Apple’s next-gen M3 Pro chip could pack even more CPU and GPU cores

Apple’s next-gen M3 Pro chip could pack even more CPU and GPU cores


Apple M3 processor
The wait for the Apple M3 processor could be shorter than expected.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly began internal testing of Macs powered by next-generation M3 chips. At least one of the variants could feature a 12-core CPU, an 18-core GPU and 36GB of system memory.

The next-generation Apple silicon remains a few months away from release, however. Rumors suggest it could debut at the end of this year or early 2024.

More CPU and GPU cores are always better

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletterBloomberg’s Mark Gurman spilled some beans on the M3 chip. Based on data from an app developer, Apple is testing at least one M3 Pro variant with a 12-core CPU running the upcoming macOS 14.0. An 18-core GPU and 36GB of system memory are also a part of the chip.

This is presumably the entry-level M3 Pro chip that could power Apple’s next high-end MacBook Pro and other Macs.

Out of the 12 CPU cores, there are six high-performance and six efficiency cores. For comparison, the M2 Pro comes with a similar number of high-performance cores and two fewer low-power cores. It also packs a 16-core GPU, two less than the upcoming M3 Pro.

Apple made a similar bump in the CPU and GPU cores from M1 Pro to M2 Pro. The company seemingly plans to increase the system memory by 4GB to 36GB as well. Current M2 Pro-based Macs ship with 32GB memory.

Thanks to the bump in CPU and GPU cores, the M3 Pro should bring a noticeable performance boost. And this is without taking into account the architectural or clock speed improvements.

Apple reportedly will fabricate the M3 on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 3nm node, making the processor denser and more power-efficient.

M3 Macs are not coming anytime soon

Despite Apple internally testing M3-powered Macs, the next-gen computers likely will not launch anytime soon. Reportedly, the first M3 Macs could arrive by the end of 2023 or in Q1 2024.

For now, rumors suggest Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air could debut at WWDC23, powered by an M2 chip.


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