A look at the GPU inside Apple’s latest mini-PC

Mac Studio is said to deliver incredible performance in a small, unpretentious package, but can it actually outperform gaming rigs twice as much?

The Mac Studio is said to deliver incredible data performance in a small, unpretentious package. Despite the tame exterior, the internal specifications alone sound powerful enough to surpass gaming rigs that are twice as large, but there are other factors to consider. If Apple merged Mac Pro and mini, and then turned the features up to eleven, the result would be Mac Studio.

Mac Studio was officially announced during the Apple event on March 8, and the company claimed that it can surpass most of its top models in the long run. Mac Studio runs on what Apple considers “most powerful chip in a personal computer, ”Which explains that not only is it capable of delivering first-class performance, it is also capable of doing so while using less energy than most desktops. All of this gives a very tempting picture when it comes to gaming, but can it actually be the best monstrous desktops designed specifically for that purpose, even without a dedicated GPU?


Related: The Apple M1 Ultra Early Benchmarks are out and they’s amazing

In terms of performance, Mac Studio uses Apple’s M1 Max Chip, which is a 10-core CPU with an integrated 24-core GPU and 400 GB / s max memory bandwidth, according to the official specifications. Apple also gives buyers the option to choose the more powerful M1 Ultra chip, which basically doubles these numbers to a 20-core CPU with a massive 800 GB / s memory bandwidth. By comparison, most advanced desktops use an Intel Core i9 processor, which comes with 16 cores and a maximum memory bandwidth of 76.8 GB / s. These numbers dictate the amount of processing power and operations working simultaneously, and the amount of data it can read at any given moment. In other words, higher numbers generally provide better performance.

How will Mac Studio perform in actual game scenarios?

Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra Chip

Apple claims the testing resulted in the Mac Studios M1 Max chip alone showing similar GPU performance as an Intel Core i9-powered desktop using the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, with only a third of the power consumption. Furthermore, its more powerful M1 Ultra chip, with top performance, even surpassed a rig running Nvidia’s beastly BFGPU. Sure, it sounds promising on paper, but when used in a real-world game scenario, things are seldom that simple considering the various factors that come into play.

Given that some dedicated GPUs come with their own power supply and cooling systems independent of the processor, they will already have the advantage of generating extra power in data output, compared to Mac Studio which runs all the graphics processing power and cooling system on a single chip. This is the case with software, as some games are better optimized to run dedicated GPUs and operating systems such as Windows. On the other hand, Mac Studio will have to rely on programs like Boot Camp for games that do not support macOS, which is largely the case with the latest PC titles. While Mac Studio will undoubtedly be better at gaming compared to previous Macs, consumers will not really know if it is competing with actual gaming PCs until they are able to make the comparisons themselves and they will be able to do so from March 18th.

Next: Apple Studio Screen Costs $ 1599: Is It Worth Buying?

Source: Apple, Intel

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