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What is the Apple M3 chip? Specs, performance and features detailed

Apple has entered a new generation of Silicon processors, once again lifting the performance ceiling of its Macs. The Apple M3 is the entry point of this new generation .

Right now, the Apple M3 chip is currently available in the MacBook Air, 14-inch MacBook Pro and iMac. It’s also expected to appear in the Mac Mini and iPad Pro later this year.

But what exactly is the Apple M3 chip, and how does it differ to its predecessors? We’ll be answering all of those questions and more below.

What is the Apple M3 chip?

The Apple M3 chip is the entry point to the 3rd generation of Apple Silicon processors, which is based on a more efficient 3nm process.

This means that it is the successor to the Apple M1 and Apple M2 processors, while also acting as a younger sibling to the more powerful Pro and Max chips.

Apple claims that the M3 chip is 60% faster than the M1 processor, while also seeing a big boost to AI performance. The M3 even supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing for more advanced lighting effects in gaming and content creation.

Getting more specific, Apple is touting the new M3 family as having up to 2.5x faster rendering performance than M1 and 1.8x faster than M2. GPU performance is a big focus too, with Apple touting almost double the graphics performance of M1 with only half the power. Compared with a 12-core PC laptop chip Apple reckons the M3 offers double the relative GPU performance for a fifth of the power.

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In terms of raw numbers, the new M3 offers 25 billion transistors with up to an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory. It’ll also support one external display.

One of the main new features of Apple M3 is Dynamic Caching. The technology is part of the big graphics boost for the M3 series and allows for the allocating of local memory in real-time. This, Apple says, increases average utilisation of the GPU and increases performance.

There’s also been a big push for AI performance for the M3. According to Apple, you’ll benefit from a 40% speed boost when using Photomator’s AI-powered Super Resolution when compared to the M1 chip. The number of AI apps and features are only going to increase in number, so it’s an important step forward for the company.

With the eventual succeeding M4 chip not expected for a long time, the M3 chips is going to be the go-to processor for entry-level Macs for the foreseeable future.

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