Three M3 chips could land in Monday's Mac line refresh

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2023

Apple's "Scary Fast" event on Monday night will see the launch of three M3-series chips, to go with the high-end MacBook Pro and 24-inch iMac refreshes that are expected to take place.

24-inch iMac
24-inch iMac



Monday night's "Scary Fast" Apple Event is anticipated to focus on Mac, with updates and chip launches suspected to form the bulk of the presentation. There have been some rumors about what will be shown, and a Sunday report has seemingly gone along with the forecasts.

Writing in Bloomberg's "Power On" newsletter, Mark Gurman claims that there will be three new Mac chips launched at the event, in the M3 series.



The main M3 will be a 3-nanometer chip with eight CPU cores, four each of high-performance and efficiency varieties, and up to 10 cores for graphics processing. While this will match the M2 chip's core counts, faster core performance and improved memory configuration support is expected.

The M3 Pro has apparently been tested in multiple configurations, including one with 12 CPU cores evenly split between performance and efficiency as well as 18 graphics cores, and another with 14 CPU cores and 20 graphics cores.

Lastly, the M3 Max has already been tested in a 16-core CPU variety, with 12 performance cores and four efficiency cores. A 40-core GPU has also been tested, as well as a 32-core version.

As for the devices that these chips will go into, Gurman says the MacBook Pro line will get an update. However, since on October 27 he wrote that there wouldn't be a 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh at the event, this may mean it will just be for the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

On the desktop side, Gurman continues to think that the 24-inch iMac will finally get its long-awaited update.

Read on AppleInsider

FileMakerFeller
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Who says Apple can't keep a secret any longer? Geez, the rumor mill has been ALL over the map about what Apple would or wouldn't launch to wrap up 2023... to the extent that no matter what Apple announces or doesn't, it will have been "predicted" at some point along the way. 
    lordjohnwhorfinAlex1Nwatto_cobradewme
  • Reply 3 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 2,705member
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    edited October 2023 williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 2,705member
    charlesn said:
    Who says Apple can't keep a secret any longer? Geez, the rumor mill has been ALL over the map about what Apple would or wouldn't launch to wrap up 2023... to the extent that no matter what Apple announces or doesn't, it will have been "predicted" at some point along the way. 
    They really have done a great job of keeping things close, which can't be easy when you have such a large number of third party vendors in dozens of countries (one of which is China), and shipping millions of units on day one usually a week after an announcement.
    williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Xed said:
    They really have done a great job of keeping things close, which can't be easy when you have such a large number of third party vendors in dozens of countries (one of which is China), and shipping millions of units on day one usually a week after an announcement.
    Exactly what I was thinking, looks like they were very effective at plugging leaks, quite an accomplishment considering the massive number of people involved all over the world in development, testing and manufacturing. I’m ready to be “surprised and delighted” and whatever it is I’m pretty sure I’m buying it 😁
    williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    I don't think anyone outside of Intel knows.  The chip launches in December but systems using this chip won't go on sale until 2024
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    It’s the best shot they’ve had since the M1 came out, but we will see. Apparently the CPUs are on intel’s new “Intel 4” process. The GPUs are on TSMC 5nm and the SOC stuff is on TSMC 6nm. 


    They might be able to be competitive with M2, but I doubt M3. 

    williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    thttht Posts: 5,550member
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    I don't think anyone outside of Intel knows.  The chip launches in December but systems using this chip won't go on sale until 2024
    It will not be as energy efficient as Apple Silicon.

    Meteor Lake is fabbed on Intel 7nm while Apple Silicon is on TSMC 3nm. That's too big of a fab advantage. Intel will do what they have been doing. Their high end laptop chips will consume 70 to 100 Watts for about 1 to 2 minutes than go down to 45 to 55 Watts depending on model. Mid-range Meteor Lake laptop chips will probably be 25 to 35 Watts sustained. It will have pretty good performance, probably class leading, but will pay for it with more heat, more noise and less runtime.

    Meteor Lake is also a multi-chip package with silicon bridges between them. This will consume more power over the monolithic chip design Apple is expected to use for the M3 generation. So, the idle power consumption will be interesting to see with Meteor Lake. It's architecture will allow Intel to scale their packages in multiple axes though. Very flexible.
    williamlondonAlex1Niqatedowatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 9 of 33
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    tht said:
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    I don't think anyone outside of Intel knows.  The chip launches in December but systems using this chip won't go on sale until 2024
    It will not be as energy efficient as Apple Silicon.

    Meteor Lake is fabbed on Intel 7nm while Apple Silicon is on TSMC 3nm. That's too big of a fab advantage. Intel will do what they have been doing. Their high end laptop chips will consume 70 to 100 Watts for about 1 to 2 minutes than go down to 45 to 55 Watts depending on model. Mid-range Meteor Lake laptop chips will probably be 25 to 35 Watts sustained. It will have pretty good performance, probably class leading, but will pay for it with more heat, more noise and less runtime.

    Meteor Lake is also a multi-chip package with silicon bridges between them. This will consume more power over the monolithic chip design Apple is expected to use for the M3 generation. So, the idle power consumption will be interesting to see with Meteor Lake. Its architecture will allow Intel to scale their packages in multiple axes though. Very flexible.
    It’s not at all clear what those nm numbers mean — you can’t take them literally at all. Intel now calls it “Intel 4” because they think it’s most similar to TSMC “4 nm”. Once upon a time intel had called it “7 nm” but they meant something different with that then.

    so bottom line is—- we’ll find out when it’s shipping in actual products. 

    I bet M3 beats it, but M2 might not have. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobralibertyandfree
  • Reply 10 of 33
    thttht Posts: 5,550member
    blastdoor said:
    tht said:
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    I don't think anyone outside of Intel knows.  The chip launches in December but systems using this chip won't go on sale until 2024
    It will not be as energy efficient as Apple Silicon.

    Meteor Lake is fabbed on Intel 7nm while Apple Silicon is on TSMC 3nm. That's too big of a fab advantage. Intel will do what they have been doing. Their high end laptop chips will consume 70 to 100 Watts for about 1 to 2 minutes than go down to 45 to 55 Watts depending on model. Mid-range Meteor Lake laptop chips will probably be 25 to 35 Watts sustained. It will have pretty good performance, probably class leading, but will pay for it with more heat, more noise and less runtime.

    Meteor Lake is also a multi-chip package with silicon bridges between them. This will consume more power over the monolithic chip design Apple is expected to use for the M3 generation. So, the idle power consumption will be interesting to see with Meteor Lake. Its architecture will allow Intel to scale their packages in multiple axes though. Very flexible.
    It’s not at all clear what those nm numbers mean — you can’t take them literally at all. Intel now calls it “Intel 4” because they think it’s most similar to TSMC “4 nm”. Once upon a time intel had called it “7 nm” but they meant something different with that then.

    so bottom line is—- we’ll find out when it’s shipping in actual products. 

    I bet M3 beats it, but M2 might not have. 
    No, it's doubtful to me that Intel 4, basically Intel 7nm, is like TSMC N4, TSMC 4nm. Intel can prove it by just quoting a transistor density number for Intel 4 versus various TSMC 4nm or 5nm chips. If I have the time, I can go find out, but really no motivation to do that right now.

    Intel said this for the prior generations of fabs too. They said Intel 10nm was equivalent to TSMC 7nm too. I don't think they ever got close to TSMC 7nm densities on their Intel 10nm fab.

    The ultimate arbiter is simply Intel continues to need 3x to 4x the per core power consumption to match Apple silicon per core power consumption. If Intel had similar transistor densities, that wouldn't happen. They'd be a lot closer, like 1.2x to 1.5x power consumption numbers over Apple silicon.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    anomeanome Posts: 1,534member
    Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo seem to be in a backwards bicycle race with all this backpedalling going on.
    tenthousandthingsAlex1Nwatto_cobrawilliamlondonlordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 12 of 33
    A two hour presentation, but part of that will be Resident Evil. None of this makes any sense without a Capcom segment.

    The A17 "Pro" label makes more sense knowing that M3 Pro and M3 Max are likely here, released more or less at the same time. They will share the mesh shading and hardware ray tracing graphics elements.

    To my mind, the only remaining question is the M3. Maybe this means some kind of change in how the graphics are handled, versus how they were handled in the M1 and M2 generations. Before, M1 could have been named A14X, and M2 could have been named A15X. M1 Pro/Max and M2 Pro/Max stood apart. I'll guess this is no longer the case. M3 won't be a derivative of the A17, rather, the A17 Pro is a derivative of the M3.

    So the new M3 iMac will have mesh shading and hardware ray tracing, and tomorrow night we'll see Resident Evil Village again, this time on the late 2023 iMac with M3 Pro.

    Or, you know, the iMac will get M2 and M2 Pro, and there won't be any M3. Or some other combination that makes perfect sense in retrospect... 
    edited October 2023 Alex1Nwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 33
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now. 

    Exactly. Despite Apple's self-obsession, the rest of the industry does not stay still either & there is much on the near horizon: Intel 14th gen Meteor Lake; killer new chips from Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite, AMD's next ARM & other ARM ventures in general. Shall be interesting to see how 2024 progresses on this front, & especially in terms on next gen touch screen convertibles /detachables with a now very manture Win 11 /touch OS.


    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Ofcourse the biggest update will be the completely rearchitected GPU and the inclusion of hardware ray-tracing and AV1 decoding, if this follows Apple’s tradition of deriving the M-series based on the A-series.
    Alex1NFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 33
    mobirdmobird Posts: 757member
    Maybe the recent "brain drain" that Apple has experienced ushered some of the leakers out the door...
    edited October 2023 Alex1Nwatto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 33
    Bring on the 32” iMac we’ve all been waiting for. 
    Many people use the iMac in  both Work and Home applications and the timing is right


    Apple hear our request and make us happy
    iqatedowatto_cobraScot1
  • Reply 17 of 33
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,108member
    RigiDigi said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now. 

    Exactly. Despite Apple's self-obsession, the rest of the industry does not stay still either & there is much on the near horizon: Intel 14th gen Meteor Lake; killer new chips from Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite, AMD's next ARM & other ARM ventures in general. Shall be interesting to see how 2024 progresses on this front, & especially in terms on next gen touch screen convertibles /detachables with a now very manture Win 11 /touch OS.



    Out of those four companies who will ship first? If Apple announces something will they turn around and say you can order it by Friday, and if Apple has a self obsession, that type of obsession is something many people can live with, if whatever they announce ships before the end of this year, how’s that for moving forward. :smile: 
    edited October 2023 watto_cobrawilliamlondonFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 18 of 33
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,825member
    Original M series iMac purchaser here - very, very happy with a great system. I'll buy a 24" M3 eventually, a 27" M3 sooner or a 32" M3 ASAP. An M3 Max of any screen size though ASAP too. I use my system principally for data processing under Python and Mathematica and for playing with AI. As a lazy Safari never closes a window user, Safari consumes most of my energy. So, buying the latest, fastest iMac to feed my laziness? Yes, get over it :D .
    watto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 33
    tht said:
    Xed said:
    blastdoor said:
    Meteor lake is supposed to launch in December. It will be very interesting to see how the m3 lineup compares. I wonder if meteor lake comparisons are one reason Apple is launching pro and max now
    I've fallen out of following Intel's releases. Is Meteor Lake suppose to come close to Apple's performance-per-watt?
    I don't think anyone outside of Intel knows.  The chip launches in December but systems using this chip won't go on sale until 2024
    It will not be as energy efficient as Apple Silicon.

    Meteor Lake is fabbed on Intel 7nm while Apple Silicon is on TSMC 3nm. That's too big of a fab advantage. Intel will do what they have been doing. Their high end laptop chips will consume 70 to 100 Watts for about 1 to 2 minutes than go down to 45 to 55 Watts depending on model. Mid-range Meteor Lake laptop chips will probably be 25 to 35 Watts sustained. It will have pretty good performance, probably class leading, but will pay for it with more heat, more noise and less runtime.

    Meteor Lake is also a multi-chip package with silicon bridges between them. This will consume more power over the monolithic chip design Apple is expected to use for the M3 generation. So, the idle power consumption will be interesting to see with Meteor Lake. It's architecture will allow Intel to scale their packages in multiple axes though. Very flexible.
    That does not sound even close to the M1 Max silicon.... I have a power meter on my MacBook setup (desktop connected right now)...  Computer is a MacBook Pro 14" M1 Max/32 core GPU, 64GB RAM, 2TB storage.  I have it connected up to 3 x 4K external Monitors (4 in total) through 3 Thunderbolt docks (one for each thunderbolt port)...  Although I have not yet measured the difference with it in laptop mode (will by end of next week), each monitor will draw more power from the GPU side of things (I remember plugging in the monitors and noticing a warmer laptop).  

    Running non-graphics intensive applications (many open and doing their own thing in the background), web browser with lots of tabs, DEVONThink, Screen sharing to another Mac, Omnifocus, many chat apps, a game idling in the background waiting for me to get back to (simple Arcade game)... basically using the laptop without worrying about battery and power draw (does not power down anything).... it draws between 15 and 16 watts from the wall.  I am guessing if I disconnected the 4 external monitors and just use it as a portable in the same manner - probably 8 to 10 watts.  If I crunch it with lots of graphics processing (creative work)... I might at most push it up to 60 watts.  

    I just don't see Intel coming close to that with an x86 processor, which always has to have a hardware transcoder adding a bit of inefficiency to convert the old x86 instruction set to a RISCish micro-ops before executing the code (Intel was running into a wall with CISC based architecture long ago so they effectively did a wonderful job and genius level design to keep it in the processor... and as long as they had the best node out there... they were hard to beat in their era.   Time always catches up though... and unless Intel has some magic pixie dust this time around... I don't see them being on the same level... HOWEVER, for a windows user - it will likely seem like a super major upgrade from prior generations for laptops and may keep their eyes from wandering too much.
    williamlondonFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 20 of 33
    I am hoping that Apple goes full Gandalf on this release and puts a stake in the ground and does a line in the silicon on capability across their eco-system.

    Hopefully they will go all in on HW RT across all their launched computer devices to ensure TAM growth for the games developers or the push is pretty much meaningless.
    Another would be significant Neural engine boosts to prepare for on device generative AI models. Snapdragon is already touting it so Apple cannot be behind.

    Overall the M* chips have shown to have great horsepower for genAI but Apple needs to make it a concerted and conscious push rather than a happy coincidence.

    I am very much hoping for M3 HW RT + Neural Engine next generation all the things across Macs, iPad Pro and dare I say it - Apple TV.

    Generative Fill like tech would be epic to help Apple TV clean, upscale and improve bad streaming video quality, compensate for network glitches etc.

    Snapdragon 8 Gen3 has thrown down a useful gauntlet and I can see Apple loving the competitive challenge.
    tenthousandthings
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