Apple Mac Studio price, features and everything you should know

All you need to know about Mac Studio

Apple’s latest event has a lot going for creators and professionals. The Studio Mac is a powerful desktop aimed at musicians, artists, photographers, video editors, and 3D modeling. It is the first (currently, the only) device powered by the stellar M1 Ultra. Apple has paired the Studio Mac with an equally capable 27-inch Studio Display.

What is a Mac Studio desktop?

Mac Studio is a desktop computer similar to the Mac mini. That said, the Mac Studio is chunkier than the Mac mini. You get to choose between M1 Max and the new M1 Ultra chip. The Mac Studio with class-leading connectivity features.

Furthermore, the support for 18 streams of ProRes video makes it excellent for a studio setup. Let us take a closer look at what and all Mac Studio has to offer.

Apple Mac Studio specifications

Mac Studio is available in an array of configurations. You can create the perfect combination by customizing processor, unified memory, and SSD storage.

HardwareMac Studio with M1 MaxMac Studio with M1 Ultra
ProcessorM1 Max with
10-core CPU
24-core GPU
16-core Neural engine
M1 Ultra with
20-core CPU
48-core GPU
32-core Neural Engine
Unified Memory 32GB, expandable up to 64GB64GB, expandable up to 128GB
Storage512GB SSD expandable up to 8GB2TB SSD, expandable up to 8TB
ConnectivityThunderbolt 4
USB 4 (up to 40GB/s)
USB 3.1 (up tp 10Gb/s)
2x USB-A ports
HDMI port
10Gb Ethernet
3.5mm headphone jack
Thunderbolt 4
USB 4 (up to 40GB/s)
USB 3.1 (up tp 10Gb/s)
2x USB-A ports
HDMI port
10Gb Ethernet
3.5mm headphone jack
AudioIn-built speaker
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI port
In-built speaker
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI port

Design and thermals

Design and Thermals of Mac Studio

The Mac Studio is undoubtedly bigger than the Mac mini. Talking numbers, it is thicker and 3.7-inch tall. The rounded aluminum chassis and precision machined speaker grill impart a sleek look. Putting things into perspective, Mac Studio is still pretty compact for all it offers.

The first question that pops up in my head is, what about thermals? The Mac Studio is one of the most powerful desktops with a 7.7-inch footprint. Apple has worked extensively on the thermals. The double-sided blowers that suck air and cycle through the internal components are a clever bit. The hot air dissipates from the bottom.

Nearly 4000 perforations on the top and bottom make this possible. It is an impressive design and engineering feat (considering it works as advertised.) I didn’t like that Mac Studio is only available in silver color.


Performance of Mac Studio

Mac Studio leaves no stones unturned when it comes to performance. You can get Mac Studio with Apple’s most powerful M1 Max and M1 Ultra chipset. The newly announced M1 Ultra chipset can drive 18 streams of 8K ProRes. Looking for performance? The 128GB unified memory has got you covered.

What do you get with M1 Max Mac Studio?

Mac Studio with M1 Mac comes with a 10-core CPU, up to 32-core GPU, 64GB unified memory, and 400GB/s bandwidth. The chipset offers-

  • Up to 2.5x faster CPU performance compared with the top-of-the-line iMac.
  • Up to 50 percent faster CPU performance than Mac Pro with 16-core Xeon processor.
  • Up to 3.4x faster GPU performance when compared with iMac.
  • Up to 3.7x video transcoding speed when compared with 27-inch iMac.

What do you get with M1 Ultra Mac Studio?

The M1 Ultra comprises a 20-core CPU, up to 64-core GPU, 128GB unified memory, and a whopping 800GB/s memory bandwidth. The chipset offers:

  • Up to 4.5x better graphics performance as opposed to 27-inch iMac.
  • Up to 3x faster machine learning when compared to 27-inch iMac.
  • Up to 3.8x faster CPU performance when compared with 10-core 27-inch iMac.

Ports and connectivity

Ports and connectivity of Mac Studio

The Mac Studio comes with a swath of connectivity ports. You get Thunderbolt 4 ports, an Ethernet jack, USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a standard headphone jack. Below is a list of connectivity ports on Mac Studio:

  • 4 x Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • 2 x USB-A ports
  • HDMI port
  • 10GB Ethernet jack
  • Pro audio headphone jack

That’s not all! Apple has improved accessibility with two front-facing USB-C ports. This makes it easy to plugin and removes frequently used accessories/devices. The Mac Studio supports up to four Pro Display XDRs. Or you can check out the latest Apple Studio display.

Mac Studio pricing and availability

Base Mac Studio with M1 Max starts at $1,999. You get an M1 Max chip with a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. You get 32GB of unified memory and 512GB of SSD storage on the storage front.

Meanwhile, the base Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chip is priced at $3,999. Here you get an M1 Ultra chip with a 20-core CPU, 48-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine. Memory options include a 64GB unified memory and 1TB of SSD storage. Mac Studio is up for order in the US. However, shipping starts from March 18.

Is Mac Studio upgradable?

You can upgrade Mac Studio via build to order before purchasing. Apple starts building these customized orders only after you place them. In all likelihood, the build-to-order products take longer to deliver. Below is a list of all available Mac Studio options and associated additional costs.

HardwareConfigurationAdditional Cost
ProcessorM1 Max with 10-core CPU
32-core GPU
16-core neural engine
M1 Ultra with 20-core CPU
48-core GPU
32-core Neural Engine
M1 Ultra with 20-core CPU
64-core GPU
32-core Neural Engine
Memory/RAM64GB unified memory$400
128GB unified memory$800
SSD Storage

Above mentioned cost is additional to the base variant. Top-of-the-line Mac Studio with M1 Ultra costs $7,999. You will only get a power cord in the box. Other accessories, including a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, need to be purchased separately.

Return of Mac Trashcan?

I vividly remember the redesigned Mac Pro released in 2013. It resembled a trash can, and thus, the name stuck. The redesign meant Apple had to stack powerful CPU and GPU in a compact space. As a result, the thermal management was not up to the mark. Soon enough, users reported frequent thermal shutdowns and performance issues. 
We hope Apple has sorted out thermal management on the latest Mac Studio. The top and bottom vents are similar to the ones on the older Mac Pro. Having an M1 chip should bring down heating concerns.

That’s it!

I loved the number of ports added to the Mac Studio. In addition to it, this comes with powerful chips, making it all the more powerful! What do you think of Mac Studio? Share in the comments below.

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Mahit is an engineer by Education with a corporate stint to his name. He ditched the corporate boardroom wars in favor of the technology battleground. For the better part of a decade, he has worked for popular publishing outlets, including Dennis Publishing, BGR India, AppStorm, MakeUseOf, and iPhonehacks.

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