electronics and gadgets

Here are the key specs, PH price of Apple’s new M3-equipped computers

Kyle Chua

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Here are the key specs, PH price of Apple’s new M3-equipped computers

M3. The new M3 chips bring ray-tracing to Apple's computers


The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro starts at 104,990, while the iMac starts at P84,990

Apple at its Halloween-themed “Scary Fast” Mac launch event today debuted new silicon that’ll be powering updated models of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and the 24-inch iMac. 

The new silicon lineup consists of the M3, the M3 Pro and the M3 Max, all of which are built on the 3-nanometer (nm) fabrication process. These are the first 3nm chips to be shipped with personal computers. For comparison, Qualcomm also recently announced a new PC chip called the Snapdragon X Elite, built using a 4nm fabrication process.

The smaller the nm number in a fabrication process, the more advanced it is, improving the number of transistors that can be put on a chip for boosts in performance, less heat generation, and power consumption.

Apple’s M3 chips promise such improvements but the biggest improvement is in its graphics processing capabilities. These are the first Apple processors that deliver hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading, that enable more realistic lighting and better geometry processing in gaming and mixed reality applications. 

Apple’s A17 chip found in the iPhone 15 also features raytracing capabilities, signaling a stronger push for gaming – a segment that Apple historically has never had strong footing in.

The Cupertino tech giant also claims the M3’s GPU is up to 1.8 times faster than the M2 and up to 2.5 times faster than the M1, while consuming less power.

The base M3 chip has an 8-core CPU (four performance cores and four efficiency cores) and a 10-core GPU, with support for up to 24GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the M3 Pro has a 12-core CPU (six performance cores and six efficiency cores) and an 18-core GPU, with support for up to 36GB of RAM. Last but certainly not the least, the M3 Max has a 16-core CPU (12 performance cores and four efficiency cores) and a 40-core GPU, with support for up to 128GB of RAM. 

According to Apple, the M3’s performance cores and efficiency cores are up to 15% and 30% faster than the M2’s, respectively. 

The M3 chips also feature an upgraded Neural Engine, which allows it to handle artificial intelligence-related tasks up to 60% faster than the M1. 

MacBook Pro

Computer, Electronics, Laptop

Alongside the debut of the M3, Apple also announced updated models of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The two would, of course, house the new chips under the hood, giving them a boost in performance compared to their predecessors. 

The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro, for example, is 60% faster than the 13-inch M1 model while still maintaining a battery life of  up to 22 hours. The M3 Max models, meanwhile, boast up to 11 times faster performance than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro models. The top-end chip’s support for 128GB of memory also allows apps like creativity apps like DaVinci Resolve to perform better, according to Apple.

When it comes to hardware, however, not a lot has changed compared to the previous release, with both the 14-inch and 16-inch models retaining largely the same specs, including 1080p FaceTime cameras and six-speaker systems. The two new models do improve display a bit as they’re now capable of outputting SDR content 20% brighter than before with peak brightness of 600 nits. 

Both the 14-inch and 16-inch models also come in a new Space Black color option. 

Apple is now taking pre-orders for the new M3 MacBook Pro, with M3 and M3 Pro models expected to ship as early as November 7, with M3 Max models arriving later next month in the US. The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro starts at $1,599, while the 16-inch model with an M3 Pro starts at $2,499. 

Prices in the Philippines start at P104,990 with availability to be announced.


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A new 24-inch iMac is also arriving, equipped with an M3 chip. The new model of the all-in-one desktop is up to twice as fast as the last iMac model, which shipped with an M1 chip and skipped an M2 chip upgrade, as Apple touts. 

That performance boost can be felt in various applications, with Safari, for example, running up to 30% faster than the previous model. Games run smoother too, boasting  50% improved frame rates. 

The new iMac also enjoys all the benefits that M3 brings, including hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray-tracing. 

Apart from these, there aren’t many that’s new with the iMac as it still ships with a 4.5K Retina display. It does include new connectivity options though, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 now being supported. 

Apple is already taking pre-orders for the M3 iMac today, with it shipping on November 7 in the US. The base model, which features an eight-core GPU, 256GB of SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM, starts at $1,299.

Prices in the Philippines start at P84,990, with availability to be announced. – Rappler.com

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