New benchmark tests support claims Apple made about the impressive speed of the new M3 chip unveiled Monday in the Scary Fast event.
Geekbench found the new entry-level M3 chip, which appears initially in a new 24-inch iMac and one of three MacBook Pro models, performs as expected compared to M1 and M2 versions.
Update: And after the initial results for M3 came in, further tests showed M3 Max is 42% faster than M2 Max, or about as fast as M2 Ultra. That means a new top-shelf MacBook Pro is as fast as the Mac Pro released earlier this year in June, which Apple said at the time was the “most powerful chip ever created for a personal computer.” That claim lasted about five months.
Geekbench tests (so far) support Apple’s claims about M3 chip speeds
Benchmark tests like Geekbench’s are helpful for customers who are expecting shipment of new machines as well as those still deciding if they want to buy. While tests may not perfectly reflect real-world use, results showing chips perform up to high expectations could come as a relief.
Apple said Monday evening the base M3 chip’s 8-core CPU runs up to 20% faster than M2’s and up to 35% faster than M1’s. And M3’s 10-core GPU supposedly beats M2 by 20% and smokes M1 by a whopping 65%.
Tests show M3 chip lives up to claims
Geekbench’s tests show Apple appears to be on target with those claims. The Mac Geekbench ran with a base M3 chip — it doesn’t state if it used a MacBook Pro or an iMac, though it appears likely it used the laptop — scored 3,030 for single-core performance and 11,694 for multicore performance.
That’s commensurate with Apple’s claims of a 20% leap over M2, as a standard M2 chip score about 2,600 (single-core) and 9,700 (multicore). The CPU score showed a 30% speed increase over M1.
M3 Max looks speedy, too
After the M3 results came out, Geekbench posted results for M3 Max later on Wednesday showing a single-core score of 2,943 and a multicore score of 21,084.
Hat tip to Cult of Mac‘s Ed Hardy for calculating that the scores show M3 Max is 42% faster than M2 Max, putting it on par with M2 Ultra. Note that with M3 chip, at least so far the hierarchy is M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max (no Ultra).
When any results for the midrange M3 Pro chip come out, look for another update to this or another post.
We initially published this post on November 1, 2023, and then updated it with M3 Max test results on November 2, 2023.