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Apple will hold its first special event of the year tomorrow, and it’s becoming clear that the Mac will be an important focus. As first reported by 9to5Mac last week, Apple is developing a new Mac Studio desktop computer with Apple Silicon on the inside. It may not seem obvious how the Mac Studio will fit in the lineup, but there’s actually a clear spot for it.How the Mac Studio might fit in the lineup
As we reported last week, the Mac Studio could serve as either a “pro Mac mini” or a “mini Mac Pro.” The machine is being developed and tested in two separate configurations. One of those configurations is the M1 Max chip – which we’ve seen previously in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The other configuration, however, is being tested with a an Apple Silicon chip that is “even more powerful than the current M1 Max.”
Furthermore, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has also reported that Apple is working on a “smaller Mac Pro” with an Apple Silicon chip equipped with 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores. Our sources indicate that this smaller Mac Pro is indeed the “Mac Studio,” and is designed to replace the high-end Intel-powered Mac mini that Apple still sells.
So how will the Mac Studio fit in the lineup? Some important context came over the weekend, courtesy of reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo, a new iMac Pro and Mac Pro aren’t likely to be released until 2023. Without the Mac Studio, this would leave a pretty big hole at the top of the Apple Silicon lineup.
With the Mac Studio, here’s what Apple’s desktop Mac lineup could look like this year:
M1 Mac mini (updated to an M2 chip at some point)
M1 iMac (updated to an M2 chip at some point)
Mac Studio with an M1 Max/even more powerful chip
Large-screened iMac of some sort, details murky here
Mac Pro with Intel inside, eventually transitioned to Apple Silicon
As you can see, there are still some unknowns here — particularly in regards to the larger-screened iMac. Will we get a bigger version of the 24-inch iMac this year? It’s possible. It could be that Ming-Chi Kuo is referring exclusively to an “iMac Pro” with his predictions.9to5Mac’s Take
The point of all of this is to say that I can absolutely see how the Mac Studio will fit in the desktop Mac lineup — especially when paired with a more affordable alternative to the Pro Display XDR.
There has always been a big gap between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro in terms of both pricing and performance. While the 27-inch iMac has filled that gap for years, not everyone wants a 27-inch all-in-one machine. There’s a clear benefit to the modular nature of the Mac mini (and Mac Studio), where you can bring your own display — whether it’s an Apple display or something from another company.
And if the Mac Pro’s Apple Silicon upgrade is indeed delayed to 2023, the Mac Studio will give Apple more time to complete that transition while not neglecting the higher-end desktop market.
Finally, there’s also a financial benefit to buying a Mac mini or Mac Studio because you can upgrade the computer itself without having to upgrade your display. You don’t have to swap out the entire setup, just the computer.
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In short, you can customize the setup of the Apple Mac Pro and Mac Studio in a very similar fashion and make them perform the same. However, even with the same specifications, the price difference between the two is $3000. Like you, I was surprised to find such a price difference while browsing the official product pages. But there’s a lot more to the story.
More Thunderbolt 4 Ports and Additional Accessories Might Be Making Mac Pro Expensive
If you visit the Apple online store right now and configure the Mac Pro and Mac Studio, you will notice that one costs $11799, while the other is $8799. That means there’s a $3000 price difference between the two.
Before anything else, you need to consider that Mac Pro comes with extra goodies. Apple is offering Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and a USB-C to Lightning cable with the Mac Pro. You do not get them with the Apple Mac Studio.
Now, while they are really expensive goodies, they will be useless for a professional user who already has these accessories.
Additional Thunderbolt 4 Ports
The Apple Mac Studio comes with a total of six Thunderbolt 4 ports. There are four at the back and two at the front. In comparison, the Apple Mac Pro comes with a total of 8 ports.Gizchina News of the week
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Of course, there’s no denying that Mac Studio is extremely compact in size. So, it’s understandable why it offers two fewer Thunderbolt 4 ports than Mac Pro.
Other Upgrades of Apple Mac Pro
The additional Thunderbolt 4 Ports and bundled peripherals will not be worth spending an extra $3000 for most buyers. In addition, Apple offers one extra HDMI and Ethernet port on the Mac Pro. Also, the workstation has seven PCIe expansion slots.
But the bad news is that you can only install networking cards or storage on these PCIe slots. That is, they do not have support for dedicated graphics cards. And this practically discourages a large customer base from picking up the Apple Mac Pro.
So, what really makes the Apple Mac Pro worth an extra $3000? At the WWDC 2023 keynote, Apple only talked about the Mac Pro for two and a half minutes. And if you asked me, it seems like Apple is not putting that much focus on the workstation.
It’s likely because Apple understands that consumers prefer compact machines over clunky workstations. And with the Mac Studio, Apple proved that compact machines can be powerful and thermally capable at the same time. So, if you make a price-to-price comparison, the Mac Studio is a no-brainer option at the moment.
However, the place where the extra $3000 will start to make sense is in terms of upgradability. You can not upgrade the Apple Mac Studio in any way. After all, it’s Apple that we are talking about.
So, whatever you are configuring it with at the Apple online store, you are stuck with it. If that’s something you think is not paying an extra $3000 for, you will be well-off with the Apple Mac Studio.
Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.
While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.
But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.
Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade.The raw numbers
BASE PRICE 256GB 512GB 1TB MAX STORAGE PRICE COST PER GB (MAX STORAGE UPGRADE PRICE/MAX STORAGE) PREMIUM PERCENTAGE OF ORIGINAL PRICE (MAX STORAGE UPGRADE PRICE/BASE PRICE)
11” MacBook Air $899.00 $200.00 $500.00 – $1,399.00 $0.98 56%
13” MacBook Air $999.00 $200.00 $500.00 – $1,499.00 $0.98 50%
12” MacBook $1299.00 – $300.00 – $1,599.00 $0.59 23%
13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display $1299.00 $200.00 $500.00 $1,000.00 $2,299.00 $0.98 77%
15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display $1999.00 – $300.00 $800.00 $2,799.00 $0.78 40%
Note that all of the data in this post is only considering storage space. Apple provides additional performance incentives with its flash storage upgrades, but since this post is solely about storage and possible configurations, all other performance enhancements have been ignored for the sake of this exercise.
The numbers are certainly intriguing. Here are seven interesting points that we can extrapolate from this data:
The 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display has the worst PPOP (Premium Percentage of Original Price). This is the percentage of a maxed out machine from a pure storage perspective versus the original base model price. For example, the 13″ MacBook Pro can be maxed out to 1TB for a minimum of $1,000. That is 77% of the original base model price. In other words, you’re almost paying enough (77%) to buy another 13″ base model MacBook Pro in order to up the storage to 1TB. This makes it, by far, the worst MacBook to max out in the entire lineup in terms of price.
The 12″ MacBook is actually a fairly decent deal to max out its storage. Maxed out storage only goes up to 512GB, but that’s only 23% of the original base model price vs 50% for the 13″ MacBook Air for the same amount of storage. The 12″ MacBook’s PPOG is the best among all MacBooks in the lineup.
In order to upgrade any MacBook in Apple’s entire lineup to 1TB, you’ll need to spend $800 extra over the base price at minimum. I understand that Apple uses high quality flash storage that’s fast, but that premium is massive.
The only MacBooks capable of being upgraded to 1TB are the models from its Pro line. Lesser models are stuck with a max of 512GB.
The Cost Per GB (Premium Differential) is the max storage upgrade price divided by the amount of storage. Three of the MacBooks in Apple’s lineup come with a Premium Differential of around $0.98/GB. If this report by ComputerWorld is to be believed, then Apple’s SSD storage prices for these upgrades are hovering around 2012 levels.
The 12″ MacBook, again, stands out as different. The $0.59 Premium Differential is 40% below the levels of every other MacBook in the lineup. Again, the 12″ MacBook doesn’t feature a 1TB option, but it still stands out as being a pretty good deal relative to Apple’s other asking prices.
MacBooks with prices in the 256GB field are MacBooks that feature a paltry 128GB of base storage. In 2023, there’s simply no way around stating that this is absurd.
Of course, considering that we’re ignoring another major piece of the puzzle — the other performance improvements that come with such price increases — such data is worthy of an asterisk. It simply highlights the need for more flexible storage upgrade options in Apple’s MacBook line.
I believe that if I want 1TB of storage in my base model 13″ MacBook, and nothing else, I shouldn’t have to pay $1,000 for the option. It’s like needing to buy a car that seats four, but having to pay for an 8-cylinder engine just to get there.Ways to improve storage options
I understand that Apple is looking to squeeze every ounce of value from its lineup, but I think some compromises could be made for the sake of the customer. I also understand that Apple uses high quality components in its machines; look no further than the read/write speed comparisons between OWC’s third-party SSD and the stock SSDs that ship with the latest MacBooks.
I don’t mind that Apple wants to charge a premium for its components. I just wish that it wouldn’t require customers to purchase more machine than necessary just to satisfy storage needs. Apple, make it easier for your customers to upgrade to 512GB or 1TB of storage. Don’t make us pay 77% of the value of the original base model just to have enough storage space for our needs. The cost per gigabyte for three of Apple’s max storage upgrades is running at nearly $1.00 USD. Even for premium components, that’s a little on the high side. The 12″ MacBook comes in at a more modest $0.59 per gigabyte for max storage, so we know that there’s some wiggle room to be had here.
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This is the most obvious and easiest route. You just copy your library and paste it into your hard drive. But before you unplug the hard drive and start transferring the music to another PC, due to how our iTunes music is ran and attached to a specific .xml folder, you will have to copy a bit more than just the music, you’re also sending off album information and ratings done in iTunes.
Now, you are at the point where you can physically move the music folder to external hard drive.
Once you are done, ensure that the computer has the latest version of iTunes (or at least the same version as the previous computer). Connect your hard drive and replace the iTunes folder of your new computer with the old in your external hard drive. That’s it! You’re now finished, just launch iTunes to apply the additions.Option 2: The Cloud Route
There are three options that I like to call the “cloud” route – iTunes Match, Home Sharing, or using cloud storage. These routes all just require your Mac and an Internet connection. These routes are the easiest, especially when compared to the hard drive version, however the whole process will depend on how large your iTunes library is and the speed of your Internet connection.Home Sharing
Home Sharing is meant to allow for easier sharing between family computers, but it works for just about any situation that requires you moving music between two Macs.
The second option is by using iTunes Match. Check out the instructions here.Cloud Storage
The third option is cloud storage. You have many options, but one that I prefer is Dropbox. This is recommended for small libraries, due to the free limit of 2GB. You can also use SkyDrive, if you are one of the lucky few to snap the 25GB storage space. For the cloud storage transfer option, the method is similar to the external hard drive method. You just have to treat the Dropbox (or Skydrive) folder as the external hard drive and move your music library to the folder. The files will be synced over the cloud to your new Mac.Option 3: Transfer Between Users on Same Mac
I was presented with this situation two nights ago. It’s rather easy to execute. First off, after quitting iTunes, go to your User folder and find the iTunes folder.
Drag (or copy) that folder to the “Public” folder found on your account’s folder.
Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.
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If you use Google Chrome on your Mac, and chances are that you do, you must have noticed that it automatically updates itself. While this is definitely a good thing, partly because it saves you the trouble of updating yet another app, and partly (and this is important) because this means that you always have the latest security updates pushed to your browser. However, the problem is that if you want to disable automatic updates in Chrome, you simply can’t do it. There is absolutely no option in Google Chrome that will allow you to disable automatic updates for the browser. This is probably there so that users don’t disable updates, and end up making themselves vulnerable. But, if you really want to disable automatic updates for Google Chrome, you can follow the steps given below:Check Chrome’s Update Check Interval
Google Chrome has a set interval at which it checks for any available updates. If it finds one, the update is automatically downloaded, and installed. While checking the current value of the update check interval is not really necessary, it is a good idea to do this, so you can set it back to default if you want to. To check the current check interval, simply follow the steps below:
1. Launch Terminal, and type “defaults read com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval“. Hit Enter.
Disable Chrome Auto Updates
Note: It is not recommended to disable automatic updates for Google Chrome, as this will leave you susceptible to potential security threats, that Google might patch in a later version. Only do this if you know what you’re doing. Also, it is recommended to manually update Google Chrome every now and then, just to be on the safer side. I will tell you how you can manually check for updates at the end of this article.
All it takes is one command on the Terminal, and Chrome automatic updates will get disabled on a Mac. If you’re sure that you want to disable automatic updates for Google Chrome on your Mac, just launch Terminal, and type the command “defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 0“.
Manually Update Google Chrome
If you have disabled automatic updates for Google Chrome, I would definitely suggest that you still manually run the updater in order to keep the version updated. To manually run the updater, simply follow the steps below:
Note: If that location doesn’t have anything, go to “~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Resources/”, instead.Re-Enable Automatic Updates
If you decide that automatic updates were probably better for you, you can always set them up again. All you need to do, is launch the Terminal, and type “defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 18000“. This will set the update interval back to the default value that Google Chrome comes with. You will need to restart Chrome for the changes to take effect.
SEE ALSO: 10 Ways to Speed Up Google Chrome on PC or MacEnable or Disable Chrome Auto Updates
Here is a neat trick that allows you to move the selected region to another part of the screen.
1. While selecting the region, press “Space” on the keyboard without releasing the mouse. You will find that you are able to move the selected region to any where you want on the screen.
2. Once you have moved to the area you want, release the “Space” button without releasing the mouse to continue resizing the selected region.
3. Let go of the mouse and it will capture the region that you wanted.
Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.
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