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Winners and Losers: We’re impressed by Apple’s M3 family, but where’s the iMac Pro?

OPINION: November arrived this week and with it, talk of Black Friday. Multiple retailers have already started unveiling discounts ahead of the big day and we expect more to get in on the action over the coming week.

It’s been a busy few days elsewhere too. LG announced pricing for its wild StanbyME portable TV, OnePlus announced a partnership with Sony for camera sensors coming to the OnePlus 12 and we finally got a release date for PlayStation’s upcoming Explore earbuds.

However, the biggest news came from Apple. No, we’re not talking about the death of the Apple Music Voice plan or the rumours surrounding the telephoto camera in the iPhone 16 Pro – instead, it’s the huge launch of the new M3 family of Apple Silicon.

To mark the launch of three new chips, Apple has been crowned both the winner and the loser this week. Read on to find out why.

Winner: Apple M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max

Apple went all spooky this week as it held its Scary Fast event, showcasing a trio of new Apple Silicon chips (M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max) and a couple of machines that’ll use them.

This is the first time Apple has announced the base M-series chip alongside its more capable siblings and it’s a smart move, giving everyone a general idea of how fast the whole range will be. There will likely be more M3 chips to come, likely an Ultra variant, but these three will be the most utilised versions.

M3 family specs
Image Credit (Apple)

Apple spent a lot of time comparing the M3 to the M1. The new M3 chip, for instance, is around twice as fast as the first M1 while the M3 Max is, according to Apple, 2.5x faster at rendering than the M1 Max.

It also has an 80% faster CPU, again when compared to the M1 Max. In several leaked benchmarking tests ahead of the release of MacBook Pro models with the M3 Max chip, it manages to compete with the M2 Ultra – a chip found in the $7000 Mac Pro.

There’s also support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and more RAM plus, when used in a MacBook Pro, more battery life.

While we’ve yet to benchmark the iMac with its M3 and MacBook Pro with either an M3, Pro or Max, these initial results look seriously impressive and we can’t wait to see how the machines compare to their M2 counterparts.

Loser: Where’s the iMac Pro?

Rumours ahead of the Scary Fast event had suggested a refreshed M3-toting iMac was on the way – and they were correct. However, those expecting a big change were likely disappointed. The iMac M3 is virtually the same as the model we got in 2021, just with the M3 chip replacing the M1.

No new colour options, no SD card slot, no dark bezel option and no larger screen size.

For us though, the biggest miss was the decision not to pair the standard 24-inch model with a more powerful iMac Pro powered by the faster chips in the M3 family.

imac vs image

Currently, the iMac line has a single option. While the iMac with M3 will be a great computer for families, the range is crying out for a higher-end option. A larger size with either the M3 Pro or M3 Max would make for an excellent machine, especially for those who want a more integrated solution than buying a Mac Studio and Mac Studio Display.

An iMac Pro might still be on the way but now felt like the perfect time to announce it.

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