Apple introduced new MacBook Pro and iMac with M3 chips: What are they and how much do they cost?

October 31, 2023  11:02

A few hours ago, Apple presented several new models of Mac family computers during an online presentation, including MacBook Pro laptops based on 3-nm M3 series processors, as well as the all-in-one iMac, which also received a processor of the same series.

Let's figure out what the new processors and devices based on them are.

M3 processor line

New M3 processors for Apple are produced by TSMC using 3nm technology. The series consists of three processors - the basic M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max.

The basic M3 consists of 4 productive and 4 economical computing cores, as well as a 10-core GPU. Applications running on M3 will have access to up to 24 GB of unified memory, shared between compute and graphics.

It's interesting, however, that the new processor is being compared to the M1 and not the M2. Thus, M3 surpasses M1 by 35% in terms of computing power and by 65% in graphics.

The M3 Pro processor uses a combination of 6 performance and 6 compute cores, and is also equipped with an 18-core GPU that is 40% faster than the M1 Pro. The computing part of M3 Pro is up to 30% faster than M1 Pro. But for some reason, even here the new processor is not compared with its direct predecessor, the M2 Pro. The amount of unified memory supported by M3 Pro is up to 36 GB.

The eldest in the M3 Max line received an asymmetrical layout of the computing part - 12 productive cores and 4 economical ones. The GPU uses 40 cores, which makes it 50-80% faster than the M1 Max. M3 Max provides access to 128 GB of unified memory.

The graphics part of all M3 line processors provides support for hardware ray tracing and mesh shading technology. In addition, all new processors received a dynamic caching function, which makes it possible to allocate the required amount of memory for the operation of the GPU for each specific task. The new processors also have a hardware AV1 decoder and an improved neural coprocessor that can speed up machine learning systems.

New iMac with 24-inch display

One of the new devices Apple showed today is an all-in-one iMac with a 24-inch display powered by an M3 processor.

The RAM capacity can be up to 24 GB, and the storage capacity can be up to 2 TB. Notably, the system can handle up to 12 simultaneous video streams in 4K resolution, doubling processing power for Adobe Photoshop-related tasks and speeding up various office applications such as Safari and Microsoft Excel by up to 30%. Additionally, users can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E wireless interface for enhanced connectivity.

While the color scheme and overall design of the all-in-one have remained the same, we can see some shift towards sustainable production methods. The integration of materials obtained by recycling methods is now actively used in the production of monoblock body parts. However, all this will not affect the characteristics of the device.

Additionally, the device retains Lightning ports for seamless connectivity to peripherals.

The new iMac is expected to go on sale on November 7th, starting at $1,299 with 8 GPUs and $1,499 with 10 GPUs.

New MacBook Pro

The base 14-inch M3-powered MacBook Pro is said to be 60% faster than the 13-inch M2-powered MacBook Pro. The new device received 36 GB of RAM. The processor offers 12 computing and up to 18 graphics cores.

The new items retain Mini LED displays, three Thunderbolt ports, one HDMI port, an SD card reader, a camera with support for 1080p resolution, six speakers and a port for connecting a charger with a MagSafe magnetic connector. The maximum display brightness when playing SDR content has increased by 20% to 600 nits.

The good news is that the manufacturer has abandoned the controversial Touch Bar control element.

The base 14-inch M3-powered MacBook Pro will retail for $1,599 and begin shipping on November 7.

And the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro based on the M3 Pro costs $1,999, while the 16-inch variant is priced at $2,499. Orders are already being accepted, deliveries will begin on November 7.

The most expensive and productive MacBook Pro series laptops based on the M3 Max processor will appear only at the end of November. They will receive up to 128 GB of RAM, and the size of the solid-state drive can reach 8 TB. In this configuration, a MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display will cost $7,199.

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