Mac Studio is perfect Mac for app developers

Apple listened to me and created perfect workstation for app developers.

Two years ago I lamented the gaping hole in the Apple’s desktop Mac lineup. I ended that post with:

I would be perfectly happy to pay $3,000+ for a machine with that [16-ish core] CPU housed in Apple-designed case and cooling. If only Apple offered it.

Few days ago, Apple released exactly what I asked for: Mac Studio is a very powerful workstation in 3.6L case. CPU can have up 10 (M1 Max) or 20 (M1 Ultra) cores paired with impressive GPU.

It’s unreal how much power they packed into such a small chassis. I knew they could do this. Apple designed custom PSU of about 370W that can power M1 Ultra and with SoC being the entire machine, 2/3 of the volume is used for whisper-quiet cooling solution. Perfection.

In the last two years, we have invested into 3 rather powerful ad-hoc Mac builds. I will wait for the proper ROI on all of them but in about 2 or 3 years our small agency will transition to Mac Studio(s). There is no doubt in my mind – these machines are amazing purchase for application developers and will easily last you 5+ years for any kind of app development you do. Anything.

Difference between default machines is significant thus I won’t recommend which one to buy — do the one you can afford. Both are more than capable. What I can advise is to not pay extra for SSD. This is desktop machine with multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports which means you can add as much super-fast external storage as you need over time. 40Gbps is more than enough even for 4x external NMVe RAID boxes. As for memory, I am using 32GB in all my machines and am nowhere near to be limited. But with memory being non-upgradable, I would opt for 64GB if possible; not the end of the world if not.

Apple is truly back in the pro market.