After my comin’ in hot Mac Studio rant last month, I finally broke down and ordered a Mac Studio and Studio Display.
I’m still more than a little sore that Apple cancelled the 27-inch iMac rather than have it make the jump from Intel to M1 CPU. I really don’t like that I am going to be spending more than double of what I paid for my iMac. My 2015 iMac has been a great machine and I really love it. My M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro is also a fantastic machine and I was really looking forward to working on a large screened M1 iMac.
By all accounts, the Mac Studio is going to be a great machine when it arrives in July. (My Studio Display arrives a few weeks earlier in late June.) The configuration I ordered is the base model M1 Max CPU with 10 CPU cores, 24 GPU cores, and 16 ANE cores. I bumped the RAM up to 64GB and the SSD up to 2GB.
That’s a lot of machine. I can comfortably fit all of my stuff on a 2TB SSD because I’m doing it now on a 2TB Fusion Drive. With Mac Studio, I am doubling my RAM at 64GB from the 32GB on my iMac. It’s a $400 option, but I like to run Windows and Linux virtual machines and I think that 32GB is just too tight for all of the Mac software that I have running and have enough RAM left over to run one or two virtual machines. My main driver for the 64GB of RAM is the hope that Microsoft will offer a legally supported way to run Windows ARM on an M1 Mac.
I really don’t like having to spend the money on Mac Studio and Studio Display. Don’t get me wrong; it is a great machine, and I will enjoy using it for years to come. But I’m a simple IT guy. I won’t be writing a single line of code in Xcode. I’m not a graphic artist making incredible artistic pieces. I’m not composing music or creating breath-taking cinematography. I want to tinker around with virtual machines to play with operating systems and databases. I want to run emulators. To have a legal way to use Windows and Windows Server, Visio and Project. (Microsoft, that’s your cue! It’s time to release the retail SKU for Windows on ARM.) In other works, what I really want is that mythical Mac that sits between the M1 iMac and Mac mini and the Mac Studio.
Maybe, one day we will get there. The rumor mill suggests that the M2 Macs are on their way, possibly later this year. There’s also a larger screen iMac that is rumored for next year. But there will always be a new thing right around the corner.
What I want is a machine that has enough techie without making me feel bad about buying it. But I know that I’m going to love it. Starting in July.