Apple unveils new MacBook Pro and iMac models powered by the beastly M3 chip

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Just in time for Halloween, Apple has unveiled its new lineup of MacBook Pro models. While the new laptops are shiny and exciting, the real star of the announcement is the new M3 chip.

Ever since Apple shifted from Intel processors back in 2020, its laptops have been hard to beat on both performance and battery life.

In fact, Apple has dominated our roundup of the best laptops since we started analysing the computers recommended by leading review sites around the world.

More, More Pro and More Max

Apple announced three new M3 chips at its event today: The M3, the M3 Pro and the M3 Max.

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M3M3 ProM3 Max
8-core CPUUp to 12-core CPUUp to 16-core CPU
10-core GPUUp to 18-core GPUUp to 40-core GPU
Up to 24GB Unified MemoryUp to 36GB Unified MemoryUp to 128GB Unified Memory

The M3 family of chips are the first to be developed using 3-nanometer processor technology. This allows for more transistors to be packed into the chip, delivering significant jumps in performance.

While more transistors is great, a more significant shift is the improvements made to the GPU inside the M3 chips.

The GPU introduces a new technology called Dynamic Caching. Rather than the GPU hogging all the memory when it kicks in, Dynamic Caching intelligently allocates the use of local memory in hardware in real time.

This means that only the exact amount of memory needed is used for each task with Dynamic Caching. This significantly increases performance for the most demanding apps and games on the Mac, and is something all developers can take advantage of

From a pure performance standpoint, rendering speeds are now up to 2.5x faster than on the M1 family of chips and CPU performance cores and efficiency cores are 30 per cent and 50 per cent faster than those in M1, respectively.

Even the Neural Engine is 60 per cent faster than the Neural Engine in the M1 family of chips. 

For most people, the fact the new GPU enables hardware-accelerated ray-tracing is probably the most exciting. Given the announcements of console-games coming to the iPhone 15 Pro, there’s no question that Apple is working hard to entice even more games developers to iOS.

Hardware

So what’s available on the hardware front?

Apple announced new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The M3 chip is only available in a 14-inch version, but you can get the M3 Pro or M3 Max in either 14 or 16-inch variants.

All models come with Liquid Retina XDR display, a built-in 1080p camera, an immersive six-speaker sound system, and up to 22 hours of battery life.

As you might expect, pricing isn’t cheap.

Screen sizeChipSpecsStarting Price
14 inchesM38-Core CPU
10-Core GPU
8GB Unified Memory
512GB SSD Storage
$2,699
14 inchesM38-Core CPU
10-Core GPU
8GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage
$2,999
14 inchesM3 Pro11-Core CPU
14-Core GPU
18GB Unified Memory
512GB SSD Storage
$3,499
14 inchesM3 Pro12-Core CPU
18-Core GPU
18GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage¹
$4,199
14 inchesM3 Max14-Core CPU
30-Core GPU
36GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage
$5,599
16 inchesM3 Pro12-Core CPU
18-Core GPU
18GB Unified Memory
512GB SSD Storage
$4,299
16 inchesM3 Pro12-Core CPU
18-Core GPU
36GB Unified Memory
512GB SSD Storage
$4,899
16 inchesM3 Max14-Core CPU
30-Core GPU
36GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage
$5,999
16 inchesM3 Max16-Core CPU
40-Core GPU
48GB Unified Memory
1TB SSD Storage
$6,899

One more thing

Apple also managed to squeeze in a quick update to its 24-inch iMac, giving it the power of the M3 chip as well.

With its 4.5K Retina display, 1080p FaceTime camera and thin design, the upgrade to M3 delivers significant performance upgrades to the all-in-one computer.

It comes with 4 USB-C ports, Bluetooth 5.3 and support for Wi-Fi 6E, plus a six-speaker system for spatial audio.

The new M3 iMac comes in three new configurations, but only the vanilla M3 chip is on offer – if you want the M3 Pro or M3 Mac, you’ll need a MacBook Pro.

ChipSpecsPrice
M38-Core CPU
8-Core GPU
256GB storage
8GB unified memory
$2,199
M38-Core CPU
10-Core GPU
256GB storage¹
8GB unified memory
$2,499
M38-Core CPU
10-Core GPU
512GB storage¹
8GB unified memory
$2,799

Availability

You can pre-order any of the new M3-powered computers from Apple now, with delivery starting from November 7.

[Apple]

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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