The October 30 Apple Event was exactly as “scary fast” as it was deemed to be, clocking in at no more than 30 minutes in total. That was more than enough time for Apple to show up and hammer out the most important details about its M3-powered next-gen upgrades for the MacBook Pro and the iMac, and admittedly there’s a lot to love. It’s worth noting the 2020-era M1 chip was the sole point of reflection for the company; Apple specifically noted a 60% upgrade in performance between the 14-inch M3 Pro-powered MacBook Pro and the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
MacBook Pros featuring the M2 Pro and M2 Max launched in January, and so it’s probably too soon for an upgrade from those. But Apple’s point is clear: if you own anything earlier than an M1-powered MacBook Pro, or if you own even the most powerful Intel-based Mac on the market, you’re tailing behind the pack.
It’s hard to argue against the swath of powerful new features included in the late-2023 MacBook Pro lineup — equipped with the full array of hyper-powerful Apple M3 chips, which use a 3-nanometer process much like the A17 Pro chip included in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These new M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max-powered MacBook Pros are the current flagship of the macOS fleet, and all models benefit from the vastly increased base performance, which Apple claims is “11x faster than the most powerful Intel-based MacBook Pro”.
If you’re a designer or a creator who needs all the horsepower you can get, the MacBook Pro M3 Max model is probably your best bet thanks to its 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU with Dynamic Caching, a feature that can evidently boost performance by dynamically allocating memory in real time. For even just the base M3 model, however, macOS Sonoma’s new features (like Screen Sharing between M3-powered Macs and Game Mode, which prioritizes framerates in games like Baldur’s Gate 3) make great use of all that computing power.
The new MacBook Pro color scheme, Space Black, is a gorgeous, metallic black chassis that marks a MacBook first since 2006. Apple considers it a “Pro” color, so it’s less likely we’ll see a similarly-colored M3-powered MacBook Air any time soon, and that’s a real shame because it does look quite sleek.
Both the 14-inch and 16-inch M3 MacBook Pro are now available to pre-order from Apple’s online store. The base M3-powered 14-inch MacBook Pro will begin at $1,599 while the M3-powered 16-inch is set to start at $2,499. Of course, you’ll need to shell out a bit more for the M3 Pro and M3 Max versions. Orders will begin shipping out on November 7.