M3 vs. M3 Pro vs. M3 Max: What's the difference between these Apple chips?

Xiaobai Software  2023-11-03 17: 05  read 80 views

Apple announced the launch of the M2023 series of chips at the "Scary Fast" Mac conference on October 10, 30.As with previous generations, Apple offers three different M3 chips: M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max.But if you want to know the differences between them so you can buy the right Mac, keep reading.


M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max specs comparison


The base M3 chip is equipped with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, and supports up to 24GB of unified memory. M3 Pro is an upgraded version of the M3 chip, equipped with a 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU, and supports up to 36GB of unified memory.

The M3 Max is the most significant upgrade of them all, though. M3 Max can have up to 16 built-in CPUs and 40 GPU cores, and supports up to 128GB of unified memory.

The M3 series chips are manufactured using a 3-nanometer process and support functions such as dynamic caching and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.Dynamic caching does not use standard memory allocation.Instead, it utilizes exactly the memory required for each task, thereby improving performance.

Performance differences between M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max


The base M3 is the smallest chip in the series, while the M3 Max is the largest of the three.The larger the chip, the greater the memory processing power.This is because larger chips have more transistors and can handle a higher workload.

From this perspective, the basic M3 chip is the least powerful chip, but it is still a considerable improvement compared to the M2 chip of the same level.Those looking to buy a Mac for study, work, or even light gaming and creative projects will be pleased with the performance of the base M3 chip.

The M3 Pro has more CPU and GPU cores and is definitely an upgrade from the M3.While most casual users may not notice a difference in performance, gamers, musicians, and creative professionals can run more demanding applications on Mac without glitches.

If performance is what matters most to you, the M3 Max chip is your best choice until the M3 Ultra becomes available. With twice as many GPU cores as the M3 Ultra, the M3 Max can handle graphically demanding workflows with ease.

How does the M3 series of chips compare to previous generations of chips?


The M3 chip is certainly an improvement over the previous generation, but the performance gap is even greater when compared to the M1 series of chips. The performance core of the M3 chip is 2% faster than the M15 and 1% faster than the M30.

In terms of efficiency cores, the M3 chip is 2% faster than the M30 and 1% faster than the M50. The M3 series chips also have stronger rendering capabilities, 2 times faster than M1.8 and 1 times faster than M2.5.

Finally, Apple claims that the M3 chip based on the 3nm process can provide the same multi-threaded CPU and GPU performance as the M1, while consuming only half the power of the M1.

Should you upgrade to a Mac with an M3 chip?

Apple claims that the M3 chip is the most advanced PC chip currently on the market.This may be true in some respects, but if you already own a Mac with an M2 chip, you won't notice a difference unless you're a power user.

However, if you have an older Mac based on an M1 or Intel chip, an M3-powered Mac will be a significant upgrade that even casual users will notice.

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