It's almost 2024, and the new Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max is here. At first glance, we can safely say that the new device earns the Pro moniker. It's powerful, fast, and full of top-notch features that would satisfy the urges of even the most avid Mac users.

With Apple’s top-tier chipset, the M3 Max has taken things to a whole new level. We’ve been testing a 16-inch M3 Max Macbook Pro and can say it's a full-proof laptop powerhouse. Without further ado, let's explore everything this beautiful machine offers.

In this article
    1. CPU Performance
    2. GPU Performance
    3. Speed and Multitasking

Overview: MacBook Pro M3 Max

Apple’s new player in town is bound to outperform all challengers. Thanks to the all-powerful, self-developed M series chip, the M3 Mac Macbook Pro has already made a massive boom in the computing sector. With the M3 Max taking all the spotlight, the M2 Pro is already old news.

The M3 Max Macbook Pro offers unprecedented usability. Though it may be expensive ($3,499), you can expect top-grade performance, durable battery life, and desktop-class power.

Pros
  • Industry-standard performance
  • Outstanding speed
  • Extended battery life
  • A pair of top-grade speakers
  • GPU with hardware-assisted ray tracing
  • Space black takes care of the smudges
Cons
  • Mind-bending expensive
  • Limited upgradeability options
  • Small gaming catalog

M3 Max Macbook Pro: New Space Black Color

So, what is space black exactly?

Apple's new darker gray color, space black, is the only differentiating factor between the latest MacBook models. This new space black color gives the M3 Max an extra punch, making it look cool, elegant, and modern.

macbook pro m3 max space blace color

Though the color looks black, the surroundings affect its hue and darkness. If you place the new laptop next to lighter colors, it will take a lighter shade of black. However, if you put it somewhere dark, it will appear darker and more black.

The trick is to make the color less reflective and smudgy. Apple did a fantastic job using an innovative anodization technique to mitigate user marks, greasy mitts, and annoying smudges.

MacBook Pro M3 Max: Retina Display and Graphics

Apple reinvented itself in the display department. The new MacBook model packs a powerful 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a 120Hz, 3456x2234, 16:10 Mini-LED panel. Aside from looking great, the Retina display can encompass the entire P3 color gamut (all 100%).

macbook pro m3 max retina display and graphics

Apple is famous for installing its TrueTone technology in most devices to make their displays appear warmer than most other screens. This technology matches the ambient light by altering the display color temperature, thus allowing the color to shift more. Though you can turn off this option, we recommend keeping it on.

The Mini-LED panel is the usual tech in most Apple devices from the last two generations. In other words, the Liquid Retina display excels at reproducing deeper shades of black, thus beating most LCD screens.

Here are some specs to feast your eyes on:

  • 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
  • SDR brightness: 600 nits
  • XDR brightness: 1000 nits sustained full-screen
  • 1600 nits peak2 (HDR content only)
  • 1 billion colors
  • Fixed refresh rates: 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, 60.00Hz
  • 3456-by-2234 native resolution at 254 pixels per inch
  • Support for up to two external displays (up to 6K resolutions at 60Hz)

Overall, the display gives you a nicely balanced picture, looking great to your eyes.

Performance Metrics

Here's a breakdown of the performance metrics of MacBook Pro M3 Max.

CPU Performance

Apple used a three-nanometer architecture to build the M3 Max chip. It contains 93 billion transistors and can push up to 16 CPU cores (12 performance and four efficiency cores). That's four extra CPU cores over last generation's M2 Max.

Put simply, it is one powerful laptop packing a lot of processing power. However, the M3 Max promises more than unprecedented CPU performance. It also provides efficiency and improved synergy. In layman's terms, the M3 Mac Pro can sustain top performance for longer using less power.

GPU Performance

The most significant upgrade comes in the GPU department. The M3 Max Pro supports up to 40 GPU cores with mesh-shading and hardware-accelerated ray tracing to bring you state-of-the-art graphical performance. In addition, the latest MacBook model brings dynamic caching, allowing Mac's system memory to allocate GPU resources according to real-time demands.

The M3 Max gives you 128 GB of unified memory (the machine shares the RAM between GPU and CPU), enough to support even the most demanding professional applications. No matter what you throw at your M3 Max—the latest game with ultra-high settings or a massive rendering task—the machine will carry it out without a glitch and at ludicrous speed.

Speed and Multitasking

Armed with such CPU and GPU power, you can open 20+ tabs in Chrome and multiple applications, and your M3 Max Pro MacBook will still carry it all out like a breeze without getting warm or slowing down. We tried everything to see if the machine would bog down.

apple macbook pro m3 max speed and multitasking

We connected the MacBook Pro to two external displays, opened Chrome with almost 30 tabs, and ran multiple apps, such as Safari (playing a YouTube clip), X (formerly Twitter), Adobe Lightroom, Slack, Spotify, and Final Cut Pro. Even with all these apps running, we could still cycle through all the active tabs and apps like it was nothing.

Hardware and Software Integration

The overall dimensions and shape of the MacBook Pro M3 Mac remain the same as they were. Though the laptop is pretty hefty at 4.8 pounds, it comes with premium-quality construction and an eye-catching Mini-LED panel with high-end color reproduction and contrast ratio. It also packs a high-end six-speaker system (capable of reproducing otherworldly audio quality), a classic MacBook keyboard, and a responsive and large trackpad we all know and love.

The laptop is nicely fitted into an aluminum unibody clamshell with flat sides. Though it appears chunky, the heft is more than justified with all the power this cutting-edge device packs. We also loved the hinge and how fluid it felt when opening the laptop lid. You can do it with one finger.

Moreover, the construction is so solid that the lid won’t wobble on any surface, regardless of how hard you pound on the keyboard.

macbook pro m3 max performance metrics

As for software, we tested a laptop with macOS Sonoma 14.1.1 and noticed it slightly resembles a modified appearance available in most iPadOS and iOS devices. The all-new lock screen is the same as the one on the iPhone, with the clock and wallpaper taking the center spot.

The user login info is downsized and conveniently positioned at the bottom. All windows come with rounded corners, and you can use an array of interactive and regular widgets to make changes directly instead of opening or installing the apps. As expected, the MacBook M3 Max Pro excels in the software and hardware departments.

Storage Configurations and Options

Aside from the whooping 16 CPU cores, 40 GPU cores, and 128 GB of RAM, the MacBook Pro M3 Max also gives you a 1 TB SSD. The SSD is configurable to 2 TB, 4 TB, and 8 TB. That's more than enough space to install the latest games and software solutions, download and store multiple audio and video files, save countless documents, and what have you.

macbook pro m3 max storage configuration and options

Speaking of saving documents, let us remind you of the importance of backing up your files. Doing so helps you avoid the risk of data loss on your Mac. However, even if you don't back up your files, there's still a way to get the lost or missing data back.

Enter Wondershare Recoverit for Mac. Wondershare Recoverit is a file recovery software solution for retrieving over 1,000 types and formats of data from Mac hard drives and storage devices. Whether you've lost your files due to accidental deletion, data corruption, virus infection, partition loss, or software failure, Wondershare Recoverit can help you retrieve them.

Free Download
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Download and install Wondershare Recoverit for Mac and follow the steps below to recover your Mac files:

  1. Launch Wondershare Recoverit and navigate to the File Recover menu.
  2. Click Hard Drives and Locations to select the desired storage.
    choose a data recovery source
  3. Wondershare Recoverit will automatically scan the location for retrievable files.
    recoverit will start an all-around scan
  4. Use search filters to pinpoint specific files you wish to retrieve.
    filter the results during the scan
  5. Preview the scanning results and click Recover to retrieve your data.
    preview the recoverable files
  6. Choose a new location for the recovered files and click Save.
    select a file path

Connectivity Features of Apple M3 Max

Apple M3 Max comes with the following connectivity features:

  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • HDMI 2.1
  • MagSafe 3 charging port
  • SDXC card reader
  • A 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.3

Power Efficiency and Battery Performance

Apple's silicon is so efficient that you won't see much performance surge when your MacBook is on battery power. Though you may experience a slight dip in the framerate, working on battery won't slow down your Mac or make graphics look choppy.

That's what we love the most about the MacBook Pro with M3 Max. It can operate at full performance even when running on battery due to the power-efficient M3 chip. The battery life on this thing is massive.

The battery is so extensive that you can play the most demanding games for hours without any power supply. We had a two-hour gaming session on the M3 Max MacBook Pro, and it only drained around 50% of the battery.

power efficiency and battery performance

The battery performance is so good that you can work the entire workday and still have enough juice for basic tasks. In fact, getting the battery to die is a serious challenge. We took the MacBook Pro off high-power mode, and the laptop still took around 18 hours to die off and shut down.

Here are the battery specs to keep in mind:

  • 100-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • Up to 22 hours of movie playback (Apple TV app)
  • Up to 15 hours of web surfing (wireless)
  • 140W USB-C power adapter
  • USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable
  • Fast charging

Since most users will use power-saving features and the sleep mode, the battery can last more than 24 hours with an average workload.

[Bonus] Buying Advice

MacBook Pro M3 Max has raised the bar for Apple yet again. It is the closest a laptop has ever come to desktop-grade performance. Whether using it on battery or plugged in, you won't feel a performance change.

If you've already used an M2-powered MacBook Pro, upgrading to the M3 Max won't make a big difference. However, if you plan to run massive workloads where every billable hour counts, going with the M3 Max model could benefit you.

You should invest in the M3 Max MacBook Pro in the following situations:

  • 🚀You're an Intel MacBook user looking for a serious upgrade.
  • 👓You want a powerhouse laptop to handle your workload as a creative professional.
  • 💰Money isn't an issue.

Since this laptop costs a lot, think about your needs and compare them to realistic goals to ascertain whether the M3 Max Macbook Pro is an ideal choice.

Conclusion

Creative professionals, such as researchers, developers, engineers, multimedia editors, animators, 3D artists, and designers, will undoubtedly benefit from investing in a MacBook Pro M3 Max laptop. They can put this outstanding device to good use and unlock its full potential.

From an excellent 120Hz display, impressive battery life, and mind-bending GPU performance to a sleek design, top-class speakers, and the ability to run at optimal performance when unplugged, the MacBook Pro M3 Max is a state-of-the-art innovation in the world of laptops.

If you don't mind limited upgradeability and a high price, this laptop can help you conquer the next-gen AR and VR experiences.

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Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Jun 14, 24
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