Apple Updates MacBook Pro, iMac With New M3 Chips
Updated: Dec 18, 2023
Apple has debuted the industry's first 3nm chipsets for personal computers, the M3.
The tech giant at its "Scary Fast" Mac launch event today pulled the curtains back on its new lineup of chipsets consisting of the base M3, the M3 Pro and the M3 Max. These new chipsets will be powering the updated models of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro as well as the 24-inch iMac, which were announced at the same event.
All three M3 chipsets boast a significant leap in graphics computing power, delivering hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading, which bring more realistic lighting and better geometry processing in applications like gaming and mixed reality.
Apple says the M3's GPU is up to 1.8 times faster than the M2 and up to 2.5 times faster than the M1, while consuming less power.
In terms of how each chipset compares to each other, here's a breakdown: the M3 has an eight-core CPU (four performance cores and four efficiency cores), a 10-core GPU and support for up to 24GB of RAM. The M3 Pro has a 12-core CPU (six performance cores and six efficiency cores), an 18-core GPU and support for up to 36GB of RAM. Finally, the M3 Max has a 16-core CPU (12 performance cores and four efficiency cores), a 40-core GPU and support for up to 128GB of RAM.
The M3's performance cores are reportedly up to 15% faster than the M2's, while the efficiency cores are 30% faster.
The M3 chipsets also come with an upgraded Neural Engine, allowing them to handle artificial intelligence-related tasks up to 60% faster than the M1.
As previously mentioned, these chipsets are first shipping with the updated models of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and the new 24-inch iMac, giving the three systems a notable performance boost. For example, the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro is 60% faster than the 13-inch M1 model. The M3 Max models takes it further, delivering up to 11 times faster performance than the fastest Intel-equipped MacBook Pro models.
However, when it comes to hardware, the new MacBook Pros are more of an iterative refresh. They retain most of the same specs of their respective predecessors, including the 1080p FaceTime cameras and six speaker systems. The display does benefit from an improvement as it's now capable of outputting SDR content at up to 600 nits, which is 20% brighter than before.
The new MacBook Pro models also debut the new Space Black color option.
Pre-orders are now being accepted for the new M3 MacBook Pro, with M3 and M3 Pro models expected to ship as early as November 7, while M3 Max models expected to arrive later in the same month. The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro starts at S$2,299, while the 16-inch model with an M3 Pro starts at S$3,599.
Apple also launched a new 24-inch iMac that comes equipped with an M3 chip. The new all-in-one desktop is up to twice as fast as the M1-equipped iMac model. The company touts that users can enjoy a performance boost across different applications and tasks. Safari, for instance, runs up to 30% faster here than on the previous model. Games are also smoother, with up to 50% improved frame rates.
The new iMac also has all the benefits that M3 brings, including hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray-tracing.
When it comes to hardware, there's not a lot new with this iMac, still shipping with the same 4.5K Retina display of its predecessor. But it does include new connectivity options, now supporting Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
Pre-orders for the M3 iMac start today, with it shipping on November 7. The base model, which features an eight-core GPU, 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM, starts at S$1,899.
Apple at its "Scary Fast" Mac launch event today pulled the curtains back on its new lineup of chipsets consisting of the base M3, the M3 Pro and the M3 Max.
These new chipsets will be powering the updated models of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro as well as the 24-inch iMac, which were announced at the same event.
The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro starts at S$2,299, while the 16-inch model with an M3 Pro starts at S$3,599.
The new iMac starts at S$1,899.