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New Mac Studio and Mac Pro announced with Apple M2 chips

The Mac Studio and Mac Pro both get Apple M2 models, making them the most powerful Macs to date

During its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2023, Apple has unveiled a brand new M2 Ultra chip, as well as the first two Macs to use it: the latest Mac Studio and Mac Pro. Rounding out the Apple lineup’s transition to Apple-made silicon, these two new Macs make some serious performance promises, as well as bearing equally serious price tags.

The new Studio Mac replaces the M1 Max chip used by its predecessor with the improved M2 Max, which apparently offers up to 25% better performance. That’s not the only model on offer, however, with the M2 Ultra chip announced earlier in the conference also making its way to the Studio Mac. Apple claims that this powerful processor delivers twice the performance of the M2 Max and is 20% faster than the M1 Ultra. Everything else gets a boost, too, with a 30% faster GPU, 40% faster neural engine and more RAM.

Since this transition to Apple silicon is all about power, it’s no surprise that Apple was keen to point out that the Mac Studio is 6x faster than the fastest Intel-based Mac. This extra power will apparently allow for video processing up to 50% faster than the previous version, as well as Octane X rendering up to 3x faster and being able to play back a whopping 22 streams of 8K ProRes video simultaneously. The HDMI ports have also been upgraded to a higher bandwidth, allowing the Mac Studio to link to six Pro Display XDR’s simultaneously.

While the Mac Studio has a couple of options for the processor, the new Mac Pro has gone all in on the M2 Ultra, with every variant shipping with the new chipset. Available in either a tower or rack configuration, the Mac Pro features two HDMI ports and eight Thunderbolt ports – two on the front and six on the back. Depending on your configuration, the Mac Pro can be specified with up to 192GB of unified memory, but don’t even think about the damage that’s going to do to your bank balance.

Perhaps more significantly, the Apple Mac Pro represents the first time that an Apple silicon machine will support PCI-E expansion cards, allowing power users to expand the capabilities of the system. Apple didn’t supply any details at launch of supporting cards or manufacturers, though, so it may be some time before we see a fully fledged expansion card ecosystem.  

Prices, as you might fully expect, are pretty high. The Apple Mac Studio starts at £2,099, and you can place your order today with units expected to arrive on 13 June. The Mac Pro starts at £7,199 in the tower configuration and £7,699 in the rack configuration, though no release date has been confirmed.

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