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Apple 2023 Mac Pro M2 Ultra/Max and Apple 2023 Mac Studio M2 Ultra/Max

re: Mac Pro

Apple today announced the 2023 Mac Pro M2 Ultra/Max and Apple 2023 Mac Studio M2 Ultra/Max. Incredibly powerful machines.

The full size Mac Pro is essentially the guts of the Mac Studio housed in a large professional chassis.

The two offerings are distinguished only by their available ports, having otherwise identical performance capabilities with the same CPU, GPU, and memory options. The choice mainly comes down to whether you need PCIe slots and/or more Thunderbolt ports.

Apple M2 Max vs Apple M2 Ultra

re: Apple M1 Ultra CPU: Technological Tour de Force Joining Two M1 Max Chips on the Same Die with UltraFusion

The Max/Ultra thing is a replay of the Apple M1 Max vs Apple M2 Ultra.

The Ultra is essentially two conjoined M2 Max chips, doubling the CPU cores, GPU cores, and maximum memory, now up to 192GB.

Don’t expect double the performance from Ultra, even though it doubles-up on CPU/GPU/memory. Something around 25% is more realistic on most tasks.

2023 Mac Pro vs 2019 Mac Pro

Total system architecture change—Apple Silicon vs Intel. Builtin GPU cores vs separate video card.

Three (3) USB-A ports on the Apple I/O card, not great, but there are now 8 Thunderbolt ports.

Video support rocks with 8K high frame rate support including HDMI.

A key difference vs 2019 Mac Pro is no video card occupying a 16X slot as on the 2019 Mac Pro (the M2 Ultra/M2 Max chips have their GPU onboard with the CPU and memory). So you can stuff more good stuff into the chassis. Effectively it gives you another 16X PCIe slot.

Bandwidth for PCIe cards: reports are that the PCIe v4 delivers up to 24GB/sec on an OWC Accelsior 8M2 SSD. Dang!

Reader Don H writes:

Listing all the extras that come with the new Mac Pro versus a Studio, you’d get this:
- PCIe slots (the biggest difference)
- Two more Thunderbolt ports
- One additional Ethernet port
- Internal USB-A and SATA ports (mostly useless)
- Keyboard + mouse

Intangible:
- Slightly better cable management
- Possibly quieter computer (although the Studio might be silent enough)

Is that worth an additional $3000? I’d say it’s definitely worth an extra $1000, if that was the price difference. $2000? < rocks hand back and forth and says “Ennngh…”>.

$3000? You’d really need to put those PCI slots and extra TB ports to work, but if you really needed them, then there’d be no substitute.

There are a million ways to rationalize an upsold purchase, but here’s an easy one; If you get three years out of the new machine, then the price difference works out to be only $1000 more per year. (But that’s a dangerous tactic, because one could apply that to *every* purchase and pretty soon they’ve exhausted their savings across a hundred different purchases.)

MPG: Don is correct on the differences; I was keeping it simple on the core advantages.

Salespeople call it “breaking it down to the ridiculous” as in “pennies per passenger mile”. This is how a $1000 option for a car becomes “only 25 cents a day!”. But I doubt very much that Don H would be tricked into those cool chrome wheels that way.

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