WWDC 2023: Mac Hardware Roundup

The Apple Vision Pro wasn’t the only new hardware announced at Apple’s WWDC keynote event this Monday. The company also introduced a few new Mac models: a new 15” MacBook Air, an upgraded Mac Studio, and the long-awaited Apple silicon Mac Pro. Powering the freshly minted top of Apple’s Mac line is a brand-new chip: the M2 Ultra.

15” MacBook Air with M2

There isn’t too much to say about the latest addition to Apple’s most popular Mac line. It’s an M2 MacBook Air, but bigger. The specs are nearly the same as the existing 13” model, with only two differences:

  • The 13” comes with an 8-core GPU and the option to upgrade to a 10-core GPU, but the 15” comes with the 10-core GPU in its base model (no CPU upgrades are available on either model, and no GPU upgrades are available on the 15”).
  • The 13” has a four-speaker sound system while the 15” has a six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers.

Both models come with a baseline 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of SSD storage. Both can be upgraded up to 24GB unified memory and 2TB of SSD storage. Both laptops are available in Midnight, Starlight, Space Gray, and Silver.

The new 15” MacBook Air with M2 starts at $1,299. Apple has also reduced the starting price of the 13” M2 MacBook Air from $1,199 to $1,099.

M2 Ultra

Apple silicon has a new top-of-the-line chip. The M2 Ultra uses Apple’s UltraFusion technology to connect two M2 Max chips together, forming a performance powerhouse with 20% faster CPU, 30% faster GPU, a 40% faster Neural Engine, 50% more memory capacity (up to 192GB of unified memory), and double the memory bandwidth compared to last year’s M1 Ultra.

There are too many tech specs on this chip to list them all here, but those who want to dig into them all can find more details on Apple’s press release.

Mac Studio with M2 Max and M2 Ultra

A new chip is nothing without new computers to run it. Apple has introduced two this year, starting with the upgraded Mac Studio. While the case design hasn’t seen any change from last year, the new Mac Studio’s performance has been significantly boosted by the upgrade from M1 to M2.

The computer starts at $1,999 for the M2 Max model, which comes with 32GB of unified memory and 512GB SSD storage. The M2 Ultra version starts at $3,999, and comes with 64GB unified memory and 1TB SSD storage.

Just like last year, the lower-cost model’s two front-facing ports are USB-C, while the higher-end model’s front-facing ports are Thunderbolt 4. Both models still also have an SDXC card slot on the front, and four Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one 10Gb Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the back.

The M2 Max Mac Studio delivers up to 50% faster performance over last year’s M1 Max model, and can play back up to 10 streams of ProRes 422 video at once. The M2 Ultra model doubles the performance of the M2 Max, and can play back up to 22 streams of ProRes 422 video simultaneously.

Unified memory can be configured up to 96GB with the M2 Max, or up to 192GB with the M2 Ultra. Either model can be configured with up to 8TB of SSD storage.

Apple Silicon Mac Pro

Apple has finally delivered on its promise to ship a Mac Pro running on an M-series processor, thus completing the milestone of transitioning every Mac in the lineup to Apple silicon. Unsurprisingly, the new Mac Pro lives solidly at the very top of Mac performance. It starts at $6,999, and is only available with an M2 Ultra chip.

The computer has a non-configurable 24-core CPU and 32-core Neural Engine, but its GPU can be configured between a baseline 60 cores and an upgraded 76 cores. Unified memory starts at 64GB, and can be upgraded up to 192GB. SSD storage starts at 1TB, and can be upgraded up to 8TB. The enclosure is unchanged, and can still be upgraded with wheels for $400. There is also a rack-mounted version available, with a starting price of $7,499 and identical specs to the tower model.

The new Mac Pro introduces PCIe expansion to Apple silicon chips for the very first time. The enclosure includes seven PCIe expansion slots, with six open slots that feature the 2x faster PCIe gen 4. PCIe expansion cards allow Mac Pro users to customize their computers with specialized equipment for audio, video, and other demanding workflows.

The Mac Pro also includes eight built-in Thunderbolt 4 ports, with six of them on the back and two on top. You can connect up to six Pro Display XDRs to it simultaneously. There are also three USB-A ports, two high-bandwidth HDMI ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports, and a headphone jack.


While they didn’t quite hit their original 2-year goal, the transition to Apple silicon is finally complete. The M2 Ultra Mac Studio and Mac Pro are certainly pricey machines, but they’re targeted solidly at the high-end markets. Apple silicon now covers price points all the way down to the far-more-affordable MacBook Air and Mac mini models, and the new 15” Air introduces yet another consumer-level option to get more screen real estate without breaking the bank.

The 15” MacBook Air, M2 Max and M2 Ultra Mac Studio, and the new Apple silicon Mac Pro are all available starting today from Apple’s website. All models begin arriving to customers and at Apple stores on June 13.

You can follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2023 hub or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2023 RSS feed.

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