Apple Inc. announced a new range of MacBook Pros this afternoon at an event called “Scary Fast,” along with debuting new 3 nanometer-based M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
The new M3 chips, the latest in Apple’s in-house designed chips, offer up to 80% faster performance than Apple’s M1 chips. The new ARM-based systems-on-a-chip are the first time 3nm chips have been available for the Mac and are said by Apple to deliver the biggest leap forward in graphics architecture ever for Apple silicon.
The new chips feature a technology called Dynamic Caching that involves the GPU allocating the use of local memory in hardware in real-time so only the exact amount of memory needed is used for each task. Apple claims this dramatically increases GPU utilization and performance for the most demanding pro apps and games.
The GPU also brings new rendering features to Apple silicon, including hardware-accelerated mesh shading for greater capability and efficiency with geometry processing, enabling more visually complex scenes. Also, in a first for Apple, the chips offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing, enabling games to render more accurate shadows and reflections to create more realistic environments. The fact that most games are neither designed nor ported to Macs seems to be beside the point – if they were, they’d run fast, according to Apple.
The new MacBook Pro lineup includes the full lineup of M3 chips – the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. The new MacBook Pros include a 14-inch model and a 16-inch model.
The new 14‑inch MacBook Pro with M3 is being pitched by Apple as being great for everyday tasks but also delivering “phenomenal sustained performance in pro apps and games.” Said to be perfect for aspiring creatives, students and entrepreneurs, the 14-inch model starts at $1,599.
Apple also announced 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros running the M3 Pro chip. The laptops provide even greater performance and additional unified memory support, enabling more demanding workflows for users such as coders, creatives and researchers.
If that’s not enough, Apple also announced 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros with the M3 Max chip. Described as offering a “monster” GPU – Apple was heavy on references to Halloween – a pagan festival primarily only celebrated in the U.S., the M3 Max offers up to 128GB of unified memory for extreme workflows and multitasking across. The MacBook Pros with the M3 Max are said to be ideal for users such as machine learning programmers, 3D artists and video editors.
All the new MacBook Pro models feature a Liquid Retina XDR display with 20 percent brighter standard dynamic range content, a built-in 1080p camera – in 2023, an immersive six-speaker sound system and a wide array of connectivity options. Apple claims the new MacBook Pros have up to 22 hours of battery life.
“With the remarkable power-efficient performance of Apple silicon, up to 22 hours of battery life, a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display and advanced connectivity, MacBook Pro empowers users to do their life’s best work,” John Ternus, senior vice president of Hardware Engineering at Apple, said in a statement. “With the next generation of M3 chips, we’re raising the bar yet again for what a pro laptop can do.”
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