In the latest Power On Newsletter by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, it is reported that Apple is expected to introduce the first Macs powered by the next-generation M3 Apple Silicon, possibly towards the end of this year or early 2024. Gurman shares insights from developer logs, revealing some details about the M3 lineup. According to a reliable source, the base M3 Pro chip is expected to feature 12 CPU cores, 18 GPU cores, and 36 GB of RAM. This would represent an improvement of 2 CPU cores, 2 GPU cores, and slightly higher maximum RAM compared to the baseline M2 Pro chip. Similar enhancements are anticipated for the base M2, Max, and Ultra chips.
The current base model MacBook Pro equipped with the M2 Pro chip consists of six high-performance cores and four efficiency cores. In contrast, the M3 Pro chip is rumored to have six high-performance cores and six efficiency cores, totaling 12 cores. This follows a similar pattern seen in the transition from the M1 to M2 chips, where the increase in core count was driven by a higher number of efficiency cores while maintaining the same number of high-performance cores.
The M3 chip series will be manufactured using a 3-nanometer fabrication process, allowing for higher core density. In addition to the increased density, this advanced fabrication process typically implies improved performance for each core. Consequently, the six M3 cores are expected to be faster than their M2 counterparts, highlighting that the comparison goes beyond just the number of cores.
During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, Apple is expected to unveil a 15-inch MacBook Air running on the M2 chip. However, the debut of the first M3 Macs is not anticipated until the fall of 2023 or early 2024. Apple is reported to be actively developing M3 versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac.
Although Apple is currently introducing more Macs powered by the M2 chips, the focus is expected to shift to the M3 generation in the near future. Testing of the M3 chips is already underway, with plans to succeed the M2 series, potentially by the end of 2023. Gurman suggests that the M3 Pro chip, which is likely the base variant, could be incorporated into the next updates of the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, possibly released in early 2024.
While there were early rumors speculating that the M3 could arrive as early as April 2023 in the 15-inch MacBook Air, those predictions did not materialize. Gurman reiterates that the earliest expected timeline for the release of M3 Macs is in the fall, and development of M3 versions for the MacBook Air and iMac is ongoing.