Apple’s finally dropped its M3 range of processors, which will debut on new MacBook Pro models. Here’s how they compare.
If you’re already eyeing up a new 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro model, you’re probably asking yourself whether the standard M3 option is the way to go, or whether it’s worth spending a little more to get the M3 Pro model (or even the M3 Max!).
While the finer points will play out during testing, we can at least compare how they look on paper.
M3 vs M3 Pro specs
The raw numbers give us a decent idea here. In terms of CPU cores, the M3 has an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory. The M3 comprises of 25 billion transistors.
The M3 Pro has 12 CPU cores split evenly between high-performance efficiency cores. M3 Pro has 18 GPU cores and 36GB of unified memory. There are 37 billion transistors.
In terms of display support: M3 supports a single hi-res external display, while the M3 Pro doubles that at two.
How do they compare to the M1 and M1 Pro?
Apple says M3 vs M1 results in 35% better CPU performance and 65% GPU performance. There’s 2.5% rendering performance than M1. It almost doubles the graphic performance with half the power.
M3 Pro vs M1 Pro is a similar story. 40% faster GPU performance, 20% faster performance.
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Who are the M3 and M3 Pro for?
Apple says the M3 is a tidy upgrade on the M1 and M2. That means it seriously improves productivity uses, but with much better gaming performance thanks to the inclusion of hardware-based ray tracing, mesh shading and the new Dynamic Caching feature. It’s designed for the most popular Macs and will be great for most people.
However, if you need to take things to the next level, the M3 Pro might be the way to go. Apple says it’s great for users who need extremely faster performance when working on graphics-intensive tasks. So, for example, if you’re splicing together massive panoramic photo files in Photoshop. Or for those looking to test millions of lines of code or large data models. M3 Pro is also better for the command centre crew as it supports a pair of external displays.
M3 vs M3 Pro: Price difference?
Essentially, it’s $400/£400. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 starts at a new low price of $1,599/£1,699. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro starts at $1,999/£2,099. As you move up to the 16-inch model, it’s $2,499/£2,599 vs $2,899/£2,999.