June 4, 2023

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Apple’s powerhouse M1 Ultra chip is bad news for Intel, AMD, and Nvidia

Apple earlier this month announced M1 Ultra, the next giant leap for Apple silicon and the Mac. Featuring UltraFusion — Apple’s innovative packaging architecture that interconnects the die of two M1 Max chips to create a system on a chip (SoC) with unprecedented levels of performance and capabilities — M1 Ultra delivers breathtaking computing power to the new Mac Studio while maintaining industry-leading performance per watt.

Apple’s innovative UltraFusion packaging architecture connects two M1 Max die to create the incredibly powerful M1 Ultra.
Apple’s innovative UltraFusion packaging architecture connects two M1 Max die to create the incredibly powerful M1 Ultra.

The new SoC consists of 114 billion transistors, the most ever in a personal computer chip. M1 Ultra can be configured with up to 128GB of high-bandwidth, low-latency unified memory that can be accessed by the 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine, providing astonishing performance for developers compiling code, artists working in huge 3D environments that were previously impossible to render, and video professionals who can transcode video to ProRes up to 5.6x faster than with a 28-core Intel-handicapped Mac Pro with Afterburner.

Daniel Howley for Yahoo Finance:

Apple’s new M1 Ultra processor hits the market Friday.

That’s good news for consumers and nerdy tech editors looking for new gaming rigs and high-end systems to run video and photo editing software. It’s also a huge accomplishment for Apple, which only started offering laptop and desktop chips in 2020.

It also means a huge cost savings for people who want a monster computer that can tackle the most intense tasks. In fact, Apple says a fully-loaded Mac Studio with an M1 Ultra priced at $7,999 can smack around a $25,599 Mac Pro with an Intel chip and AMD graphics card when it comes to video encoding.

“Apple is beating chip companies at their own game with the M1 series,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Yahoo Finance.

Of course, what’s good for Apple is bad for its competitors. That’s because, according to experts, the M1 Ultra could ditch their Windows-based PCs in favor of Cupertino’s Macs.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple analyst Daniel Ives has floated the idea that Apple may eventually make the M1 Ultra available to other computer makers, giving consumers the ability to build their own M1 Ultra-based systems while putting Apple in direct competition with Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, but that is simply not how Apple works.

Unless Apple breaks dramatically with the company’s past practices, expect that the only way you’ll be able to get Apple Silicon will be in Apple Macs, iPads, iPhones, and other Apple-branded devices.

That crappy PC, tablet, or smartphone your not-so-bright neighbor bought at Walmart last week is dog-slow and frying-pan-hot next to the real Apple products they are failing so miserably to imitate.

The real problem for Intel, AMD, and Nvidia is that they’re in the process of being leapfrogged – and already have been obliterated in the performance per watt race – and that they have no real answer for Apple Silicon’s current and rapidly-distancing future dominance.

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