Apple has done it again, and have been working on a brand-new brand line of Mac Studio
I decided to wait a day or so before writing about next Tuesdays hotly anticipated Apple event – Peek Performance. I am glad I did now, as new stories have suddenly started to crop up suggesting that a whole new lineup, or tier, of Mac Pros is in development and could well be with us later this year. And what about the rumours of a new Mac Studio?
Let us first look at monitors. Based on all reliable speculation, I, and many others, have written about the prospect of monitors added to the lineup this year. Since the demise of their Cinema Display in 2014, if you wanted an Apple display on your desk, then you’d be in for a hefty investment. The only choice you currently have would be the Pro Display XDR. With a stand, which is always kind of useful, that would set you back a wallet splitting £6000 (or dollars). Now, with all the talk of more Mac minis coming this year, a more affordable display seemed the natural development. It made total sense. Release some new Mac minis, that of course ship with no peripherals, and offer a stunning new display to go with it. As you’ll know if you’ve read any of my recent blogs, I have always been a massive admirer of the mini. The only thing ever holding me back, was finding a display that was comparable to the Retina displays that I have become so accustomed to. The latest stories, however, seem to suggest that they are going in totally the opposite direction, and making an even more pro, Pro display!
Its development codename has been J327, and it will come with the A13 chip inside. It is unclear whether the new display would replace the current incumbent or become a new addition to the range. It is set to be a 7K display, but the final size unconfirmed. The Pro Display XDR 32 – inch is a 6K (6016 × 3384) panel with 218 pixels per inch (PPI). The new display may well have a higher pixel density of 245 PPI. The other option is that the panel may increase to 36 – inches but retain the 218 PPI from the current display. I am not ruling out that we could see both monitors available. This would be a throwback to the multiple size lineup of the Cinema Display days. As for the other specs such as peak brightness and contrast ratio, I guess we’ll have to wait.
The display will be called The Studio Display, and it forms only part of this new range of pro machines.
The brains behind the Studio
So, the whole ethos of the studio range is, that it would sit neatly between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, and be based largely on the Mac mini. Two versions are in development, with the project named J375. They will utilise the same M1 Max chip introduced in the 2021 MacBook Pro models, while the other will use an Apple Silicon chip that’s more powerful than the M1 Max.
Size wise, Bloombergs Mark Gurman described a new version of the Mac Pro that will feature a smaller chassis. To my mind, that could well be the Mac Studio. If speculation is to be believed, then the Mac Studio could end up with 40 CPU cores and up to 128 GPU cores.
There may be design changes too, with an increased port selection, and the size may well end up sitting somewhere between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro.
This entire Studio range will be aimed at professional users. In pleasing the very core of Apple’s homeland, the Pro users, with the Studio range, it would also give them more time to develop an Apple Silicone based, full-blown, Mac Pro. Oddly, there are rumours suggesting that the company still has plans to release another new Intel-based Mac Pro.
The Studio name may yet change, an announcement, not thought likely next week, may come later in the summer. Bloomberg News seem to think it more likely that these will first be unveiled at WWDC in June.
What to expect next week
Well, the first thing we probably need to do, is pull apart the invite a tad, to discover what may lay ahead.
If we look back at last year’s invite for the Spring event, it was full of bright, zingy colours. Then, we were given the pastel array of iMacs, which were very much aimed at the consumer end of the market. Looking back, as I was before settling down to write this blog, the colours used have always ended up being indicative of what was to come. So, with a much deeper hue to the colours on this year’s invite, it would seem that some level of pro devices may be up for offer. Look at the recent iPhone announcements. The smaller consumer phones are often referred to in a more bubbly manner at the events, targeting their end user. The Pro range of phones is, however, spoken about, in a darker and more serious dialogue. My feeling is that may hold true at this event too. That would take care of the Performance part of the invite wording. As for the use, and spelling of Peek, I’d assume that could mean a look forward, may be to WWDC, and the Studio Range of pro-Macs. Makes sense to me, what about you?
What we know
As of now, all we seem sure of, is that we will be getting the 2022 iPhone SE. It will look just like the 2020 SE model with no design elements expected to change and based on the iPhone 8. As for the iPad Air, again there will be few or no design changes, but there may be some additional colour options. It will catch up with the iPad Mini released last year, and will have an A15 chip inside. It’ll also feature 5G for the cellular models & Centre Stage, for the front facing camera.
So, as ever, all we can do is speculate, and dissect what information we have as of now. The only thing of which we can be sure, is that come Tuesday, we will know a lot more. The event will run from 6pm GMT this coming Tuesday.
What are you hoping for or looking forward to the most at next week’s Peek Performance event? Let me know.
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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on March 5, 2022.