M3 MacBook Pro Reviews: From 8GB RAM and Space Black Fingerprint to M3 Max Performance [Video]

For the second time this year, Apple offers to evaluate the new MacBook Pro series with the updated M3 line. This time, Apple is releasing M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max at the same time. Apple is also cutting the price of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 version, although only the M3 Pro and M3 Max versions have 16-inch options and a new Space Black color.

Perhaps the most important detail to review this series: Apple's war on fingerprints with space black. TechCrunch touches on this topic:

Apple fans love the new color. In the case of the MacBook line, this may be due to the fact that the aluminum design of the laptops is not much different. The last few generations have traded almost exclusively in space gray and silver (essentially dark and light gray). However, the new Airs expand on this theme a bit by adding Starlight (a subtle light gold) and Midnight (a much darker grey). The space black color is a nice addition. When light falls on it, it emits a pleasant glow. However, the most important thing here is the fingerprint factor. The Airs I tested were Silver and Stellar, so I can't speak to this directly, but the Midnight Air is a known fingerprint magnet. There are pages and pages of talk about this on Reddit, including “tips” for a fingerprint-free midnight Mac. Have you tried typing with gloves? Not easy.

Apple describes the new color as best Apple can tell: “The coating features a revolutionary chemical composition that forms an anodized seal that significantly reduces fingerprints.” The company hasn't perfected a completely fingerprint-proof surface, but the new finish does a great job of keeping things to a minimum.

The Verge has words for the $1,599 8GB RAM configuration. 14″ MacBook Pro:

I'm personally interested in finding the answer. Stupid me, trying to save money, bought the base model 15-inch M2 Air with just 8GB of RAM a few months ago. I really regret this decision. Long story short, as soon as I open the 20th tab, beach soccer starts. Can I avoid having dozens of tabs open? Sure, but in 2023 it's not too much to aska $1,300 computer that you can connect to a monitor and keep everything organized when you have 20 to 30 tabs open. I don't care what people say on the internet. In my experience, RAM still matters, and it's stupid that the base model only gives you 8GB. Spend within your means, of course, but I think everyone should have at least 16GB these days. Don't be me

In terms of performance, the ArsTechnica test showed the results of the M3 Max:

Apple doesn't sell its Ultra chips in laptops, but reserves them for high-end Mac Studio and Mac Pro desktops, where the chips are easily cooled. . But the M3 Max's performance is as close as we've ever seen to ultra-level performance in Apple laptops, matching or exceeding the performance of the M1 Ultra processor and getting very close. to match the performance of the M2 Ultra processor. GPU performance is still not that good – 40 cores have a hard time beating 64 or 72 cores, even with Apple's generational improvements. But the M1 Ultra is typically only 10 or 20 percent faster than the M3 Max, which is much closer than you'd expect based on core count alone.

Mac-on-Mac comparisons aside, Comparing the M3 Max to today's high-end PC chips provides an even more impressive picture of its performance and efficiency.

The M3 Max can get pretty close to the single- and multi-core performance of high-end desktop chips like the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Intel Core i9-14900K, which is seriously impressive considering the M3 Max can fit into a laptop and both are top-of-the-line – consumer-grade desktop chips that consume enormous amounts of power and produce large amounts of heat. Overall, the M3 Max is closer in lighter tests like Geekbench, but falls a little behind in heavier tests like Cinebench or our Handbrake video encoding test, where desktops’ their virtually unlimited thermal headroom allows them to run faster and longer.

CNET also got behind the wheel of the M3 Max:

Most of the performance gains I see in the M3 Max over the M2 Max are the overall gains you get from increasing the core frequency, the number of cores, and the way they are distributed. But it also (like everything else) depends on what you do. Regardless, you'll get significant multi-core performance boosts with custom single-core speed boosts. But Geekbench 6 CPU tests, for example, reflect general usage, while Cinebench focuses specifically on rendering. Computations on a general-purpose GPU, as shown by the Geekbench Metal test, did not increase much: from 38 old cores to 40 new ones. But rendering speed, as measured by Cinebench, more than doubled.

To get a sense of practical scale on the M3 line, the base-processor MacBook Pro 14 took just under 20 minutes to import (with import lens correction) and simultaneously generate full-resolution previews of about 1,000 RAW+JPEG photos and videos; The MacBook 16 Pro took just over 8.5 minutes. Lightroom import and sketching are processor and memory dependent, which accounts for most of the difference.

The MacBook Pro 16 is generally a stunning piece of hardware, backed by an operating system that makes the most of its capabilities. at least in terms of performance. If you need speed, it's worth it.

Video Reviews

If you prefer to watch , here are some video reviews during the embargo:

Learn More

  • M3 Mac Benchmark Results Show Whether Performance Meets Claims Apple
  • The MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip is on par with the M2 Ultra in terms of performance, according to Geekbench tests.
  • M3 Pro/Max vs. M2 Pro/Max

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