3 min Devices

“Crazy fast” M3 chips should make iMac and MacBook Pros attractive again

“Crazy fast” M3 chips should make iMac and MacBook Pros attractive again

Apple today unveiled its new lineup of iMac and MacBook Pros. With the M3 chip as its driving force, the Cupertino-based company hopes to relive the magic (and especially sales) of Apple’s “M1 moment”. More GPU power, dynamic caching and up to 128 GB of memory were the focus of Apple’s presentation, titled “Crazy Fast”.

Firstly, Apple is offering the new M3 chip in three variants: the regular M3, the M3 Pro and M3 Max. Compared to the M1 and M2, the performance cores (p-cores) are 15 percent and 30 percent faster, respectively, while the efficiency cores take an even bigger leap: 30 percent higher performance compared to the M2 family and 50 percent relative to the M1. Similarly, neural processing workloads complete an M3 chip 15 percent faster than an M2, while outperforming the M1 by 60 percent. The GPU now includes many modern graphics features, such as mesh shading and ray tracing. These are now well established for 3D rendering and running games, making their inclusion all the more beneficial.

Drie Apple M3- en M3 Pro-logo's op een donkere achtergrond.

The M1 comparison will be decisive for many consumers, as many opted not to upgrade to the M2. In fact, Apple reportedly stopped producing M2 chips by early 2023 because of disappointingly low demand. Those chips were baked on TSMC’s 5 nanometer process, while the new processors are built with the brand new 3 nanometer node. This explains the significant performance and efficiency improvements.

P-coresE-coresMax. GPU coresMax memory
Apple M3441024 GB
Apple M3 Pro661836 GB
Apple M3 Max12440128GB

Tip: Apple has one-year monopoly on 3nm chips with iPhone 15

New iMac, MacBook Pros and the end of the Touch Bar

The new 24-inch iMac includes a 4.5K Retina display and a 1080p webcam. Apple promises it will be twice as fast as the M1 iMac. Customers can opt for up to 24 GB of system memory, although only 8 GB is available on the base model. The new model will be available starting Nov. 7.

Een computerscherm met een groen scherm.
The new 24-inch iMac

The new MacBook Pro models (14 and 16 inches) can be equipped with either the M3 Pro or M3 Max, with a Mini-LED display and up to 128 GB of system memory, substantially more than the 96 GB users could choose with the M2 model. There is also a 14-inch MacBook Pro with the regular M3 chip, which henceforth comes without Touch Bar. It marks the end of this Apple feature above the keyboard after seven years of service. Again, the rather meager-looking 8 GB of system memory rears its head, although the new chips’ “Dynamic Caching” should ensure that this is not a problem as it aims to reduce memory overhead of all applications.

Een laptop met een kleurrijke afbeelding van hersenen.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple will again hope to please consumers with these benchmark results playing centre stage, especially the large group still running a device with an M1 power source. However, this will at least be an excellent time for buyers of the last models of iMacs and MacBook Pros with Intel chips to take the plunge into Apple Silicon.

Also read: Apple processors vulnerable to sensitive data leaks