Apple’s Mac Studio with the new M1 Ultra processor has a considerable performance advantage, but it doesn’t run Windows and won’t appeal to gamers.
The top configuration of the Mac Studio with its huge M1 Ultra chip is overwhelmingly powerful, beating every PC desktop in the world according to Apple, but even if that’s true, the Windows PC probably won’t be going away anytime soon. So there are at least two points of interest about how the Mac Studio impacts competition, the first being what makes it so powerful and the second being the limitations that prevent it from being the computer of choice for everyone.
The battle between Apple’s Mac computer and the Windows PC that almost every computer manufacturer champions has raged for decades. Apple made one of the first personal computers on the market. However, when IBM’s PC launched, it started a revolution because it packed serious power and meant business. Apple’s Macintosh was the first mass-produced computer to use a mouse and a windowed interface. Microsoft quickly followed with the Windows operating system and thus began the well-known computer war of Mac versus PC.
According to Apple’s ‘Peek Performance’ event, the PC is painfully behind in terms of performance and efficiency. There’s no reason to doubt that the M1 Ultra will deliver the massive speed at low power that Apple has claimed since similarly bold statements about the M1 processor in 2020 turned out to be accurate, and the M1 Max chip followed through on promises of incredible graphics performance as well. Apple’s comparison charts for the M1 Ultra showed a 90 percent performance advantage over Intel’s best chip and, at the same time, matched Nvidia’s best graphics processor.
Why The PC Era Isn’t Over
These advances certainly put pressure on the PC chip industry, but the story is far from over. While Apple cruised through the pandemic with apparently little impact, most chipmakers struggled. Coming out of the supply chain shortages, Intel, AMD and Nvidia are pushing harder than ever for more advanced production methods to create faster and more efficient chips. Apple has thrown down the gauntlet, and it will be interesting to see which of its many competitors is the first to step up for this daunting challenge. Intel’s Raptor Lake is expected later this year, and the next generation of Nvidia GPUs could also arrive.
Another aspect of the Mac and PC battle that lands in the PC’s favor, is its massive user base. It isn’t easy to change platforms even if that’s wanted. While the mouse, menus, buttons and windows are the same, there are significant differences in setting up printers, connecting to networks, as well as a gap in which apps are available. Gamers will find that the Mac still has little to offer, and an overwhelming majority of businesses rely upon Microsoft software and the PC’s greater compatibility with third-party hardware. Apple is chipping away at PC dominance, and the Mac Studio will sway many PC users that have been on the edge of a switch, but the industry as a whole will take several years to make such a decision even when the advantages are clear.
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