Apple’s pre-recorded Halloween event was billed as ‘Scary Fast’ and for PC makers it should be – given the rapid performance improvements we’re seeing from Apple Silicon.
A new series of M3 chips have been deployed in the 2023 update to the MacBook Pro line and 24-inch iMac. There’s even a space black MacBook Pro for the high-end M3s.
“Apple silicon has completely redefined the Mac experience. Every aspect of its architecture is designed for performance and power efficiency,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.
“With 3-nanometre technology, a next-generation GPU architecture, a higher-performance CPU, faster Neural Engine, and support for even more unified memory, M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max are the most advanced chips ever built for a personal computer.”
The performance cores are up to 30 per cent faster than those in the M1 series. The efficiency cores are up to 50 per cent faster than the efficiency cores in M1, so everyday tasks are faster without sacrificing battery life.
Together, these cores create a CPU that delivers the same multithreaded performance as M1 using as little as half the power, and up to 35 per cent more performance at peak power.
There’s support for up to 128GB of unified memory, giving the top-end MacBook Pro some serious operating power.
Apple also talked about Dynamic Caching. Dynamic Caching means only the exact amount of memory needed is used for each task.
This is a big deal.
It dramatically increases the average utilisation of the GPU, which significantly increases performance for the most demanding pro apps and games.
The M3 GPU is able to deliver the same performance as M1 using nearly half the power, and up to 65 per cent more performance at its peak.
The other nice addition is hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Ray tracing models the properties of light as it interacts with a scene, allowing apps to create extremely realistic and physically accurate images.
So let’s see how Apple divided up the M3 with its new computers.
14-inch MacBook Pro with M3
This will service most people unless you have demanding video and computational requirements.
Apple says the 14‑inch MacBook Pro with M3 is up to 60 per cent faster than the 13‑inch MacBook Pro with M1.
The key here is the thermal system for sustained performance.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 starts at A$2,699 and A$2,529 education.
- Render performance in Final Cut Pro is up to 7.4x faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Core i7, and up to 60 per cent faster than the 13‑inch MacBook Pro with M1.
- Code compilation in Xcode is up to 3.7x faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Core i7, and up to 40 per cent faster than the 13‑inch MacBook Pro with M1.2
- Spreadsheet performance in Microsoft Excel is up to 3.5x faster than the 13‑inch MacBook Pro with Core i7, and up to 40 per cent faster than the 13‑inch MacBook Pro with M1.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro
For users with more demanding workflows like coders, creatives, and researchers, MacBook Pro with M3 Pro provides even greater performance, supports more unified memory, and is now up to 40 per cent faster than the 16‑inch model with M1 Pro.
- Filter and function performance in Adobe Photoshop is up to 3x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro, and up to 40 per cent faster than the 16‑inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
- Basecalling for DNA sequencing in Oxford Nanopore MinKNOW is up to 20x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro, and up to 36 per cent faster than the 16‑inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
- Text-based editing in Adobe Premiere Pro is up to 1.7x faster than the 16-inch Intel-based MacBook Pro, and up to 30 per cent faster than the 16‑inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max
MacBook Pro with M3 Max provides performance and capabilities for those with extreme workflows like machine learning programmers, 3D artists, and video editors. It is up to 2.5x faster than the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max,6 and up to 11x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro model.5
It also supports up to 128GB of unified memory, enabling creators to easily work on large and complex projects spanning multiple pro apps and plugins, or compose huge film scores where entire orchestral libraries are instantly available from memory.
- Simulation of dynamical systems in MathWorks MATLAB is 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.
- Render performance in Maxon Redshift 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 up to 2.7x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro, and up to 65 per cent faster than the 16‑inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max.
The Liquid Retina XDR display has 1000 nits sustained and 1600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content. SDR content is now displayed at up to 600 nits, which is 20 per cent brighter than before.
Pricing and Availability
The new MacBook Pro is available for order now. Tuesday, 31 October, 2023 via apple.com/au/store.
It will be in store Tuesday, 7th November.
14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 starts at A$2,699 and A$2,529 for education
14‑inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro starts at A$3,499 and A$3,239 for education
16‑inch MacBook Pro starts at A$4,299 and A$3,949 for education.
iMac 24-Inch M3
The iMac 24-Inch gets a processor bump that makes it a compelling option not just for the home but the office too.
- Expansive Retina display: iMac features a 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, a P3 wide colour gamut, over a billion colours, and 500 nits of brightness.
- Advanced connectivity: iMac now features Wi-Fi 6E, which delivers download speeds that are up to twice as fast as the previous generation, and Bluetooth 5.3, which allows users to connect to the latest Bluetooth accessories. It also features up to four USB‑C ports, including two Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfer; support for Gigabit Ethernet standard on select models; and up to a 6K display.
- Camera, mics, and speakers: With a 1080p FaceTime camera and ‘studio-quality’ mics iMac also boasts a six-speaker sound system with support for Spatial Audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos for a cinema-like experience.
- Design: Available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver, iMac comes with new, bold, colour-matched wallpapers, and its strikingly thin, all-in-one design measures just 11.5 mm.
- Colour-matched accessories and Touch ID: iMac features a colour-matched keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. With the option to choose a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID,4 users can easily and securely unlock their computer, use Apple Pay, and download apps. Additionally, Touch ID works with Fast User Switching, so customers can change to a different user profile with just the press of a finger.
Pricing and Availability
The new 24-inch iMac with M3 is available to order today, Tuesday, 31th October 2023 from apple.com/store.
Prices start from A$2,199.
It will be in store from Tuesday, 7th November 2023.