Apple M1 Ultra: Release date, Price, Specifications, and everything you need to know
At its March 2022 hardware presentation, Apple unveiled the M1 Ultra, a brand-new high-end CPU. The goal of this chip is to boost performance, most likely in desktop PCs for creative workers. Apple claims that this is the world’s largest processor, a feat it achieved by linking two M1 Max dies with a novel connector, allowing Apple to achieve great performance without sacrificing efficiency because the two chips are basically talking to each other.
The huge M1 Ultra processor boasts an 8,192-execution-unit GPU, putting it on par with an RTX 3080 based on paper specs alone. However, we’ll have to wait and see how it performs in our tests. The M1 Max, like the rest of the M1 family of CPUs, is a system-on-a-chip, which means that the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, and media engine are all housed on a single chip.
The M1 Ultra, unlike Apple’s other SoCs, will only be available in the Mac Studio. In the United States, an M1 Ultra-powered Mac Studio will cost $3,999, £3,999 in the United Kingdom, and AU$6,099 in Australia. It will be released on March 18th.
To be sure, the M1 Ultra’s GPU, with its 64 cores, is the highlight of Apple’s March 2022 announcement, but the CPU itself is nothing to scoff at. The M1 Ultra features a 20-core CPU with 114 billion transistors, making it one of the densest computers ever designed for a consumer device.
There are 16 high-performance cores and four efficiency cores in those cores. If you’re not familiar with the M1, this uses the same hybrid chip design. The high-performance cores are used to tackle large workloads that require as much brute force as possible, while the high-efficiency cores are used to handle background activities as they arise.
In comparison to the original M1 chip, which debuted in 2020, the M1 Ultra features many more performance cores per efficiency core. Apple’s original computer chip had eight cores split in half, with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. The MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro were able to effectively balance performance and battery life as a result.
Battery life isn’t an issue because the M1 Ultra is solely used in the Mac Studio. Because Apple doesn’t need to consider battery life, it can prioritize packing the CPU with high-performance cores without adding more efficient cores. Power is the name of the game for the creative professionals who will be using the M1 Ultra.
This is also the Mac CPU that will handle up to 128GB of RAM, indicating that it’s designed for creative-class tasks like video editing and rendering, which require a lot of RAM. That may seem like a lot of memory, but if you require that much RAM, you will require it, and there will never be enough.
Apple was able to accomplish this by combining two M1 Max dies and connecting them with an UltraFusion connection. Apple claims that this has double the connection density of any technology – we’ll see if that’s true – but it does mean that there’s 2.5TB/s of bandwidth between the two main CPU chiplets, which should effectively eliminate lag or make it so minor that it’s unnoticeable.
Apple also published a graph comparing the M1 Ultra’s raw CPU performance to that of the Intel Core i9-12900K, which has a similar CPU. Apple claims that it can double the performance of the Core i9-12900K while using far less power. That would be remarkable if accurate, given the Intel Core i9-12900K is currently the most powerful mainstream desktop processor on the market, according to our tests. We’re curious to see how they stack up against AMD’s new Threadripper Pro processors.
That’s the only Mac that has the new M1 Ultra processor, which isn’t surprising. Because the amount of power that anything like this would demand is simply too much for a mobile form factor, the M1 Ultra is unlikely to ever make its way into a MacBook Pro – at least not in its current incarnation.
Even while the M1 Ultra is more expensive than the Mac Pro, it is still far more accessible. To be clear, the M1 Ultra will only be necessary for creative professionals who rely on a lightning-fast processor for their livelihood. As a result, the Mac Studio should be regarded as a high-end device. Both of these factors contribute to the $3,999 price tag, despite the fact that you could obtain a comparable Windows 11 desktop for less money.