Apple rocked the computing world with its M1 chip, the first “Apple Silicon” hardware that turned the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and other computers into portable powerhouses. Last year, the company followed that up with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which delivered even more performance for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Now, Apple is adding a new member to the family: the M1 Ultra.
The M1 Ultra is essentially two M1 Max chips put together, making it even better suited to intensive creative applications like video editing and 3D rendering. During its launch event today, Apple revealed that the M1 Max chips housed a secret feature: a die-to-die interconnect, dubbed “UltraFusion,” that allows it to connect multiple chips. Conceptually, it’s similar to AMD’s Infinity Fabric, which ensures speedy communication between the CPU, GPU and other components.
The 20-core CPU of M1 Ultra delivers 90 percent higher multi-threaded performance than the fastest available 16-core PC desktop chip in the same power envelope.
For the most graphics-intensive needs, like 3D rendering and complex image processing, M1 Ultra has a 64-core GPU — 8x the size of M1 — delivering faster performance than even the highest-end PC GPU available while using 200 fewer watts of power.
Apple’s unified memory architecture has also scaled up with M1 Ultra. Memory bandwidth is increased to 800GB/s, more than 10x the latest PC desktop chip, and M1 Ultra can be configured with 128GB of unified memory. Compared with the most powerful PC graphics cards that max out at 48GB, nothing comes close to M1 Ultra for graphics memory to support enormous GPU-intensive workloads like working with extreme 3D geometry and rendering massive scenes.
The 32-core Neural Engine in M1 Ultra runs up to 22 trillion operations per second, speeding through the most challenging machine learning tasks. And, with double the media engine capabilities of M1 Max, M1 Ultra offers unprecedented ProRes video encode and decode throughput. In fact, the new Mac Studio with M1 Ultra can play back up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video — a feat no other chip can accomplish.4 M1 Ultra also integrates custom Apple technologies, such as a display engine capable of driving multiple external displays, integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and best-in-class security, including Apple’s latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot, and runtime anti-exploitation technologies.
M1 Ultra integrates custom Apple technologies, such as a display engine capable of driving multiple external displays, integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and best-in-class security.
macOS and Apps Scale Up to M1 Ultra
Deep integration between hardware and software has always been at the heart of the Mac experience. macOS Monterey has been designed for Apple silicon, taking advantage of M1 Ultra’s huge increases in CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth. Developer technologies like Metal let apps take full advantage of the new chip, and optimisations in Core ML utilise the new 32-core Neural Engine, so machine learning models run faster than ever.
Users have access to the largest collection of apps ever for Mac, including iPhone and iPad apps that can now run on Mac, and Universal apps that unlock the full power of the M1 family of chips. Apps that have not yet been updated to Universal will run seamlessly with Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology.
Users have access to the largest collection of apps ever for Mac, and Universal apps unlock the full power of M1 Ultra.
Another Leap Forward in the Transition to Apple Silicon
Apple has introduced Apple silicon to nearly every Mac in the current lineup, and each new chip — M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and now M1 Ultra — unleashes amazing capabilities for the Mac. M1 Ultra completes the M1 family of chips, powering the all-new Mac Studio, a high-performance desktop system with a reimagined compact design made possible by the industry-leading performance per watt of Apple silicon.
Each chip in the M1 family — M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and now M1 Ultra — unleashes amazing capabilities for the Mac.
Apple Silicon and the Environment
The energy efficiency of Apple’s custom silicon helps Mac Studio use less power over its lifetime. In fact, while delivering extraordinary performance, Mac Studio consumes up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours less energy than that of a high-end PC desktop over the course of a year.5
Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net-zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every chip Apple creates, from design to manufacturing, will be 100 percent carbon