Apple is preparing to launch its new M2 Macs while simultaneously testing its M3 processors, according to a Bloomberg report. Earlier this year, Apple released a new Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro chips.
Apple Tests Next-Generation M3 Chips for New Macs
The company is conducting tests of next-generation Macs equipped with M3 processors, while the M2-based machines are yet to hit the market. This move is aimed at ensuring compatibility of the M3 chips with third-party applications, and also to generate excitement among consumers for the upcoming Macs.
M3 Pro: Specifications and Comparison with M2 Pro
According to the data collected by an App Store developer and shared with Power On, one of the versions of M3 chip in testing has 12 CPU cores, 18 graphics cores, and 36GB of memory. The CPU comprises six high-performance cores and six efficiency cores, while the chip is expected to run in a high-end MacBook Pro with the upcoming macOS 14.0. The M3 Pro is also anticipated to be the base-level version of the M3 chip coming next year.
The M3 Pro is an improvement over the M2 Pro chip, which has 10 CPU cores (six high-performance cores/four power-efficient cores), 16 graphics cores, and 32GB of memory. If the M3 Pro is indeed the base-level M3 chip, then it would feature an increase in core counts similar to the jump from M1 Pro to M2 Pro. This implies an increase of two CPU cores with low power consumption and two extra cores for graphics. The top-end configuration is expected to have 4GB more memory than the M2 Pro.
M3 Max and M3 Ultra
If the M3 Max is comparable to the M2 Max (compared with the M1 Max), it could have up to 14 CPU cores and over 40 graphics cores, while the M3 Ultra could top out at 28 CPU cores and over 80 graphics cores, up from the 64-core limit on the M1 Ultra. The M3 chip is built on a 3-nanometer manufacturing process, allowing for higher-density chips that can fit more cores into a small processor.
Release Date for Macs with M3 Chips
According to Mark Gurman, the first Macs with M3 chips are likely to arrive towards the end of this year or early next year. In the meantime, the company is preparing to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip this summer, and is also developing M3-based iMacs, high-end and low-end MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs.