The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

‘Scary Fast’: Apple unveils M3 chip family, new MacBook Pro models

Photo courtesy of Apple

Just one day before Halloween, Apple held its aptly named “Scary Fast” event to announce the new MacBook Pro lineup as well as an updated 24-inch iMac. 

The event was a quick 30 minutes and took place at 7 p.m. CDT, straying from the tech giant’s usual noon CDT start time.

The star of the show was the new family of M3 chips made possible by Apple silicon, which is featured in the three new Mac models.

Apple also revealed that the 14-inch MacBook Pro will now feature a starting price of $1,599, down from the current $1,999 of the 14-inch model with M2.

At the end of the keynote, Apple threw a curveball. Over a black screen with the Apple logo, text at the bottom reads, “This event was shot on iPhone and edited on Mac.” 

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M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max

The new chipsets are the first laptop chips in the market to be made using TSMC’s three-nanometer process. In such a process, two million transistors can fit in the cross section of a human hair. 

With the largest leap forward in graphics architecture for Apple silicon, the M3 lineup introduces Dynamic Caching for the GPU. In traditional chip architecture, the software determines GPU memory allocation for tasks. In M3, however, local memory is allocated by hardware in real time. According to Apple, this greatly increases performance for the most demanding apps by allowing full use of memory based on instantaneous needs.

With hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing for the first time in a Mac device, render times are up to 2.5 times faster than with the M1 family of chips.

Performance cores in the CPU are up to 30% faster and high-efficiency cores are up to 50% faster than in M1. Even with these improvements, Apple maintains its status as having the highest performance per watt in the industry.

The M3 chip, made for the most popular systems, features an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU and is up to 65% faster than M1. On the M3 model of the MacBook Pro, spreadsheet performance in Microsoft Excel is up to 40% faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1. 

M3 Pro is designed for users with more demanding workflows and has a 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU. 

M3 Max boasts a 16-core CPU and a monstrous 40-core GPU for users with the most extensive performance needs, like machine learning programmers, 3D artists and video editors.

All new Mac models with the M3 family support a battery life of up to 22 hours.

14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro

Touted by the company as the “world’s best pro laptop,” the 14-inch model now comes with the base M3 chip. Previously, the 14-inch model only gave users the choice between M2 Pro or M2 Max. This lower-tiered chip allowed the starting price to work its way down to $1,599, compared to $1,999 in the M2 models.

The 14-inch device is up to 60% faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1.

The models with M3 Pro, designed for users with the most demanding needs, are up to 40% faster than the 16-inch model with M1.

Both devices feature the same design as the previous models.

The model with M3 Max is up to 2.5 times faster than the current 16-inch MacBook Pro. It features two ProRes engines and up to a whopping 128 gigabytes of unified memory. This amount was first introduced on the Mac Studio just 18 months ago.

Apple made a point to highlight reasons to switch from an older Intel-based Mac to a newer Apple silicon-based model. The new models are 11 times faster than many Intel-based devices and users will almost never hear the fans.

All models have a Liquid Retina XDR display with up to 1,000 nits sustained brightness and 1,600-nit peak HDR brightness. Apple touted it as the “world’s best laptop display.”

Arguably most notable, a new space black color replaces space gray on models with M3 Pro and M3 Max. According to Apple, it makes use of a new chemistry that greatly reduces fingerprints. All models are made from a custom alloy using 100% recycled aluminum.

The 14-inch model starts at $1,599 and the 16-inch model starts at $2,499. All M3 models are available as of Monday, M3 Pro models will be available next week and M3 Max models will be available in November.

24-inch iMac

The 24-inch iMac — currently the best-selling all-in-one, according to Apple — received a slight update as well.

The new model houses the same M3 chip as the 14-inch MacBook Pro with all the same performance features.

It features the same design in the same seven colors and has identical features to the previous generation, namely a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, a six-speaker sound system and studio-quality mics.

The device still starts at $1,299 and is available to order as of Monday. It will begin shipping next week.


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About the Contributor
Jacob Slabosz
Jacob Slabosz, Editor-in-Chief
Hey, I’m Jacob! I am currently a sophomore in computer engineering with a minor in German. I started at The Daily Illini in Fall 2022 as a news reporter and staff photographer, and by Spring 2023, I had worked my way to photo editor. Between March 2023 and March 2024, I was the Managing Editor for Visuals, and I have since taken over as Editor-in-Chief. When I’m not taking pictures for The DI or for fun, I enjoy cooking, water sports and tending to my numerous houseplants. I’m excited to use my background in coding to further automate out workspace processes and to see the content that our team produces!
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