Apple M2 Ultra one month on (

Apple M2 Ultra one month on


Apple last month introduced its latest chip, the M2 Ultra, which it touted as the most powerful chip ever created for personal computers. The M2 Ultra is the final addition to Apple’s M2 line of Apple Silicon processors and is in the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro workstations.

The M2 Ultra combines two M2 Max dies into a single system on a chip, utilizing Apple’s UltraFusion interconnect technology. Two versions are available: one with 60 GPU cores and another with 76 GPU cores. Both versions feature 24 CPU cores and support a maximum of 192GB of unified CPU and GPU memory.

Compared to its predecessor, the M1 Ultra, the M2 Ultra shows several improvements. Apple claims the CPU is 20% faster and the GPU is up to 30% faster than the M1 Ultra. The Neural Engine, used for AI operations, is up to 40% faster due to architectural enhancements. The media engine can now handle up to 22 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video, an increase from the 18 streams supported by the M1 Ultra.

Let’s compare the M2 Ultra and the M1 Ultra in CG software. Rendering in Octane X is up to 3 times faster on the M2 Ultra, and video processing in DaVinci Resolve is up to 50% faster.

The M2 Ultra’s 192GB maximum memory capacity is considered a breakthrough, enabling complex scenes with large geometry and textures to be rendered without going out-of-core.

For optimal performance, CG applications need to have native Apple Silicon support. Many key applications, including After Effects, Houdini, Maya, Substance 3D tools, and Unreal Engine, now offer native support. However, Nuke is one notable exception, although Foundry is working on introducing Apple Silicon support for their other software.

Mac Studios have gotten a major upgrade over the years with the M1 and now, M2 Ultra chips making the biggest impression, one Twitter user infact recommended getting the Mac Studio instead of a MacBook Pro because it was a better and cheaper deal in the performance department.

👇Unpopular reality:

I bought a M1 Max Macbook Pro (64 GB RAM) for $4,100 at launch.

This year, I bought a M1 Mac Mini (8 GB of RAM) for a home computer for $575.

Both machines run the same development projects.

I notice ZERO difference in performance.

Save your money 🤑

The Mac Studio equipped with a 24-CPU-core, 60-GPU-core M2 Ultra processor and 64GB of unified memory starts at $3,999, while the Mac Pro tower with the same specifications starts at $6,999. The 76-GPU-core version of both workstations costs an additional $1,000.

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