Apple held a presentation that evening where it introduced the M3 family of processors and the first computers with the new chips. These included the updated powerful MacBook Pro with 14- and 16-inch displays on powerful M3 Pro and M3 Max processors. The new products offer more power, new configurations and a new Space Black color that replaces Space Gray. However, the design remains the same.
The new MacBook Pros are certainly very powerful. The M3 Pro features a 12-core CPU and an 18-core GPU, offering up to 40% performance increase over the M1 Pro. The new chip can be equipped with up to 36GB of RAM, which is slightly more than the previous cap of 32GB. The older M3 Max comes with a 16-core CPU and a 40-core GPU and supports up to 128GB of RAM, which is significantly more than the previous 96GB. Apple’s latest flagship chip is 80% faster than the M1 Max from two years ago.
Apple provides the following performance specifications for the new M3 Pro-based MacBook Pros:
- Filters and features in Adobe Photoshop are three times faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and 40% faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
- Basecalling for DNA sequencing in Oxford Nanopore MinKNOW is 20x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and 36% faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
- Editing videos with text commands in Adobe Premiere Pro is 1.7x faster than the Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro and 30% faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
The manufacturer provides the following data on the performance of the MacBook Pro based on the Apple M3 Max:
- Simulate dynamic systems in MathWorks MATLAB up to 5.5x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and up to 2x faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max.
- Maxon Redshift rendering performance is up to 5.3x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and up to 2.5x faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max.
- Noise reduction in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Studio is 2.7x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro and 65% faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max.
The M2 family of processors were already fast, so this time Apple is focusing mainly on graphics improvements. This is where the big leap for the 3nm M3 chips lies: They can handle hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading, which should be an advantage when gaming on the Mac. A function that Apple calls Dynamic Caching also ensures improved GPU performance.The GPU allocates local memory usage to the hardware in real time, so each task only uses the exact amount of memory it needs“
Apple claims the new MacBook Pro has up to 22 hours of battery life, at least on the 16-inch M3 Pro-based model. The battery life of the Max version is usually slightly shorter. Otherwise, the new MacBook Pro is identical to the M2 Pro and M2 Max laptops that came onto the market at the beginning of the year: they still have a bright and high-contrast mini-LED display, a powerful speaker system, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a HDMI port and an SD memory card slot and a MagSafe charging port. Screens can now achieve a brightness of up to 600 cd/m²2 for SDR content, which is 20% more than before.
Apple says the new Space Black finish attracts fewer fingerprints than the Midnight MacBook Air. The company explains this “a breakthrough chemical composition that forms an anodized surface that significantly reduces fingerprints“It is noted that the new shade looks slightly darker than the previous space gray.
Pre-orders for the new MacBook Pro have already begun; Models based on M3 Pro chips will go on sale on November 7th. Delivery of the M3 Max models will take a little longer and will be available at the end of November. The cheapest version of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro chip costs $1,999 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,499. The cheapest MacBook Pro with M3 Max and 14-inch screen costs $3,199, while the price for the 16-inch version with this chip starts at $3,499. The most expensive configuration of the new MacBook Pro (16-inch, 128GB RAM and 8TB SSD) costs $7,199.