Apple retaliates: three new M3 CPUs, upgraded MacBook Pros, and an iMac may be released later today

Apple retaliates: three new M3 CPUs, upgraded MacBook Pros, and an iMac may be released later today.

Apple may be planning a major Mac event that will feature numerous M3 chips.

If a recent rumour is accurate, Apple is about to reveal some new Macs, including a surprising announcement about numerous M3 CPUs.

Regular leaker Mark Gurman claims that at Apple’s “Scary Fast” presentation, the company would unveil three new M3 CPUs, redesigned MacBook Pros, and an updated iMac (as published in his newsletter for Bloomberg).

As anticipated, Gurman offers specifications for the three new M3 SoCs: the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max.

Add a generous pinch of salt to all of this, but the basic M3 is expected to retain the same 8-core loadout as the M2 chip (consisting of 10 graphics cores, maintaining the M2’s layout) and four performance and four efficiency cores, or 4+4.

Of course, architectural advancements will make it faster, and it will “support improved memory configurations.” Gurman observes.

Gurman’s test of the alleged multiple spins of the M3 Pro shows that it has 12 cores (6+6) and 18 cores for graphics; however, we’ve been told that higher-end versions may have up to 14 cores and 20 graphics cores.

Regarding the M3 Max. This might go as high as 16 cores (12 performance, 4 efficiency) and 40 graphics cores (as Gurman had previously speculated), however a less potent variant might only have 32 cores for graphics.

Rumour has it that the M3 SoCs will power high-end MacBook Pro refreshes, and for the first time in more than two years, an iMac redesign will also be coming. There are currently no information available for those models, however it is generally assumed that the iMac will come in a 24-inch size.

We’ve been informed that the advancements will predominantly be found inside the new Macs, particularly the new M3 CPUs, and that there won’t be many design changes to the actual Macs. Naturally, a tonne of slides promoting the effectiveness and performance of those chips will be presented to us.

Analysis: Does success require more than just quickness?

Naturally, the event’s “Scary Fast” headline made reference to the M3, but we weren’t prepared for a full lineup of three M3 SoCs—typically, the more powerful models would be unveiled later.

We don’t know anything for sure yet, but this rumour suggests that Mac lovers will have plenty to work with later on: three possibly upgraded Intel models, robust new MacBook Pro versions, and an iMac (those models being the major focus of more recent rumours from the grapevine).

As we’ve previously discussed, it does seem strange that Apple released updated MacBook Pro models at the beginning of 2023 and is allegedly updating them once again that same year.

Gurman notes that this is because Apple’s delivery plan has been somewhat thrown off because those MacBook Pros were expected to come late last year rather than at the start of this one. To put it briefly, this is a chronological correction for that anomaly.

It’s true that there were many rumours surrounding the MacBook Pro delay, but we also need to take into account the previously mentioned theory that Apple might be trying to rekindle its dwindling Mac sales with something exciting. New and fast M3 processors are entering the stage left; they require more than simply an iMac to be installed.

However, given that M2 chips already have extremely good performance, there’s a case to be made that courting potential customers by focusing just on speed increases rather than making any design changes, as this leak and prior rumours suggest, may not be the best course of action.

To offset it, however, speed always dazzles, and we have no idea how good of a step up the M3 could be—perhaps extremely dazzling? According to Gurman, the M3 will bring about “vastly improved speeds” and “better efficiency too” (for longer battery life), so it might be more robust than we think.

Apple might believe that in order to keep ahead of the competition, it must release CPUs with greater speeds. Recall that Intel’s Meteor Lake processor promises significant improvements in power efficiency, in addition to integrated graphics that can compete with a separate laptop GPU for gaming. And the recently unveiled Snapdragon X Elite processor from Qualcomm is probably adding to the pressure that Apple is now under.

Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that, if another well-known Apple leaker is accurate, there might not be many new MacBook Pro models available at launch. The M3 MacBook Pros, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, were not intended to be released until the following year. However, Apple rushed them early (presumably to boost sales), which may have reduced production capacity and therefore stock levels.

Upon further consideration, that would make sense given Gurman’s claim that these will be high-end MacBook Pro models, since expensive computers would certainly not be sold in as large a volume as more affordable laptops.

 

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