Mac Studio designed with customer feedback & Pro Workflow team feedback in mind

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 2022
The Mac Studio and Studio Display were built with pros in mind, say Apple executives, because modularity, connectivity, and performance are what matter most.

The Mac Studio and Studio Display
The Mac Studio and Studio Display


Details about the development and design choices made for the Mac Studio were shared in an interview with three Apple executives. They are Xander Soren, Director of Product Marketing, Pro Apps, Tom Boger, Vice President of Mac & iPad Product Marketing, and Shelly Goldberg, Senior Director, Mac & iPad Product Design.

They spoke with FCP.co about the Mac Studio and what it means for the next generation of creative pros. The interview touched on Apple Silicon, front-facing ports, and the new cooling system.

Boger said people care about performance, connectivity, and modularity. That's why the Mac Studio has plenty of ports and is not integrated with the display.

"So the goal with Mac Studio was to give them a computer that can do it all," said Boger. "Up until now, if you wanted the pinnacle of performance in the personal computer space, you had to buy a very big, noisy tower that sat on the floor under your desk. You'd accidentally kick it and It's hard to get to the back of it if you need to get to the IO."

The solution was cramming everything into a smaller desktop that could fit on your desk. He stated that competitive desktop towers can be up to 17 times larger than the Mac Studio.

The Studio Display was created to compliment the Mac Studio, so Apple gave customers what they'd been asking for -- the 27-inch iMac 5K panel in a reasonably priced monitor.

Apple says there are over 2000 holes in the Mac Studio enclosure
Apple says there are over 2000 holes in the Mac Studio enclosure


When discussing thermal considerations, Goldberg described the new system for cooling. The holes drilled into the enclosure required Apple to develop a special-purpose machine. It drills them at about three holes per second.

The two fans were developed specifically for the enclosure as well. Goldberg said the impeller is divided vertically, so they can tune the pitch of the blades on the impeller separately for the top and bottom section. That means more control over acoustics, airflow, and thermal performance.

"That's something that we've never done before and it's kind of an evolution in our understanding of blower design," said Goldberg. "So it's really exciting to bring that to the Mac Studio. You have this amazing power density in a product that is small enough to sit on your desk."

The executives describe the process of building their computers as symbiotic. The silicon and case are designed in tandem, one giving feedback to the other rather than building a case after the fact or vice versa.

Apple also listens to its customers and experts, Boger responded when asked about outside input. Not only is the pro workflow team still providing insider feedback, but Apple also reaches out to developers about specific issues and reads customer feedback on forums and websites.

The interview concludes with commentary about the high-end performance and Apple's goals. The executives repeat Apple's usual talking points, like "Our goal at Apple has never been to sell the most products. It's been to sell the best products."

User-facing ports makes the experience better for customers
User-facing ports makes the experience better for customers


Soren did offer some insight into pro software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. The M1 Ultra accelerates workflows like those found in Apple's pro apps, and that may be drawing some users back from Windows.

"We're happy to say that the trends for Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are up and to the right," said Soren. "We've had more customers than ever before and back to back years of record sales."

This was attributed to multiple factors including extending the free trial for Final Cut Pro to 90 days and adding a trial to Logic. Also, the pandemic gave people more time to experiment with workflows and software, so more people sought out Apple's pro software.

The Mac Studio and Studio Display were announced during a March Apple event. Some rumors expected Apple to refresh the iMac Pro, but instead, the company released what it considers a "modular" desktop and monitor.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,716member
     front-facing ports”

    Finally Apple actually put usability ahead of aesthetics!


    elijahgjas99dewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,457member
    MplsP said:
    “ front-facing ports”

    Finally Apple actually put usability ahead of aesthetics!


    This is what you get when Jony Ive isn't working at Apple anymore. He's gotta be the main culprit of everything form over function. He cared too much about how a product looked instead of what it could do. He seemed to be perfectly okay with designing something that had limitations just so it could look good in his eyes so marketing had to put out all this BS about how people don't want ports, people care how thin a product is, etc. Hopefully this trend continues as Apple redesigns its product. We've seen both the MacBook Pro and now the Mac Studio be designed for actual use and it still looks pretty good. You can definitely tell its still an Apple product. 
    edited March 2022 elijahgblastdoormuthuk_vanalingamdoozydozenwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 16
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,064member
    modular again, meaning (it seems) a headless appliance we can swap monitors...?
    while compelling on introduction in time may this seem yet another 'one trick pony'...?
    by comparison I reference the 2011 mini with dual drive & ram slots and a dedicated gpu...
    add an egpu to the 2011 concept in an M1 max and I'd tend to agree...
    perhaps a mini max may answer such a call...?
    'open the pod doors Hal'...  :)


    ...is Apple really listening...?
    edited March 2022 williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,669member
    macxpress said:
    MplsP said:
    “ front-facing ports”

    Finally Apple actually put usability ahead of aesthetics!


    This is what you get when Jony Ive isn't working at Apple anymore. He's gotta be the main culprit of everything form over function. He cared too much about how a product looked instead of what it could do. He seemed to be perfectly okay with designing something that had limitations just so it could look good in his eyes so marketing had to put out all this BS about how people don't want ports, people care how thin a product is, etc. Hopefully this trend continues as Apple redesigns its product. We've seen both the MacBook Pro and now the Mac Studio be designed for actual use and it still looks pretty good. You can definitely tell its still an Apple product. 
    Similar with the newer iPhones, which are actually quite a bit thicker than older ones, but along with that are better camera optics and significantly better battery life. Rather much more useful than just being thin - though many fanatics here claimed thickness was an apparently important metric at the peak of Ive. In some ways it is sad to see Ive step back though. Without his designs I don't think Apple would have seen the explosive success with the truly outstanding designs they had with the iMac, then iPod and iPhone. But in the end it seemed to be all about thickness and "clean lines" above all else.
    jas99JWSC
  • Reply 5 of 16
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,287member
    It's not really modular if you cannot swap the internal disk drive.

    I can understand that RAM gets soldiered for maximum efficiency and performance but an internal storage should be easily replaceable and modular.


    elijahgwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 16
    mobirdmobird Posts: 710member
    A external monitor and a computer (headless) is not now, has not been in the past, and going forward, is not a modular computer.
    A modular computer was always in reference to where the CPU, memory, graphics cards, I/O, etc. was housed.
    A Mac Ci or a Mac Cx was considered a modular computer.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 16
    netrox said:
    It's not really modular if you cannot swap the internal disk drive.

    I can understand that RAM gets soldiered for maximum efficiency and performance but an internal storage should be easily replaceable and modular.

    Boo-frickidy-hoo

    williamlondonDetnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Must be a bridge around here somewhere…
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    corp1corp1 Posts: 77member
    mobird said:
    A external monitor and a computer (headless) is not now, has not been in the past, and going forward, is not a modular computer.
    A modular computer was always in reference to where the CPU, memory, graphics cards, I/O, etc. was housed.
    A Mac Ci or a Mac Cx was considered a modular computer.
    According to Apple's new definition for "modular" the Mac mini is a "modular" computer because it isn't an iMac with an integrated display.

    Pay no attention to the intel Mac Pro's internal MPX and SSD modules, or its DIMM and PCIe slots. 

    edited March 2022 williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 10 of 16
    jingojingo Posts: 111member
    ComplEment not complIment.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    XavalonXavalon Posts: 12member
    I don’t know, but to me I find the whole Mac studio an ugly large block of metal. It would bother me if I put it on my desk. In the pictures where the studio is below the monitor, you see the non adjustable stand because you can’t move your monitor down which that huge block below it. 

    That you would pay a few k for a non upgradable studio seems non customer friendly to me. I mean you buy it, start using it in your workflow to find out you needed another configuration. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 16
    thedbathedba Posts: 690member
    Xavalon said:
    That you would pay a few k for a non upgradable studio seems non customer friendly to me. I mean you buy it, start using it in your workflow to find out you needed another configuration. 
    Have you ever considered the possibility that customers who’d buy this machine already know the configurations they need?
    I doubt that college freshmen is the intended audience for one of these.
    williamlondonDetnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    if you wanted the pinnacle of performance in the personal computer space, you had to buy a very big, noisy tower that sat on the floor under your desk.

    Tom Boger, Vice President of Mac & iPad Product Marketing, should investigate and learn about the current Mac Pro which is almost completely silent.  

    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,457member
    netrox said:
    It's not really modular if you cannot swap the internal disk drive.

    I can understand that RAM gets soldiered for maximum efficiency and performance but an internal storage should be easily replaceable and modular.


    It is modular...all of the internal ports are removable from what I saw. Just because you can't change a HD doesn't mean its not modular. There's more to modular components than a HD. And again, I seriously doubt most buying this will ever want to get inside it to change a HD anyways. IMO, this is so much of a non-issue except for the limited edge cases. 
    williamlondonDetnatorjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,457member
    i0SZt1IT said:
    if you wanted the pinnacle of performance in the personal computer space, you had to buy a very big, noisy tower that sat on the floor under your desk.

    Tom Boger, Vice President of Mac & iPad Product Marketing, should investigate and learn about the current Mac Pro which is almost completely silent.  

    Okay but you also had to have a huge specially designed tower to with massive specialized cooling so that it was "silent" because of massively inefficient processors.  Now we have a computer almost the size of the Mac mini that is more powerful and yet still completely silent no matter how hard you push it. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,729member
    macxpress said:
    netrox said:
    It's not really modular if you cannot swap the internal disk drive.

    I can understand that RAM gets soldiered for maximum efficiency and performance but an internal storage should be easily replaceable and modular.
    It is modular...all of the internal ports are removable from what I saw. Just because you can't change a HD doesn't mean its not modular. There's more to modular components than a HD. And again, I seriously doubt most buying this will ever want to get inside it to change a HD anyways. IMO, this is so much of a non-issue except for the limited edge cases. 
    Understandably, people have varying definitions of what "modular" means. Apple is definitely trying to have its cake and eat it though, with using the word "modular".

    This is a quote from fcp.co interview with Tom Boger, the guy responsible for Mac and iPad features: People, of course, want maximum performance. So that's goal number one. Lots of connectivity so they can connect all kinds of different peripherals and spec out a studio that meets their workflow. And three, a modular system in terms of a separate display and computer so that over time, users can upgrade their compute resources without the need to upgrade their display.

    I suppose Schiller could have thought the same thing when he said the 2019 Mac Pro would be modular. He was quite coy about it, as he simply would not utter the words internal expansion or have PCIe slots prior to the reveal. He only said modular, and that led some people thinking it meant a small stackable desktop, kind of like the Mac Studio. After the reveal had the Mac Pro as a big box with beautiful engineered rack mount style cooling with everything basically tool-less, wire-less internal expansion, people think modular means having internal expansion. So, saying modular now is definitely giving people the wrong impression of what it means for the Mac Studio.

    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamelijahgjony0watto_cobra
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