Apple M1 Ultra CPU: a Technological Tour de Force Joining Two M1 Max Chips on the Same Die with UltraFusion
Consult with Lloyd on your computer or photographic purchase, backup strategy, archival and storage strategy, etc.
I speculated on the M1 Max “duo” and “quad” idea in 2021:
- Will We Have an Apple M1 Max Duo and Quad in 2022? Intel-Based Solutions to Become Performance Dinosaurs Overnight?
- Reader Comment: “what Apple did with the M1 Max, it’s very impressive... Intel is really in deep trouble”
- Can the Apple M1 Max chip be Scaled to 25 CPU Cores and 80 GPU Cores by late 2022 via TSMC 3nm Technology?
- Apple M1 Max Chip: Apparent Die Size of 432 mm^2 Dwarfs Just About Everything Else, Far Beyond Any Competitor
We now have a 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU M1 Ultra and 32-core Neural Engine. But as suspected, not as a single-chip solution.
Groundbreaking UltraFusion Architecture
To build M1 Ultra, the die of two M1 Max are connected using UltraFusion, Apple’s custom-built packaging architecture. The most common way to scale performance is to connect two chips through a motherboard, which typically brings significant trade-offs, including increased latency, reduced bandwidth, and increased power consumption.
However, Apple’s innovative UltraFusion uses a silicon interposer that connects the chips across more than 10,000 signals, providing a massive 2.5TB/s of low latency, inter-processor bandwidth — more than 4x the bandwidth of the leading multi-chip interconnect technology. This enables M1 Ultra to behave and be recognized by software as one chip, so developers don’t need to rewrite code to take advantage of its performance. There’s never been anything like it.
Real-world performance testing is particularly important with such a design in terms of whether you can really get 2X the performance with chips joined at the hip this way. Given the incredibly high bandwidth available, scalability issues are very unlikely.
Get your Apple Mac Studio
MGP recommends the M1 Ultra because getting twice the CPU performance for a 42% upcharge is a huge value. But with a 4TB SSD (recommended), the M1 Ultra becomes a 31% upcharge, and only 26% upcharge if you also go with 128GB memory. If you need 4TB SSD and 128GB memory, then the Ultra chip is a huge value at only 25% higher price for twice the CPU performance.
Thank-you to B&H Photo which will be sending the $5199 Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra 20-core CPU / 48-core GPU/ 128GB / 2TB SSD for review. This is exactly the configuration I would buy excepting a preference for a 4TB SSD.
Save the sales tax with B&H Payboo. Please and thank you for ordering through B&H with these links. It helps make my reviews possible, such as the recent review of the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro.
View all Apple Mac Studio at B&H Photo.
Accessories and storage
Suggestions for most things you’ll need.
Big fast silent external storage: up to 8/16/32TB OWC Thunderblade.
Fast compact SSD: OWC Envoy Pro EX or OWC Envoy Pro FX
Backup drives, single drive: OWC Mercury Elite Pro 1TB to 18TB capacities
Port expansion: OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock (with Mini DisplayPort support), or OWC Thunderbolt Dock
Port expansion, simple: OWC USB-C Travel Dock E
SDXC card for camera, or small add-on: OWC Atlas S Pro
Apple Mighty Mouse @AMAZON (Magic mouse SUCKS)
Apple Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad @AMAZON