The new M3 Pro chip was definitely a late October surprise from the Cupertino giant, seeing as many of the rumors around the new chip put it out into 2024 at the earliest, and the Apple M3 chip hadn’t even been announced yet (it, along with the Apple M3 Max, were also announced along with the M3 Pro).
So what do we know about the follow up to the Apple M2 Pro chip? Quite a lot, as it turns out, so let’s dig in.
Apple M3 Pro chip: Cut to the chase
- What is it? The follow-up to Apple’s M2 Pro chip
- When is it available? Pre-orders live now, ships November 7
- What does it cost? Won’t sell on it’s own, but the MacBook Pro 14-inch with M3 Pro starts at $1,999 (around £1,640, AU$2,900) and the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Pro starts at $2,499 (around £2,050, AU$3,625).
(Image credit: Apple)
Apple M3 Pro chip: Release date
The Apple M3 Pro chip won’t sell on its own, but the new Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch with M3 Pro and Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Pro went up for pre-order on October 30, 2023, and will be available in 27 countries around the world to start, with more to come at a later date.
While you can pre-orders now, you’ll have to wait about a week to actually get your hands on any new hardware with the Apple M3 Pro chip – as the new MacBook Pro models will start shipping out on Tuesday, November 7.
After the 7th, the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models with M3 Pro will be available for purchase at any Apple Store and from other retailers such as Best Buy.
Apple M3 Pro chip: Price
The Apple M3 Pro chip will not sell on its own, but will instead power the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. An Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch with M3 Pro starts at $1,599 (around £1,330, AU$2,320) and the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Pro starts at $2,499 (around £2,050, AU$3,625).
There’s no word yet on whether the Mac mini will be getting the M3 Pro, but considering that you can get the Mac mini with M2 Pro, we expect that device to eventually get upgraded to the Apple M3 Pro chip as well down the road.
(Image credit: Future / Apple)
Apple M3 Pro chip: Specifications & performance
The new Apple M3 Pro has some noticeable improvements over the Apple M2 Pro.
For one, there’s no 10-core CPU option, just a 12-core CPU, with six performance cores and six efficiency cores. It has support for up to 36GB unified memory, 4GB more than the M2 Pro.
Performance wise, the M3 Pro will have 30% better single core performance over the Apple M1 Pro according to Apple, and even with these performance improvements, the M3 Pro should get you the same battery life as the M2 Pro thanks to efficiency improvements in the SoC.
The biggest improvement comes with the 18-core GPU, however, with is the first Apple chip with support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, mesh shading, and something Apple is calling Dynamic Caching.
This latter technology allocates memory to GPU-intensive tasks exactly according to the process needs, meaning that memory allocation will be far more efficient, getting far better performance from its memory overall.
Of course, we’ll have to see how well these technologies work in practice once we get one of the new MacBook Pro models in for review, but needless to say, we expect this to be one of the best mobile workstation processors around.