Apple’s entire M3 chip lineup just leaked, and it blows M2 out of the water

A die shot of the Apple M2 Ultra chip
(Image credit: Apple)

The latest rumor to be ground in the rumor mill has come to light, and it’s all about Apple’s latest silicon, still to come next year. In Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter, the specs of the M3 lineup have all been outlined, as well as information that there may be some big jumps in the amount of RAM that the Macs of tomorrow may feature.

There’s an M3 Ultra, M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3

According to Gurman, the M3 range will feature significantly higher chip counts in both the GPU and CPU departments, as well as possibly more RAM. 

The M3 Ultra, for example, looks like it will be equipped with 32 CPU cores, of which 24 are performance and 8 are efficiency, paired with up to 80 GPU cores depending on the configuration you opt for in a Mac Studio or a Mac Pro of the future. Compared to the (still very new) M2 Ultra, that’s a massive increase on all fronts. This year’s super-powered processors come with 24-core CPUs, and up to a 76-core GPU. The biggest improvement here comes in the form of an increase in CPU cores, as well as a bump in GPU.

Mac Studio M2 on a wooden desk in an office

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

The M3 Pro and Max chips are also reportedly getting more cores, with increases over this year's M2 versions. The Max chips are also apparently getting a bump from 12 CPU cores to 16 cores in all configurations, as well as a jump to 40 GPU cores if you go for the top-of-the-line version. That’s an extra 2 cores. The Pro chips are also going to look a lot beefier, with an extra GPU core in the top range chips, bringing them up to 20, and then another 2 CPU cores over the M2 variants.

Weirdly, the M3 base chips don’t seem to be getting too much of an upgrade over this year's M2 models. There are still going to be 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores. This could well be the most disappointing of the new chips — although we don’t have them in our hands so we won’t know what they’re truly capable of.

Gurman then goes on to talk RAM — and there look to be some big upgrades there too. “The MacBook Pros in testing include 36 gigabytes and 48 gigabytes, suggesting some possible new options.” He continues, “Right now, MacBook Pros can be ordered with 16-, 32-, 64- and 96-gigabyte configurations.”

M3 chip leaks; iMore’s take

It’s always exciting to see what the next generation of Apple’s chips looks like, isn’t it? In this case, the M3 Ultra is the most exciting, with a big bump in processing cores. The M3 base chip is a little disappointing, of course, given the increase in cores across the rest of the range, although again, we’re yet to see how the chip performs when in a MacBook Pro.

Apple Silicon expert
Stephen Warwick
Apple Silicon expert
Stephen Warwick

"Using 3nm technology instead of the 5nm used in A15 and Apple silicon would offer a 70% logic density gain over the current chips. This would give speed boosts of up to 15% using the same amount of power, or up to 30% power reduction at the same speed compared to 5nm. As you can imagine, that would make chips in the next iPhone and new M3 Macs much less power hungry, or much more powerful using the same amount of power as current models."

Part of the reason that these chips are becoming so much more efficient and getting so many more cores on a similar die size to the chips that have come before is the 3nm process. Apple is heavily invested in the new chip creation tech, having ordered almost the entirety of the first printing of the process, making sure that it has an advantage over the competition. The first device that we might see with a 3nm process chip is the iPhone 15 Pro, and then it’s likely that the M3 chips will follow.

Whatever happens with these new chips, it’s looking like it’s going to be an exciting time for Apple silicon and the latest Apple hardware to use it.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.