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Apple has unveiled the giant M2 Ultra. The new Mac Pro will now also be equipped with Apple silicon, meaning the entire Mac portfolio will now run on proprietary chips.

The M2 Ultra is a combination of two M2 Max chips joined together based on Apple’s UltraFusion technology. As a result, it can contain up to 192 GB of memory and has a theoretical bandwidth of 800 GB/s. These are 50 percent and 100 percent more, respectively, than we saw with the M1 Ultra. Compared to that chip, the CPU part should be 20 percent faster, the larger GPU outpaces the old one by 30 percent and the Neural Engine for AI workloads is up to 40 percent more powerful. Relative to the most powerful GPUs (read: Nvidia’s offerings), it is said to be able to handle ML workloads that would not fit in the video memory of those cards.

The most powerful ever

The promise here is clear: the M2 Ultra is said to be the fastest chip ever for a PC. Given the great feedback based on the M1 and the more muted response to the M2, it remains to be seen how the Ultra lands. However, these specifications do promise a giant leap forward. For Apple, it will have been especially important to finally get rid of Intel-based higher-end options. After all, these will be a lot more lucrative with proprietary hardware on board.

The M2 Ultra contains 24 CPU cores, while the GPU can be equipped with 60 or 76 cores. We should always be careful about jumping to conclusions based on such numbers, because the IPC (instructions-per-clock) does not necessarily scale with core numbers or frequency. By the way, it does mean that there is no longer an option to equip the Mac Pro with a dedicated GPU, something that won’t make Nvidia too happy.

Server use

The M2 Ultra will appear in the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro. For the latter product, it can come in either desktop or server rack form. Combined with expanded PCIe compatibility, it means that server use is made more realistic. Linux implementation on Apple silicon is not as simple to set up as we would like, but with these specs it would be a shame if this use case is not picked up further.

Also read: Apple tests new high-end Macs with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips