Earlier rumors indicating that the Mac Studio will be discontinued in favor of the upcoming Mac Pro have been laid to rest because, according to a new report, Apple intends to update its small desktop with two models designed for power users. However, we should not expect a refresh with M2 Max and M2 Ultra SoC options later this year, and there is a strong reason for this supposed decision.
Apple reportedly does not want Mac Pro sales to suffer if it updates the Mac Studio with the same silicon options
Assuming the Mac Pro and Mac Studio both launched this year with the M2 Ultra, the most obvious choice for the majority of buyers would be to splurge their cash on the Mac Studio while saving a boatload of money by skipping the Apple Silicon Mac Pro. MacRumors, who was in discussion with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, reports that this is the reason why the Mac Studio is not being updated with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chipset options, as it would have a detrimental effect on Mac Pro sales.
Instead, Apple is said to wait for the M3 Max and M3 Ultra to launch before it can officially unveil another Mac Studio model. Considering that the M3 is slated to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2023, there is no way we should expect the M3 Max and M3 Ultra this year. Instead, the upgraded SoCs could likely arrive in the second half of 2024, so that is probably when we will see the Mac Studio refresh.
At this time, Apple sells the M1 Max and M1 Ultra versions of the Mac Studio, with the base model starting from $1,999 and offering a 10-core CPU plus a 24-core GPU. However, the $1,599 M2 Pro Mac mini with its 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU is a more attractive option, as it beats the M1 Max version of Mac Studio while being significantly cheaper. The M2 Pro Mac mini does have fewer GPU cores, but more users may ignore this little difference when comparing prices.
It is safe to say that consumers that want the very best in compute and graphics performance should wait for the Mac Pro rather than investing in a previous-generation Mac Studio, at least until newer versions arrive next year.