Apple is testing variants of the M3 chip, according to Bloomberg, with the first Macs running the new Apple Silicon potentially arriving as early as October. The high-end laptop chip, the M3 Max, will reportedly have four more high-performance CPU cores and at least two additional graphical cores compared to the M2 Max, which only arrived in January.
The company is reportedly testing new iMacs, 13-inch MacBook Pros, 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs and Mac minis — all running the M3 chip and expected within the next 12 months. Updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chips won’t likely arrive until 2024.
The company could move on an aggressive Mac release schedule as its desktop and laptop computer line struggles to regain its sales footing after a pandemic-era boom. Although it launched a 15-inch MacBook Air in June and new models of the MacBook Pro and Mac mini in January, we could see more new Mac hardware this fall. (The company hinted in its earnings call last week that new Macs wouldn’t arrive until after the fiscal fourth quarter, which concludes at the end of September.) Bloomberg reports Apple is indeed planning an October product launch.
The base M3 chip will reportedly use the same configuration as the M2: eight processor cores and up to 10 graphical cores. However, the M3 Pro will start at 12 CPU cores and 18 graphical cores, and test logs suggest the M3 Max will include 16 CPU cores and 40 graphics cores. Of course, Apple is likely testing multiple variants of core-count options, and we don’t yet know which versions will make it to consumers.
The M3 chip has been long-rumored to shift to TSMC’s upcoming 3-nanometer process for expected performance and efficiency improvements over the 5nm process used in the M2. Apple is also widely expected to use the 3nm process for the A17 chip in the upcoming iPhone 15 series.