May 18, 2022

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Devindra Hardawar

Apple unveils M1 Ultra, its most powerful chip yet

Apple rocked the computing world with Its M1 chipThe first “Apple Silicon” device turned MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and other computers into portable power units. Last year, the company followed up with M1 Pro and M1 Maxwhich gave more performance to MacBook Pro 14 inch and 16 inch. Now, Apple is adding a new member to the family: the M1 Ultra.

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The M1 Ultra is two M1 Max chips combined together, making it more suitable for intense creative applications such as video editing and 3D rendering. Apple revealed during today’s launch event that the M1 Max chipset contains a secret feature: an intermittent connection, dubbed “UltraFusion,” which allows it to connect multiple chipsets. Conceptually, it is similar to AMD’s Infinity Fabric, which ensures fast communication between the CPU, GPU and other components.

Apple M1 Ultra x86 performance comparison chart

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Apple says UltraFusion threading can handle up to 2.5TB of bandwidth, so it shouldn’t result in any performance slowdowns between two M1 Max deads. Altogether, the M1 Ultra contains 114 billion transistors, and it supports up to 128GB of unified memory with 800GB/s of bandwidth. As you’d expect, its specs are basically what happens when you stack two M1 Max chips: the Ultra features a 20-core CPU (16 high performance and 4 high efficiency cores), and a 64-core GPU. The company claims that it offers graphics 8 times faster than the original M1 chip.

Apple Mac Studio

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Considering that the M1 Ultra will debut in Apple’s new Mac Studio A compact desktop computer, you don’t have to worry about battery life at all. However, Apple says the Ultra is at least more efficient than the competition, because it uses up to 65 percent less power than a 10-core x86 chip. Of course, Apple didn’t reveal which CPU it was comparing the M1 Ultra to, but the numbers make sense given what we’ve seen of the M1 Max so far.

Catch up on all the news from Apple’s Peek Performance event here!

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