Apple execs detail how the company designed Mac Studio, Studio Display for pros

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in macOS
A trio of Apple executives have revealed how the company designed the new Mac Studio and Studio Display to fill a new gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro, as well as other details about the new devices.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Apple executives Tom Boger, Shelly Goldberg, and Xander Soren recently spoke with TechCrunch about the Mac Studio -- including how Apple approached the design and feature set of the new Mac model.

Boger is Apple's VP of Mac and iPad product marketing, Goldberg is Apple's senior director of Mac and iPad product design, and Soren is Apple's Pro Apps product marketing chief. All three shared insights about Apple's Mac Studio and Studio Display design process.

For example, the seeds of the Mac Studio were planted by the company's Pro Workflows Team, which was founded shortly after Apple apologized to its pro users and promised that it remain committed to the Mac as a professional machine.

"Our philosophy was not at all to take a Mac mini and scale it up, it was 'we know we're working on this M1 chip and we want to bring it to those users who want performance and conductivity and a modular system," said Boger. "And let's allow it to live right on people's desks so it's within easy reach."

Boger also added that the Mac Studio was designed to provide "multiple ways for our users to work."

"So you could decide to have a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip in it and you could decide to have a setup in your studio where you bring the MacBook Pro back and forth," he said. "And if that's the way that you choose to work, great. But we also have users that prefer to have that desktop that always lives on their desk."

The Mac Studio was meant to fill that gap. Apple took feedback from users who had a clear desire for a modular system. Apple listened to users on other aspects of the Mac Studio too, including which specific ports to offer on the device.

Goldberg, who leads design on iPad and Mac devices, also shed some light on the thermal profile of the Mac Studio -- including the challenge of fitting the M1 Ultra chipset into a compact form factor.

"So it's really fun challenge from a hardware perspective," she said. "The team did hundreds of thermal simulations for the airflow to try to figure out what's the best pattern of airflow through the system to try to optimize for performance and acoustics and ultimately, we came up with the the design that we have which has the inlet on the bottom coming in through over 2,000 machined holes that are all machined at [a specific] angle that rotates as you go around the perimeter."

On the Studio Display, Boger said Apple aimed for a "great, very accessible, very mainstream display."

"It's a great display if you want to hook up to the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, Mac Studio, Mac Pro, whatever," he said. "And we know that there's still users out there that are using Intel-based Macs and so putting A13 in there processes the audio for Spatial Audio and makes the magic of Center Stage happen."

The Mac Studio and Studio display will officially arrive on customer doorsteps and in-store on Friday, March 18.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 552member
    "...we came up with the the design that we have which has the inlet on the bottom coming in through over 2,000 machined holes that are all machined at [a specific] angle that rotates as you go around the perimeter."

    Ah, Apple.
    Alex_Vjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,646member
    The word "Studio" as a brand will get a boost from its use for the computer, but will get a shrinkage from its use in the display.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,962member
    The word "Studio" as a brand will get a boost from its use for the computer, but will get a shrinkage from its use in the display.
    Dunno, the reviewers I trust say they're buying one. It doesn't cost much more than the crappier third-party panels of same size & resolution, but is much, much nicer. I'm a software dev and I'd buy one for sure, if I wasn't already happy w/ a 2019 iMac (VESA mount, no wires other than power which is hidden in the VESA arm).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 659member
    ...and we didn't test the camera in the expensive display, because we can.
    edited March 2022
  • Reply 5 of 8
    We have not yet seen benchmarks for the Mac Studio SSD but we do know that you can't upgrade it. An external SSD gets about 1 GB/sec transfer speed. That's OK for a lot of things but "pro" users will want to get the full speed of around 7 GB/sec. In two years, 4 or 8 TB SSDs at those speeds will be quite affordable (around $200 at current trends). It is going to be a real bummer that your very expensive "pro" Mac Studio won't be able to use them while almost every other computer and laptop on the market from other companies can.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 217member
    hmlongco said:
    "...we came up with the the design that we have which has the inlet on the bottom coming in through over 2,000 machined holes that are all machined at [a specific] angle that rotates as you go around the perimeter."

    Ah, Apple.
    It will be interesting to see how dust lodged in the holes messes up Apple's carefully curated airflow.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,447member
    We have not yet seen benchmarks for the Mac Studio SSD but we do know that you can't upgrade it. An external SSD gets about 1 GB/sec transfer speed. That's OK for a lot of things but "pro" users will want to get the full speed of around 7 GB/sec. In two years, 4 or 8 TB SSDs at those speeds will be quite affordable (around $200 at current trends). It is going to be a real bummer that your very expensive "pro" Mac Studio won't be able to use them while almost every other computer and laptop on the market from other companies can.
    You can get plenty of Thunderbolt storage closer to 3GB/s, or Thunderbolt RAID up to around 5GB/s. I think they'll be just fine. Also, this storage issue is nothing new, but you have to complain about everything, right?
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    We have not yet seen benchmarks for the Mac Studio SSD but we do know that you can't upgrade it. An external SSD gets about 1 GB/sec transfer speed. That's OK for a lot of things but "pro" users will want to get the full speed of around 7 GB/sec. In two years, 4 or 8 TB SSDs at those speeds will be quite affordable (around $200 at current trends). It is going to be a real bummer that your very expensive "pro" Mac Studio won't be able to use them while almost every other computer and laptop on the market from other companies can.
    Apparently the Mac Studio SSD is removable, and there are two slots.  It may yet be upgradeable, unless Apple is controlling it with firmware.

    But even if it is, I'm sure you'll find something else to be salty about.
    jony0watto_cobra
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