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Here’s why Apple’s M3 MacBook chip could destroy its rivals

Apple’s next round of M2 Macs are only a few weeks from being announced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but a new leak has already revealed the top-secret follow-up that is due out later this year, long after the WWDC dust has settled.

That’s because Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman has just spilled the beans on Apple’s M3 chip line-up, including hardware specifications for the M3 Pro that will likely find its way into the next MacBook Pro laptop. It’s the first time we’ve seen this level of detail for what could be one of the most exciting chips in recent years.

Apple's M2 MacBook Air is super thin and light.

According to Gurman, Apple has been testing Macs sporting the M3 Pro with a variety of third-party apps to ensure compatibility. The M3 Pro could be launched in late 2023 or early 2024, Gurman states, and will appear in the iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Gurman’s report claims the M3 Pro will come with 12 CPU cores (with six high-performance cores and six high-efficiency cores), 16 GPU cores, and 36GB of memory. Compared to the M2 Pro in the latest MacBook Pro, that’s an increase of two CPU cores, two GPU cores, and 4GB of memory.

That might not sound like much, but the entire M3 series is expected to come with a major trick up its sleeve: it will be made using a 3-nanometer process. But what does that mean exactly?

In layman’s terms, it means the chips will be much more powerful and efficient compared to the M2 chips, which were made using a 5nm process. So not only will the M3 Pro get more cores, but all of those cores will work harder and faster compared to the M2 predecessor. It’s a win-win situation for Apple fans.

A massive performance boost

The MacBook Pro open on a wooden table.

While Gurman only claims to have info on the M3 Pro (which he states came from “data collected by an App Store developer”), he has nevertheless speculated on what the M3 Max and M3 Ultra chips could also look like.

For the M3 Max, Gurman has suggested it could come with up to 14 CPU cores and over 40 GPU cores. When it comes to the M3 Ultra, Gurman believes it might be equipped with 28 CPU cores and more than 80 graphics cores.

That sounds like a lot, but Gurman says it’s all down to the 3nm manufacturing process, which would allow Apple to pack in even more cores than was possible on older chips.

That means there could be an awful lot to look forward to on Apple’s Mac roadmap. The next batch of M2 Macs are almost here, but many people will now be excitedly peering further out to the horizon to see what’s coming after.

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