Apple today announced the M1 Ultra, made specifically for its new Mac Studio desktop computer. It is most powerful ARM-based custom processor to date.
Apple has basically connected two M1 Max chips with a new interconnect architecture that is called UltraFusion. A silicon interposer is used in it that provides 2.5TB/s of bandwidth. It helps to minimize the latency and bandwidth problems compared to having two separate chips connected through the motherboard.
M1 Ultra features 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine, each one being double that of the M1 Max. All the features are enhanced twice as compared to the M1 Max.
Apple has also given some performance numbers. The M1 Ultra claims to deliver 90% higher performance for the same power consumption as an Intel Core i9-12900K. It can also match Intel’s peak performance by using 100W less. The new model is also quite simply much more powerful than the 12900K in multi-threaded tasks. In terms of GPU performance, the 64-core model expends 200W less than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 at its peak performance while also outperforming the NVIDIA card.
The memory bandwidth of the M1 Ultra reaches up to 800GB/s. The M1 Ultra can be configured with up to 128GB of unified memory. Just like other M1 models, this entire pool of memory is available to both the CPU and the GPU.
The media engine block has been doubled for the M1 Ultra which enables it to perform quite interesting functions including being able to play back up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video simultaneously. It can show support for up to five displays, four of which can be the 6K Pro Display XDR along with a fifth 4K display.
As far as software is concerned, M1 Ultra will appear to applications as a single processor, enabling all programs to run and scale automatically without having to be altered. Furthermore, macOS has been designed to work with the hardware, so it can also automatically take advantage of the better performance of the chip.