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Apple M1 Ultra chip blows away the competition

Apple's new M1 Ultra chip is powerful and changing the game in the processor market.
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

So, Apple has unveiled its new M1 Ultra chip, a chip that takes the power of an M1 Max chip, and then added another M1 Max chip for good measure.

And it is powerful. Really powerful.

So powerful that it's actually hard to comprehend just how much performance Apple is getting out of its M1 line of chips. 

The M1 Ultra takes two M1 Max chips and connects them using what Apple calls UltraFusion architecture.

OK, let's begin with the specs:

  • 5-nanometer process
  • 20 CPU cores (16 high-performance cores, 4 high-efficiency cores)
  • Up to 64 GPU cores
  • 114 billion transistors
  • Up to 128GB of unified memory
  • 800 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 2.5TB/s interprocessor bandwidth
  • 32 core neural engine capable of 22 trillion operations per second
  • Built-in Secure Enclave
M1 Ultra tech specs

M1 Ultra tech specs

OK, so those are the specs, but what does this mean? Well, in the absence of a hands-on with the hardware, we have to rely on the information that Apple made available.

M1 Ultra 20-core CPU

M1 Ultra 20-core CPU

The M1 Ultra is 90% faster than Intel's Core i9-12900K.

M1 Ultra performance vs power

M1 Ultra performance vs power

The M1 Ultra is not just powerful, but also a lot more efficient, using 100W less power than the Intel Core i9-12900K chip.

M1 Ultra performance vs power

M1 Ultra performance vs power

It's not just CPU power that the M1 Ultra has. Its GPU performance is comparable to the highest-end discrete GPU (GeForce GTX 3090) but consumes 200W less power.

M1 Ultra GPU performance vs power

M1 Ultra GPU performance vs power

Comparing chip to chip is one thing, but it's more interesting to compare system to system, and here Apple is pitting the new M1 Ultra powered Mac Studio against a 16-core Xeon Mac Pro, and the Mac Studio comes in at 90% faster.

Yes, 90% faster.

Mac Studio vs Mac Pro

Mac Studio vs Mac Pro

But how does an M1 Ultra powered Mac Studio compare to the monster 28-core Xeon Mac Pro.

The Mac Studio comes out at 60% faster.

Unbelievable.

Mac Studio vs Mac Pro

Mac Studio vs Mac Pro

Bottom line, the M1 Ultra is a beast of a chip, allowing Apple to blow away its Mac Pro.

First look: Apple 'Peek Performance' event in pictures

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