Apple introduced the new Mac Studio, alongside the new Apple Studio Display, at its Peek Performance event earlier this week. The company is offering two versions of the Mac Studio: one with the same M1 Max chip as the 2021 MacBook Pro and the other one with the M1 Ultra chipset it introduced at the same event.
However, some customers noticed that the M1 Ultra Mac Studio is almost a kilogram heavier than the M1 Max chipset. Apple has now confirmed the reason why the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chip is heavier than the M1 Max version. The company says that the metal used in both the computer’s thermal systems is different, and the weight of this metal is primarily why the M1 Ultra variant weighs more.
In a statement to The Verge, an Apple spokesperson said:
They have the same 370W power supply. The additional weight is due to M1 Ultra having a larger copper thermal module, whereas M1 Max has an aluminum heatsink.
With the statement, Apple has clarified that it uses a heavier metal in the heatsink of the M1 Ultra Mac Studio. The Verge then details that "at room temperature, copper is 8.96 grams per cubic centimeter, whereas aluminum is a svelte 2.70 grams. That means that, if the design of the heatsinks is exactly the same, the copper version would be over three times heavier than the aluminum one."
Many modern-day computers already use a copper metal heat sink as it can hold heat better and move it faster. With the amount of raw power M1 Ultra can deliver, a lot of heat will be generated, and it seems that this is the reason why Apple is going with copper instead of aluminum in the M1 Ultra Mac Studio.
While we are yet to test the performance and heat dissipation of the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra chipset ourselves, it seems that Apple doesn't want another trash-can Mac Pro situation and it's going with the safe bet.