The Looks-Like-Mac-Mini Edition Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Apple’s Mac Studio Is A New Desktop For Creative Professionals, by Monica Chin, The Verge

Apple has announced the Mac Studio, a desktop system that looks like the Mac Mini on the outside but packs a lot more power on the inside. The Mac Studio features both Apple’s M1 Max chip as well as a new, even more powerful processor, the M1 Ultra.


Apple claims that the Mac Studio with M1 Max will perform 50 percent faster than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Xeon and 2.5 times faster than a 27-inch iMac with a 10-core Core i9. The M1 Ultra configuration is purportedly 3.8 times faster than that 27-inch iMac and up to 60 percent faster than the Mac Pro.

Apple Discontinues 27-Inch iMac, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

Now with the 27-inch Studio Display that can be connected to any Mac, Apple has seemingly felt there is no need for a large-sized all-in-one desktop computer. The 24-inch ‌iMac‌ is now the only all-in-one desktop computer offered by Apple.

New Mac Studio And Studio Display Change Mac Buying Calculus, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The Mac Studio/Studio Display combination renders the immensely popular 27-inch iMac obsolete, and Apple dropped it from the lineup. The company also said that it has only one more model to bring to Apple silicon—the Mac Pro—but that’s an announcement “for another day.”

These moves radically change the calculus for putting together a Mac system that meets a wide variety of needs. [...] Trimming the iMac line to just the 24-inch model makes it clear that professionals should move on from the 27-inch iMac and instead focus on pairing the Mac that best meets their needs with a Studio Display.

Apple Launches Standalone Optional Silver-and-black Magic Trackpad, Magic Keyboard, And Magic Mouse, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

This is the same redesigned Magic Keyboard Apple launched during last year’s Spring Loaded event, but now in a new silver-and-black color.

Bond Two GPUs Together

Apple Announces M1 Ultra: Combining Two M1 Maxes For Workstation Performance, by Ryan Smith, AnandTech

The important point to take away here is that Apple has become the first vendor to bond two GPUs together with such a massive amount of bandwidth. This is what’s enabling them to take a stab at presenting the two GPUs as a single device to the OS and applications, as it allows them to quickly shuffle data between the GPUs as necessary.


The net result is that Apple has announced a SoC that has no peer in the industry across multiple levels. Going multi-die/multi-chip in a workstation is a tried and true strategy for CPUs, but to do so with GPUs will potentially put Apple on a level all of their own. If their transparent multi-GPU technology works as well as the company claims, then Apple is going to be even farther ahead of their competitors both in performance and in developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to build such a chip. In that respect, while Apple is trailing the industry a bit with their UltraFusion 2.5D chip packing technology, what they’re attempting to do with it is more than making up for lost time.

Apple Announces New Flagship M1 Ultra Desktop Processor For Its Most Powerful Computers, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The key to the M1 Ultra is the Apple’s UltraFusion architecture — effectively, Apple is fusing together two separate M1 Max chips into a single, massive SoC, thanks to the 2.5TB/s inter-processor connection that the M1 Max offers. That design lets Apple double virtually all the specs from its M1 Max chip on the M1 Ultra: 20 CPU cores (16 performance and four efficiency), 64 GPU cores, a 32-core Neural Engine for AI processing, and up to 128GB of RAM. All told, Apple says that the M1 Ultra offers eight times the performance of the regular M1.

Polishing Cloth Not Included

The 27-inch Studio Display Is Apple's First Consumer Monitor In Over A Decade, by Jason Cross, Macworld

The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch monitor with 5K resolution and P3 color, much like that found in the 27-inch iMac. It also includes a 12MP camera with Center Stage support, six-speaker audio, three-microphone array, and several USB-C ports. All these features are managed by a built-in A13 processor.

Starting at $1,599, it’s far more affordable than the Pro Display XDR, though still clearly a premium high-end product for enthusiasts.

Apple Studio Display Tidbits: No ProMotion, Optional Stand And Nano-texture, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Even though we’ve seen ProMotion expand to new products recently, it is not a feature of the new Studio Display. Apple says the Studio Display supports a 60Hz refresh rate, just like the panel that it has used in the 27-inch iMac and that LG uses in the LG UltraFine.

Apple’s Studio Display Supports The 5th-gen iPad Air, But Not The 4th-gen – Here’s Why, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

USB 3.1 Gen 1 is limited to a single external display with up to 4K resolution at 30Hz, far below the native resolution/refresh rate of the Studio Display. It’s unclear if connecting the iPad mini or fourth-generation iPad Air will result in any sort of display output, but it is clear that these devices are not officially endorsed by Apple as compatible.

Apple’s 3-meter Thunderbolt 4 Cable Is A Steal At $159, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple is listing a new 3-meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable on its store for $159, which is arguably far too much for a cable. But given the scarcity of other Thunderbolt 4 cable options over 2 meters in length, it might be your only option.

Apple's $1599 Standard Studio Display Does Not Come With A Polishing Cloth, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

On its website, Apple says that only the nano texture Studio Display will come with a polishing cloth in the box, alongside the display itself and a one-meter Thunderbolt cable.


Apple Refreshes The iPad Air With The iPad Pro’s M1 Chip, 5G, by Samuel Axon and Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica

While the A14 was never exactly slow for most tablet needs, this upgrade should result in notable performance gains, presumably bringing the Air in line with the higher-end iPad Pro in terms of raw speed.

Apple’s New iPhone SE Features 5G, A Faster CPU, And More, by Samuel Axon and Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Like its 2020 predecessor, the new SE closely resembles the iPhone 8 first released back in 2017. To keep the cost down, the new SE still has a home button and a fingerprint reader, unlike other modern iPhones. But it's got some newer things on the inside. Namely, it has Apple's A15 system-on-a-chip, which was previously seen in 2021's flagship iPhone 13.

These Are The Newest iPhone MagSafe Cases And Apple Watch Bands For Spring, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The new collection of cases includes silicone models in Lemon Zest, Blue Fog, Eucalyptus, and Nectarine. These new cases are specific to the iPhone 13 lineup.

Apple Takes Swing At Sports With Major League Baseball Rights Deal, by Brian Steinberg, Variety

Under terms of the new pact, Apple will have exclusive rights to telecast two “Friday Night Baseball” games each week — totaling about 50 per year — in the U.S. and to eight countries overseas, via its Apple TV Plus. Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the pact during a live-streamed company event. Apple’s pact will start as soon as Major League Baseball and its players’ union settle a labor dispute that has already shortened the league’s next season, and raised concerns over how many games will be played in 2022. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Apple Previews New Version Of iMovie Ahead Of April Release, by Joe Wituschek, iMore

During the iPad Air segment of the keynote, the company revealed that it will be releasing a new version of iMovie in April and gave us a sneak peek of what is to come with the new version.

One of the things coming with the new version of iMovie is Magic Movie, a new feature that will, with little effort, intelligently assemble "styled, edited videos complete with titles, transitions, even music."

Bottom of the Page

So, I was wrong. Apple did use the Studio name. And it is indeed great news that Apple is expanding the kind of Macs one can buy: a more powerful desktop computer that doesn't come with it's own display, or come in a huge case that doesn't belong on the desktop.

On the other hand: no Mac Mini with a M1 Pro, and no iMac with a larger screen. If the rumors are to be believed though, Apple may well be not updating any Mac with Apple Silicon until the Mac Pro is launched later this year. So, there may still be more variety of Mac computers yet to come.


Thanks for reading.