Apple unveiled three 3nm M3 series processors this morning at the Scary Fast event. Thanks to advanced lithography, these processors have a lot of power and consume little energy, and they definitely threaten the position of Intel processor, AMD processor and Qualcomm processor.
Surprisingly, Apple compared the M3 processor more with the M1 and we didn’t see a specific comparison with the M2; This means that if you are currently using M2 Macs, you probably won’t see a significant improvement by buying M3 Macs.
According to Apple press release, the M3 series processors are more focused on the advancement of the graphics unit. These processors provide hardware support for Ray Tracing and Mesh Shading so that MacBooks and other Apple computers run video games better. Thanks to these two technologies, the lighting of games becomes much more realistic.
Apple says the GPU used in the M3 is up to 1.8 times faster than the M2 and 2.5 times faster than the M1 in processing professional applications. M3 can provide graphic performance on par with this processor by consuming half the energy required by M1.
Apple’s M3 processor uses an eight-core CPU (four high-power cores and four low-power cores) and 10-core graphics. Apple says this processor is 35% faster than the M1 and has the ability to support 24GB of RAM.
The M3 Pro processor is equipped with a 12-core CPU (6 high-power cores and 6 low-power cores) and 18-core graphics. This system-on-chip in the most powerful configuration uses 36 GB of RAM and has a single-core performance 30% better than the M1 Pro.
Apple’s most important new processor is the M3 Max. This processor uses a 16-core CPU (12 high-power cores and four low-power cores) and 40-core graphics and is equipped with 128 GB of RAM. Apple says the M3 Max performs up to 80 percent better than the M1 Max. This new chip is equipped with two ProRes engines to process video content at a very high speed.
Apple’s M3 series processors are the first three-nanometer chips in the computer industry (both M1 and M2 processors were made with five-nanometer lithography). Increasing the density of transistors not only increases the power, but also lowers the processor’s energy consumption. According to Apple’s claim, the high-power cores of M3 are up to 15% and the low-power cores of this processor are up to 30% faster than M2.
Considering that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max use the 3nm A17 Pro processor, the presence of this lithography in the M3 processors is not surprising. Despite this, the simultaneous unveiling of three 3nm processors is a remarkable move.
AMD produced Ryzen 7040 series laptop processors with 4nm lithography this year, and Intel wants to use Intel 4 lithography in Meteor Lake processors in late 2023 (this lithography was previously called “Intel’s 7nm process technology”).
The differences between the architectures used by Apple, AMD and Intel (including technologies such as 3D stacking) make it not easy to directly compare the new processors of these three companies; Still, the numbers weigh heavily in Apple’s favor.