M1 Ultra Mac Studio is 2 Pounds Heavier Than M1 Max Version Due to Thermal Differences
The Mac Studio comes in two varieties, one with the same M1 Max chip used in the 2021 MacBook Pro models and a second featuring an M1 Ultra chip, which is two interconnected M1 Max chips that operate as a single chip.
Following yesterday's event, Apple's technical specifications for the Mac Studio went live, and there was a curiosity - the M1 Ultra version of the Mac Studio is a full two pounds heavier than the M1 Max version, and it wasn't clear why. Apple today provided an explanation to The Verge, and it turns out the two machines have a different thermal setup.
According to Apple, the M1 Ultra has a copper thermal module, while the M1 Max has an aluminum heatsink. Copper is heavier than aluminum, hence the weight difference. The M1 Max Mac Studio weighs in at 5.9 pounds, while the M1 Ultra version is 7.9 pounds.
They have the same 370W power supply. The additional weight is due to M1 Ultra having a larger copper thermal module, where as M1 Max has an aluminum heatsink.
Different thermal management setups is not a surprise given the power of the M1 Ultra vs. the standard M1 Max. The M1 Ultra includes a 20-core CPU and up to a 64-core GPU for double the computing power of the M1 Max. Despite the high-powered chip, Apple has said that the Mac Studio is able to run quietly, with an architecture that that pulls air in through the airflow channels on the bottom using double-sided blowers and pushes it out through additional perforations on the back of the chassis.
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