Apple unveils M3 chips powering new MacBook Pros and iMac during Scary Fast Halloween...

midian182

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Highly anticipated: Apple held its Scary Fast event at the unusual time of 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT the day before Halloween, where it showed off its latest M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips. The SoCs will appear in the all-new MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models, as well as the 24-inch iMac.

The 3nm M3 chips come with a new GPU architecture offering hardware-accelerated mesh shading, ray tracing, and Dynamic Caching, the latter of which allows the allocation of local memory in real time based on an application's needs.

Without going into further detail, Apple said that the M3's GPU is 1.8 times faster than the M2 and 2.5 times faster than the M1 in Pro apps. It can also reach the same performance level as the M1 using half the power.

Looking at the individual chips, the M3 features an 8-core CPU (four performance cores and four efficiency cores) and a 10-core GPU with support for 24GB of unified RAM. Apple says its single-threaded performance is up to 35% faster than the M1 Pro.

The M3 Pro increases the CPU core count to 12 (six performance, six efficiency) and has an 18-core GPU with support for up to 36GB of memory. The flagship M3 Max, meanwhile, comes with a 16-core CPU (12 performance, four efficiency), a 40-core GPU, and support for up to 128GB of RAM. It also features two ProRes engines, which should please video editing professionals. Apple says the chip is 80% faster than the M1 Max.

Apple added that the M3's AI-focused Neural Engine is up to 60% faster than the one used in the M1 series of chips. There's also a new media engine supporting AV1 decoding and featuring hardware acceleration for H.264, HEVC, and ProRes (standard and RAW).

Elsewhere, the new MacBook Pros are said to offer 22 hours of battery life, a better Liquid Retina XDR display, and a peak HDR brightness of 1,600 nits.

The entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro will come with the standard M3; the laptop replaces the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar keyboard. This size model will also be available with the M3 Pro and M3 Max, whereas the two higher-end chips will be the only options in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The M3 Pro and M3 Max laptops get a new Space Black color option, too.

The base 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro will start at $1,599 while the 16-inch Pros starts at $2,499. They can be ordered today, though the M3 Max models don't ship until November.

Moving onto the 24-inch iMac, the new version marks the first time the all-in-one has been updated since April 2021 when the M1-powered machine arrived.

Apple says the M3-powered iMac (there are no options with the M3 Pro or M3 Max) is up to two times faster than its predecessor and 2.5x faster than 27-inch Intel-based all-in-one PCs.

iMac prices remain the same, starting at $1,299 for the 256GB storage and 8GB RAM configuration. It can be ordered today for shipping next week.

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I'll never understand apple.

The M3 pro is a downgrade, with only 18 cores to the M2 pros 19. The m3 is the same. only the max gets a slight bump.

You can fit a M3 max into a 14 inch macbook pro but not a 24 inch imac, you know the one usually used as a workstation by creatives?

And it's interesting to see every comparison to the M1, likely because the M2 is nearly identical in speed.
 
This does feels like AMD going 'Zen 5 is 2.5x faster than Zen 3.............Oh and yeah, it's also technically faster than Zen 4'

Just typical Apple specs-as-marketing where it talks up fairly standard or below average incremental upgrades and just preaches to the Apple faithful.

...Except that works well for the iphone because well, half of the freaking planet owns or has owned an iphone at this point so incremental and slow upgrades work well if your customer base is as big as it can possibly ever be anyways.

This is different: name a regular user as in, an office worker or average home user that still uses a PC, that would actually be interested enough to move away from PCs and Windows to one of these...Exactly: these machines are super useful if you happen to be a video editor or otherwise work in audio-visual production as in its going to perform as good or better than most workstations or laptops but with 3x the battery life and such.

But what is Apple doing to actually position these things to make sure every office, every developer, every PC gamer at least considers an M3 powered device? Because the hassle of basically having next to no software to use if you're not specifically in the aforementioned audio-visual production realm is going to be so tiny as to be meaningless: Just nothing you'd actually want to do seriously. Even for the enterprise its not going to be worth it to make sure super specialized software some of your production engineers need works (read: it most definitively will not work with current enterprise software) and if you have to split between office user macbooks and IT and production department specialized PCs, you might as well commit to a bigger order for just those PC based system you need for production work anyway and have regular office workers just requisition and use those too anyways: less SKUs and less vastly different skill sets for tech support of said computers is ultimately better than betting on Apple for the corporate world.

So not sure when are these things going to take off: Apple seems to be happy with just retaining the small niche of computer users they already had before their move to in-house Arm chips.
 
I'm mostly a windows users but I'll say this for my MacBook Pro, it is clearly the best-built laptop I've ever owned; its battery life is off the charts; it reliably sleeps and resumes from sleep; and while I've never had a problem with it I am comforted to know there are Apple stores everywhere and if I need it fixed or replaced in a reasonable time frame it can happen. Overall it is just very well behaved at what it does.

If you're lucky enough to not have needs outside its ecosystem, and to fit within the base models capacities as far as RAM and storage, these are great machines and the price can be good too (but the charges to upgrade RAM or SSD are ludicrously overpriced.)

Sometimes I wish Apple would make Windows laptops too.


 
I'll never understand apple.

The M3 pro is a downgrade, with only 18 cores to the M2 pros 19. The m3 is the same. only the max gets a slight bump.

You can fit a M3 max into a 14 inch macbook pro but not a 24 inch imac, you know the one usually used as a workstation by creatives?

And it's interesting to see every comparison to the M1, likely because the M2 is nearly identical in speed.

I read on ArsTechnica (or somewhere, I read this announcement article on a variety of websites) that the M3 Pro is probably designed to encourage more customers to buy the Max instead of the Pro when they primarily want more CPU performance (and don't care about GPU).
 
The base model is still 8GB RAM shared between the CPU and GPU... WTF Apple?
The upgrades are outrageously priced, too. $400 to go from 256GB to 1TB on the iMac. I could buy a 4TB pro level NVME M.2 for $380. And 8GB more RAM for $200 is also ridiculous consider you could buy 32GB of DDR5 RAM for around $100.
 
SNIP

This is different: name a regular user as in, an office worker or average home user that still uses a PC, that would actually be interested enough to move away from PCs and Windows to one of these...Exactly: these machines are super useful if you happen to be a video editor or otherwise work in audio-visual production as in its going to perform as good or better than most workstations or laptops but with 3x the battery life and such.

But what is Apple doing to actually position these things to make sure every office, every developer, every PC gamer at least considers an M3 powered device? Because the hassle of basically having next to no software to use if you're not specifically in the aforementioned audio-visual production realm is going to be so tiny as to be meaningless: Just nothing you'd actually want to do seriously. Even for the enterprise its not going to be worth it to make sure super specialized software some of your production engineers need works (read: it most definitively will not work with current enterprise software) and if you have to split between office user macbooks and IT and production department specialized PCs, you might as well commit to a bigger order for just those PC based system you need for production work anyway and have regular office workers just requisition and use those too anyways: less SKUs and less vastly different skill sets for tech support of said computers is ultimately better than betting on Apple for the corporate world.

So not sure when are these things going to take off: Apple seems to be happy with just retaining the small niche of computer users they already had before their move to in-house Arm chips.

I bought the M1 MacBook Air a few years back when they came out. I use it for work, every day. I know lots of people who could use a Mac for everyday office work, without a problem. Sure, for specialized work you might need a PC if that's what your software runs on. But, for the vast majority of office workers, salespeople, and others, it's easy to switch to a Mac. Many enterprise applications are moving to web-based interfaces or SASS, so as long as you have a web browser, you can "run" those tools from the Mac.

I think you overestimate the "vastly" different skill sets needed to manage a Mac. It's not that different. I know many enterprise companies that have PCs, Macs and other computers (eg Linux) and they support them just fine. In a smaller environment, it would make more sense to standardize on a platform but in larger corporations they buy the device that fulfills the requirement for the intended purpose. When 80% of the company is running Outlook and MS Office, it doesn't matter if you do that on a PC, Mac or even Chromebook.

As for gamers, I don't think Apple has ever made any real commitment to gaming. I think they don't really care about it, though I think that is a mistake.
 
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