Apple's M1 ultra 8 times more powerful than M1, leaves AMD & Intel behind


Apple has given the Mac computing lineup a massive generation leap forward, incidentally without even taking any of the MacBook or the iMac options through a wardrobe change. The underlying reason for us saying that is the new M1 Ultra chip – the most powerful, and the newest, among the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max. The M1 Ultra stands out because of something called the UltraFusion, and the results are likely to remain unmatched for a long time. The debut comes as part of a new Mac, called the Mac Studio desktop. In the hierarchy of the M1 series chips, the M1 is now the entry spec option, followed by the M1 Pro, with the M1 Max being the most powerful till now. Just for perspective, the Apple M1 was first released in Macs in November 2020, and remained the most powerful chip in the computing space for a considerable amount of time. Succeeded by its more powerful siblings later, there are still many Intel and AMD chips that struggle to match that sort of performance. According to Apple’s calculations, the M1 Ultra is 8 times more powerful than the M1 chip

This brings us to the UltraFusion architecture, which eliminates the need to have a motherboard component as the foundation for connecting two processors to work in tandem as one. That method has performance losses, including increased latency and inconsistent bandwidth. Apple has instead used what they call a ‘silicon interposer’ to connect two M1 Max chips to become one – and that’s called the M1 Ultra. This design allows Apple to double the specs from each M1 Max. There are 20 CPU cores on the M1 Ultra (16 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), 64 graphics cores, a 32-core Neural Engine and up to 128GB RAM. “By connecting two M1 Max die with our UltraFusion packaging architecture, we’re able to scale Apple silicon to unprecedented new heights,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, in an official statement. Apple confirms that the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra can play back up to 18 streams of 8K (ProRes 422 encoding) video, something no rival chip is capable of handling.

Speaking of the Mac Studio desktop, the design inspiration of the Mac Mini is quite clear, at least as far as the form factor is concerned. But that is perhaps where the similarities end. The chassis will host multiple connectivity options, including 4 Thunderbolt ports (that’s USB-C, for most intents and purposes), two USB Type-A ports, HDMI and a 10Gbps ethernet jack. The Mac Studio will be available with M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips – prices start ₹1,89,900 in India. The M1 Ultra will make it even tougher for Intel and AMD to respond. This will be another chip, alongside the other M1 chips, that will vie for the same demographic that would otherwise buy a computing device powered by the top-spec Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors. Apple confirmed Intel’s worst fears – they say a Mac Studio powered by the M1 Ultra is 1.9X faster than a Mac Pro with a 16-core Intel Xeon processor, and 1.6X faster than a Mac Pro with a 28-core Xeon processor.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)