Apple revealed its next-generation M3 silicon, the latest MacBook Pro family and a new iMac at a Halloween-themed Scary Fast event on October 30. All of these products are now available internationally.

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Apple’s M3 chips boast graphics and AI performance increases

Apple’s next-generation silicon — the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max (Figure A) — are what Apple CEO Tim Cook called a “new family of breakthrough chips.”

Figure A

Apple Oct 2023 Event M3 Chips Family
The M3 chip, Apple’s next-generation silicon, was unveiled during the company’s Scary Fast event on Oct. 30, 2023. Image: TechnologyAdvice

The M3 line is the first family of chips for a personal computer built using 3 nanometer technology for extraordinarily small transistors, said Johny Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies at Apple. In the GPU, the M3 family has Dynamic Caching, which adjusts GPU utilization depending on how memory is being used and increases performance for demanding apps and games. It includes hardware accelerated mesh shading for geometry in animation and hardware accelerated ray tracing for gaming.

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The performance CPU on the M3 cores are 30% faster than the M1 family and use half the power, Srouji said. The M3 includes a 60% faster neural chip than the M1 for AI performance on-device.

The Apple M3 adds increased capabilities, a 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU, and is up to 40% faster than the M1 Pro. It supports up to 24 GB of memory. M3 Max has a 16-core CPU, a 40-core GPU and up to 128 GB of memory for the largest AI workloads.

Apple hasn’t released how its M3s line up against more contemporary chips like Qualcomm and NVIDIA recently announced.

New MacBook Pro line announced with M3 chips

The M3 chip family is at the core of the new line of Apple MacBook Pro laptops. There are three tiers of options.

  • The 14″ inch Apple MacBook Pro with the M3 chip is up to 60% faster than the 13″ MacBook Pro with M1, Apple said. This level of performance is good for 3D modeling or augmented reality, Apple said. Apple says code compilation in Xcode on the 14″ inch Apple MacBook Pro with the M3 chip can be up to 3.7 times faster than in the 13″ MacBook Pro with Core i7.
  • The 14″ and 16″ Apple MacBook Pro with M3 Pro have greater performance and more unified memory than the MacBook Pros using M3 chips and are suitable for coders, medical researchers and other professionals. These new Apple laptops can be attached to two displays.
  • The Apple MacBook Pro with M3 Max is good for the largest use cases like 3D animation or generative AI and includes up to 128 GB of unified memory. It can attach to four external displays.

The new Apple MacBook Pro has 22 hours of battery life, Apple said.

MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max are available in a new color: Space Black.

The MacBook Pro, which available starting November 7, starts at $1,599 for the 14″ model and $2,499 for the 16″ model.

New iMac running on Apple’s M3 available now

Lastly, Apple announced a new 24″ iMac desktop with the M3 chip (Figure B).

Figure B

The new lineup of iMac desktops will include the M3 chip. Image: Apple
The new lineup of iMac desktops will include the M3 chip. Image: Apple

The new iMac starts at $1,299 for the 8-core GPU model, which has an 8-core CPU, 8 GB of unified memory and 256 GB SSD. The 12-core model with an 8-core CPU, 8 GB of unified memory and 256 GB SSD starts at $1,499.

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