Ending the partnership with Intel and designing their own ARM-based chips might have been one of Apple’s best decisions. No more Intel Core processors in the MacBook Pro and Air led to the creation of the Apple M1 CPU, which proved to be ridiculously efficient and fast.
Next up on Apple’s schedule is the M3 ARM-based processor. Hopefully, these new chips will be just as impressive as previous generations.
Even though we’re still far from launch day, in this article, we’ll cover everything regarding the release date, specifications, price, and performance.
Let’s see what Apple is planning!
- January 17, 2023: Added new potential release date.
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While Apple has not said a word regarding M3 devices, rumors indicate a late 2023 release date.
We can’t really say for sure, but, considering the 18-month gap between Apple M1 (October 2020) and M2 (June 2022), it’s very likely that Apple will release its first M3 devices in Q4 of 2023.
But a 2024 release date is also possible! Why?
Because Apple’s M2 Max and Pro might be based on the 3nm process node, and if that’s the case, M3 will be on enhanced 3nm (N3e), which TSMC has scheduled it for 2024.
In the initial announcement, we expect the 13-inch MacBook Air M3 and MacBook Pro M3.
Later on, we may see the following devices:
- iPad Pro M3
- Mac mini M3
- 14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro M3 Max/Pro
Leaks surrounding Apple silicon or everything related to their devices are often scarce. However, we know that Apple’s third generation of M-chips will either use TSMC’s 3nm or enhanced 3nm process node.
TSMC’s N3 technology could lead to a 15% IPC improvement over the Apple M2 and a 30% improvement in power efficiency.
Keep in mind Apple managed to make substantial performance gains with M2 over M1 even though both were on the 5nm process node, so M3 could bring even more significant improvements over previous generations.
Based on @LeaksApplePro, the M3 CPU could come in two different combinations.
- 8-core CPU for the MacBook Air
- 10-core CPU for the MacBook Pro
Although it is worth noting that both M2 and M1 had only one 8-core variant, while the higher core count SKUs were the Pro and Max.
|Apple M3||Apple M2||Apple M1|
|Process Node||N3 (TSMC 3nm) / N3e (enhanced 3nm)||N5P (2nd gen 5nm)||5nm|
|Neural Engine||?||15.8 TOPS||11 TOPS|
|Unified Memory||up to 32GB?||up to 24GB||up to 16GB|
|Release Date||Q4 2023||June 2022||November 2020|
Specific Apple M2 devices saw some price hikes. For example, the MacBook Air M2 had a $200 higher MSRP than the MacBook Air M1. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro M2 got the same starting price point as the M1.
Unfortunately, we will probably see even higher pricing for M3 devices because switching from 5NP to N3 FinFlex will be expensive. Why?
Well, one TSMC 3nm wafer will cost $20,000, $4000 more expensive than TSMC’s 5nm wafer, as implied by DigiTimes.
Based on that, here are our price expectations for M3 devices:
- iPad Pro M2 – from $899
- 13-inch MacBook Air M3 – from $1,299
- 13-inch MacBook Pro M3– from $1,399
- 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro/Max – $3,099
- 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 Max – $2,599
Our guess is $100 more for every price tag, but higher prices are possible! Remember that these are just rough estimates based on the cost of previous-generation devices.
Apple still hasn’t released any information regarding the performance of the M3 processor, so we don’t have any benchmarks to share yet.
But we’ll update this article accordingly when any information gets out regarding these next-generation processors’ price, specifications, and performance!