Published in PC Hardware

Apple fuses two M1 Max chips for M1 Ultra

by on08 March 2022

UltraFusion for 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU

During its Peek Performance event, Apple unveiled what they call "a monster of a chip", the M1 Ultra. By "fusing" two M1 Max chips, the company has created the biggest chip they have, packing 114b transistors, 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and up to 128GB of unified memory.

While the M1 Max is pretty much the biggest chip that Apple can get, it appears that the solution was pretty simple, bond two of those with a 2.5TB/s die-to-die connection, which Apple calls UltraFusion, and you'll get a monster with 114b transistors. The design also doubles the amount of memory channels, giving it a total bandwidth of 800GB/s, and up to 128GB of unified memory.

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Specification-wise, the M1 Ultra pack a 20-core CPU with 16 high-performance cores with 48MB of L2 cache, and four high-efficiency cores with 8GB of L2 cache. It also comes with a 64-core GPU with 8,192 EUs, making it 8x faster than M1.

The M1 Ultra also gets double the power for media engine, with two video decode and four video encode engines, four ProRes encode/decode engines, and support for hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW. You also get support for up to five displays (with up to four 6K Pro Display XDR).

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According to Apple, the CPU performance uses 65 percent less power compared to a 10-core Intel Core i5-12600K desktop CPU. It also has up to 90 percent higher performance per Watt compared to a 16-core Intel Core i7-12900K chip.

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On the GPU side, Apple says the chip draws 200W less than Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090 at peak performance, while also outperforming it. Of course, it did not specify the test it took.

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Apple is describing the M1 Ultra as a "game-changing chip for pro users", and is doing everything on the macOS software side to make it work, as, apparently, the M1 Ultra will be treated as a single processor.

The new M1 Ultra will be a part of Apple's new Mac Studio, which is also announced alongside the new Apple Studio Display. The new Mac Studio with M1 Max, 32GB of unified memory, and a 512GB of memory will be starting at $1999, while the one with the new M1 Ultra chip, 64GB of unified memory, and 1TB SSD, will be starting at $3999. The Studio Display is priced at $1599.

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The pre-orders are open as of today and they should be shipping on March 18th.


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