Apple’s M1 Max and M1 Pro chips were a GPU-shaped warning to the AMD and Nvidia, and now the Apple Company turned up the heat by introducing its New M1 Ultra. Apple Company claims it can compete with Nvidia’s giant RTX 3090 GPU, the fastest GPU available in the market. However, how does Apple believe it can beat the RTX 3090? The answer is that the last year’s model of the M1 Max has some secret sauce in it.
Apple’s brand new M1 Ultra is a surprising combination of two M1 Max dies, fused to make a powerful chip. M1 Max M1 Max has a secret high-speed interface that allows Apple to integrate two processors into one. It results in the M1 Ultra chip that has double the memory, double the CPU cores, double the memory bandwidth, and more importantly, it has double the GPU cores.
Chipmakers have been using chips to create processors for many years. AMD’s Zen 3 and Zen 2-based Ryzen chips are the most popular for contemporary chipset designs and, until recently, the performance. Apple rivals such as Samsung, Intel, and Qualcomm are in the initial stages of working together on an innovative standard that will enable companies to create processors out of Lego-like chiplets. Apple has a processor that combines two independent GPUs, putting it ahead of the competition. Apple calls this combo UltraFusion which is Apple’s 2.5D chip packaging technology.
AMD and Nvidia have developed similar solutions to combine two GPUs previously. As per the report, Apple has found the perfect all-purpose design of multi-GPU in this case. Apple’s UltraFusion technology can support an astounding 2.5TB/s of bandwidth across the two M1 Max chips. A significant increase in bandwidth over Nvidia is provided through NVLink for AMD or SLI with the Infinity Fabric, utilizing high-speed connections between GPUs.
Nvidia has effectively ended multi-GPU support with its RTX 30-series, with only RTX 3090 providing NVLink support. Combining two RTX 3090s for gaming or productivity rigs has varied results. Games that support natively SLI can offer performance advantages, but the majority will not give any performance boost, and some may have seen the performance drop.
Apple’s high-speed link means that the two separate M1 Max GPUs will show in a single graphics card when running on macOS, allowing apps to tap into the power of the two GPUs. It means that games and apps do not have to perform particular actions to take advantage of M1 Ultra. In contrast, games were required to natively support the Nvidia SLI version on Windows before experiencing performance gains.
Until Nvidia releases its long-awaited RTX 3090 Ti, the RTX 3090 is the fastest GPU on the market, and Apple claims the M1 Ultra can outperform a single RTX 3090 while using 200 watts less power.
Last year, Apple claimed that the M1 Max could surpass the RTX 3080, but real-world results were mixed. When it came to productivity-focused workloads, the M1 Max outperformed against the RTX 3080. Several reviewers judged the M1 Max to be a little slower than a similar RTX 3080 machine for the Adobe Premiere Pro jobs. Still, its relative performance was highly dependent on the task at hand.
Apple has put its M1 Ultra inside its new Mac Studio, a more miniature desktop computer in size than the Nvidia RTX 3090. This Mac Studio is mighty due to its M1 Ultra, and Apple is designed to take over the 27 inch iMac and the Mac Pro models for many.
Apple primarily focuses on productivity software- not gaming, including the M1 Ultra and Mac Studio. The M1 Max and M1 Pro were criticized for gaming and performed similarly to an RTX3060 in numerous games. Indeed, the M1 Ultra isn’t going to solve the problem in macOS games instantly, or the fact that most games that cross-platform is x86.
With the Mac Studio and M1 Ultra, Apple concentrates on work applications rather than games. In several games, both the M1 Pro and M1 Max performed comparably to an RTX 3060, according to gaming reviews. The M1 Ultra will not solve the problem of macOS games or the fact that most cross-platform games are still x86.
We will be waiting for reviews to see what doubling the GPU cores can do to improve productivity applications; however, Apple’s already impressive launch using M1 Max and the M1 Pro is expected to leap ahead with the New M1 Ultra. It took Qualcomm and Microsoft many years to provide laptop-like performance with ARM-based processors for Apple, and Windows already has workstation-level performance in this regard.
The Mac Pro is where Apple’s processor design will get intriguing. Intel Xeon processors and AMD Radeon PRO W6000X graphics processing unit (GPUs) are used in Apple’s current Mac Pro. Apple teased an Apple Silicon version of its Mac Pro machine “for another day.” Last year, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that the Mac Pro might have up to 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores. That is double the M1 Ultra if you’re keeping track.
The M1 Ultra inside the Mac Studio will provide an early glimpse at exactly how well Apple core count and GPU performance can be scaled up to high-end systems. It is a glimpse of what’s coming when Apple launches its Mac Pro with the best of what Apple Silicon can offer.