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Apple price

          And you have needed that how often?

          If you need a RAM upgrade you didn't plan properly at purchase time, sorry. It's not news that they cannot be upgraded, so if you think you need that, either don't buy a Mac or buy more of it when you purchase the machine.

          It's not rocket science, so stop the whinging already.

        2. confused and dazed

          Re: The Apple price

          I had some sympathy with this stance until the M series products came along. Now there is a valid functional/performance justification to have no memory upgrade possible. So long as you know it, you either choose an apple and plan accordingly or you go elsewhere. It's your choice.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: The Apple price

          "RAM upgrade not possible."

          RAM upgrade is easy. Put old Mac on eBay. Sell it. Buy newer model with more RAM from Apple.

          1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

            Re: The Apple price

            It would be nice to swap the SSD though. I would happily give up any (slight) performance benefit of soldered-on SSD for standard NVMe/M2 slots.

            The SSD is the bit which is most likely to fail and need replacing after extensive use. Plus, it's the part that falls in cost rapidly - buying 1TB in 2-3 years time may cost the same as 500G now.

    2. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: The Apple price

      How often have you replaced a cpu in a laptop recently?

      How often have you replaced a cpu in a desktop?

      The ram and ssd is annoying that it can’t be upgraded.

      The choice then is ram over ssd but enough internal ssd then a fast external 1.

      Cheap fast m.2 disks in an tb4 / usb4 enclosure are far cheaper than the internal ssd just not as fast,

      Photos, music, video and long term storage go on the external ssd, backups in an external spiny disk.

      Documents and desktop get backed up to iCloud.

      The internal drive stays largely empty except for apps and blended iCloud stuff.

      It’s no great hardship

    3. Screwed

      Re: The Apple price

      The number of times I have seen DIMMs ripped out and replaced because the original memory occupied all the slots! Drawers full of small DIMMs.

      The number of times I have seen processor upgrades precluded by changes to socket design.

      The number of broken pins I've seen on chips - including expensive processors.

      The two things I really want to be able to access are storage. Even then, I suspect it would be largely if the device requires repair. Far easier to take an SSD out than backup and restore. And ensures no-one can possibly access the data.

      And battery in devices which have them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Apple price

      The hidden cost of Apple products is that you have to purchase specifications for the future - there's no upgrading. If you pay only for what you need now, the price is great but the computer is a hindrance the moment you need more power. That's a poorly planned purchase.

      No, that merely means you're a poor planner. You know what the hardware can do, you know there are things you cannot change so you plan for it.

      I have always bought the next size up from what they offered by default and yes, that's more expensive. But I have as yet to run out of memory on any machine I bought - MacOS is a lot more memory efficient than Windows. As for tuning, MacOS seems to do pretty well on its own, about the only thing I occasionally do is clean out snapshots. They disappear after a few days by themselves, but I like things tidy.

      What I like about MacOS is that it gets out of the way - I can get things done without a lot of faffing around. Want to share an Internet connection? Two clicks and it's live. Remote control another machine on the network or even elsewhere? For MacOS, it's built in (just hidden in a weird place - Messages, Conversations, Ask to share screen) and all by default disabled for safety. Disk encryption? Click and it's underway, ditto for memory sticks where the encryption is so transparent you forget it's there until you plug it into another machine and it wants the password.

      You say restrictions, I say extreme usability - and yes, I use Linux too (I'd want nothing else on a server, OK, maybe FreeBSD but that too is more work than I need).

  8. short a sandwich

    No Mention. . .

    . . . of the £400 display stand then? The height and tilt version. Standards are slipping here.

    1. Screwed

      Re: No Mention. . .

      The Mac Studio is so small and light, there is no longer an opening to sell the Mac Pro wheels at £699.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Mention. . .

      Glad to see you're taking a stand here.

      :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done on the Ultra, but announcing new .. colours??

    I had a feeling Apple would build on the M1 chip, and they have. Their new Ultra chip is probably going to be the film industry’s darling because it has enough oompf for real time 4k editing, but I suspect that scientists needing massive analytics will probably want it too given just how much data it can churn through due to the interchip architecture. Impressive.

    However, I was utterly underwhelmed by the fanfare surrounding new .. colours. Really? A new phone colour is now worthy of the usual array of hyperbole (a small set of words with which you can play hyperbole bingo while watching: "excited", "amazing", "stunning"). If I had the time I'd score their half-annual presentations on just how often they used those words to the point that I've grown allergic to them - one of the reasons I rarely watch them (the other reason being that I don't want to watch 5 minutes worth of anticpation video, just for then to see an announcement of a friggin' colour).

    I'm fairly OK with Apple gear, but the very American hype and cult thing I can seriously do without.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Well done on the Ultra, but announcing new .. colours??

      I suspect that scientists needing massive analytics will probably want it too given just how much data it can churn through due to the interchip architecture. Impressive.

      Not with "only" 128GB of memory :)

    2. krf

      Re: Well done on the Ultra, but announcing new .. colours??

      Exactly my thoughts. I use Linux for programming and hobby stuff and Apple for day to day. But, when I watch an Apple event (and not just the 2022 one) and get the vision of the CEO of a multi-Trillion dollar company gushing over the color (purple, green, invisible, whatever) on a product as if it somehow greatly increased the usability or power... Well, it is ludicrous to say the least. Especially when next to a real announcement, such as the Studio.

  10. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    Oh the keyboard ….

    That folio keyboard for iPad Air …. I’ve got one with an iPad 8, it’s really, really nice, but £160???? Ouch.

    1. Screwed

      Re: Oh the keyboard ….

      I got a Logitech cover for my iPad Pro - which includes a keyboard. Inexpensive on eBay. And very convenient. Just a bit plastic rather than a nice finish such as leather.

      Got a previous model of the iPad as an Apple refurb (could be 2018, from memory), with 256 storage, and cellular, and the Logitech case, and a knock-off stylus/pencil, for only a few pounds more than the entry level iPad Air.

  11. tip pc Silver badge

    Return of the Quadra for the Mac pro

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Quadra

    So they said the pro will come later, we know about this magic interconnection, can it scale to 4?

    2 M1 ultras in 1 box would conceivably only be best by 2 m2 ultras that we can assume may arrive in 2024 (2x M1 ultras this year)

  12. Binraider Silver badge

    It's impressive, but I wonder where this sits in the workstation stack and product lifecycle? RAM-heavy applications e.g. my finite element analysis chew TB+ range RAM for breakfast. 3D CFD and thermal modelling of big objects get very large, very fast. Regardless of the processors's capabilities; I'd still be offloading such jobs to server racks. As a front end client to setting up the server - it's overkill.

    For video editing all those cores and 128GB will go a very long way - at which point it's a question of price competition with Threadripper, and maybe on form factor.

    Lot of people have already invested in Threadripper, and as such probably expect quite a few years out of them.

    So, while the launch is welcome and necessary in the transition from Intel; this is a product in the Apple lineup that I don't wholly understand who will be interested for reasons aside from shine factors. At least - not for a couple of years. When the current "lifecycle" runs out all of a sudden become much more interesting a product.

    Very much enjoying the M1 Max laptop. SIgnificantly better build quality than any vaguely equivalent X86 workstation-laptop. Understated design rather than plastic and go-faster stripes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who will be interested? Anyone who’s fixed energy tariff has run out the way things are going.

  13. itzumee

    "the iPad Air is available with either 64GB or 256GB of memory"

    Why not 128GB? I see Apple are up to their usual cynical marketing tactics...

  14. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    apple has fscked pros used to depending on macs with their move away from intel and discrete graphics cards - won't cope with twin 8k monitors - m1xxxxx is all a freaking disappointment so far unless they scale which surely (no, i'm not calling you shirley) must be their next move with 4, 8, 16 etc cpus interconnected else im never buying a mac again for professional video us that's for sure fsck you apple die a death illuminated by energy wasting and glowing red hot cpus from amd and intel paired with graphics cards up to the task of doing some actual professional grade work... fscking hell i hate apple, that cook dude has really screwed it's future in the professional video editing and effects space and that it doesn't look like it will change anytime soon cook smiles too much

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On the plus side, Apple keyboards support full stops, commas and even capital letters.

      Admittedly you still have to split things into paragraphs yourself, but it would help. Just try it - you'd be amazed at how legible your posts become.

      /s

      1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

        I wasn't expecting my post to get by the weird and strange nitpicky admin, who hated my ironic rhymes so muc, that he's still limiting my posts three years later, hence didn't think it was worth the extra effort. Here's some of what I might have posted: ...,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,..,..,,.,,.,.,.,.,.,..,.,..,.,.,.,.

    2. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

      I also fscking hate Apple fanbois. No, Jobs wasn't the Second Coming, he wasn't even his dad's first coming and the best thing jobs did was GO! Steve Jobs ruined the internet with his "Smart" phones and "Pads" for dumb people. (Cue avalanche of downvotes)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Steve Jobs ruined the internet with his "Smart" phones and "Pads" for dumb people

        1 - smartphones existed WAY before Jobbs developed the iPhone - I should know, I have been using them pretty much from the day they were invented, including that brief return to brick format, the Nokia Communicator (the second one was better, format wise). What Jobbs did was what Apple does well in general: making IT far easier to use.

        2 - iPads are for people who consume more data than they produce. Why lug around a keyboard if you don't need it?

        To judge people by the gear they use means you're either lazy, dumb or both.

        1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921
  15. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Already burned with an M1, not jumping again...

    My M1 Mac Mini jerks & hesitates playing a Quicktime video. Same video, same display plays just fine on my circa-2011 Intel Mac Mini. You can Bravo-Sierra me with all the benchmarks you want. However when something as simple as video playback herks & jerks I know all the so-called tests are are meaningless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Already burned with an M1, not jumping again...

      Wait, you're actually using Quicktime? For real?

      You know there are better and more flexible solutions out there, no?

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: Already burned with an M1, not jumping again...

        Apple still bundles QuickTime so you can't blame people for not immediately knowing which third-party video player should replace it. I actually see most people drop video files onto Chrome and hope for the best.

        Even VLC is far from perfect. Its various filters to prevent late frame stutter also prevents it from playing variable frame rate videos, which some surveillance cameras generate.

    2. krf

      Re: Already burned with an M1, not jumping again...

      Quicktime??? Really? Do you also use a teletype for your printer? You either have a bad M1, bad load of Quicktime, or bad Video. I can assure you that the M1 can definitely play any video out there perfectly. I have 4tb of them to prove that statement.

      Get yourself a real player.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Already burned with an M1, not jumping again...

        Do you also use a teletype for your printer?

        Wait, there are others?

        :)

  16. Irony Deficient

    And we connect it to die with our innovative custom packaging architecture.

    The unasked question, of course, is why they’d want it to die with their innovative custom packaging architecture.

  17. iced.lemonade

    Back to the traditional target audience

    It seems that Mac lineup is now targeting the traditional target audience once again.

    Mac Mini, Macbook Air - mainly educational clients;

    Macbook Pro, Mac Studio - mainly content creator, like graphic designers and video makers.

    The M1 is engineered exclusively with those users in mind - instead of being a general purpose chip that is all-rounded for business people and the like. I am not saying that users wishing for a general purpose machine won't buy them; they are just not M1's target.

    Once Apple machines was sold in small shops with a colorful Apple logo, and there were standard pamphlets of the current attractions that is placed at a corner (like, Macintosh Performa, Power Macintosh, etc)... Apple was a much less profitable outfit in those times, but I remember that kind of cult feelings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to the traditional target audience

      No idea what you think “business people” do that isn’t already more than covered by the base M1. Most business users have really shitty low spec i5 at best. Far far worse than the M1 at everything.

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