Category Archives: M3 Max

Apple M3 Processor Series

Understanding possibly five Apple M3 Series processors

Currently there are no released M3 Series processors.

I think it is almost certain that M3 Series processors will start appearing in Apple products in mid 2023. We know Apple is trying to move M Series processor upgrades to an annual rhythm like the A Series processors for iPhones etc. We also know that Apple supplier TSMC’s 3-nanometer process is in production and that Apple has purchased 100% of that capacity.

The M3 series will use the N3E architecture, an improvement on the N3 or 3nm process. The N3E process is expected to have a 15% performance boost and a 30% power saving improvement over the N5P process in the M2.

The M3 series will be improved but probably not enough for most people to upgrade from a M2 equivalent. The M3 series will be improved enough for many people to upgrade from an M1 equivalent though.

The brilliance of Apple silicon is the components of each one are the same. There are just more or less of them in each type.

Performance of the various M3 processors, just like their predecessors really will boil down to the base M3 processor performance.

All M3 Series specifications are estimates

All we know for sure now is the M3 Series will be based on 3-nanometer technology. If nothing else changes, this alone will bring performance improvement.

** If you are browsing this page from a phone, you may want to view the following chart in landscape mode.

ComponentM3M3 ProM3 MaxM3 UltraM3 Extreme
Efficiency CPU Cores464816
Efficiency Clock2.4GHz2.4GHz2.4GHz2.4GHz2.4GHz
Performance CPU Cores46 or 8122448
Performance Clock3.5GHz3.5GHz3.5GHz3.5GHz3.5GHz
Neural Engine Cores1616163264
GPU Cores options8 or 1018 or 2032 or 4064 or 80128 or 160
Unified Memory options8GB 16GB 24GB16GB 32GB32GB 64GB 96GB64GB 128GB 192GB128GB 256GB 384GB
Memory Bandwidth100GB/s200GB/s400GB/s800GB/s1600GB/s
Video Decode Engines11124
Video Encode Engines11248
ProRes Encode-Decode Engines11248

Assuming a 2 year processor life cycle, before the end of 2025 the M3 Series should be history and fully replaced by the Apple M4 Processor Series in newly released products.

CPU & GPU Performance Benchmarks

Buying an Apple M3 Series computer

Any Apple M3 Series computer will be an incredible experience compared to music and video production on Intel hardware. However it is highly recommended to get at least 16GB of memory (or more) and 512GB storage (or more) if you select an M3 Series system.

There are 9 basic form factors of Apple macOS systems with M3 Series processors expected, 5 laptops and 4 desktops.

  • 13″ MacBook Air M3
  • 15″ MacBook Air M3
  • 13″ MacBook Pro M3
  • 14″ MacBook Pro M3 Pro & M3 Max
  • 16″ MacBook Pro M3 Pro & M3 Max
  • 24″ iMac M3
  • Mac mini M3 & M3 Pro
  • Mac Studio M3 Max & M3 Ultra
  • Mac Pro M3 Ultra & M3 Extreme


Useful Links

Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple Silicon is the DAW standard
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro & M2 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M2
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M3
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M1
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M3
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M3 Processor Series

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