Apple unveiled its newest M3 MacBook featuring the Apple M3 Pro chip during the Apple Event on the 30th of October. After less than a year of production, the M2 MacBooks have been replaced with the newest Apple chips that are the fastest the company has ever made. And though the benchmarks now pouring in from multiple sources online confirm the fact, it seems these gains in performance from the Apple M3 Pro chip are not as big a leap many were hoping they would be.
Apple Silicon Elevated MacBooks to New Heights
For most of Apple’s history, their MacBook line of laptops ran on externally sourced hardware. Namely, MacBooks used to have Intel processors, and thus could never truly achieve the efficiency Apple knew they were capable of.
Enter the M1, the first in-house chip produced by Apple for its laptops. Apple SoC’s, marketed as Apple Silicon, were processors made by Apple specifically for its devices. The M1 chip’s hardware was designed to integrate insanely well with macOS and the apps on it, and resulted in hands-down the best MacBook Apple had ever made. Released in November of 2020, this MacBook Pro was the fastest, longest lasting, most efficient laptop Apple had ever made.
Modest Performance Gains Since M1
Since the M1 chip revolutionized how Apple’s laptops worked, we’ve seen very marginal increases in performance with Apple’s newest chips. The M2 chips, though faster, didn’t at all necessitate an upgrade. In fact, many people took advantage of the M2 release to buy discounted M1 MacBooks instead. Now with some people having gotten their hands on the M3 MacBooks, it appears to be the same case as before.
Vadim Yuryev of the YouTube channel Max Tech posted the Geekbench scores of the Apple M3 Pro chip, and revealed that single-core performance scored a 3,035 while multi-core performance scored at 15,173. If these numbers are accurate for all M3 Pro chips, then the multi-core performance of this chip is only better than the M2 Pro by 6%.
There could be a multitude of reasons for why this is the case, though it is very likely because of the 25% reduction in memory bandwidth alongside only having six high-performance cores compared to the M2 Pro’s eight. The M3 Pro also has one less GPU core as well.
This isn’t to say the M3 chips are bad, of course. The base M3 chip is 20% faster than the base M2 chip, and the M3 Max is a staggering 45% faster than the M2 Max. So, though the multi-core performance gains of the M3 Pro look minor in comparison, there is definitely an overall sense of progress.