Tonight, Apple unveiled its next-generation M-series chips that power both the MacBook Pro and iMac. In the past, Apple first introduced the next generation with a base M-chip before the company introduced the Pro/Max chips. However, this time, Apple revealed three chips at once, M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max, which offer a huge leap in performance over the M1-series chips with several improvements with advanced capabilities across the board.
The most notable improvement was the pioneer of 3nm process technology for a personal computer that allows better space efficiency with more transistors that fit on a smaller area. This is a significant improvement over the 5nm process introduced with the M1 series. The GPU has also been improved across that board, which offers not only up to 2.5x faster rendering speeds over the M1 series, but also introduces Dynamic Caching for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading for the first time on a Mac, so games that involve complex scenes will look more realistic than ever. When compared to the first generation of Apple Silicon for Mac, you’ll see substantial improvements in both the performance/efficiency cores and the Neural Engine.
- The M3 family’s performance cores offer up to 50% faster performance over the M1 series’.
- The M3 family’s efficiency cores are up to 30% faster than the M1 series’.
- The M3 family’s Neural Engine is up to 60% faster than the M1 series’.
Additionally, the media engine in the M3 series now supports AV1 decoding for the first time, which allows extended battery life (up to 22 hours) when watching from streaming services thanks to the optimizations in playing back content.
The M3 chip, found in both the 14-inch MacBook Pro and iMac, packs 25 billion transistors and supports up to 24GB of unified memory. The M3 has:
- an 8-core CPU (4 performance / 4 efficiency)
- an 8-core or 10-core GPU
- a 16-core Neural Engine
- hardware-accelerated ray tracing
- 100GB/s memory bandwidth
The next step up in the series is the M3 Pro chip on both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, which features 37 billion transistors and supports up to 36GB of unified memory. The configurations of the M3 Pro are the following:
- 11-core CPU (5 performance cores/ 6 efficiency cores), 14-core GPU, 16-core Neutral Engine
- 12-core CPU (6 performance cores / 6 efficiency cores), 18-core GPU, 16-core Neutral Engine
Both of these configurations feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing and 150GB/s memory bandwidth.
For maximum performance on a Mac laptop, the M3 Max on both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro packs up to 92 billion transistors and now offers a maximum of 128GB unified memory for the first time on a Mac laptop. The configurations for the M3 Max are the following:
- 14-core CPU, 30-core GPU, 16-core Neutral Engine (300GB/s memory bandwidth)
- 16-core CPU, 40-core GPU, 16-core Neutral Engine (400GB/s memory bandwidth)
Both of these configurations feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
The all-new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and 24-inch iMacs with the M3 family of chips are available to order today, and they’ll be available to customs on November 7. What do you think about all of these improvements found in the next generation of Apple Silicon for Mac? Let us know in the comments below, or on X at @Appleosophy.