Apple announced the MacBook Air model, powered by the company’s M2 chip under the hood during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2023 in June. Now, the iPhone maker is expected to unveil an M3-powered MacBook Pro next year and the Cupertino giant is reportedly testing the next-generation M3 Max chip. The upcoming Apple silicon chip is said to include 16 central processing cores (CPU), 40 graphic processing cores (GPU), and up to 48GB of memory. The M3 Max chip has been in rumours for quite some time and could debut as a replacement for the M2 Max.
As per a Bloomberg report by Mark Gurman, Apple has started testing its highest-end next-generation laptop processor speculated to be called M3 Max, as it is framing for the release of the MacBook Pro laptop codenamed J514 next year. The report, citing test logs from a third-party Mac app developer, states that the new M3 Max chip includes 16 CPU cores with 12 high-performance cores and four efficiency cores, 40 GPU Cores and 48GB of memory.
Compared to the outgoing M2 chip, the new M3 Max has four more high-performance CPU cores and two additional graphics cores, as per the report. The additional cores are expected to deliver faster performance and could improve tasks like video editing and browsing the Web.
The M3 Max chip is expected to be produced by Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) based on its 3nm processor technology. Apple will reportedly use a similar technology for the A17 Bionic SoC that is expected to power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Gurman states that Apple is testing different M3 models. The base M3 could feature the same configuration as the M2, with eight CPU cores and up to 10 core GPU whereas the M3 Pro chip could pack 12 CPU cores and 18 GPU cores. The M3 Max chip, believed to be the high-end chip, hasn’t reportedly shown up yet in test logs.
According to Gurman, the transition to the M3 chip will likely start in October, beginning with updates to entry-level Mac models. Apple is reportedly testing M3-based iMac, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air, and Mac mini models. All these models are expected to go official within the next 12 months. Updated versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are expected to debut in 2024 with the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
The M3-powered Mac models could emerge as a major selling point for Apple. The company brought the M1 chip as its first system-on-chip (SoC) back in 2020 replacing Intel-designed CPUs. However, in the last two years, Apple has widened its coverage to the latest iPad Pro and iMac models.