Everyone, rejoice! Apple's third generation of silicon chips is out sooner than expected, counting not one but three excellent versions to choose from. Today, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the M3 Chip and a little about M3 Pro and Max.

We can't wait to kick off this review, so we hope you're ready. Let's dig in!

In this article

What is M3 Chip

In October 2023, the entire M3 lineup was launched simultaneously with the Pro and Max chips rolling along with the standard version.

That said, the M3 chip repeats the framework we are already familiar with, but it’s said to be up to 65% faster than the original M1 chip, primarily due to the new architecture.

chip m3

The new M3 chips greatly benefit from the latest, cutting-edge 3-nano technology. Apple is the industry trailblazer in this respect, being the only brand to use 3 nm chips in the sea of 4/5 nm chips.

The result is an improved CPU, a faster GPU, better memory, and a nippier Neural Engine. Other key components worth our praise are the SSD controller, Secure Enclave, image signal processor, encode/decode engines, and a brand new thing called Dynamic Cashing.

To all those who like to read them, here's a rundown of M3 tech specs:

  • 8-core CPU (four performance cores + four efficiency cores);
  • 10-core GPU;
  • Up to 24 GB of unified memory;
  • 25 billion transistors;
  • Up to 30% faster than the M1 chips and 20% faster than the M2 chips.

If you're getting an M3 chip, you're getting a MacBook Pro with it. The only other device using the new lineup is the 24-inch iMac, at least until Apple goes out with the new M3 Ultra chip for Mac Studio and Mac Pro.

Apple M3 Chip: All-New CPU

TThe new and reconfigured 8-core processor has four performance and four efficiency cores, making the M3 chip not only super-fast but also power-efficient. According to Apple’s marketing manager, Doug Brooks, the move to 3nm highlights Apple’s commitment to balance:

"It really starts with the fundamental efficiency of our designs (...) we maintain this incredible, relentless focus on performance per watt. Just because you have 3 nanometers doesn't mean you have more transistors to spend liberally. You have to really make every one count.”

How do all these novelties compare to M1 and M2 chips in terms of proceeding speed? Based on recent tests, M3 is 30% and 15% faster than M1 and M2 chips, respectively. Based on core count, the M3 CPU is closest to the CPU in M2 chips, only faster and more economical.

m3 chip cpu efficiency cores

Aside from speed and power efficiency, Apple aimed to achieve real-life usability. With M3, users get a portable power machine that can really help them improve their workflows.

M3 Chip: Faster GPU

"Faster" and "efficient" seem to be a recurring theme for Apple's newest line of chips, whether it comes to their processing power or graphic rendering. The new GPU has been described as the "biggest leap forward in graphic architecture ever for Apple."

So, what's new about Apple's third-generation GPU? For one, the M3 chip comes with exciting and enhancing novelties such as dynamic memory allocation (Dynamic Cashing), hardware-accelerated ray tracing, rasterization, and mash shading.

We'll discuss the new memory architecture in the next section, but the added Dynamic Cashing clearly affects how a Mac uses GPU for graphically intensive apps.

According to satisfied Apple M3 Macbook users, games and professional apps look more impressive with the new chip. Ray tracing, rasterization, and mash shading help create gorgeous visuals with geometry, reflections, shadows, and lighting that are true to life.

M3 Chip: Memory Architecture

M3 has something called the Unified Memory Architecture, which is a new and improved version of what we've seen in the previous generation of Apple chips. Like before, the memory serves as both RAM and video RAM, and it has eight 4 GB controllers, each 16-bit wide.

The greatest advantage of a unified memory architecture is that it gives access to the same data to every component in the chip that needs it. Since there is no need to copy data between multiple memory pools, the new M3 Macs need significantly less memory space.

m3 chip tech specs

Apple M3 Chip: Custom Engines

There are two exciting updates coming from Apple's engine department. The first is the so-called Neural Engine, which is a special processor dedicated to making machine learning faster. The second news is the newly enhanced media engine with its first-ever AV1 decoding support.

The Apple Neural Engine (ANE) is not new. We've also seen it in the M1 and M2 chips, but it's a lot faster this time around. According to tech specs, the ANE in M3 chips is a whopping 60% quicker than its M1 version, dramatically boosting AI algorithms and workflows.

On top of its incredible speed, which enables super-resolution, noise reduction, and other AI image processing tools, the new ANE is also much better at protecting your privacy.

As for the improved media engine in the M3 chip, you can count on significant hardware acceleration for popular video codecs, as well as versatile support. As mentioned, this third generation of silicon chips includes AV1 decoding, which means fast and battery-saving streaming.

M3 & M3 Pro & M3 Max

M3 chips are special for another reason. For the first time, all three iterations – standard, Pro, and Max – have been unveiled simultaneously. That allows users the flexibility to research and compare different versions, ultimately picking the best option for their needs.

M3For users who use the most popular systems.
M3 ProFor users who want more performance.
M3 MaxFor users who need the most demanding Pro workloads.

Counting up to 12 CPU and 18 GPU cores, M3 Pro provides even more processing power and better graphic performance than M3. If you're still using an M1 Mac or Intel-based Mac and need an upgrade and above-average performance, the M3 Pro is a great pick.

However, if you already have an M2 chip, moving out of your relatively new Mac just to get a taste of the brand-new M3 injection might be a "more pain than gain" situation.

But the M3 Max is in a totally different category. With up to 16 CPU cores and 40 GPU cores, the most powerful chip in this lineup is very close to the most powerful chip Apple has ever made. The only other chip in this category is the doubled-up M2 Ultra for Mac desktops.

m3 chips family

Bonus: How to Recover Data From an M3-Powered Device

Outstanding as it is, even Apple’s latest chip cannot ensure 100% safety for your photographs, videos, documents, and emails due to poor data practices. Human error remains the most significant factor in data loss incidents and breaches. Even the fastest Mac cannot protect data in scenarios like these.

So, if you've recently deleted an essential document on accident or lost a dear family picture due to file corruption, it's good to know that you can still save them on your M3 Mac.

Wondershare Recoverit can help you with that. Like the M3 MacBook, Wondershare Recoverit uses state-of-the-art technology to make your life easier. It is a professional-grade data recovery tool that can be used by non-professionals who don't have the expertise to undelete lost files manually.

Free Download
Free Download

Here's how to recover data from your M3-powered computer using Wondershare Recoverit:

  1. Download Wondershare Recoverit for Mac from the official website and install it on your machine.
  2. After you launch Wondershare's software, select the local disk, lost partition, or external device for data recovery.
    select a location for mac data recovery
  3. The app will automatically initiate a deep scan of your Mac. You can watch the progress and stop the scan if needed.
    run a data recover scan with recoverit
  4. Once Wondershare Recoverit is done scanning your Mac, you can browse recoverable files or use filters to narrow down your search.
    search for recoverable files using recoverit filters
  5. The app lets you preview every file before you save it to your computer, just in case it's damaged or corrupted.
    preview recoverable files in wondershare recoverit
  6. If the file is healthy and you want to keep it, select it and click Recover. Then, pick a location and click Save to keep it.
    recover data from m3 mac using wondershare recoverit

Wondershare Recoverit can bring back over 1,000 different kinds of files from your M3 computer and other devices. It relies on a powerful algorithm that reverses data loss no matter what caused it, whether it's been accidentally deleted, corrupted, or infected with a virus.


Is Apple's M3 chip worth the hype it's been getting? Our answer is a resounding yes! The new family of silicone chips made by the world's leading tech giant is a formidable feat, even for Apple. M3 is as fast and efficient as they say it is. This time, you'll be able to tell the difference.

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Free Download


  • Is Apple's M3 chip suitable for professional programmers?
    Yes. The new M3 chip brings noticeable enhancements in processing speed compared to the older chips, which makes it suitable for running complex algorithms and large programs or working with resource-intensive software development tools. Professional programmers can benefit even more from M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
  • Should I get the M3 MacBook Pro for gaming?

    The M3 MacBook Pro has a faster CPU and better GPU and includes enhancements that could improve your gaming experience (most notably, ray tracing and Dynamic Cashing).

    However, it's available with a 14-inch display only and has 10 GPU cores, which may not be enough for gaming. If you are a professional gamer or want an excellent gaming computer, opt for M3 Pro MacBook Pro or M3 Max MacBook Pro.

  • Is there going to be an M3 Ultra chip?
    While there is no official news of the M3 Ultra chip being released anytime soon, experts and Apple enthusiasts are confident that the final iteration of the M3 family is to be expected. The main argument for this is that the M3 Max hasn't yet surpassed the last generation's M2 Ultra chip.
Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Jul 17, 24
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