During the March presentation, Apple announced the new M1 Ultra chip "with higher performance" than the Intel Core i9-12900K at lower power consumption. The company also said that the 64-core GPU delivers better performance than the flagship NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 while consuming 200W less power.
The M1 Ultra chip is two M1 Max chips connected using an Apple technology called UltraFusion. The M1 Ultra offers 128GB of graphics memory and has seven times as many transistors as the base M1 chip. The Apple M1 Ultra chip contains 114 billion transistors.
Verge decided to test a Mac Studio desktop equipped with the most powerful M1 Ultra SoC (20-core CPU, 64-core GPU) paired with 128GB of combined memory. Tests showed that a system with a Core i9-10900 and 64GB of RAM scored a Geekbench 5 Compute score of 215,034 compared to 83,121 for the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra (102,156 using Metal).
Verge also launched Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and the RTX 3090 also outperformed the M1 Ultra with 142fps at 1440p and 114fps at 4K. The competitor only managed 108fps and 96fps respectively.
The current version of the $6,199 Mac Studio delivered nearly the same performance as the previous-generation $14,000 Mac Pro.
Previously, a blogger took apart the new Mac Studio from Apple and estimated the size of the M1 Ultra thermal cover. The expert found two non-standard SSD connectors inside the motherboard, which do not fit a branded drive from Mac Pro. Apple has so far stated that Mac Studio cannot be upgraded: there are no separate compatible SSD drives available for sale.