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Mac Studio found a gap in the line up

The Mac Studio announced by Apple this week is an interesting machine that I’m not sure knows what it wants to be. Other than filling a space in the $ line up.

On the one side, it is a true powerhouse with lots of RAM and CPU to handle anything you will throw at it, including the new ULTRA chip and an interesting new high-speed bus between the silicon.

But on the other side, it does not have as many ports as many might expect for a ‘studio’ machine. I say that because I know when I’m using my machines in a studio-like mode, I have a mountain of peripherals connected.

Here is an example set-up that I typically use for development, live-streaming, and podcast recording.

  • External USB mic
  • USB Keyboard because Mac BlueTooth is as bad as ever
  • External drive
  • Streamdeck
  • USB Camera
  • Control surface (I use Monogram control surfaces)
  • Graphics Tablet
  • USB-C with converter for external screen

So take that into account and now look at the ports on the Mac Studio.

  • Ethernet
  • 4 USB-C on the back
  • 2 USB-C on the front
  • 2 USB 3 on the back
  • 1 SD on the front
  • HDMI
  • Headphone

And you see how you will quickly fill those ports up. Yes, you can use a hub, but I have found that there are devices that are unhappy on the Mac even with a powered hub.

I feel this is a mixed bag of huge promise and love on the inside with some possible problems on the outside. Combine that with what I consider to be the Achilles heel still that is apps still not ARM ready, and you may find that it causes some issues for you.

If you want a desktop and have the money, this is most likely the best bang for your buck for sure, it’s a powerhouse that will keep you happy for a few years at least.

Xcode will still take time to compile regardless of how much hardware you throw at it. If you are a software maker, you will surely appreciate the extra RAM options to help ease the pain.

But, as Apple even said at the end of the presentation, we still have the updated Mac Pro’s to come. And surely if you are looking for power, that is the machine of choice when it comes to the target audience for these more expensive Mac Mini’s.

That said, if you have not moved to Apple silicon, this is a great excuse to do just that.

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