Is the consensus that the Mac Studio is *both* the "higher-spec Mac Mini" and the Mac Pro replacement?

Just curious, as I might have missed this, but is the Mac Studio what we’re assuming is the “fancier” Mac Mini (since it’s basically a Mac Mini with a big cooling fan) and the rumored Mac Pro replacement?

Or are we expecting even more higher-spec processors in a formal Mac Pro with extra drive bays, upgradeable / fancier GPU boards, etc.?

Tim Cook mentioned that a Mac Pro replacement was yet to come. Since they still are selling an Intel Mac mini, it would appear that a mini with an M1 Pro would be yet to come as well.

The mystery for me is what will replace the discontinued 27" iMac since the Studio system is twice the price. A 27" iMac with the M1 Pro would have made sense.

So there are two more spots for an M1 Pro as well as an expandable Mac Pro with what, a M1 Ultra?


There seems to be a big hole in their lineup. Specifically, there is no desktop equivalent to the Macbook Pros. The 24in iMac and Mac Mini are base models only, comparable to the Macbook Air. Presumably, a higher end iMac and/or Mac mini would fill that hole. However, it was stated that the only additional machine coming in the M1 line is the Mac Pro. Maybe those devices will get the get generation chip (M2). We don’t know.

Regardless, the statement yesterday was clear that the Mac Pro is still coming with an M1 (ultra?). So the Mac Studio is not the replacement for it.

I truly love the language we all universally use: “a hole in the lineup.”

First, I agree.

But does Apple? Because maybe they never sell base 27” iMacs. Maybe, as far as they’re concerned, there’s the laptop market for everybody, and desktops mostly exist as trucks.

The 24” iMac now seems designed for front desks. I’ve seen a few in receptions. A giant iMac makes less sense in those scenarios. And how many people bought 27” iMacs without upgrading it towards Mac Studio levels anyways?

So I completely agree, but Apple’s numbers may say there’s a hole in the market there — not a hole in the lineup.

Who knows though? Interesting times.


With regard to your question in the subject line, my short answer would be no. As I see it, the Mac Studio Max replaces the 27 inch iMac, and the Mac Studio Ultra replaces the iMac Pro. As John Ternus said in the Keynote, a new Mac Pro is in the works, so we will have to wait for that.


Apologies, I must have missed those mentions. I wasn’t quite as tuned-in as I could’ve been. :slight_smile:

The thing is, that would basically be a Mac Studio without the cooling fan setup. That just seems like it would be some bizarre duplication. I suppose they could offer the existing Mini with the M1 and the M1 Pro, but I’m wondering how much market there’d really be for that “in-between” machine.

I have no idea why they’re still selling the Intel Mini, unless maybe it’s actually selling well to people who want the last of the Intel Macs for dev type machines that run other platforms?

I tend to agree with that thought process. The base 27" was $1999, and that only came with 8GB of RAM and an i5. It may well be that they split the difference between the 21.5 and the 27 with the 24" iMac for the “all in one” fans, and targeted the Studio at the higher-end market.

And for at least some people, being able to upgrade and/or initially purchase the display separately from the actual processing unit could be a nice benefit.


My first thought was the Studio was the replacement for the iMac Pro and a standard 27” would be introduced later.

Our graphics team needed midrange 27” iMacs for their work, but base model 27” iMacs were popular with “I only use Excel and email crowd”.

My thoughts kind of align with this:

As others have said, I don’t think Apple sees a gap in their lineup. They have a consumer line:

  • Mac Mini
  • 24-inch iMac
  • MacBook Air

Then they have a professional line:

  • Mac Studio [with Studio Display]
  • MacBook Pro
  • Mac Pro

For prosumers, it’s either a Mac Studio without Studio Display or a MacBook Pro.


Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Although it’s always weird when Apple re-specs a component in their line, like the Mac Mini. The last Mini, well-specced, was definitely capable of being a prosumer / pro user unit.

That said, I think Apple has shown that they could put an M1 Pro in the Mini chassis (as opposed to the taller Studio chassis) and still be within the thermal capacity of that unit, because they can do it with the laptop. So if there’s enough demand they could always add the M1 Pro to the M2 version of the Mini.

I’m thinking the Mac Pro replacement might be a dual M1 Ultra setup. People that need that level of power typically have background processes running that the 2nd Ultra could handle.

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I am still hoping that the higher end Mac Mini will be replaced with a higher end Mac Mini later this year when the Mac Mini gets its refresh. That is what I am waiting for. The Studio is a little too much for my needs.

I still have hope in this regard because if the Studio was the replacement, why is the higher end Mac Mini still being sold? Ok, it might be the fact that it has an Intel CPU, but I doubt that when we compare the Mac Mini’s transition with other transitions like the MacBook Pro (no Intels any more). I am looking forward what is to come for the Mac Mini.

The Mac Pro will be a beast. The Studio already is a machine that does more than even most power users need or can get use of to its fullest extent. The Pro will be an expensive and powerful beast. :blush:

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I have seen a lot of iMac 27" in the wild. Much more so than the 21".
I think it would be a mistake by Apple to not have an iMac 27" in their lineup. – Something tells me though, that might be the case in the years to come…


Right. A full sized Mac Pro could easily hold two or more M1 Ultras. (Actually a half sized one could hold at least two.)

We might well see this.

(Personally I’ve ordered a Mac Mini Max - which is one heck of an upgrade to my 2011 13" MBP, though in a different form factor.)

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I think so, too. And it makes sense to me: the first iMac launched with a CRT. Later iMacs launched with an LCD but in an enclosure with enough space inside for components and cooling.

And then the small M1 iMac hit the stage. Incredibly thin. A marvel. Wow! As an MacBook Air M1 owner I can totally understand that the M1 iMac works in this thin enclosure, without limits.

Then Apple started to show their more powerful M1 processors with their new MacBook Pros. And yes, they need space for their job. Heat has to be dissipated and so on. Physics. Sometimes, even magic has its limits. :wink: The new MacBook Pros are great machines, Apple jumped off the “thinness is everything” wagon: the MacBook Pros come in enclosures that let us remember how laptops looked in the past (no offense, they are great machines).

The Studio’s introduction within the keynote was interesting: it was presented as a studio computer with a studio display, right from the beginning. It looked like a message to me: This IS our new iMac 27 and our new iMac Pro 27. And I think that this is why Apple is considering the Studio a modular system (Apple unveils all-new Mac Studio and Studio Display - Apple) which led to interesting reactions from some “tech experts”: two modules - a display (with very interesting bells and whistles inside) and a desktop computer that is sitting ON your desk. That is what Apple considers modular.

There are limitations for All-in-One computers, also for Apple. There is only so much you can do with a small enclosure for everything including a nice display. You eventually have to make compromises: heat dissipation, CPU/GPU power, noise and more. It is quite a task to find the right balance.

So, the option for the new powerful iMac was to separate the display from the computer again, without making compromises by delivering a machine that even has ports on the front. :wink: There is a second benefit: it is crazy to throw away perfectly fine iMacs because of the need to upgrade the computer when the display still is fine. A consumer entry machine like the “small” iMac is fine, but there are clearly benefits separating display and computer from each other for “prosumers” or “pros”.


I still hope there is a “big iMac”. The reason I didn’t buy the 24" is not the display but the lack of a 32GB memory option.

(In my house a computer has to be able to scale from eg email and web browsing to more substantial things. Because of that I’m not buying 16GB machines - apart from my 12.9" iPad Pro.) :slight_smile:


There are articles popping up regarding Mac Mini rumors: Updated Mac mini to have versions with M2 and M2 Pro chip - 9to5Mac

If true, the Mini will be the first or one of the first Macs launching with the first M2 family CPUs later this year. There seems to be a model with a M2 Pro.

Regarding the M1 Pro:

M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory.

Source: Introducing M1 Pro and M1 Max: the most powerful chips Apple has ever built - Apple

I think there still is hope for an iMac 24 inch with 32 GB eventually when the iMac gets the M2 treatment.

So, M1 Mac Pro at the WWDC (= M1 transition completed) and a Mac Mini M2 in the fall? :slight_smile:

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That doesn’t preclude an existing machine having existing chip options added.

I would guess that with the Mac Mini, Apple wants to make people choose between the M1 Mini and the Studio. adding a Mini with the M1Pro chip would bridge the gap, but may also lead to a few less people buying the Mac Studio.

Now the iMac 27” is a gap that can be filled, but not for a comparable amount as the now defunct model. The Mac Mini M1 with a Studio display is over £2k, and with a Mac Studio + display at £3.5k. That’s a big jump…

After they made such a big deal about M1 Ultra being seen to the OS as a single Chip which means that software doesn’t need to be re-written, I can’t see that they would go for a dual chip for the Mac Pro given the relatively small number of buyers (especially with the Mac Studio some of the Mac Pro’s lunch) which may dissuade developers from redesigning their software to take advantage of multi SOCs. I think it’s more likely that if the rumours are correct and the Mac Pro is pushed to 2023, the M2 Double Ultra SOC would be the fix.

Im so ignorant when it comes to this stuff and depend on the braintrust here. All I know is that the latest Intel Mac Mini is by far my worst Apple purchase. Feel like I overpaid for that one. Also interested to see where they go with the display lineup. Maybe that will give clues on what happens with the iMac lineup?

I’m struggling to think of the Mac Studio as a completely new line.
I mean, obviously it has a new name so it is a new line, but still:

Where the MacBook line has a 13" with M1 and then Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max, it seems to me like we now have a Mini with M1 and then Studio with M1 Max and M1 Ultra.
The Studio just seems like a natural extension of the Mini, with bigger chips, bigger cooling, and more ports.

This is great as I don’t want the current M1 Mini since I own an Air, but I am really interested in an M1 Mini Pro or M1 Mini Max, with ports.

I looked at the specs and benchmarks, and my summary is that this is how the Mac Studio compares to an MBA and an M1 Mini (with 16GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, and take this with a grain of salt):

  • 2x RAM (paying for this)
  • 6x memory bandwidth
  • 2-3x SSD speed (nice)
  • 1.6x multi-core speed
  • 3-4x graphics speed
  • More ports (no dock sounds good)


  • Same single core (wow, my MacBook Air is astonishingly good!)
  • 1.8x cost of Mini

I’m really tempted to get one, but I have to wait as I’m in Thailand…maybe by the time it’s available here we’ll have more info about the possible M2 Mini with Pro chip (though that will likely have fewer ports, slower SSD etc, it might slightly outperform the M1 Max for some things and I could probably save a load of money by getting a machine that is not so ridiculously over-specced for me).