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Apple M1 Ultra CPU GPU Performance: Fastest CPU and GPU in a PC/Mac in History? With Ultra Low Power Consumption

Consult with Lloyd on your computer or photographic purchase, backup strategy, archival and storage strategy, etc.

See MPG analysis of the Apple Mac Studio and suggested storage and accessories for the Apple Mac Studio.


Apple M1 Ultra chip as two joined M1 Max

Quoting Apple below, I have little reason to doubt the claims given the outstanding results seen with the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max, which were mighty impressive. And in 2023, we can reasonably expect a 40-core CPU and 128-core GPU offering. It is hard to see how Intel can compete with this timeline.

If the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra does not crush my 2019 Apple Mac Pro with 28-Core Intel Xeon W, then I’ll be surprised. I am especially keen on seeing how it does with focus stacking with the M1 Max lagging by only 25%, implying that the 28-core Mac Pro will lag the Mac Studio M1 Ultra by 50%. Ditto for Adobe Lightroom and everything else, by 10% to 200%.

That said, optimization of software can make a huge difference to real-world performance, and some specialty software is still not M1-native and will run much slower in emulation.

Apple unveils M1 Ultra, the world’s most powerful chip for a personal computer

PRESS RELEASE March 8, 2022

Unprecedented Performance and Power Efficiency

M1 Ultra features an extraordinarily powerful 20-core CPU with 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. It delivers 90 percent higher multi-threaded performance than the fastest available 16-core PC desktop chip in the same power envelope.

Additionally, M1 Ultra reaches the PC chip’s peak performance using 100 fewer watts.2 That astounding efficiency means less energy is consumed and fans run quietly, even as apps like Logic Pro rip through demanding workflows, such as processing massive amounts of virtual instruments, audio plug-ins, and effects.

Apple M1 series chip lineup

For the most graphics-intensive needs, like 3D rendering and complex image processing, M1 Ultra has a 64-core GPU — 8x the size of M1 — delivering faster performance than even the highest-end PC GPU available while using 200 fewer watts of power.

Apple M1 series chip lineup

Apple’s unified memory architecture has also scaled up with M1 Ultra. Memory bandwidth is increased to 800GB/s, more than 10x the latest PC desktop chip, and M1 Ultra can be configured with 128GB of unified memory. Compared with the most powerful PC graphics cards that max out at 48GB, nothing comes close to M1 Ultra for graphics memory to support enormous GPU-intensive workloads like working with extreme 3D geometry and rendering massive scenes.

The 32-core Neural Engine in M1 Ultra runs up to 22 trillion operations per second, speeding through the most challenging machine learning tasks. And, with double the media engine capabilities of M1 Max, M1 Ultra offers unprecedented ProRes video encode and decode throughput. In fact, the new Mac Studio with M1 Ultra can play back up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video — a feat no other chip can accomplish.4

M1 Ultra also integrates custom Apple technologies, such as a display engine capable of driving multiple external displays, integrated Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and best-in-class security, including Apple’s latest Secure Enclave, hardware-verified secure boot, and runtime anti-exploitation technologies.

The energy efficiency of Apple’s custom silicon helps Mac Studio use less power over its lifetime. In fact, while delivering extraordinary performance, Mac Studio consumes up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours less energy than that of a high-end PC desktop over the course of a year.5

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