While the Mac Studio has been well-received since its launch last spring, Apple may not launch an upgraded model in the foreseeable future. Bloomberg reports that the upcoming Mac Pro with Apple Silicon is “similar in functionality to the Mac Studio,” and it could be redundant for Apple to sell both the Mac Pro and the Mac Studio.
New Mac Studio
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that he doesn’t expect a new version of the Mac Studio “in the near future.” Instead, the more likely outcome is that Apple “never updates the Mac Studio” or that it waits until the M3 or M4 generation of Apple Silicon chips.
If Apple waits a few more years, it could be able to “better differentiate the Mac Studio from the Mac Pro.”
I wouldn’t anticipate the introduction of a Mac Studio in the near future. The upcoming Mac Pro is very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio — and adds the M2 Ultra chip rather than the M1 Ultra. So it wouldn’t make sense for Apple to offer an M2 Ultra Mac Studio and M2 Ultra Mac Pro at the same time. It’s more likely that Apple either never updates the Mac Studio or holds off until the M3 or M4 generation. At that point, the company may be able to better differentiate the Mac Studio from the Mac Pro
The new Mac Pro with Apple Silicon is expected to launch this year with M2 Ultra and M2 Max chip configurations. Apple was initially planning an “M2 Extreme” chip that was essentially two M2 Ultra chips fused together, but that idea was scrapped due to cost and production concerns.
The new Mac Pro is expected to retain a design that’s identical to the current model. This means it will be a tower machine with ample internal space for potential expandability. The question, however, is what users will be able to expand. So far, it’s been reported that the Apple Silicon Mac Pro will not support expandable RAM, but will support expandable SSD size, GPU, and networking capabilities.
Another benefit of the Mac Pro’s design over the Mac Studio is better cooling. The Mac Studio has faced some criticism for its cooling system. With a much larger design, the Mac Pro could offer a better cooling systems and sustain max performance levels for longer periods of time.
As a Mac Studio fan, this is disappointing to read. The Mac Studio offers incredible performance in a small footprint. The Apple Silicon-powered Mac Pro will obviously offer incredible performance itself, but the tower design is going to be a dealbreaker for many people. This leaves people who want top-tier Mac performance, but without that tower design, in the dark.
The new M2 Mac mini lineup could be considered an option for people who would’ve bought the base model Mac Studio. There is a relatively small gap in performance (primarily GPU differences) between the M2 Pro Mac mini and the base model M1 Max Mac Studio (or eventually M2 Max Mac Studio).
Still, I like the Mac Studio as a computer and I like the “Studio” branding quite a bit. I hope Apple eventually does launch a new version of the computer — even if it’s not this year.
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