M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – Specs, Feature Comparison

M2 [left] and M3 [right ] versions of MacBook Pro 14 inches and MacBook Pro 16 inches

Apple has updated its premium MacBook Pro line with new chips. Here's how the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 compare to their M2 counterparts.

At Apple's Scary Fast event, held on October 30, a new generation of Apple Silicon chips was introduced. The M3 promises to be faster and offer more performance than its M2 counterparts, with Apple also launching M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.

Unlike previous generations, where Apple led the way with entry-level Mac models and then introduced alternatives to the MacBook Pro this year, things are very different with the M3. Instead, Apple decided that the best strategy this time would be to launch high-end variants.

We are now in a situation where two generations of high-end MacBook Pro models were released in the same year. Apple's M2 Pro and M2 Max variants of the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro only arrived in January, making the arrival of M3 counterparts later that year highly unusual for the company.

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Despite the relatively small gap between the M2 and M3, some MacBook Pro owners looking for improved performance may still consider it an upgrade.

This is also an unusual release as Apple has also included an M3 model along with Pro and Max variants, unlike the M2 generation. After the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 is now the entry-level Pro laptop.

In this article, we will discuss the features of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

M2 MacBook Pro and M3 MacBook Pro – specifications

12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 (14 inches),
14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 (16 inches)
Technical specifications 14-inch MacBook Pro M2,
16-inch MacBook Pro M2
14-inch MacBook Pro M3,
16-inch MacBook Pro M3
Price (starting) $1999 (14″),
$2499 (16″)
$1599 (M3 14″),
$1999 (M3 Pro 14″)
USD 2,499 (16 inches)
Display size (inches) 14.2 (14 inches),
16.2 (16 inches)
14.2 (14 inches),
16.2 (16 inches)
Dimensions (inches) 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 (14 inches),
14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 (16 inches)
Weight ( lbs) 3.5 (M2 Pro 14 inch),
3.6 (M2 Max 14 inch),
4.7 (M2 Pro 16 inch),
4, 8 (M2 Max, 16 inches)
3.4 (M3, 14 inches),
3.5 (M3 Pro, 14 inches),
3.6 (M3 Max, 14 inches) inches),
4.7 (M3 Pro, 16 inches),
4.8 (M3 Max, 16 inches)
Maximum resolution 3024 x 1964 (14 inches)
3456 x 2234 (16 inches)
3024 x 1964 (14 inches)
3456 x 2234 (16 inches)
Pixel density 254 254
Display backlight Mini -LED Mini LED
Display technology P3 Wide Color,
True Tone,
Wide Color P3,
True Tone,
Processors M2 Pro 10-core, (14 inch)
M2 Pro 12-core,
M2 Max 12-core
M3 8-core, (14-inch)
M3 Pro 11-core (14-inch)
M3 Pro 12-core
M3 Max 14-core
M3 Max 16-core (16-inch)
Graphics 16-core (M2 Pro 10-core)
19-core (M2 Pro 12-core)
30-core (M2 Max)
38-core (M2 Max)
10-core (M3 14-inch)
14-core (M3 Pro 14 -inch)
18-core (M3 Pro 14-inch)-inch)
30-core (M3 Max)
40-core (M3 Max 16-inch)
Memory 16 GB,
32 GB,
64 GB (M2 Max),
96 GB (38-core M2 Max GPU)
8 GB (M3 14 inch),
16 GB (M3 14 inch),
24 GB (M3 14 inch),
18 GB (M3 Pro),
36 GB ( M3 Pro, M3 Max, 14 cores),
96 GB (M3 Max, 14 cores),
48 GB (16-core M3 Max),
64 GB (16-core M3 Max),
128 GB (16-core M3 Max)
Memory 512 GB,
512 GB,
4 TB,
8 TB
Battery capacity 70 Wh (14 inches)
100 Wh (16 inches)
70 Wh (14 inches M2)
72.4 Wh (14-inch M2 Pro and Max) 100 Wh (16-inch)
Biometrics Touch ID Touch ID
Trackpad Force Touch Force Touch
Keyboard Backlight with ambient light sensor Backlight with ambient light sensor
Ports Three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C),
Extended HDMI port,
SDXC card slot,
3.5mm headphone jack,
MagSafe 3
Two Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C), (M3 14-inch)
Three Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C), (M3 Pro and Max)
Extended HDMI port,
SDXC card slot,
3.5mm headphone jack,
MagSafe 3
Web camera 1080p FaceTime HD camera FaceTime HD 1080p Camera
Audio High-quality audio from six speakers with force-cancelling woofers,
Spatial audio,
Dolby Atmos ,
Three microphones
High-quality sound from six speakers with force-cancelling woofers,
Spatial audio,
Dolby Atmos,
Three microphones
Connectivity 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E,
Bluetooth 5.3
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E,
Bluetooth 5.3
Charger From USB-C 67 W (14 inches)
USB-C 140 W (16 inches)
From 67 W USB-C (14 inches)
140W USB-C (16″)
Color Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray

M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – Design, Weight, Size

Apple's Latest Top-Tier MacBook Pro Models Observers usually called an update of technical characteristics, they practically do not differ from the previous ones in appearance and in many other factors.

Apple continues to use a recyclable aluminum casing as part of its eco-friendly design. This includes using rare earth metals for magnets, using 35% or more recycled plastic in components, and 100% recycled tin for soldering on the motherboard.

The keyboard and body of the MacBook Pro M3 models remain unchanged compared to the M2 versions.

Measuring 12.31 by 8.71 inches for the 14-inch models and 14.01 by 9.77 inches for the 16-inch models, there's nothing to complain about in terms of footprint. At 0.61 inches thick for the 14-inch model and 0.66 inches for the 16-inch model, they are still nice and thin to carry around.

In terms of weight, the MacBook Pro has always been large. Weighing in at 3.5 pounds or 3.6 pounds depending on the chip you choose for the 14-inch MacBook Pro M2, and 4.7 or 4.8 pounds for the 16-inch MacBook Pro M2, they're not what you'd call lightweight. but not depressingly heavy either. .

The weight of the M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max models has not changed at all. The 14-inch M3 is a new data point and is the lightest at 3.4 pounds.

M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – Display

The Liquid Retina XDR displays on the M2 models will be familiar to MacBook Pro users as they are the same ones found on the M1 version. They measure 14.2 inches and 16.2 inches respectively and are display panels with a cutout at the top for the FaceTime camera.

They also have a resolution of 3024 by 1964 pixels and 3456 by 2234 pixels at the corresponding size, giving a pixel density of 254 apiece. They also feature Mini-LED backlighting that offers a million-to-one contrast ratio, Wide Color P3 support, and high brightness levels.

MacBook Pro M3 versions are slightly brighter.

M2 versions offer 500 nits of standard definition brightness, with 1,000 nits of XDR brightness supported for full-screen images and 1,600 nits peak when viewing HDR content.

There's also ProMotion, which offers an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and True Tone technology to deal with changes in ambient light.

The M3 editions of the MacBook Pro are virtually identical to the M2 and M1 editions, with this third-generation edition featuring identical specs. The only noticeable display change is that the screens now have a maximum SDR brightness of 600 nits, while others remain static.

As always, you can connect external displays to MacBook Pro models, although the Apple Silicon chip you choose for the task will determine how far you can push it.

The M2 Pro chip can support up to two external 6K 60Hz displays via Thunderbolt, or one external 6K 60Hz display via Thunderbolt and one external 4K display via HDMI at up to 144Hz. It is also possible to have one external 8K display at 60Hz or a 4K display at 240Hz via HDMI.

The M2 Max can have up to four external displays, including three 6K 60Hz screens via Thunderbolt and a 4K 144Hz panel via HDMI. By reducing three displays, you can use two 6K 60Hz screens via Thunderbolt and one 8K 60Hz or 4K 240Hz screen via HDMI.

The M3 variant of the 14-inch MacBook Pro can support a single external display with up to 6K resolution and 60Hz. The M3 Pro and M3 Max can work with the same external displays as the M2 Pro and M2 Max.

M2 MacBook Pro vs MacBook Pro M3 – Performance

The M2 versions of the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro use several variants of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in their configurations.

The M2 Pro has two CPU configurations: a 10-core CPU with six performance cores and four efficiency cores, and a 12-core variant with eight performance cores and four efficiency cores. The M2 Max uses a 12-core design with a similar core split.

The M2 Pro starts with a 16-core GPU, with a 19-core GPU option also available. The M2 Max starts with a 30-core GPU, with a 38-core CPU alternative available.

Pro has 200 GB/s memory bandwidth, which is useful when working with Apple's unified memory design. M2 Max doubles throughput to 400 GB/s.

Both M2 variants feature a 16-core Neural Engine to accelerate tasks and process elements of applications using machine learning.

The M2 chips also feature a Media Engine, which is used to hardware accelerate video encoding and decoding, eliminating the need for the processor to deal with it and, in turn, improving performance.

M2 Pro has one video decoding and encoding engine, as well as one ProRes encoding and decoding engine. The M2 Max has one video decoding engine, but the number of encoding engines and ProRes versions is doubled.

Apple introduced three M3 chips at once.

The trio of Apple M3 chips have quite a few differences from their M2 counterparts.

The M3 features an 8-core processor evenly split between performance and efficiency cores, a 10-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine and Media Engine.

The M3 Pro starts with an 11-core processor with a 14-core GPU, which is joined by a 12-core version that uses 6 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores, as well as an 18-core GPU. Both also benefit from the Neural Engine and Media Engine.

The M3 Max comes in two variants: a 14-core CPU and 30-core GPU, and a 16-core CPU with 12 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores and a 40-core GPU. Pro Max versions also use the 16-core Neural Engine, but with dual use of video encoding engines and ProRes for the Media Engine.

Memory bandwidth on the M3 line is a bit lower than what you'd expect compared to the M2 Pro, as the M3 chip is rated at 100GB/s while the M3 Pro uses 150GB/s. M Max continues to run at 400GB/s.

Beyond the basic specs, Apple also says these chips are the first to benefit from dynamic GPU caching, so the system can reserve resources for when they're needed most. Support for mesh shading and ray tracing is also included, helping graphics performance be 30% faster than the M1.

Beyond Apple's claims of improvement, we'll have to wait until benchmarks become available to truly see if there are significant improvements between generations.

M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – camera and audio

Inside the cutout at the top of the display on M2 MacBook Pro models is a FaceTime HD 1080p camera, an imaging device that's quite common these days Apple assortment. This is aided by the advanced image signal processor included in the M2 chip, with its video computing support capable of improving the quality of the video stream and improving the on-camera look for users.

Again, Apple is using the same camera setup for the M3.

The similarities continue in the audio, as audio production is handled by a six-speaker sound system for both generations, equipped with power-controlled woofers. It is capable of processing wide stereo sound with spatial audio support for Dolby Atmos content played through these speakers.

If you have AirPods with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, they will also work with your MacBook Pro. If you have speakers in your TV or monitor that you connect to your MacBook Pro via HDMI, you can use them to output multi-channel audio as well.

Audio inputs on MacBook Pro M2 and M3 use three “studio-quality” microphones in an array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming capabilities.

If you want to connect some wired personal audio accessories, they all feature a 3.5mm headphone jack with extended support for high impedance headphones.

MacBook Pro M2 vs MacBook Pro M3 – Storage, Connectivity, Power

MacBook Pro M2 models support built-in SSD capacities starting at 512GB and increasing to 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 8TB, depending on models. configuration. It's identical to the M3 Pro and Max MacBook Pro, except the M3 version comes in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, while with the M3 Max chips you can only get 8TB.

In terms of memory, configurations start at 16 GB for the M2 Pro and 32 GB as an alternative. M2 Max chips start at 32GB with a 64GB option, although the top-end chip can go up to 96GB.

For the M3 line, this gets quite complicated as there are three types of chips to consider.

The M3 chip includes 8 GB of memory in the base model, as well as in versions with 16 GB and 24 GB of memory. M3 Pro models can be equipped with 18 GB or 36 GB of memory.

For the M3 Max, if you opt for a chip with a 14-core CPU and 30-core GPU, your memory options are 36GB or 96GB. Opting for the powerful 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU changes the choice to 48GB, 64GB or 128GB.

MacBook Pro M3 Pro and M3 Max Ports

In terms of connectivity, the pair of MacBook Pro M2s share the same set of ports, including three Thunderbolt 4 ports with USB support 4, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI, SDXC card slot, and MagSafe 3 port.

This is the same setup found on the M3 Pro and M3 Max. The 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 reduces the number of Thunderbolt 4 ports to two, which is a bit disappointing.

Wireless connectivity is supported by Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 in all models of both generations.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 has a 70Wh lithium-polymer battery and comes with a 67W USB-C charger with a low-configuration chip, although you can pay an extra $20 for it. 96 W version. This 96W charger is included by default in all other models.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro M2 has a 100Wh battery and comes with a 140W USB-C power adapter.

In both cases, you can charge the battery through the Thunderbolt port on the MacBook Pro, although if you have a suitable USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable, you can use the dedicated MagSafe 3 port instead.

Under the M3, the 14-inch model features a 70Wh battery with a 70W charger.

The 14-inch M3 Pro and Max variants are equipped with a 72.4 Wh battery. Apple's charger includes a 70W USB-C power adapter with the 11-core M3 Pro, or a 96W version for other models.

The 16-inch versions of the M3 are equipped with a 100 Wh battery and come with a 140 W USB-C power adapter.

In terms of usage time, the 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 lasts up to 15 hours when using wireless Internet and up to 22 hours when playing movies in the Apple TV app. MacBook Pro 14 inches. Apple also announced the same timing for the 16-inch MacBook Pro M2 Pro and M2 Max.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro and M3 Max last up to 12 and 18 hours, respectively. Again, these numbers were previously reported for the M2-based 14-inch MacBook Pro.

M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – Pricing

Available in space gray or silver, the 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 Pro starts at $1,999, with a 10-core processor, 16-core GPU, 16 GB of memory, 512 GB of internal memory and a 67 W charger.

Upgrading to the 12-core M2 Pro with 19-core GPU will cost an additional $300 over the base price. The M2 Max upgrade cost $500 over base for the 30-core GPU version or $700 for the 38-core version.

Starting at 16GB of unified memory, upgrading to 32GB will cost $400 more, with the 64GB option costing $800 to upgrade from 16GB, or upgrading to 96GB for $1,200. However, these two higher powers are only available as part of the M2 Max.

Storage starting at 512 GB can be upgraded to 1 TB for $200 or 2 TB for $60. Having 4TB of storage costs $1,200 more than the 512GB option, although you can opt for 8TB for a $2,400 upgrade fee.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 starts at $1,599 with 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a 70W power adapter. The memory upgrade costs $200 to go from 8GB to 16GB and another $200 to go to 24GB. Storage upgrades cost $200 for 1TB and another $400 for 2TB, but the 96W charger upgrade costs just $20.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro starts at $1,999 and includes an 11-core processor, 14-core GPU, 18GB of combined memory, 512GB of storage, and a 70W charger. Upgrading the chip to the M3 Pro with a 12-core CPU and 18-core GPU costs $200, while a 36GB memory upgrade costs $400.

Upgrading to the M3 Max chip with a 14-core processor and 30-core GPU, as well as 36 GB of memory and 512 GB of internal storage, will cost $2,999. Upgrading to 96GB of memory costs an additional $800, although you get a 96W adapter for free.

Choosing the M3 Max with a 16-core CPU and 40-core GPU adds $300 to the cost of the lower-end M3 Max chip. It also upgrades the storage to 48GB, with an upgrade to 64GB costing $200 and upgrading to 128GB for another $800.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 Pro starts with a 12-core processor and 18-core GPU option at $2,499 and offers the same upgrades as the 14-inch Pro and Max models. Overall, however, it ends up being $300 more expensive than the smaller model.

The storage upgrade for the M3 Pro and M3 Max models has the same structure as the M2 Pro and M2 Max, with the caveat that the 8TB capacity is limited to the M3 Max chips only.

M2 MacBook Pro vs M3 MacBook Pro – what to buy?

Comparisons are usually made on the basis of similar devices. First, we need to address the standout of the new group: the M3.

The ideal comparison for the 14-inch MacBook Pro M3 is the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, not the 14-inch M2 Pro counterparts. With this release, Apple finally bid farewell to the old 13-inch MacBook Pro and released a version of the 14-inch MacBook Pro that now becomes the “entry-level MacBook Pro.”

It's safe to say that this is a welcome change, since the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is already noticeably outdated.

M3 MacBook Pro side view

For more comparable models using Pro and Max chip variants, it's easy to say that the release of versions of the 14-inch MacBook Pro and the M3-based 16-inch MacBook Pro will come less than a year after the M2 launch. This is an unusual move for Apple.

Suffice it to say that owners of M2 variants watching the M3 launch may feel a little jealous and annoyed at the shortened update timeline.

Since using the M3 is the only real benefit, there's little reason for MacBook Pro M2 owners to upgrade to the latest versions just to get more performance. It would be pretty hard to justify upgrading for a few percent more performance. compared to existing ones. model.

For M1 MacBook Pro owners, this is a little easier to swallow since at least enough time has passed for the upgrade to actually be a viable option for them. But again, the difference here is based on performance, not design or other features, and not much changes here.

Apple has certainly made a splash, and creative professionals will almost certainly welcome it. However, it's more likely that the updates will come from owners of M1 models, users of low-power Macs like the M1 Mac mini, or those still languishing on Intel-based Macs.

While Apple isn't doing itself any favors by using so many varieties of chips, it may be making life more difficult for consumers when it comes to memory. While Apple had a pretty clear way of upgrading memory in previous releases, there are now four different levels of memory upgrades that change depending on the model you choose.

This can be confusing for a cautious consumer who wants to spend a lot of money on a computing device that they plan to use for many years.

The bottom line is that Apple's updated 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are by far the best available using the M3 Pro and M3 Max. It's a little confusing, but you can't take away from the fact that Apple has come up with something that maintains market leadership.

For M2 owners, however, Apple instead presented a terrible case of buyer's remorse.

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