Apple’s M3 Chip: Everything We Know

Apple is developing the next several iterations of its M-series Apple silicon chips, and the chips coming in late 2023 and 2024 will be the “M3” series. The M3 chips will use updated TSMC chip manufacturing technology to make them faster and more efficient than ever before.

m3 feature black
This guide contains everything that we know about Apple’s upcoming M3 chips, and it will be updated over time as we learn more about them.

What We Know

Apple is still on the M2, ‌M2‌ Pro, ‌M2‌ Max, and M1 Ultra line of chips, and the first M3 chip isn’t expected to launch until sometime in late 2023. As with the M1 and ‌M2‌ chip releases, we’ll see the standard M3 first, followed by the M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra.

Chip Details

Like the ‌M2‌ chip, the M3 chip will feature an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, but we will see more notable performance improvements when it comes to the higher-end chips. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, the most powerful M3 chip, the Ultra, will have a 32-core GPU and up to an 80-core GPU.

Here’s the breakdown:

‌M2‌ M3
Standard 8 CPU cores (4 high-performance and 4 energy-efficient)
10 GPU cores
8 CPU cores
10 GPU cores
Pro 10 or 12 CPU cores (6 or 8 high-performance and 4 energy-efficient)
16 or 19 GPU cores
12 or 14 CPU cores (6 or 8 high-performance and 6 energy-efficient)
18 or 20 GPU cores
Max 12 CPU cores (8 high-performance and 4 energy-efficient)
30 or 38 core GPU cores
16 CPU cores (12 high-performance and 4 energy-efficient)
32 or 40 GPU cores
Ultra 24 CPU cores (16 high-performance and 8 energy-efficient)
60 or 76 GPU cores
32 CPU cores (24 high-performance and 8 energy-efficient)
64 or 80 GPU cores

3-Nanometer Technology

Current M-series chips are using TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology, but the M3 chips will use TSMC’s newest 3-nanometer chip technology. A smaller node size equates to more transistor density, which improves both efficiency and performance. 3nm chips could offer up to 35 percent better efficiency, which would allow for longer battery life for M-series Macs.

Apple supplier TSMC is one of the only chip companies that is able to make ‌3nm‌ chips, and rumors suggest that even TSMC’s yield rates are just above 55 percent right now because the technology is so new. Apple’s shift to ‌3nm‌ will mark the first node update since the 5nm ‌M1‌ chip came out in 2020, and it will bring a bigger performance update than we saw with the ‌M2‌.

M3 Macs

So far, Apple has used standard “‌M1‌” and “‌M2‌” chips in its lower-end MacBook Pro and MacBook Air machines, while higher-end MacBook Pro machines use “Pro” and “Max” chips. The Mac Studio and Mac Pro use Apple’s “Ultra” chips.

If Apple sticks with this chip naming scheme, lower-end M3 chips could be in Apple’s entry-level machines, while higher-end Macs could get M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra chips.

Macs Expected to Use M3 Chip

  • 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌
  • 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • Mac mini
  • 24-inch iMac

Macs Expected to Use M3 Pro Chip

  • ‌Mac mini‌
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro

Macs Expected to Use M3 Max Chip

  • 16-inch MacBook Pro
  • ‌Mac Studio‌

Macs Expected to Use M3 Ultra Chip

  • ‌Mac Studio‌
  • ‌Mac Pro‌

Release Date

Rumors so far suggest that we’ll see the first Macs with M3 chip in 2023. Apple plans to release the standard M3 chip first, and we could potentially see it in refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, ‌Mac mini‌, and ‌MacBook Air‌ models before the end of the year. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says we can expect new Macs in October.

Higher-end machines with M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra chips are not expected until 2024.

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