The Scary fast presentation, which Apple held at a time that was not very usual for it, lasted only half an hour. A third of this time (not counting the introduction and a short speech by Tim Cook) was devoted to the update of the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max processor line for laptops and desktops.
The new processors are built using a 3 nanometer process (previously, Apple reserved almost all of TSMC’s possible capacity for the production of such chips, with rather exclusive conditions). And the graphics accelerator has been improved the most, with new Dynamic Caching, Mesh shading, and support for hardware acceleration of Ray tracing.
All this should improve both overall performance and graphics processing in games and other power-hungry applications. Compared to previous generations, rendering with M3 chips is 1.8 times faster than M2 and 2.5 times faster than M1.
CPU performance has also been accelerated, with a 15- and 30-percent improvement over the M2 and M1 line of performance cores, respectively, and a 30- and 50-percent advantage over energy-saving cores.
At the same time, the new line, of course, has a good level of power consumption. The CPU and graphics, for the same level of performance as the M1 line, require only half the power. The comparison also includes MSI Prestige 13Evo A13M-050US with Intel Core i7-1360P, where, according to Apple’s charts, the M3 CPU requires only 1/4 of the Intel power consumption and 1/5 of the graphics.
The 16-core Neural Engine also outperforms M2 by 15% and M1 by an impressive 60%, which will be appreciated by users of AI applications. Media Engine now additionally supports AV1.
So, the initial processor of the line – M3 – has 8 cores (4 productive and energy-saving), 10-core graphics and supports up to 24 GB of RAM. On the slides, Apple separately depicted the advantages of CPU and graphics in accordance with previous models in percentage terms.
The M3 Pro, as the “golden mean,” consists of 12 CPU cores (6 each of high-performance and energy-saving), has 18-core graphics, and supports up to 36 GB of RAM. (Interestingly, they somehow overlooked the comparison of CPU performance with the M2 Pro, noting that the M1 Pro is only 20% ahead of the M2 Pro).
The M3 Max, on the other hand, has 16 cores (12 productive and 4 energy-saving), a whopping 40 graphics cores, and now supports up to 128 GB of RAM. All this provides a much more tangible advantage over its predecessors.
Full recording of the Scary Fast presentation: