Apple Is Building a Brand New ‘Mac Studio’ Computer

It fits somewhere between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro.
Mac Pro Cube Credit: svetapple.sk
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A new report suggests that Apple may be planning to introduce an entirely new computer into its Mac lineup for the first time in over a decade.

According to information obtained by 9to5Mac, there’s something called a “Mac Studio” in the works, which is said to be loosely based on the Mac mini, but with substantially more power under the hood. Internally, it has the code name “J375.”

While this may simply be Apple’s attempt to rebrand the higher-end Mac mini — the one that’s still running an Intel CPU — it sounds like there’s a bit more to this. Sources say that Apple intended for this to be more than just a Mac mini, with the highest-end configuration packing in something even more powerful than the M1 Max.

However, the report notes that there are actually two versions of this Mac Studio in the works. In addition to the ultra-powerful high-end unit, which sounds like it could be more of a “Mac Pro mini,” Apple is also working on a unit that will feature the same M1 Max chip found in the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

It’s anybody’s guess at this point what chip Apple may plan to pack inside the top-tier Mac Studio; there have been rumours of a 12-core “M1 Ultra” that’s supposedly earmarked for the iMac Pro, but there’s also the possibility of “stacked” M1 Max configurations. These would combine two or four M1 Max chips to create an “M1 Max Duo” or “M1 Max Quadra” configuration, the latter of which would boast 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores.

We’ve also recently heard that Apple’s special projects group is testing even more insanely powerful chips.

It’s been widely assumed that this “Quadra” configuration would be coming to Apple’s replacement for the Intel Mac Pro, but now it’s sounding like that could instead be this new Mac Studio system.

We’ve been hearing reports for several months now that Apple has been working on a smaller Mac Pro, but that’s also been up against reports that Apple may not be quite ready to call it quits on the Intel Mac Pro. After all, as great as Apple Silicon is, multi-million-dollar professional studios aren’t necessarily ready to bet on it just yet. Intel — and the powerful AMD Radeon GPUs that accompany it — are still the tried-and-true solutions that guarantee compatibility with the demanding apps used by studios like Disney and Pixar.

Releasing the new Mac Pro as the “Mac Studio” would help to avoid blurring the lines, while giving Apple more time to work on smoothing the real Mac Pro into the realm of Apple Silicon.

It’s still unclear exactly what Apple’s plans are, however 9to5Mac believes that we aren’t going to see a new higher-end Mac mini. Instead, Apple will stay with the current Mac mini with an M1 chip, likely eventually moving it to an M2, while the Intel Mac mini simply rides off into the sunset once Apple releases the Mac Studio.

Although we’re expecting Apple to announce at least one new Mac at its Peek Performance event next week, this latest information suggests that there won’t be a Mac mini joining the party. The Mac Studio isn’t expected to be ready for a preview until at least June, where it might make an appearance at WWDC. This means that most likely the Mac portion of the event will simply focus on the much-rumoured M2 MacBook Pro.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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